February 17th, 2016
Alternative Spots for Spring Pike – How Toby Jeremy Schneider March 10, 2014
When you think of spring pike fishing, you normally think the northern bays on a lake. Anglers typically search for warmer bays with weeds that serve as prime spawning grounds to target pike.
What about narrows? Narrows between lakes or spawning bays leading to the main lake can be dynamite for spring pike. In order for a narrows to be a solid producer it has to be fairly large and be complex; as in various depths, spawning habitat, structure, etc. When I say narrows, I’m not talking about a neck down area; but when I look at a map I’m looking for something that almost resembles a river.
I first thought about fishing narrows after reading a copy of Musky Hunter. Jim Saric had an article about them being fishing hotspots for spring musky. When I read it, I thought why not apply it to spring pike? I mean think about it; they warm up fast, have baitfish and they are a traveling route for walleye and other treats for pike to eat. Pike also use these routes to travel through. The best narrows have spawning bays in them and should have spots to hold the ones traveling through them. Look for deep shoals, bulrushes, weed flats, weedlines and docks. These have been the most productive for me for pike.
Some lakes in southern Ontario, like Muskoka or Halliburton, that have northerns, have very little weed growth and people always wonder where to start fishing. In these kinds of circumstances, instead of running around the lake looking for weeds, I look for stumps and lay downs. Why you ask? Well it’s simple really, wood holds heat, attracts baitfish which in turns attracts pike. This is a very common scenario on lakes that are deep and cold.
I’ve spent a few weekend trips in the past looking for weeds in lakes and end up just getting frustrated. Think wood; and if you think it would make a good summer largemouth spot, fish it for pike! A great bait for fishing this kind of cover is the Johnson Silver Minnow; tipped with a grub because of its snagless nature with a 80# fluorocarbon leader made by Stringease. You need this kind of leader due to the type of cover you are fishing. If you hook into a big fish in a stump field with a light leader say “goodbye” to that fish and you have only yourself to blame. A huge benefit to fishing this kind of cover is that few anglers dare fish it.
- Small isolated clumps of cover that pike can use to ambush prey, preferably near current
- Small bays in the narrows with cover; Stumps are great on lakes with few weeds and they hold heat
- Laydowns or stumps near current are typical spring pike haunts as they move through the narrows
- Never discount docks in shallow protected areas for spring pike
So remember this upcoming spring to try something a little different. Think a little outside the box and you just may get into a fish of a lifetime!
Jeremy Schneider is an avid multi-species angler. Making his home in Southern Ontario, Jeremy fishes for northern pike and bass. When he is not tournament fishing in the B.A.S.S he can be found enjoying the outdoors hiking and camping.
Jeremy has had a lifelong love affair with fishing, He is one of the true northern originals and can remember fishing throughout all of Ontario ever since he was a child. During hard water months, Jeremy can be found studying up on new techniques and tackle to catch his favorite species, largemouth.
Moving forward Jeremy aspires to use his knowledge to teach others to love the outdoors and his passion, fishing. As a contributor he can share his wealth of knowledge and connect with like-minded individuals.
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Jeremy Schneider is an avid multi-species angler. Making his home in Southern Ontario, Jeremy fishes for northern pike and bass. When he is not tournament fishing in the B.A.S.S he can be found enjoying the outdoors hiking and camping. Jeremy has had a lifelong love affair with fishing, He is one of the true northern originals and can remember fishing throughout all of Ontario ever since he was a child. During hard water months, Jeremy can be found studying up on new techniques and tackle to catch his favorite species, largemouth.More by Jeremy Schneider