March Madness = Monster Pike Tip Up Fishing
Nothing gets the heart racing more than a flag flying on a tip up. And it’s about that time for Lake of the Woods, time to target those monster Northern Pike that is. Dust off your tip ups and get your gear ready. March brings the Pike into the areas adjacent to breeding grounds in bays or near streams. There is nothing like putting down a 10” sucker minnow or cisco and seeing a flag go off. Big bait equals big fish.
These fish spawn in bays, back sloughs, streams, rivers and similar areas adjacent to key shoreline structure with soft bottoms and are always looking for an easy meal. Shallow water is the ideal place to lay your tip up. Some say that dead bait produces better than live bait when targeting large pike. Some anglers also prefer to use both and let the pike decide the bait.
Hand over hand reeling brings back fishing to its primal roots and there is nothing like bringing in a 45” pike with your two bare hands. You get to feel the full force of the fish, the head whips, rolls, and then dives.
Quick strike rigs seem to be the go to for anglers as it usually equals better hookups when compared to conventional lures. A quick strike rig is shown in the picture. Many anglers will construct them on their own and add different color beads and blades to add flash. Other anglers will purchase as there are a number of quality rigs on the market. One of the new rigs out is called a “Zero Rig” by Clam. This rig has two trebles on a circle wire allowing the extra treble that is not hooked in the pike to slide down to the fish accomplishing two things. First, that extra hook typically will not hook the pike in the side during a ferocious fight. Second, there is less chance of that dangling treble to get caught on the ice while pulling the pike through the hole.
If you have never tried tip up fishing now is the time to give it a try. When the weather warms and spring is peeking through, there is nothing like enjoying a nice day on the ice with a group of friends. When the flag flies it’s a mad dash for the tip up. Most people have a good time on the ice recreating while waiting for the flags to fly. Come up and give this awesome type of fishing a try, it really is a blast!