How to Hook a Monster: Best Lures for Northern Pike Explained and Reviewed

Northern pike is fierce predators. These powerful and sleek hunters are known to science as Esox Lucius. They’re prized because of their legendary aggressiveness, strong fights, and acrobatic leaps.

Before, we shared our top tips and favorites techniques for catching more pike. Now it’s time for us to look at the best lures that will help you catch these giants.

We will discuss why we make these recommendations and give you a list of our top pike lures. Continue reading!

Here’s a quick look at some of the top northern pike fishing lures.

Pike Soft Baits

  • Storm WildEye Pike
  • Zoom Super Flukes
  • Zoom Bait 8 Inch Magnum Lizard

Pike Spinner Baits

  • BigTooth Tackles Straight-Wire
  • Mepps Aglia Dressed spinner
  • Worden’s Original Rooster Tail

Pike Crank and Jerk Baits

  • Rattlin’ Rapala
  • Bill Lewis Original Rat L-Trap
  • Rapala Super Shad Rap

Pike Spoons

  • Dardevle

The Best Northern Pike Fishing Baits and Lures

Although they are not picky eaters like other fish, Pike doesn’t eat all lures equally.

Soft Baits

Storm WildEye Pike

Storm WildEye Live Pike 06 Fishing lure (Pike, Size- 6)

The storm is known for its highly realistic soft baits. The Live Pike is no different. It offers pike a tasty meal, taking advantage of their cannibalistic nature. All three sizes are great options.

This lure’s tail wriggles when it works, creating a vibration as real as it looks. This lure is so hard to distinguish from the real deal, even the most sharp-eyed pike can see it. Northerns often swallow this lure whole, and they hit it hard.

You can count on a solid set of hooks, with a large dorsal and ventral hook.

Zoom Super Flukes

Zoom Bait Salty Super Fluke Bait-Pack of 10 (Smokin Shad, 5-Inch)

Zoom’s Super Flukes have been a popular choice for pike. From their salty taste and delicate flukes, they offer a winning combination in action, appearance, and vibration.

These soft baits can be used to catch small pike, perch, or shad when rigged on a Gamakatsu #1 hook. You can even make them weedless so they penetrate the deep cover. It’s easy to see what will happen next since the pike is always waiting to attack prey.

This is what sets “plain” soft baits apart from other brands, and it’s a reason they get so much love! You can find them in many colors and they are very popular with pike.

Zoom Bait 8 Inch Magnum Lizard

Zoom Bait 8-Inch Magnum Lizard Bait-Pack of 9

We’ve already explained that pike is an avid feeder and will eat almost anything. The Magnum Lizard, which is great for getting a big pike interested, can be used to feed lizards, frogs, and snakes.

This Zoom soft bait has 8 inches of vibrating, salty, wriggling goodness. You’ll be able to tell if there is a bruiser in your vicinity by pulling the bait weedless across the tops and sides of tall grass or along the sides.

The Magnum Lizard is a legendary bass angler. It should be in your tackle box whenever you are casting for pike.

Spinners

BigTooth Tackles Straight-Wir

A large spinner with a bright skirt, curly tail, and huge blade will create maximum vibration. With a sensitive lateral line and a big, colorful skirt, pike can’t resist a big spinner. This makes spinners an effective bait to catch these brutes. Big Tooth’s Straight-Wire, however, is a great choice.

The Slump Buster, Green Lantern, and Green Lantern colors make great choices. Pike will instinctively respond to these spinners. Straight-Wire’s double hook design will lock them to your line when they do.

It’s great for attracting northern, whether you want to retrieve it slowly or let it flutter and drop.

Mepps Aglia Dressed spinner

In-line spinners such as the Mepps Aglia are great for angling for pike, especially when they’re dressed in a tail and skirt.

These are great for buzzing in the shallows, especially in larger sizes such as 1/2 ounce. The large blade produces a distinct vibration and flash, while the skirt, tail, and body add color and action.

The Mepps spinners can be tough too. I find the central wire is strong enough to withstand a beating and not get bent.

Worden’s Original Rooster Tail

Yakima Bait Wordens Original Rooster Tail Spinner Lure, Rainbow, 1-Ounce

We recommend Worden’s Original, which is last but not least among spinners. This lure is 1 ounce in size and offers plenty of pikes, just like the Mepps.

This lure is hard to beat. It has a flashing vibrating blade and a colorful skirt. The Rainbow color is my favorite because it mimics the appearance of a small pike. This plays on their cannibalism.

Crank and Jerk Baits

Rattlin’ Rapala

Rapala RNR08SG Rattling Lipless Crankbait, 3 1/8', 3/4 oz Silver Gold, Sinking

A rattling lure is the best way to get pike’s attention. The Rattlin’ Rapala is a lipless crankbait with an internal rattle that calls pike from the weeds.

The silver/gold is my favorite. It looks almost like a prey item. You’ll get a solid hookset with the addition of two large treble hooks, one ventrally and the other trailing.

