Much has been said recently about the overall decrease in the size of northern pike throughout Minnesota in the past 20 years. To combat this trend, the Minnesota DNR is proposing innovative management strategies designed to reduce the numbers of "hammer handle" northerns in many waters, while simultaneously limiting the harvest of larger pike. The end goal is having more big pike available for anglers to catch.
Sounds like a win-win for everyone. In the meantime, however, what can anglers do to up their odds for catching more and bigger pike today, tomorrow, and in the near future?
Couple things. First, if you're after really big pike, potentially reaching that elusive 20-pound mark, focus your efforts on large, cool waters with suspended baitfish such as ciscoes or smelt. These lakes historically produce the most truly big pike, hands-down. Lakes like Rainy, Lake of the Woods and Mille Lacs in Minnesota come to mind. So do the Missouri River reservoirs of the Dakotas, as do bays of Lakes Michigan and Superior.
These cool, bait fish-rich waters allow pike to live long and reach their ultimate size. Smaller, warmer waters show a dramatic tendency for pike to live fast and die young, seldom reaching their maximum potential.Connection Failure