Northern pike are not easy to catch in late summer. These toothy critters are known for spectacular strikes and fantastic fights. Catching these fish in the late summer takes a little knowledge and some specialized tackle.Credit: Jay Angel
During late summer pike move to their deep water haunts on deep weedlines. Fishermen have often thought that they are difficult to find and even more difficult to catch during this time of the year.
First you will need to find a deep weedline. A weedline is where the aquatic vegetation stops. Finding this area will take a depth finder, or of you are fishing in clear water you should be able to visually see a clean bottom. . Once you stop seeing the weeds, then mark the spot and then follow the weedline for several hundred of yards.
Now tie a size 1 hook onto a 2 foot long length of line. I like to use 20 pound line for this leader. Slide a 1 ounce barrel weight onto your main line and then tie a barrel swivel.
To use this presentation correctly you will need a stout baitcaster type rod with a baitcaster reel. Best baitcaster reels have a baitclicker feature. A bait clicker will make a distinctive clicking noise when line is being peeled out.
This is your sucker rig pole. You can use two of these if you want.
The next part of this this presentation involves using a baitcastting rod/reel combination and and a large stickbbait or a spinner. I like to use either a size 4 or five Mepps spinner or a Rapala Husky Jerk size 10 to 14.
First, hook your lively suckers through the top lip and drop them down to the bottom. After you feel the sinker hit the bottom, reel up a couple of feet and then place your rod in a rod holder. Begin moving your boat down the weedline.
Cast in over the weeds with your other rod. Keep the lure over the weeds and reel at a quick pace. A good pair of polarized sunglasses will assist in this part of the presentation. you will want to watch your lure as you are retrieving it because pike will follow it in. If the pike fails to bite your lure it will sink down to the bottom and find your sucker. When you hook into a fish using these rods you will want your partner to reel up the sucker rigs so that your fish will not tangle in one of them.
If you hear one of your bait clickers go off grab the rod. Allow the fish to swim freely. It will swim around until it gets the sucker into it's mouth. Once it is in the fish's mouth you will want to set the hook. Most of the fish you catch will be on the sucker rigs.
The lure rigs are used to pull the bigger fish into the sucker rigs. A lion's share of these fish will be caught using the sucker rigs.
Other key elements of this presentation are a large landing net and leather gloves. Bring a high quality, large landing net in order to get one of these slimy fish into the boat. You should bring a pair of leather gloves in order to hold onto it.
If you use this presentation on your favorite pike fishing lake you will discover that they don't lose their teeth in the late summer! Good Luck!