Ice Fishing For Pike: The Best Tips

You don’t have to wait in the winter for the sun to come out and dream about open water and summer fun. Bundle up, get out and try to fish in a whole new way — through the ice! Ice fishing can be quick and furious when lakes under ice are sealed in winter. Best of all, no mosquitoes or “bug” flies are there. In this article, you will learn about the basics of ice fishing and ice fishing for pike.

The Beauty Of Ice Fishing

ice fishing for pike

You walk on a clear, crisp winter day onto a frozen lake with your sled full of fishing gear and fishing license in your pocket. Once you find the perfect place for fishing, you drill through the ice a large hole until you see open water. Then you get the ice chisel out to expand your hole. Now you unpack your sled and find your special lures, rods, or tips for catching fish. You probably want to get your portable seat on so you can see what’s happening down the hole.

Then you take the skimmer to remove the ice from the hole and slush throughout the day. After your line has been set, you need to watch or watch the flag on the tip to see if you catch a fish. When your hands get cold, you grab what you need to warm up with the hot chocolate thermos. You finally eat fish on the ice for lunch, cooked on the little stove you brought with you—what a great fishing day.

How To Start Ice Fishing

If you are prepared to join together to catch Pike, please follow these tips below for ice fishing.

1. Get moving. 

Mobility is the key to success, wherever or when you’re fishing. If you were in a boat during the open water season and were not bite, how long would you stay in one place? So why do they do otherwise in the winter? Now, thanks to portable huts (which are in a minute’s time), warm flotation suits, lightweight ice augers, fish finders, hand-held GPS units, and, of course, ATVs and snowmobiles, it’s reasonably easy to get in here and elsewhere.

2. Stay in the loop. 

Ice fishing is undergoing significant tackle and tactical changes-and better when it comes to fishing. Read magazine articles, watch videos and television shows, and participate in seminars to keep up with trends today. There are also many excellent websites with up-to-date information on local conditions for ice fishing. Keep a logbook and test it again and again until you know what works and what doesn’t work. 

Maybe try fishing some ice tournaments as well. You are serious about the sport by putting down your hard-earned cash and competing against anglers of the same mind. Whether you win or not, you will learn more than ten days of haphazard fishing in a day of the intense contest.

3. Come prepared. 

There is a reason why professionals fish in their boats carry so many different rods — set in different ways and ready to go — so that they can change presentations quickly if necessary. It should be the same for ice fishing. Consider the species’ size, the depths you intend to cover, and how active the fish can be, and then plug several rods accordingly. 

You don’t have to go overboard. The trick should be done by half a dozen bars of different actions and lengths. You will also be grateful later if you don’t have to hold on to various lures in lower zero temperatures.

ice fishing for pike

4. Don’t overdo it.

The biggest mistake most ice anglers are probably jigging too vigorously, not only when fishing for panfish, but also for larger fish, such as tropical and walleye. Of course, aggressive fish hammer a large spoon jerked up and down, but the odds are good if you use this method to simply attract fish to your area or as a final destination if a subtler approach doesn’t work. Try to twitch your bait; instead, just move your wrist or slowly push your rod tip up and down a few centimeters.

Otherwise, move slowly from one side of your hole to the other from your lure or bait. Or try a slow, gentle lift, hold the rod straight ahead. Nothing? Nothing? Twitch it back, drop it down, lift it up and hold the lure off of the bottom for an inch until the fish strikes.

5. Be one with your lure. 

You should always feel your jig or lure’s weight, so you know about it at once when there is the extra weight (that is a fish in your bait). If the weight of the lure itself you can’t feel, it could be too light for your platform or the depth that you are fishing. Or perhaps it’s too windy, or the line you use is too heavy. 

Many ice fishermen believe that on 10- to 12-pig testing lines, they can actually fish a 1/16-unce jig or a small spoon for panfish. You can’t, in truth. Four-pound tests are standard for panfish, and even two-pound or one-pound tests are sometimes better, especially in shallow, clear water if you deal with fine panfish.

6. Keep an eye on stuff.

Many bass and walleye advocates swear by looking at their hits. By doing the same, Ice Anglers can increase their chances. Look at your line as a hawk, right at the point it enters the water. 

At the slightest of motions-whether, the hook is kinked, tightened, or moved side by side. If your line stops much earlier than you anticipate, put the hook in order to catch the suspended fish that have only just grabbed your lure.

7. Go easy on them. 

Avoid a quick, sharp jerk when you set the hook. You need to take into account both the depth you are fishing at and the line of your mono. The deeper you fish, the longer you go. Most experienced ice anglers use a steady yet decisive lift, even over their heads, if they need to fish deep. 

8. Lighten the load. 

The best ice anglers have chosen smaller coats and lures in recent years and lighter lines and rod actions. For instance, many pros turned from minnows to little maggots with very impressive results—for example, perch bait. Moreover, on a medium action rod, a six-pound line is also available for panfish. Rather, it has proved more effective to have a super sensitive light-action ice rod rigged in a two-pound test. 

