Trolling For Pike: 5 Must-Try Techniques for Trolling Pike

Anybody who wants to take fishing as a serious job understands that trolling for pike is ultimately a challenge, especially on a large water surface like the ocean. To master your trolling job, you should go through some techniques that will allow you to catch more pikes. 

And in this article, we’ll share 5 top trolling strategies that are exactly right for pikes. Besides, you’ll learn more about the specific times, seasons, areas, and lures to troll for pike. So, let’s explore the details. 

Trolling For Pike: 5 Must-Try Techniques

The following methods can be ideal for anglers from the new to the pro level. These are the basic secrets towards trolling for pike- 

Choose the Right Size of Hook

If you use the partridge style hook, the perfect partridge hook size will be 1/0 for pike. In terms of the treble hook, keep the size at either 2/0 or 3/0. We recommend you avoid using the large hook size because the heavy-duty treble hooks are easy to release from the pike’s throat. 

Choose Pike’s Favorite Meal

The pike usually completes 90% of their meals eating smaller fish. But their favorite dishes are birds and small mammals, including crayfish, frogs, rodents, insects, leeches, and waterfowl.

Select the Right Fishing Zone

Pike are fond of ambushing their prey because they are predatory fish. They spend much time waiting in the slacker part of the rivers to get their meal. They are also found available in shallow water and sluggish streams. Transparent, cold, and rocky water bodies of reservoirs and lakes are also the most common place where pikes are tremendously available. 

Note: The topmost technique to attract pike is to bait the area before you fish there. It will help you catch them much more easily.

Check Out the Weather Forecast

There is no perfect temperature for fishing pike. In this case, you should check out the temperature to see whether it matches the pike fishing time based on the season. In the next section of our article, you’ll get a detailed guide on what temperature is perfect for which season. Check them out there. 

Change Your Speed Levels

You’re wrong if you think going at the same speed will work well to find more pike. Check out whether you’re getting enough bites on the lure. If not, keep going slowly and then increase the trolling for pike speed accordingly. But, if you don’t get any single bites yet, take a few turns at a low speed.

Usually, the best trolling speed for a pike is considered 1.8 mph because it creates the best action for the crankbaits. However, for jerk baits, the ideal trolling speed is 2.4 mph.  

Trolling Setup For Pike

Trolling for pike requires equipment based on your boat type, your experience, and the place where you want to troll. Considering all this, fishing lines, reels, and rods are the most fundamental fishing gear you set before going to troll for pike. Here’s how- 

  • Fishing Rod

Ensure you set the right fishing rod right before you go out. The swimbait rod or carp rod is the best for medium and heavy-action pike fishing. These two fishing rods are widely used. So, set any one rods of them.

  • Fishing Line

Another important gear to set is the fishing line. You can choose a monofilament fishing line to catch pike if you want to troll efficiently in most situations. But, the braid will be the super solution over monofilament. 

  • Fishing Reels

Undoubtedly the bait-casting reels are the perfect one for pike trolling. It’s well capable of spooling the heavy weight of the fishing line, casting accurately, and controlling the large pikes in a great way. 

How Deep Do You Troll For Pike

Some anglers wonder, like, Do pikes like deep or shallow water? Well, pike swims in both water conditions, deeper and superficial, depending on the hot or cold weather temperature. 

Pikes in a bigger size, especially go deeper that can be 15 ft or more. Ensure your lures are designed to run deeper. 

Also, you won’t find them in shallow water during hot days. Because in the summertime, the water temperature rises gradually, and the pike gets deeper. You’ll find the pikes in shallow water the rest of the time. 

You must go with high or low depth, depending on the season and weather conditions. For example, the pike is found in the deeper water in the summertime, which doesn’t mean you’ll get them deeper in the wintertime. 

Best Time To Troll For Pike

Pikes are commonly sight feeders and aren’t supposed to eat during nighttime. The best time to catch pike is in the early morning or evening. But, if you go for the northern pike, they can be found anytime. 

The Best Months to Troll Pike

The prime time to catch more pike is late May and early June. You can easily fish your targeted big pike at these two times. When it’s about April, you should choose the cycle of the time of the full moon. So, you can troll fish in any water temperature, whether it’s icy or warm.  

Trolling For Pike In The Fall

During the fall, if you troll in the water temperature at around 65F to 70F, you can make a good catch. In late August, the water temperature declines, and the best time is the late morning or early afternoon to fish pike. 

The fall is the great time of the year to catch more pikes. To attract the fall pike, use action-heavy or large shiny fishing baits. Try using hot bright colored swim baits or jerk baits. 

Special Tip: Use a weedless spoon if your weeds are tall or dense. It will allow you to hold the pike more easily. 

Trolling For Pike In The Summer

Choose the very early morning, considered the best time in summer. Again the late evening is also an ideal time. Remember, the pike prefers the water temperature in summer to around 20°C because these are cold-water fish, and the warm water temperature stresses them. 

