There are some Monster Northern Pike in our Ontario lakes. Every year guests catch & release Northern Pike in the 15 to 30-pound range and once in a while we hear reports of Northern Pike being caught that are 48 and 52 inches. A 49-inch Northern Pike with normal length and girth proportions would be over 25 pounds and a rare fish anywhere in Ontario. We don't want you to expect to catch a trophy Pike that big but the opportunity is there and it does happen. Marshall, Dusey, and Twin Lakes have all produced rare Northern Pike in the 40lb class.
Northern Pike is the top predators in the Arctic Watershed and everything is on the menu. They are not picky eaters. Guests catch many Trophy Pike while Walleye fishing with small jigs or casting tiny spoons for trout. Your chances of catching a big Northern Pike are much greater if you are targeting them. Since most of our guests come for the world-class Walleye fishing, not near as many trophy Pike are caught as there could be. It does not have to be that way.
Ara Lake and Marshall Lake have big Northern Pike and some massive trophies have been caught on these lakes, but we tend to send our guests who want to concentrate on Walleye fishing to these lakes. Surprisingly, even though Pike numbers are much lower, the biggest Pike get caught on our fly-in river camps. Our river camps have Brook Trout, Chub and Suckers for the Pike to feed on. All these fish have a much higher calorie content than Walleye and enables the Northern Pike in the rivers to get huge. You will not catch high numbers of Pike like our other lakes but if your goal is to catch a 25-pound Northern, this might be your ticket.
Dusey Lake has a ridge that goes right across the west-end of the lake where it drops from 6 to 15 feet deep. Our guests who know about this ridge catch multiple Northern Pike over 20 pounds and sometimes in the same day. It is surmised that the Pike hang out along the ridge because Walleyes and other fish move back and forth along the ridge. It's the perfect spot for ambushing their prey. In Teabeau Lake, the water levels are always rising and falling. The Walleyes, Suckers and Brook Trout are constantly moving up and down the river when the flat areas of the lake get shallow. Big Monster Northern Pike patrol the hole just below the first rapids, which is up stream from the cabin. They feast on everything that moves. Trout fisherpersons report bringing in Brook Trout that are shred apart like paper. Guests, while fishing for Walleye, have reached down into the water with a paddle to un-hook a jig off a log only to watch the log swim away. We hear these stories all the time. A big trophy Pike is rare or it would not be a trophy.
Ironically, one of the biggest Northern Pike ever caught in the Nakina area or even Ontario was caught and released off the dock at our base camp back in 1998. It was 56 inches long and weight over 40 pounds. We are sure he is still swimming around the lake somewhere. Upper Twin Lake and Lower Twin Lake have good Pike fishing and Pike can be found in all sizes and in good numbers. They are most common in the 2 to the 6-pound range but 20-pound Pike are caught and released from time-to-time. Twin Lakes also has Whitefish and where there are Whitefish there are always big Pike. It seems many of the biggest Pike in these lakes get caught in the early spring or late fall. In the spring, Walleyes are spawning in the drowning River and in the fall it's the Whitefish. Larger Pike spends much of their time down deep feeding on Whitefish in the summer but are shallow and concentrate at the river mouth to feed of Walleyes or Whitefish, depending on whether it's spring or fall.
Northern Pike are at the top of the food chain in most Ontario lakes. They eat just about anything. Walleyes, trout, whitefish, Perch, Chub, Shiners, Frogs, Snakes, Birds, bugs and other Pike are all on the menu.
Small to medium size Northern Pike generally stay in thick weeds and close to shore. They will stick to the back of bays where water warms up quickly with the morning sun and they have lots of weeds to hide in.
You can find big Trophy Northern Pike in the back of bays and in thick weeds as well but generally the really large Northern Pike are more likely to hang around points leading into bays, narrows between islands or in river current. They need breathing room and like to ambush bigger prey like Walleyes and Brook Trout. They like to hang around areas where Walleyes are migrating through.
Flyfishing for Northern Pike is getting very popular. Many time the Pike are in a sensitive mood and spook easily and the sound of a Dardevle or spinnerbait hitting the water can spook them. Time like this is when you use a more subtle approach and pop a Pike fly over their heads. Pike love to eat Dragonflies so this is not much different. Another advantage is in heavy weed cover you can plop a Pike Fly into small open areas between the weeds. The most popular Pike flies are the Rabbit Strip Pike Bunny, Dahlberg Diver and the Red & White Pike Fly.
On lakes where there is a high population of trout and Whitefish, many of the massive trophy pike will go deep to feed. Trout and Whitefish have more oil and are far more rewarding in calories than Walleye or small pike. Deep water pike fishing is something few people ever think about trying. There will be 20 to 25-pound pike patrolling the bays and points but the really big 35-pound+ pike will be down deep. There are two ways to catch them down deep. You can jig with lures like you are ice fishing or troll for them. To troll down deep for Pike is basically the same as trolling deep for Lake Trout. The difference is you use Dardevle Spoons or bigger Muskie lures. This is not a popular way of fishing because you are not going to catch smaller pike like you do close to shore and with a limited amount of holidays, most people prefer to see action and hope they come across a big one.
Northern Pike hit just about anything that moves. The best lures to use are lures that come out of the fish's mouth easily without harming the fish like Dardevle and Spinner baits. Mind you, over the last 30 years so many people have been using Dardevles for Pike fishing that many Pike have learned to stay away from them on some lakes. They are still considered the top Pike lure by most people. Many believe the red-&-silver Dardevles works best in clear water while the yellow-five-of-diamonds Dardevles work best in murky water. Dardevles have also been called DareDevils but the proper spelling is Dardevle.
Fly-fishing for Pike is also gaining in popularity. Fisherpersons are finding that you can cast your fly into small open patches in the middle of thick weeds and pick up Pike that are not practical to go after with traditional lures. Fly-Fishing looks cool and romantic on TV commercials and movies but it's a lot harder then it looks and can be a very frustrating way of fishing if the pike are under shore cover like large over-hanging trees. Flies are also dangerous to the fish because they get swallowed way down where it causes more harm to the fish. If you are going to fly-fish, please use large barbless Pike flies.
Below is a list of good Pike lures:
Pike Trolling Lures:
Pike Casting Lures:
Top-Water fishing for Northern Pike with a Hedon Spook is an art form that seems to have been lost and needs to be carried on to the younger generation. There is no fishing method for Pike that is more exciting then Working the surface with a Spook and getting those Monster Pike splashing at the surface. Over the years I have seen people try to fish with Spooks and they just can't get it right so we are going to show you the most exciting Pike fishing method known. Since I have not seen anyone beside myself use a Spook since the early 80s, I think it's time we get people back into them.
Start to reel in slowly at a constant speed. While reeling in you have to jerk your rod every second. When you jerk your rod, the Spook will slide to one side. When you jerk it again, it should slide to the other side in a crisscrossing motion. You have to get a rhythm going. As you are reeling in, your Spook splashes from side-to side and this drives the Pike crazy.
Please Note: Fish in the north avoid artificial scents. Use unscented rubbers and do not put scent on your lures. Wash your lures before you head north if you have ever used artificial scents. Salted grubs work great!
Northern Pike photo gallery at 7 Lakes Wilderness Camps.