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How to Catch the Northern Pike of a Lifetime… This Long Weekend!

Gord Pyzer

Pike Plan

The #1 tactic for early-season pike in the shallows

Your best chance at catching the pike of a lifetime is early in the season when the giants are cruising through waist-deep water. The only drawback is they’re moody and easy to spook. So, rather than fan-cast and risk putting them on guard, I use my bow-mount electric trolling motor to stalk grassy flats until I spot a distant trophy (polarized sunglasses are a must).

Try big soft-plastics such as the Sluggo (left) or Fin-S Fish (right)
Try big soft-plastics such as the Sluggo (left) or Fin-S Fish (right)

A large 7½- to 12-inch Sluggo or Fin-S Fish rigged weedless on a 6/0 to 8/0 offset hook is the best early-season pike bait I’ve ever used. Just be sure to attach it to a thin titanium or fluorocarbon leader so it isn’t nose heavy and it doesn’t sink quickly. Cast well out in front of the fish and read the pike’s mood. Slight twitches, and even deadsticking the bait, will pay huge dividends.

Gord Pyzer

Gord Pyzer

Fishing Editor Gord Pyzer is widely regarded as Canada's most scientific angler. Known in fishing circles as Doctor Pyzer, he worked for 30 years as a senior manager with Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources before devoting all his energies to fishing. A member of the Canadian Angler Hall of Fame, the award-winning writer is also an internationally sought out speaker, tournament angler and field editor with In-Fisherman Magazine and Television. As well, he co-hosts the Real Fishing Radio Show with Bob Izumi. Catch Gord on the Outdoor Journal Radio Show live every Saturday morning 8:05AM EST. If you're in southern Ontario, tune your radio to Sportsnet 590 The FAN AM or visit and listen live online.

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