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It’s mid-summer on the western prairies and that means my usual fishing, trout and walleye, has either slowed down or stopped completely. That doesn’t mean I quit fishing. In fact, my time on the water has likely increased since my attention as turned to northern pike and perch!
When I was young, my favourite species to target was always northern pike. As I gained more experience and learned to fish a variety of species throughout a season, pike have grown to be my summertime species of choice. Those toothy critters always put on a good fight and could be found in areas that are fun to cast a line to. Weed beds, dense cover, downed trees, anything that provided a bit of shade from the sun or cover to ambush prey from would be a likely pike hideout.
My choice of lures is pretty small, I will typically be carrying a few crankbaits; such as the Rapala BX Minnow or Husky Jerk, a couple of Len Thompson spoons in the classic patterns including; five of diamonds, red and white stripes, firetiger and nickel blue, all ranging from No.0 to No2., and a few paddletail jigs in some combination of white, orange or chartreuse. I find that varying depth and retrieve make a larger difference than the type of lure. After I’ve tried a few depths and retrieve patterns I will change to a different lure colour and repeat the pattern. Lure type is always dictated by where I’m fishing; crankbaits for shallow casting and retrieving. Jigs for deep weed beds and drop-offs, spoons are good for everything!
A fishing kayak, such as my Sportsman 120, is a great watercraft for pursuing northern pike (jackfish) because you can get right into where they live. Weed beds, stream inlets, wind blown shores or structure is usually too shallow and weedy to effectively cover in a motorized boat but in a kayak, its all easily accessible. Both areas that I’m fishing in the videos are less than 10 feet deep and are thick with weeds.
Overall, I think northern pike fishing is the most accessible species for new anglers and one I really enjoy catching during the heat of summer. Below are a couple videos from my summer northern pike adventures, I hope you enjoy the videos and just maybe I’ll see you out on the water!