Why do I like pike? Let me count the ways
I like the fact that northern pike fight. They shake their head, they pull hard, they get even feistier at the side of the boat, and I’ve even had them jump high in the air. Pike are definitely good fighters.
I like the fact that pike are willing to bite. When walleyes have lockjaw and bass are being finicky, you always can coax a pike into biting. They’ll crush crankbaits, smash spoons, they love live bait, and jigs are irresistible to an aggressive pike. Even the bass lures work. I’ve nailed them on spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, even plastic worms. I’ll admit they cannot always get that toothy mouth around a topwater, so I don’t fish top-running lures for them.
Pike are prolific in many of the waters I fish. I don’t find many in the southern reservoirs, but in the northern tier of lakes in the Upper Midwest, pike are abundant. Sometimes this plentifulness results in smaller fish, but there are always a few big ones roaming, too.
Pike are tasty, and they’re maybe my favorite eating fish. I have mastered the art of removing the Y-bones from pike and this has resulted in me keeping pike for the dinner table. Keep only the smaller pike for frying – the only way we can get big pike back into the lakes is to release all those over 26 inches. It feels good releasing a big fish back into the water, and the small ones taste better.
I like the fact that pike are hungry year around. When ice covers the lakes in the northern United States, pike stay aggressive even in cold water. In some areas of the far north, these fish even spawn under that ice. Pre-spawn pike on open water are extremely vigorous, and we can sight-fish them in the shallow regions of a clear lake. When dog days kill the bite for all other species, pike will still feed heartily and provide steady fishing action. Fall is a stellar time to cast big baits that run right over the tops of settling vegetation. There is no bad time of the year to chase pike.
Pike are easy to find. From shallow weed beds to deep rock piles, pike will be where the food is. They also prefer cover like docks and heavy vegetation when it’s available so as to ambush their prey, and they’ll come screaming out of a clump of milfoil or coontail to smack a lure.
There are many reasons I like pike. Bottom line, I’m just a guy who likes to catch a lot of fish.