Pike Fishing With Live Bait
There is nothing like using a big ol' bobber, a steel leader and a shiner or a chub to bag a big ol' Michigan northern pike.
When I was a kid there were a couple really good spots that I fished for northern pike. There were a couple ponds that had creeks coming in and out of them and there was a river that had a place we called "the Hole".
I didn't use no fancy lures just a good ol' hook and bobber set up.
You have may have seen these bobbers when buying some to bluegill fish and thought, what the heck do you catch with those giant bobbers. They are often used for pike and even musky.
You can buy pike minnows and most live bait shops but if there is a creek that runs in and out of the pond or lake you are fishing and it has shiners and chubs in it, I recommend using a small hook and worm and catching your bait out of there to use.
Fish use smell as their main detector of food and pike seem to hit bait that is from the water source they are in much better than ones from a bait store. Don't worry, they will hit the bait you get from the store.
Near drop offs and weed lines are great places to set up. Especially those long slow drop offs. Pike will often cruise those looking for meals.
I use the big bobber, and depending how deep the water is, is how deep I set the bobber from the hook. Since pike have teeth and can break your line rather easily I use a steel leader with a single or a treble hook on it. I hook the bait back in front of the tail about an inch under the spine. This seems to keep the bait alive longer.
Pike fishing is kind of a mini version of Jaws the movie. You saw the barrel in the movie where the shark hits the bait a couple times, runs a little with it, then takes it under. Well that is exactly how it works with the pike.
Pike have to swallow the bait fish head first so they usually strike the shiner or chub once or twice then position the fish to swallow. Usually when that bobber goes down for the second time and is heading to the weeds or the deep, that is when you set the hook.
Pike fishing can be a lot of fun especially when you take the kids with you. Just remember, pike have a rack of teeth that can really do some damage to your hand when removing the hook. Bring some needle nose pliers that can get down in their so you don't lose no skin off your hands.
The ones just big enough to keep taste the best so if you catch a real big hog, maybe get a quick photo or 2 or 3 then turn him loose for another angler to enjoy. They have places now that can look at your photo and make a mount of your fish based on the photo and the weight and measurements you provide if you want a wall hanger.