big northern pike fishing

Pike Fishing Tip – Deadbait for Trophies

Deadbait for trophies…

Here’s a pike fishing tip that can easily produce more excitement than fishing for walleye or trout. If you are looking for a good freshwater battle with a strong aggressive fish look no further than the Northern Pike.

The beauty of the pike is they will strike at nearly anything. Out of all the game fish in Canada the Northern Pike is the easiest to catch. But that doesn’t mean its a cakewalk when you fish for them. This underwater predator has its preferences you need to know about.

To better your chances you need to understand what entices the pike to strike. Once you do, you should have success with this pike fishing tip. You might even land that twenty pounder.

big northern pike fishing

The most popular lures for pike continue to be red and silver in color. The yellow five of diamonds continues to have success as well. There have also been lots of trophies caught on jigs, but this isn’t always typical of what the trophy pike are looking for. If you are looking for that BIG pike, you need to know what its after.

Big pike many times chase one to two pound walleye and perch for their meals. You have to change your strategy to accommodate this. Keep in mind that typically a big fish does not want to waste its energy eating bugs and minnows.

Using live fish for bait is illegal in many provinces, so make sure you understand the regulations where you are. This means, no catching a one or two pound perch and using it as live bait. Trying this can be quite costly if the authorities catch you.

So what to do?

Dead bait account for more large pike strikes every year than any other method. The spring is the best time for this strategy. It is this time of year when the females have finished spawning.

Big pike can usually be found in shallow bays in the early spring and are looking to ingest as much food as possible. A lure can seem unattractive to these fish as the energy required to strike a lure may not be there. This is when a dead bait strategy can really pay off. In the spring pike are known to prowl and pick winter kill off the bottom. It’s an easy meal. It’s this premise that makes the dead bait strategy like ringing the dinner bell.


Smelts and Spratts are both excellent baits to use while pike fishing as are sardines. There seems to be something about the smell of a smelt that pike love. This is what the fish are looking for in the spring. You can get smelts at bait shops and even many grocery stores.

You need to make a dead bait rig for this pike fishing tip to be effective. Get two 12 inch steel leaders and 2 medium treble hooks. Fasten the treble hooks onto the leaders and then clip the leaders together so you have a hook at one end and a hook where the two leaders come together.

On the top leader now tie your line to the eye. Get a medium size float and put the float one to two feet above the rig. Grab the end hook and put the hook through the bottom lip of the smelt. With the back hook, hook it to the base of the tail. Test it to see if the bait sits proper. If so, you are ready for some serious Canadian pike fishing.

For trophy pike, your location is important. Make sure the shallow waters you are fishing have weed-beds. If the bay also offers points and channel edges you are in the right spot. There should be plenty of large females feeding off of perch and suckers as they use the same waters to spawn.

When they strike, pike will play with their prey. It is not uncommon for a big Pike to hit and let go several times before the bait is taken. The pike will attempt to stun its prey. When the time is right he will turn for the kill. With this in mind you have to show some patience. Once the pike takes it, wait for at least 5 seconds before you set the hook.

While Canadian pike fishing remember to release ALL pike exceeding 12 pounds. Pike are long lived, but grow slowly. You’ll catch lots of smaller pike while seeking trophies anyway. These are better eating fish to begin with. Leave the big ones to keep the population healthy.

If you are looking for your fish of a lifetime, try this pike fishing tip. Fishing for pike with dead-bait can be a blast.

If you are not catching fish in the spring, chances are you are not offering what the pike seek. Find the right location with the environment pike love and bring the “fixin’s” for a dead bait rig. If the mix is right, you could have the time of your life.

Thanks for checking out this effective pike fishing tip.

Good fishing.

Scroll to Top