Brad Fenson

Ice-fishing for northern pike: The only presentations you’ll ever need

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Brad Fenson

#4 JIGGING

Along with tip-ups and quick-strike rigs, you can also catch big pike by jigging lures with a rod and reel. Jigging can also help draw fish to your trapline. Swimming jigs, ball jigs, spoons (below) and rattling crankbaits are all great options. And while the colour, flash and vibration all help to attract fish, I also always attach bait—unless it kills the action of the lure—to trigger the fish’s olfactory system.

Short fast-action rods work well for big fish, and quality spinning, level- wind or baitcasting reels are a must. In water less than 15 feet deep, I use 10- to 12-pound-test monofilament, which provides enough stretch and strength for fighting northerns. For deeper water, however, I prefer the sensitivity and superior strength of 20- to 30-pound-test braid. Whatever line you use, just be sure your reel has a good drag system.

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