These are my favorite lures to run-down weed beds, especially if they’re close to a drop-off. An aggressive pike will swallow a lure that is 3/4 ounce and 3 1/8 inches in size. Make sure you have a strong leader.

Bill Lewis Original Rat L-Trap

Billy Bay Bill Lewis RT284 Rat-L-Trap Fishing Equipment, Yellow Perch, One Size

The Rat-L-Trap is a great rattler bait. These crankbaits are 1/2 ounces in weight and measure 3 inches in length. However, the vibrations they produce imitate a larger fish.

You can choose from a range of colors. I recommend Yellow Perch. The original Rat-L-Trap comes equipped with two (2) big #2 Gamakatsu triple hooks.

These are my summer favorites. I love to run them fast, running through the water to make the rattle sing. They will be rushed by big, mean pike, so don’t panic!

Rapala Super Shad Rap

Rapala Super Shad Rap 14 Fishing lure, 5.5-Inch, Perch

The 5 1/2-inch Rapala Super Shad Rap is a great choice if you are looking for big pike.

This Rap is a great product. It can fool pike eyes whether you throw Perch or any of the realistic designs. It has an unbeatable action, as generations upon generations of pike anglers and muskie anglers have witnessed. It waggles as if it is injured and sends vibrations to the pike waiting in the lateral.

When someone knows what they are doing, it’s just money.

This large lure is between five to nine feet deep. You can crank it continuously, let it float between cranks, or take it off the surface occasionally. The pike will eat it.

Spoons

Dardevle

The Dardevle is a tried and true fisherman when fishing for pike. These spoons are top-notch and flutter like none other. They wag their tail to generate vibration and flash.

You can throw either a 1 or 2-ounce spoon, but I recommend that you go large. Nearly any color will work on a hungry pike, regardless of whether you are throwing it small or large. These spoons cast just as well as you would expect. I take a few of them with me to pike fish, from steady retrieves to fluttering descents.

How to Choose the Best Lure for Northern Pike

Pike Feeding Behavior

Northern pike is ambush predators that blend well with aquatic weeds and other grasses. They are almost invisible, as they lie motionless in cover and use almost imperceptible movements of their fins for stability. Then, when prey comes close, they explode at full speed.

Pike will eat anything, even another pike. Fish of all types, including frogs and amphibians, fish, birds, bats, and mice, are acceptable.

It is important to know that pike will be found anywhere you can find prey and vegetation. Pike fishing is not easy for them. Greg Keefer says that most pikes start feeding heavily when water temperatures rise to 55-60 degrees. They then go into spring feeding frenzy once it reaches 65 degrees.

Pike Senses

Pike are very well-equipped to ambush predation.

They have excellent depth perception and low light vision due to their large eyes. This is a benefit they use to their advantage. They feed at dawn and dusk when they have a competitive advantage over prey. The 90 minutes between sunup and sunset are the best time to search for food.

A sensitive lateral line is also present in Pike, which allows them to sense vibrations from prey that are near or injured. Pike can sense the location of wriggling fish and can be excited by any lure that makes them buzz, flutter, or flash.

Pike Teeth

A pike can boast hundreds of sharp teeth. They not only provide a nearly foolproof grip on any object they can reach but also destroy the fishing line.

Use a leader when using lures. Don’t rely on an abrasion-resistant mainline to withstand pike!

You can run extremely heavy fluorocarbons, such as Berkley’s 100-pound pike leads. They are probably thick enough for a few teeth, but I prefer metal for pike.

There are many options available, including Rio’s tapered lead, which is one strand of notable wire covered in nylon.

Terminator Titanium knottable steel wire is my favorite if you like to tie it yourself. It’s simple to use and can be used with any pike.

Ryan DeChaine, Wired2Fish’s chief tying expert, has clear instructions for you:

What does this mean for you?

The ambush predators of the Pike are amazing, so it is worth taking some time to understand what this means for anglers.

  • Clearwater and lush vegetation are desirable. Pike prefer low turbidity water, which allows sunlight to reach the underwater plants and encourages their growth. These ambush masters require vegetation for cover. This means that you should focus on thick vegetation and weed beds when hunting for pike.
  • Pike are very aggressive. For most species, finesse and subtlety are important. But not for the pike. They will strike most lures with an attitude so don’t be afraid to throw it too big or fish too aggressively.
  • Pike rely on vision and lateral lines to locate prey. This means that colors, flash, and the vibration is important in lure selection. Live bait is also a good option.
  • Pike feed at dawn & dusk. Because of the importance sight has to ambush predation, it is often the best time to work.
  • Use a leader whenever possible it’s not possible to lose a good pike better than using a thick braid. You can read our complete article to learn more about the myths, strengths, and weaknesses of mono, fluoro, and braid.

Last Thoughts

These lures are all worth having in your tackle box. If fished correctly, all of these lures can be pike magnets.

Are there any pike lures you love that we have missed? We’d love to hear about your favorite pike lure!

Lewis
Lewis Mark is a vastly experienced fly fisher. His encyclopedic knowledge of fly tying has led to start blog on fishing. He also review Fishing equipment based on his knowledge and experience.