Pikes are species of carnivorous fish that like to stay in areas with vegetation in lakes, rivers, and streams. You are likely to find them in a group of two to three. Some are loners and most times will be alone without any company.

In the winter, when it is snowing, most anglers like to hunt for these species. Catching the northern pike during winter may seem complicated to beginners, but that does not have to be the case.

When you are out in the snow hoping to catch one, you just need to have the necessary tools and knowledge. In this article, you will learn how to catch northern pike ice fishing.

Step:1 Location

Before starting to fish, it is crucial to know where you will find this species of fish. Fishing in an area where they are more concentrated will give you more catch. The northern pike fish lives mostly in shallow waters. They do like places covered in vegetation or weed. So, if you are going fishing, these are the exact spots to go looking for them.

Use the direction of the wind to help you determine the location of the pikes. Pikes are also likely to go in the waters in winter than on warm days. They are mostly located at the bottom of the water. So before planning to catch them, always familiarize yourself with the location you suspect the pikes might be located.

Step:2Prepare The Bait

The best bait to use to catch this type of fish is by using dead baits. Most fish get attracted to live baits over artificial ones. However, not all fish are equal; if you are an experienced angler, you will realize that there are fish you can catch more with live baits and vice versa. Pike fish are known to be scavengers. They are predators, and they will chase any lure.

When choosing dead baits for the pikes, always go for meaty ones that have natural oils. An example of what to choose is either small whitefish or suckers. Baits are locally available, and therefore getting one near you shouldn’t be a problem. The best way to use sucker baits is by freezing them and fishing with them when frozen. It makes it a lot easier to stick on the fishing hooks. Use smaller hooks for a better catch.

How To Catch Northern Pike Ice Fishing

Step:3Choosing The Best Lures

Some Northern pike ice is very aggressive and will require you to use sinking lures to catch them. This technique helps catch more fish even if they become aggressive to catch. It is what most anglers use. The season to use lures on pikes is in spring or autumn seasons. But they can still work even in the winter season. Different types of lures work at different times of the year.

For example, when in autumn or spring, the best ones to go for maybe surface lures. Some other types of lures that one can use in catching the pikes are; slow sinkers, floating plugs, slow sinkers. Another traditional lure that’s not so common among anglers nowadays is the metal spoon and spinners. Have a slow speed lure on ice.

Step:4Fishing Gear

There are a few things you will need when going ice fishing. The common one to have is the tip-up. You will also need other gears like an ice chisel. This tool helps you cut a hole from the ice. Have a gas auger handy and use it for making holes in the ice. With an auger in ice, you can create as many holes as you possibly wish to drill.

Step:5Fishing Method

An effective way to catch pikes is by setting up Tip-ups. This method has been well known for catching and attracting fish. The method requires specific laws and regulations must be met when fishing. You can do ice fishing in two methods. The common one is the tip-ups, but you can also use the jigging rod method.


The tip-up method uses wood and also wire to create a trap for the pikes. These things work almost similarly to mouse traps, with a few exceptions in terms of workability. It contains a spool line, and it also has a trigger mechanism in it. There is a flag that will let you know when the pike has taken the bait. It will flicker to ascertain that the fish has pulled on the line. Holes to be drilled need to be between 3-15-feet.

There is not much needed when setting up this trap. All you must do is set it on ice and wait for the flag to pop up to let you know of a catch. Remove the trap from the ice while grabbing on the line. When you feel the fish’s presence, set the hook instantly and pull in the fish with your hands. Place tip-ups on the location likely to have more pikes for a better chance.

Step:7Unhooking Tools

When you catch the pike, you will need to unhook it. You need to have all the right fishing gear with you at hand. The tools you can by your side are; fishing pliers to give you a good grip, unhooking mat, and bolt croppers to cut things stuck on the fish’s mouth. Unhooking the pikes can be challenging and might call for an experienced angler, but once you know, everything flows smoothly.

What most people need to know is by having the right knowledge and technique, catching northern pike ice fishing gets easier. Most of these types of fish species are aggressive, but with the right fishing gear, it becomes an easy thing to do for any angler. Once you know the location and how the fish are presented, apply the techniques above to catch one. Use Tip-up methods when catching pikes. The pikes like to eat food a lot; that’s why most of them are likely to be found in places covered with weeds. Being on ice can make you freeze due to the cold; as you practice ice fishing, don’t forget to keep warm.


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