Therefore you should avoid trolling if the temperature goes to 75° or above. At that time, keep your depth length at 50 ft at least. Choose a high-quality lure that goes deeper at any speed. 

Trolling For Pike In Spring

Late morning or early afternoon, like fall, is the best time to catch more fish in the spring when the temperature ranges between 66.2° to 68.9°F.  Although the big pike goes deeper, many pikes will be available in shallow water during the spring. In maximum time, they are found under 15 ft deeper. 

Since the ice leaves the water in spring, the pike starts spawning. Lizard, plastic minnows or grubs can be the best baits for pike in the spring. 

Special Tip: use a deep-running big-size lure in Spring.

Trolling For Pike In Winter

During the winter season, you should remember to slow down your trolling speed as per the low temperature. The colder the weather, the slower the speed should be. Thus, you should follow multiple speed levels at different times of the day. If you use the jerk baits, keep the speed level at 2.4 MPH, but it should be 1.8 MPH if it’s about crankbaits. 

Specifically, Pike remains more active during the optimal metabolism temperature at approximately 66°. At this temperature, they eat aggressively. So, it can be an excellent time to troll with their favorite meal. 

You also can go for the mid-day because it’s considered the best time to catch more pike in winter. Pike are found between 15 to 35 ft deeper during the winter season. During winter, they commonly eat small white fish, alewives, and chubs. 

What Time Of Day Do Pike Bite Best

The perfect time to catch pike depends on the season and temperature. But, the pike is usually found in the daytime, considering all seasons. Time can vary from morning to evening. You cannot catch as much pike at night as you can during the day.  Check out the best time considering seasons while trolling for pike.

Best Pike Trolling Lures

It’s common to be overwhelmed in choosing the best trolling for pike lures. So, this part of our article will share the 3 best trolling lures to answer your question of what is the best lure for a pike? Here are the top pike lures- 

  • Rapala Super Shad Pike Lure 

The Rapala is the best crank bait lure for pike. Its natural baitfish profile allows anglers to catch more pike trouble-free. Its natural color attracts pike fast. The Rapala works through any speed level.

  • BOOYAH Pikee Bait Lure

If you go for the spinner bait, the Booyah Pike will be the best pike lure.  It offers a Vibra-FLX wireframe to withstand powerful jaws, and the pike’s mouth is full of teeth. This lure will make fishing easier for new anglers. 

  • Cotton Cordell Pencil Fishing Lure for Pike

This Cotton pencil-designed lure is a well-known lure for big pike. It works tremendously for the potent action.  This topwater lure is designed to sit tail down. The Cotton Cordell helps attract the pike easily when you go through a dog technique.

This amazing pike lure is designed with two high-quality rust-resistant hooks and realistic color grades on the fins, gill plates, and scales. So, it can attract pike in any weather condition.


What color spoons for pike?

There’s a little secret in choosing the lure color for the pike because this species cannot see some specific colors.  The so-called best colors for pike lures are orange, white, and green. Pike becomes attracted easily to these colors in the murky water.

What is the best bait for trolling?

Most anglers like mullet, ballyhoo, squid, and mackerel as the best bait for saltwater pike. But, the skirted lures come in more effectiveness. 

Do you need braid for pike?

Yes, braid is essential for offering a low-stretch and ultra-sensitive solution to fish pike. It will let you set the hooks trouble-free. 

How much line should I let out when trolling?

Well, 20 to 50 ft of the fishing line length is the standard measurement to spread perfectly throughout the wide area of the water surface. This length will allow you to reach the targeted pike no matter wherever they are. 
But, you must ensure your fishing lines are spread in different depths, from shallower to deeper. It will allow you to catch more fish. 

What size rod is best for pike fishing?

Usually, a rod that comes between 6 to 12 ft long is considered the ideal rod for pike fishing. This size rod ensures sufficient power and cast action for the pike. 
But, for a new angler, the recommended rod size is 8 ft with an approximate casting weight of 15 to 40g. It will be powerful enough to offer immediate action to control the big size pike. 

What pound leader should I use for pike?

The leader that ranges between 60 to 80 lbs with 18 inches is perfect for pike. This size leader helps in holding knots well. It has a good abrasion resistance that makes it capable to turns the pike’s teeth back immediately. 

What size hooks for pike lures?

We mentioned earlier that the partridge style hook with 1/0 and the treble style hook with 2/0 or 3/0 are the best size hooks for pike. 

Final Thoughts

Trolling for pike is a great way of fishing. But you must know some unique techniques to get the best results. And we’ve included 5 best and top-used trolling strategies to get you an outstanding experience of trolling pike. Following these techniques will broaden the chance of desired success you deserve.

Anthony Jones
Anthony Jones

Anthony is an expert in fishing and trolling motor equipment, based in Austin. In his free time, he can often be found out on the water, perfecting his fishing techniques and testing out the latest gear.

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