BWCA Fishing Corner – Early Season BWCA Pike

BWCA Fishing Corner – Early Season BWCA Pike

Boundary Waters Fishing- Early Season Pike

For many folks that fish the Boundary Waters, the Northern Pike is little more than a slimy, boney nuisance that frequently cost a fisherman his or her favorite lure or jig. Mishandling this toothy critter after the catch has resulted in many a cut finger or hand as well. A trophy pike however, can be the fish of a lifetime…the catch that angler’s dreams are made of. The big challenge is figuring out how to close the gap between that nuisance “hammer handle”, “snake” pike and the trophy of the trip.  Consider early season BWCA pike fishing.

Increase Your Odds of Catching the Big One

There are a number of ways to up the odds for catching nice big pike. Timing is one of those ways. Increasing your chance of catching a big pike will put a different perspective on fishing for them. While pike are considered a warm water fish, compared to trout and salmon species, big pike really favor the cool waters of the deep clean Boundary Waters lakes. Getting to those big fish can be a challenge during the warm waters of summer when big pike can be caught trolling deep waters in excess of 30 or 40 ft. Many big pike are actually caught by folks trolling deep diving crank baits for lake trout.

To put the odds in your favor, if possible, adjust your schedule and try some Early Season BWCA Pike.  Believe it or not, northern pike are already thinking about spawning. Where they exist, pike start preparing to spawn before the ice leaves the lakes in the spring. They stage at the entrances to very shallow, soft bottom “sloughs” and coves, often where a creek may enter the lake. These are the first places that become ice free, when water temperatures climb into the “balmy”40’s. It’s not uncommon to see these fish cruising in water as shallow as 1 to 4 ft. Once the pike have finished spawning, they will remain in those shallow areas for some time, until water temperatures push them into deeper cooler water. May and early June in the Boundary Waters is the target time to get in on these shallow water pike.

Try These Lures for BWCA Pike
bwca lures buzzbait

Buzz Bait in Black

One of my favorite techniques for early season BWCA pike is the “buzz bait”. A goofy looking skirted hook connected to a propeller type spinner, the buzz bait has accounted for countless numbers of nice pike over the years. Fished like a topwater lure, retrieved quickly atop the water, there aren’t too many things that will get your heart pounding like seeing the wake of a 40” pike torpedo, in hot pursuit of your lure.

boundary waters spinner bait

Spinner Bait in White

A traditional spinnerbait has similar qualities…just not quite the full topwater effect as the buzzer. Maybe the best part of these affective lures is the single hook design. They are very snag free and easy to deal with in a pike’s toothy mouth.

Book a May Pike Fishing Canoe Trip

So, if you want a little piece of some big pike action on your next canoeing adventure, consider an early season pike trip. This year’s Minnesota fishing opener is May 9th and camping permits are pretty easy to acquire in May  We can point you in the right direction and set you up with a simple array of lures to up your odds in the quest for your Boundary Waters Trophy.

Fish on.


For more information on BWCA fishing, click here, or call us at 218-365-5837

bwca fishing