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Crush Spring Pike With Rapala & Rapala Respected Brands

 

Some of the best northern pike fishing of the year occurs in spring. The following is a breakdown of the best baits for pike, and when and where to use the to catch northerns in May and June.

 

Topwaters

In shallow water, opportunistic pike investigate anything scurrying across the surface with the potential of being an easy meal. As such, a topwater is great for drawing-in pike and triggering savage strikes in spring.

 

When And Where

Surface lures often catch pike early and late in the day. Overcast skies and surface chop can extend a topwater bite into a day-long affair.

 

Bays, flats, shorelines and points are good topwater areas. Surface lures are also tailor-made for floating over vegetation off limits to sinking or diving lures.

 

Recommended Baits

Pike can’t resist a Skitter V’s walk-the-dog action, and the new bone, clear and ghost colour patterns are particularly effective for northerns. Experiment with retrieve speeds ranging from a fast, panicking skitter to a slow, side-to-side sashay.

 

 

You can also count on the BX Waking Minnow to put giant gators in the net. On a slow retrieve, this lure’s broad waking action creates a huge surface “V” as its belly rolls, producing a dynamic flashing action.

 

 

Glidebaits

Pike love glidebaits. When twitched, a glidebait darts to the side, then suspends or sinks while losing momentum, mimicking a wounded baitfish.

 

When And Where

Glidebaits help cover water. Make a long cast and use a steady retrieve for working large spawning bays and shallow flats. Rocky reefs and points are also worth casting. Twitching one over the top of emerging weeds will also catch pike.

 

Recommended Baits

The 5-1/2” Twitchin’ Rap has a classic Rapala shad body design and an easy-to-use gliding action. Downward twitches of the rod tip impart a fast turning, walk-the-dog action. Alternatively, hold the rod tip still and use a start-stop reeling retrieve for a more elongated gliding, struggling-baitfish action.

 

 

The X-Rap Haku is another excellent choice. This lure features Rapala’s proprietary 3R System Titanium Release Rig with VMC Coastal Black hooks, which releases from the lure’s body at the hook set, eliminating any chance of a pike using the lure as leverage to break free.

 

 

Jerkbaits And Crankbaits

There will be times during spring when pike will absolutely crush jerkbaits or crankbaits. Don’t get caught without these lures in your collection.

 

When And Where

Crankbaits are excellent when pike want a tail-kicking, wobbling or natural swimming action. A jerkbait’s advantage is its erratic, flashy slashing movement that’s capable of stimulating a feeding response from pike.

 

Use shallow diving crankbaits and jerkbaits for fishing shorelines, flats, points, rocky reefs and weed edges. Trolling a crankbait or a jerkbait also has merit, especially along wind-blown shorelines, points and reefs later in spring.

 

Recommended Baits

The Super Shadow Rap has a hard kicking, side-to-side swimming action. When paused, it fades away and sinks slowly, perfectly portraying an easy meal.

 

 

The floating Super Shad Rap is another proven pike catcher. Slow roll it just under the surface or use a faster retrieve to make it dive 5 to 9 feet; this bait maintains its natural swimming action at any speed.

 

 

The Husky Jerk is a springtime pike essential! Twitch and pause a size 12 or 14 model and get ready - its flash, roll and suspending action on the pause sends pike into a ravenous, feeding frenzy.

 

 

Paddletail Swimbaits

Thump, thump, thump — Smash! Northern pike can’t restrain themselves when a paddletail swimbait gets within striking distance. Spring to fall, a collection of 4” to 5-1/2” swimbaits is an absolute must for toothy water wolves.

 

When And Where

Use a swimbait to fish shorelines, flats, rocky reefs, points and bays in spring. These plastics are also deadly when pike are tight on bottom. This is a common occurrence following a cold front or when other factors cause pike to be inactive. Pike in rivers will also relate to bottom and orient near boulders, rock piles and other structures serving as current breaks.

 

Recommended Baits

In big water systems, anglers may find spring pike behaving a little differently, at times, by occupying mid depths in addition to shallow areas. For example, the cool conditions mentioned above can prompt pike to position on deeper points, sand bars and drop-offs outside of bays and feeding flats. Here, a 4-3/4”, 3/4-ounce 360GT Biscay Minnow will get down fast and stay in the strike zone. Cast it out, let it touch bottom, snap it up and then slowly reel it back. If this doesn’t work, try a lift-fall retrieve.

 

 

When pike are shallow, a 1/4- or 3/8-ounce 360GT Searchbait will get the job done. Another magic combination is a 13 Fishing Pleasure Shad or Churro with a VMC Spin Jig, featuring a willow-leaf blade for added vibration and flash.

 

 

Lipless Crankbaits

Experience one good day catching pike on a lipless crankbait and you’ll be hooked on these versatile lures for life.

 

When And Where

Lipless crankbaits are loud, making them effective for working large flats, expansive bays and shorelines. Good in any conditions, a lipless crankbait’s heavy vibrations make it particularly potent at catching pike in stained and dirty water.

 

Yo-yoing a lipless crank with a lift-fall jigging cadence along bottom or over the tops of deep vegetation will persuade pike into striking. A steady retrieve is also worth trying.

 

Recommended Baits

The Magic Man’s nose down stance protects it from snags and gives it an excellent swimming action. When paused it shimmies without spinning or tumbling, a proven maneuver for stimulating strikes.

 

 

Northerns also can’t refuse the hard vibrations and distinct BB rattles of a Rippin’ Rap. Take advantage of the new custom-paint inspired patterns, like Voodoo Haze and Juicy Lucy, because bright, bold colours can provoke pike.

 

 

Don’t leave the dock this spring without topwaters, glidebaits, crankbaits, jerkbaits, swimbaits and lipless crankbaits. Each of these lure styles appeal to pike and have advantages in certain scenarios, and owning an assortment of baits gives more options for fine-tuning tactics and catching more toothy northerns.