Unconventional Pike Lures: Thinking Outside the Tackle Box

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Pike fishing is an exhilarating pursuit that often calls for thinking outside the traditional tackle box. While classic lures like spoons and crankbaits have their place, embracing unconventional pike lures can add a new dimension to your fishing experience. In this blog, we’ll explore some unique and unexpected lures that have proven effective in enticing those elusive northern pike.

  1. Soft Plastic Swimbaits: Soft plastic swimbaits designed for bass fishing can be surprisingly effective for pike. Their lifelike swimming action and soft texture make them irresistible to these aggressive predators. Opt for larger sizes to match the pike’s voracious appetite.
  2. Musky-sized Spinnerbaits: Upsizing your spinnerbaits to those typically used for musky can be a game-changer. Pike are drawn to the flash and vibration of these larger spinnerbaits, making them an unconventional yet potent choice.
  3. Topwater Frogs: Pike are known for their explosive surface strikes, and topwater frogs provide an exciting way to capitalize on this behavior. The tantalizing leg action and lifelike appearance make frogs a unique and effective option.
  4. Inline Spinners: While spinners are a classic choice, opting for inline spinners with a single, large blade can create a different presentation. The streamlined design generates less resistance, allowing for a faster retrieve and enticing strikes from aggressive pike.
  5. Soft Plastic Jerkbaits: Soft plastic jerkbaits mimic wounded prey, triggering the predatory instincts of pike. Experiment with various colors and sizes to find the combination that entices these predators to strike.
  6. Large Swimbaits: Embrace the trend of using oversized swimbaits originally designed for trophy bass. Pike are opportunistic feeders and won’t hesitate to strike at a realistic-looking swimbait, especially if it mimics a local forage fish.
  7. Creature Baits: Typically associated with bass fishing, creature baits with multiple appendages can create a tantalizing display for pike. The erratic movement and unique profile can trigger aggressive strikes.
  8. Jointed Lures: Jointed lures provide a lifelike swimming action that mimics injured fish, making them an unconventional yet effective choice for pike. The segmented body creates a realistic presentation that can trigger predatory instincts.
  9. Large Soft Plastic Grubs: Often overlooked, large soft plastic grubs can be a sleeper hit for pike. Rig them on a jighead or a swimbait hook, and let the natural undulating tail action do the work.
  10. Surface Buzzbaits: While buzzbaits are a staple for bass, pike find the surface disturbance and buzzing noise irresistible. Fish them over weedy areas or along the edges of lily pads for explosive strikes.


Exploring the world of unconventional pike lures can open up new possibilities and add excitement to your fishing adventures. Keep in mind that pike can be unpredictable, so experimenting with various lures and techniques is key to unlocking their predatory instincts. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a novice, these unconventional pike lures might just be the secret weapon you need to lure in those trophy-sized northern pike.

Q & A

    1. Q: What are the best types of lures for pike fishing? A: Popular pike lures include spoons, crankbaits, soft plastics, swimbaits, and topwater lures like frogs and buzzbaits.
    2. Q: Do pike prefer certain lure colors? A: Pike are known to be attracted to bright and contrasting colors, with combinations of chartreuse, orange, and silver often proving effective.
    3. Q: Are there specific sizes of lures recommended for pike? A: Larger lures are generally more effective for pike, with sizes ranging from 4 to 12 inches depending on the type of lure.
    4. Q: What is the best time of year to use pike lures? A: Pike can be caught year-round, but spring and fall are considered prime seasons for using lures as pike become more active.
    5. Q: Do pike respond well to artificial or live bait? A: Pike are known to strike both artificial and live bait, but lures offer more versatility and excitement for anglers.
    6. Q: What retrieves work best for pike lures? A: Vary your retrieves, including steady retrieves, pauses, jerks, and erratic movements to trigger the predatory instincts of pike.
    7. Q: Can I use bass lures for pike fishing? A: Yes, many bass lures, such as swimbaits and spinnerbaits, are effective for pike when upsized to match their aggressive nature.
    8. Q: Are jointed lures effective for pike? A: Yes, jointed lures with a lifelike swimming action can be very effective for enticing strikes from pike.
    9. Q: What depth should I fish pike lures? A: Experiment with different depths based on the pike’s location and water conditions, ranging from shallow to deep presentations.
    10. Q: Are there specific weather conditions that favor pike lure fishing? A: Overcast days, low light conditions, and slightly choppy water can enhance the effectiveness of pike lures.
    11. Q: What is the ideal water temperature for using pike lures? A: Pike are active in a wide range of temperatures, but they tend to be more active in cooler water, ranging from 50 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
    12. Q: Do pike prefer certain types of lure actions? A: Pike are drawn to erratic and aggressive lure actions, making lures with sudden movements or changes in direction effective.
    13. Q: Can I catch pike on soft plastic lures? A: Yes, soft plastics like swimbaits, jerkbaits, and creature baits can be effective for enticing strikes from pike.
    14. Q: What role does leader material play when using pike lures? A: A sturdy leader is essential to prevent bite-offs, with wire leaders being a common choice to withstand the pike’s sharp teeth.
    15. Q: Are there specific techniques for fishing topwater pike lures? A: Experiment with different topwater retrieves, including pauses and varied speeds, to find the presentation that triggers pike strikes.
    16. Q: Can I use ice fishing lures for open water pike fishing? A: Yes, some ice fishing lures, like jigging spoons and lipless crankbaits, can be effective when targeting pike in open water.
    17. Q: How can I prevent pike from cutting my fishing line? A: Using a wire leader or choosing lures with built-in anti-cut features can help prevent pike from severing your fishing line.
    18. Q: Are pike lures effective in weedy areas? A: Yes, many pike lures, such as weedless spoons or soft plastics rigged weedless, can be effective in navigating weedy areas.
    19. Q: What is the most challenging aspect of using pike lures? A: Hooking and landing pike can be challenging due to their aggressive strikes and ability to make powerful runs.
    20. Q: Can I catch trophy-sized pike with lures? A: Yes, many anglers have successfully landed trophy-sized pike using a variety of lures, making it an exciting pursuit for trophy hunters.