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The 5 best lures for pike fishing: Charles Raymond’s top picks

SAIL

June 27, 2023

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Best lures for Pike Fishing

Pike fishing is a sport in and of itself. A voracious and combative fish, the “freshwater shark” offers such tough resistance that every catch is a small victory. If you like action and epic fishing battles, you are in for a (very) good time. 

To put all the odds in your favour, make sure you carry a few essential pike lures in your tackle box. Now it’s just a matter of choosing the right ones. For that, let’s turn to a true pike fishing pro: Charles Raymond, Canadian angler and videographer. What should you look for when choosing a lure for pike fishing? Which types do you try first? Which colours to choose? 

Charles is here to share his tips – and his list of the best lures for pike fishing. Spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, spoons… Choose the best gear and get ready for battle!

In this article, you will discover a list of the best lures for pike fishing:

  1. Spinnerbaits
  2. Chatterbaits
  3. Swimbaits
  4. Poppers

Spinnerbaits

According to Charles, spinnerbaits are a safe bet for pike fishing. These spinning lures send out a lot of vibrations in the water, and the flashes of light they create have a strong power of attraction on this big fish.
If Charles had to choose just one lure, he would probably go for a spinnerbait. He believes this is the lure to focus on when targeting pike. It features both spoons and a skirt, which has a lot to do with its success. It is also pretty easy to work, even in tricky areas with heavy vegetation.
In terms of colours, go for something “classic”: white or chartreuse (yellow), or even a combination of the two, to look like a yellow perch, a preferred prey of pike.
No specific rig is necessary. Just tie your spinnerbait at the end of your line. You can also add a 2” to 3” soft plastic lure if you want.
The right pike fishing lure is a nice place to start, but you will also need to adapt your fishing technique to the bait you’re using. Charles recommends a smooth, normal speed retrieve.

Chatterbaits

If you’re looking for the best lures for pike fishing, you’ll also want to look at chatterbaits. These are quite similar to spinnerbaits, except that they have a lip on the front which makes them bounce off rocks and vegetation. Charles explains that they go over and through obstacles even better than spinnerbaits, which gives them an advantage in certain spots. They also dive a little deeper than spinnerbaits.
That said, you can usually fish chatterbaits and spinnerbaits in the same areas. It’s all a matter of personal preference, as Charles puts it.
As far as colours go, choose white, chartreuse, black or blue chatterbaits. Just tie one at the end of your line like you normally would any lure. As with spinnerbaits, you can combine your pike fishing chatterbait with a 2″ or 3″ soft plastic lure.
When you get on the water, you will need to adapt your fishing technique to pike and to this specific lure. Go for a slightly slower retrieve speed than if you were fishing a spinnerbait. This will give your lure more time to bounce off rocks in the water. The noise will attract pike, and you will be able to make the most of your chatterbait’s powerful effect.

Jerkbaits

Jerkbaits are a well-known lure among anglers. These types of hard baits, which replicate small fish, come in various sizes, weights and colours. But are they some of the best lures for targeting pike? In Charles’s opinion, yes.
Jerkbaits are easy to work, whether you’re trolling or casting. They also make striking easier because they have at least two hooks. Just what you need to optimize your chances of reeling in a pike!
It’s best to avoid fishing jerkbaits in heavy vegetation areas, however, as these lures can get stuck more easily. Technique-wise, you’ll want to animate the lure with short jerks, taking a few “pauses” in the process. According to Charles, this is when pike tend to attack – when their targets are motionless.
As far as presentation goes, keep it simple: tie your jerkbait at the end of the line, without adding any soft plastic or worm. The lure alone is attractive enough for pike, especially if the jerkbaits in your tackle box are in colours such as “clown,” orange, “yellow perch,” or white.

Swimbaits

Another great choice of lure for pike fishing is swimbaits. Charles highly recommends this type of soft bait – and for a number of reasons.
Swimbaits efficiently work their way through vegetation areas. The majority of them also offer excellent swimming action. Because they are soft lures, their movement in the water is smooth and highly realistic, making them an ideal bait for the freshwater shark…
Follow Charles Raymond’s advice and choose swimbaits in pink, white (“green pumpkin”) or natural colours like chartreuse. Our favourite angler-videographer has a slight preference for pink, which he believes triggers a nice aggressive response in pike.
When used as a pike lure, a swimbait can be rigged in a number of ways. For Charles, there are two that really stand out:

  • The Texas rig, a weedless presentation that allows the lure to work its way through underwater vegetation,
  • A rig with a 1/4 to 3/8 of an ounce lead head (to make sure the setup isn’t too heavy).

Regarding technique, Charles recommends working very slowly, though you can still opt for a slightly faster retrieve speed if you want. However, he does point out that the lure’s swimming action is not as good if it’s reeled in too fast.

Poppers

You can definitely fish for pike using a popper lure. In fact, it may be one of the most fun to work with, as it stays just below the surface.
Popper lures float well above vegetation and are unlikely to get stuck; they are a great option if you don’t want to reel in weeds.
Equipped with two treble hooks, surface lures give you a good striking action, which is exactly what you want when going after a fish like pike. Charles also points out their attraction potential: small beads inside the lure emit a noise that is meant to attract your target fish.
Do not hesitate to give topwater frog lures a try as well. Charles says you can expect a fair amount of success with buzzbaits, too. They may not be a must-have lure for pike, but they are still a great alternative.
As for the colours of your popper lures, go for white, green (to mimic a frog), yellow or “clown”. Once again, no particular rig is needed here: simply tie the popper at the end of your fishing line, without adding a soft lure.
Once your presentation is ready, you’ll also want to pay attention to your casting. Charles recommends popping, then pausing to let the lure be motionless. Remember: this is when pike usually make their attack.

Pike Fishing

With a well-stocked tackle box, you can easily vary your presentations and match your lure to the fishing conditions. Pike fishing is a good challenge, so it never hurts to have a nice selection of baits on hand to maximize your chances.
Thanks to Charles, we now know the best lures for pike fishing. Still, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t try others, such as spinners, which produce interesting flashes of light underwater.
Match these lures with a fishing line suitable for pike fishing. Charles likes to use a braided line with plenty of resistance (20 to 40 pounds) combined with a 30-, 40- or 50-pound fluorocarbon leader. Bring along a good landing net as well, which will come in very handy in case you get a big catch – which we hope you will. Happy fishing!

FAQ

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