10 Tips For Ice Fishing For Pike
Headed out to the lake this weekend and need 10 tips for ice fishing for pike? Pike are really aggressive fish, which makes them a lot of fun to fish for and catch. If you’re an ice fisherman, you don't want to miss these ten tips for catching a huge pike.
- Fish in the morning. Pike are sight feeders and very active during the day. Some of the best pike fishing action is often during the early morning hours.
- Overcast days are ideal. For unknown reasons, changing weather conditions often make pike more active feeders. Check your local weather to see if there’s a front moving in before you head to the pond.
- Fish in a larger than normal hole. If you typically drill a six inch hole, you might want to drill an eight inch hole instead. Pike can grow very large, and you don’t want to pull a large aggressive fish through a hole that’s too small. As a general rule you shouldn't drill a hole larger than 10 inches. Large holes take a long time to ice over and can be dangerous for other fisherman who don't know they are there.
- Use large bait. Pike feed on soft non-spiny fish. Try using a three to six inch golden shiner, rainbow smelt, or white sucker. You’ll want to use a larger bait so smaller fishes won't try to eat your bait and trip your flag.
- Fish shallow water. Pike prefer to hide in shallow weedy areas. Most pike can be found in three to fifteen feet of water. Fish about a foot off the bottom to avoid tangling your bait in the vegetation.
- Use a heavy test line. Pike can grow very large. To make sure your test can handle a fish’s weight and not stretch under strain, you might want to consider a heavy weight dacron line. If you can’t find dacron at your local sporting goods store, you can buy some online at one of the internet auction sites.
- Check your bait frequently. If you’re not getting any trips, check your bait. It’s possible your bait was taken without tripping the flag. Don’t bother to re-bait dead fish. Pike will eat dead bait.
- Set the hook quickly. Don’t wait too long to set the hook. As soon as you feel the fish is latched onto your bait, give the line a quick tug to set the hook. If you wait too long the hook will get too deeply embedded and will be a struggle to get out of the toothy fish.
- Wear gloves. Pike are notoriously aggressive. Don’t even think of pulling one out of the hole without gloves. One bite with those teeth, and you’ll have a nasty infection.
- Release the pike quickly. If you’re not planning to keep the fish, make sure to get him back into the water quickly. Use pliers to release the hook and avoid his teeth. Try not to touch his gills.