In the 1990s, even the trend to use heavy-duty bait-casters for stiff, four-foot-plus ice-rods for trophy lakers led to shorter, medium-action rods coupled with spinning rollers and 8-to-10-pound tests. The reason for all of this? There is a need to finesse fish in this age of increased fishing pressure, not to mention clearer water with zebra mouths.

9. Fish during prime times. 

Many species of fish are at their peak early in the morning and late in the afternoon. If possible, then use those periods, especially in the early morning, by fishing, which can be slightly more productive. The result: you can spend time with your family for the rest of the day (if they don’t fish with you already, that is).

10. The size matters.

Regardless of the daily allowable catches, it can be critically important for the survival of your favorite winter space to release large walleyes, lake trout, Pike, and other big gamefish voluntarily. The release of large, pregnant perch, crappies, and bluegill, which are 11 inches long, is also vital to our fisheries’ future. Let the bigger ones go, and better fishing on the road will result.

The Benefits of Ice Fishing For Pike

pike fish

Ice fishing has become a very popular hobby for millions of people all over the world, and why? A new door opens, allowing thousands to get out into the great open-air and try something new and, more importantly.

Fishing can be funny, and this is not just for the more experienced anglers. The younger generations are alive and kicking, as many seem to believe. However, many anglers don’t know if ice fishing is for them. Here are the benefits of ice fishing for your next hobby.

Fresh Air

Fishers are often one of the luckiest people because they have the opportunity to discover incredible landscapes in their natural beauty. Many wild animals can see without disturbing them in their daily routines and can, of course, get lots of fresh air.

This is a huge advantage because too many people are stuck inside, and while ice fishing may not seem to be the hardest activity, it does at least bring you outdoors!

Having Fun

Ice fishing can be fun and exciting. Perhaps you won’t see that as you sit freezing cold with only a fishing rod for company, but it can be. Imagine sitting down for hours. Then you suddenly get the first catch of the day – even if it’s only one small fish, the whole trip will be worth it.

If you are with friends and other fishing enthusiasts, the atmosphere is warm and friendly because you are usually close by. You can chat and make it a good place to spend the day. Many anglers meet once a month to go ice fishing, and it is really fun.

A New Challenge

Be frank. Ice fishing isn’t quite like regular fishing because there are more obstacles in its way, while the idea remains the same. At first, you’re on the ice, and that can be a lot more difficult than you think. Catching fish is hard in the best times, and you need some patience when you try ice fishing! Going out on the ice is difficult in so many ways, and it’s great because it motivates you.

Ice Fishing For Pike: About The Fish

ice fishing for pike

The Northern Pike is found in the northern hemisphere in fresh water. Their appearance differs from other freshwater fish because of their body shape, though the musky is sometimes mistaken for this species. The pick is long and slender in color, olive green, and on its belly fades to yellowish-white. 

The sides are marked by lighter colored spots, usually matching the color of the belly. One dorsal fin, which is marbled with spots, is located near the end of the back. The Pike has a long snout and a mouth with sharp teeth.

The biggest difference is the size of male and female peaks. Naturally, the female fish is bigger than the male. Both sexes continue to grow with age. The average weight is between 3-7 and 24-30 inches long for a northern pike. The largest Pike ever captured was 58 inches long, and 68 pounds weighed.

More Information About Ice Fishing For Pike

In the spring, Northern Pike sprouts when the water temperature reaches a Fahrenheit of at least 48 degrees. As the female spreads her eggs only one foot deep into the water’s vegetation, the male fertilizes them. There are usually 15,000 to 75,000 eggs. After the adhesive eggs are attached to the overflowing vegetation, both the men and the women leave.

After about two weeks, the eggs hatch. The newly hacked “fry” feeds on their egg bag until their diet is gone and then shifts to zooplankton. They start feeding on small fish after about two weeks. In the first two years of their life, Pike grows faster. Sexual maturity is reached between the ages of 3 and 5, with males earlier than females. The average northern Pike’s lifetime in the wild is seven years.

Ice Fishing For Pike: The Basics

If you wish to learn more about Northern Pike Ice Fishing, take the time to learn the species’ behavior, the different ice-fishing methods, the ice-fishing gear, and other important information needed to improve your experience.


You can go ice fishing for a peak at any time of the year, but the late season is the best time to target your particular prey. This is because, in the winter months, fish are not as reactive and aggressive. 

Then again, warmer temperatures (in states such as Alaska) between March and April make fishing much more bearable to fishers. It is best to check the seasonal pattern in your country or state so that you can plan the right time for yourself.

Another helpful tip to remember is that Pike goes for food when the sun is up, and they’re more likely to be on the move during brighter and clearer days (and see their lures and suits).


Finding active fish before you drill your hole increases your chances of catching them significantly. An easy way is to reach the nearest lake or pond you know has a peak when it is not frozen because even during winter, it is likely to.

