Ontario Trophy Northern Pike Fishing
Northern Pike (esox lucius)
Northern Pike fishing is open all season long. Our outpost lakes only operate on a conservation basis, which means you may keep and have 2 fish in your possession. None can be between 28 - 36 inches; you may possess one over and one under. For the protection of our breeding stock, we do request that you not keep any fish longer than 28 inches. Barbless hooks are not a requirement, but should be used if you are solely fishing for trophies as it protects the fish from too much injury. Barbs can be flattened with needle nose pliers.
As a rule, Pike fishing is very slow in the spring because the big fish are post spawn. We do, however, have several very large northerns caught during this time each year. Steel leaders, heavier line (10-15lb test), spoons and large rapalas are recommended. Things generally pick up towards the end of May and into June.
By mid June, the huge northerns are active again, and will be feeding in the shallow shoreline bays. The month of July is the best time for big pike when the weed beds are fully developed and the water has warmed up. This time is also not the best time for eating Pike as the meat changes texture in the warm water. Use top-water plugs and skirted spinner baits but expect to catch big northern Pike accidentally while jigging for walleye. In fact, you will undoubtedly catch a large northern while reeling in your walleye and land them both. This makes for a great story and an even better picture.
August and September pike fishing is good, but you have to fish harder and longer for them. They don't feed all of the time, but the clear water is an advantage during the late summer and early fall time. Last year we had our largest Pike caught during this time period at 48 inches in length and 30 plus pounds.
Remember: Pike are strong fighters, usually making several powerful runs before coming to the net. They tend to fight deep but, on occasion, a hooked pike will make a spectacular jump. Also, when live releasing them be sure that water is flowing through the gills.