Like the Muskellunge, and the Pickerel, the Northern Pike (Esox lucius) is a long, sleek, predatory fish with a broad, flat mouth resembling a duck’s bill, a single dorsal fin located on the posterior portion of the body and an abundance of sharp teeth.
Known for their hard-hitting strikes and thrashing fights once hooked.
Northern Pike are often taken by trolling with large spoons, plugs or natural baits, but casting and still fishing are also frequently successful.
While Northern Pike can grow to be 20-plus pounds, voracious, smaller pike are more often caught.
Ontario has the finest Northern Pike fishing on the continent, with waters where ducklings are nervous and 30-pounders (13.6 kg) prowl.
Spring, early summer, and fall are peak periods in southern and central lakes for trophy Northern Pike fishing.
At ice-out in spring, Northern Pike begin to spawn.
This occurs in the weedy shallows as early as March.
Prime locations to fish when angling seasons first open are weedlines, flats, points, and creekmouths.
As the water heat ups, Northern Pike shift to deeper water with submerged weedbeds or other forms of cover or structure.
During this period, deep-water trolling is your best bet.
The most effective places to fish during summer are along the edges of weedbeds, drop-offs, points, islands, and humps.
In autumn, when water temperature drops, northern pike become very active again.
They return to the weedy shallows, rocky bars, or below rapids in rivers or streams.
Effective Northern Pike lures include large spoons, noisy surface or diving lures, or bucktail spinners.
You can also use live bait such as shiners, frogs, and large chubs.
NORTHERN PIKE FACTS:
Average size: Between 4 and 10 lbs (1.8 to 4.5 kg).
Northern pike more than 20 lbs (9 kg) are considered trophies.
Temperature and habitat: Prefers water around 60°F (15.5°C) on rocky reefs and the edges of weedbeds.
Biology: Spawns in flooded areas and back bays in spring. Fertilized eggs are scattered randomly.
Range: Throughout Ontario in lakes and rivers of all sizes.
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