Local fishing shops and fishing stores are also available for popular ice fishing spots. But be advised – many renowned destinations for ice-fishing can become very crowded to find quiet and almost deserted ice-fishing spots in your area.

Once you have found a good area, attempt to get a bathymetrical map, or use your fish search engine to plan your attack and setup, Pike usually hangs around the weed beds, along with narrow spots next to deeper water and around submerged humps or islands. How you catch them depends on your preferred method of ice fishing and the equipment available.

What To Use When Ice Fishing For Pike

What you use depends on your preferred ice fishing method. You can ice fish for Pike in four ways.

ice fishing

Light rod fishing

Conventional fishing equivalents include fishing rods with fishing rods waiting right by the ice hole, holding a regular summer rod, or specialized in-reel ice fishing rod. A single “dead stick” sometimes works just as well.

Whatever rod you use, live lures or artificial appetites are needed. You can go for Wax Worms or Maggots if you decide to use live bait. You should stay warm and alive until you are ready for a hook. 

Plastic minnows and small baitfish make some of the best pike ice fishing appetites. You’ll also need a spring bobber on the spin of your rod (not a water bobber that’s freezing in the water) to help you learn the least bit. These and more will be found in your local bait shop.

There’s also a long fishing line to cast your lure down. If you don’t get bites, move it up to the water column and wait again. While waiting, move your line slowly and steadily up and down to imitate a distressed fish’s natural movement. When nothing works, a fish finder can always be used to determine the depth of your prey.


Tip-up fishing is another widely used way to catch large Pike. It involves the use of tip-ups or tilts, which can be used in monster fish hooking. It can be made of wood or other robust materials, but the most common types of tips consist basically of a base, a spool with your line, and an indicator of a flag or bite.

Since catching the peak is a power struggle, you must ensure that your line does not break off while you slowly pick your aggressive catch up using a minimum of 30 pounds braided fishing line or polyester (Dacron).

The tip-ups are generally installed in multiple holes (also created using a drill) so that a single angler may fish at different depths and places at once. Scraped minnows and worms still make some of the best pike ice fishing suits by the tilt-up process. 

Consider bringing attractive artificial apple because there are areas where live appetites are not possible, but couple them with a bobber that helps to inform you of nibbles and morsels.

It can take hours for a bite, but if it happens, the line spool movement will cause the flag to be released. That indicates your opportunity to take the trap, line up with your fingers, and set the hook so that you can start playing the fish until you finally get it out of the hole.


This traditional method involves the use of a multi-spear to stab fish on the surface of the ice-fishing hole. Instead of lures and dressings, the fisherman used the drill to make a hole and drop chum (i.e., mixed minnows or other baitfish) to attract fish to swim to the ice trough surface. The spear must also be attached to a string to get the spear if you miss it.


Clubbing is a much older method that today’s ice fishermen rarely use. It is rather primitive, so it takes the least amount of gear — just a big club that slams the ice directly over the fish. This is done for safety on clear ice in shallow water. When the fish is astonished, the fisherman quickly cuts an ice chisel into a hole and recovers the fish.

Ice Fishing For Pike: Tips

The Northern Pike is at the top of the food chain in the area. 

They have become perfect predators hunting from embassy sites. The edges of the underwater plant and nearly overflowing, falling trees in shallow depths along the shoreline are favored ambush points. Northern Pike gets motionless, tucking into the vegetation or next to a submerged tree, waiting for a beast to enter into striking distance.

When the calendar turns a page to February, several north peaks move into the shallow water to spawn the upcoming spring. 

There will be a number of Pike in depths of 3 to 6 feet. A hard freeze can create a few feet or thicker ice. Ice thickness can only mean a foot of water between the ice and the lake bottom in shallow water. Rest assured, this does not dissuade northern Pike from living there.

You need patience.

Shallow water pike is spooky, so we opt for a traditional ice pike. However, even the non-motorized ice boom is not completely silent. A good tactic is to drill every trout you’re going to use, then enjoy a hot drink and wait for a half-hour to drop off. This allows the northern Pike to calm down nearby.

Ice movement can also speak about this shallow water pike. If the snow is not covered and the ice is clear, the fishing can readily see the angler’s movement. Keep a distance from the drilled holes with clear ice. A distinct benefit of shallow ice fishing is that you can watch the tips from the shore. 

There’s often a little warmer, especially when trees block the wind. If a flag flips on a tip-up, resist the urge to squeeze the ice hole. Recall that the Northern Pike is directly underneath the hole of the ice.

Final Words

Pike feed aggressively during the winter, and with time and patience, you can catch real trophy fish. In particular, the gear and strategy look different for Northern Pike during winter months than in the open water seasons. In these Northern Pike ice fishing tips and techniques, you have hopefully found something new that will help you ice more fish. Most people think luck is usually a combination of training and practice, so get out and enjoy the practice.