Toothy, large, and utterly ruthless. Yup, that’s pike alright.
As ice fishing goes, I think we can all agree that a fight with a pike is something worth pursuing.
Choosing the best ice fishing lures for pike isn’t complicated, and today I will show you just how easy it is!
I’ve got some great tips and even better suggestions to help you catch one of these beasts.
Read on to find out more.
Table of Contents
- What Do You Use for Pike Ice Fishing?
- TOP 7 Best Ice Fishing Lures for Pike
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What Do You Use for Pike Ice Fishing?
Can’t you just use any lure for pike fishing?
Well, sure, you could…
But it isn’t optimal. Unless you want to spend your day catching panfish, when you are actually looking for a monster, you will have to change it up a bit. You’ll do this by tying on something pike, and only pike, like to eat.
Want some guidance?
Here it is.
What Type of Lures Do Pike Like?
Pike are pretty fearsome and tend to be ‘turned on’ by the usual movement combinations and great visuals.
But to catch a pike, you’ve got to think like a pike. This means choosing the right type of lures for the job.
And let me tell you…
Microplastics just aren’t going to cut it. Here are some of the best northern pike ice fishing lures:
Anything that looks like a baitfish is going to give you good results.
Unlike other fish, pike is very much pescatarians. While they might go for the occasional worm, their diet consists of baitfish by and large. And big ones at that.
Choose a lure that at least in some way resembles something you’d expect to find swimming around in the water.
Pike have something in abundance. And you can use this to your advantage.
Pure predatory killer instinct.
In short, if it buzzes, moves, or vibrates, they want to kill it.
Lures like spinners generate all of the above and are a great way to provoke a response from even the most docile fish.
Because pike tends to be a little bigger, you can move into the realm of bigger lures like plugs and plastics.
This is great as it opens you up to a world of possibilities. You can pick deep divers, rattlers, plugs with realistic finishes and eyes. There is so much choice!
Spoons are super simple to use and are really suited to ice hole fishing.
They are what I like to call a low-maintenance lure.
The shape of the spoon means it falls and flutters on the way down, and by jigging it, you can accurately recreate the behavior of a wounded baitfish.
In the absence of live bait, a shad is a great option.
Because they pretty much look and behave in exactly the same way (provided you are willing to put a little work in).
Shads are pretty cheap. Also, because they can be made in different finishes, you should be able to find one out there that looks exactly like what the pike are eating on any given day.
What are Other Great Bait Options for Pike Ice Fishing?
Don’t fancy working a lure all day?
It’s ok, I’ve got you.
Pike are great fans of both live and dead baits. Here are a few suggestions for the best ice fishing baits for pike:
Sardines or Sprats
Both sprats and sardines are great to use as pike dead baits. Both are actually saltwater fish, and on handling them, you may notice something.
For your hands, not so good. For pike fishing? Amazing.
They are a great solution, especially if you are fishing in cloudy water, as the scent trail released will lead the fish straight to your bait!
Another saltwater species, there is something about a nice oily herring that pike seems to love.
It doesn’t matter that they aren’t natural to the environment in which you are fishing.
Trust me, the pike doesn’t seem to mind one bit!
If you can get hold of mackerel, this is also a great way to fish for pike.
Just cut a single fillet into several thin slivers. I find that using a mackerel strip mounted on a jig or lure can work wonders for catching pike too!
Onto live baits…
If you are being plagued by tiny trout when ice fishing, then use this to your advantage. Keep a few small trout in a bucket of lake water and throw them onto a live bait rig.
Don’t worry if they are a little bigger than your lures normally are. Pike actually have a massive bite and won’t think twice about attacking big things.
Some of a pike’s favorite food is yellow perch and bluegill.
Now that you know, you can use this to catch them.
Try fishing at the start of your session using tiny lures for panfish. Once you’ve caught a few, you’ve got a good supply of bait to try and tempt a pike.
Do you know how I know this works?
I’ve had pike take a panfish from the surface before I could get it out… I wasn’t even fishing for pike!
As to which is most effective, the fish decide on the day. Why not check out my article on live bait vs. lures here?
If you want to catch a few perch, you are going to need lures to encourage them.
Head to my dedicated article on ice fishing lures for perch so you can bag up and then catch something even bigger!
What Size and Color Lures are the Best for Pike?
Want a key piece of advice when using pike ice fishing lures?
Go big, or go home.
You might catch a jack pike with a smaller lure. You might also spend your day catching everything but a pike if you go too small. Instead, be sure to go big with your lures. Pike won’t be put off and normally welcome the chance to get a big meal in one sitting.
When it comes to color, I find that gold and silvers work really well. A dash of red can sometimes act as an instinctual trigger to pike too.
Oh, and as it is winter… Go bright. Dark colors don’t tend to perform too well under the ice.
See below for some great lures that will catch you a pike…
TOP 7 Best Ice Fishing Lures for Pike
Truscend Fishing Lures
You could mess around with live bait, or you could just get something that looks as good as the real thing.
What’s it to be?
These multi-jointed pike fishing lures look just like the real thing. I find the most effective color is the ‘trout’ pattern. This, combined with realistic-looking eyes, presents pike with an offer that is too good to miss.
And there’s a little extra.
A good rattle always helps. These lures are filled with ball bearings that will mean your lure is seen and heard.
The final cherry on the cake for me is the inclusion of durable treble Mustad hooks, a sign of real quality.
This is exactly the kind of thing pike will be out looking for under the ice. With a relatively slow sink, you can control it and fish it in a sedate fashion, which is exactly how the fish will be behaving in the cold wintery water.
Ice Fishing Jigs with Treble Hooks
There is plenty on this pike lure that I like.
With dual blades, it will make one hell of a commotion as you jig it up and down beneath the ice.
At just over 2” long, it is the perfect size to put off smaller fish, yet will be just perfect for cruising pike.
I particularly like the colors too. You’ve got flashes of silver, all combined with realistic eyes and stripes designed to replicate several species. Green can be a lethal color in clear water, and the blood-head jig is particularly deadly for pike.
This jig set for pike ice fishing is really great value and should work well. With four in a pack and an assortment of colors, you’ve got the option to try a few things without having to break the bank.
Pike Musky Dawg Soft Lure
Looking a little like a torpedo and a trout had a secret child, these lures are a little weird, but they do work well.
Aside from the finish and bold eye, they have a nice extra feature.
The wiggly tail can prove hard to resist and gives a real sense of life and motion, particularly if you jig them quickly.
Pike can be notorious for striking from the side. Fortunately, this lure set includes an integrated top hook meaning less lost fish!
If you take a look at the size of the lure, you might be surprised. They are nearly a foot long. What this means is that you’ll only be targeting the biggest fish, and you’ll be amazed that pike will actually attack something so long.
(Hint, they do, regularly)
Don’t let the size put you off. It just means that you’ll be catching exactly what you set out to. You certainly won’t be bothered by pesky perch and trout.
If you want to check out lures to catch trout in the ice, check out my article here.
Sunmile Fishing Spoons
While these are classified as spoons, a better term would be wedges. They are substantial, weighty, and are just what you need if the pike are down deep.
You can jig them up and down, but a killer method is to drop them hard on the bottom, creating lots of commotion, just as a disoriented fish would.
Now I’m all for fancy colors and love a bit of brightness…
Let me share a secret. The silver spoon is by far the most effective that I have tried.
These lures are all made of solid brass, meaning once you’ve bought them, they will pretty much last forever.
Listen, guys, simple works. They don’t come much more simple than this. As a low-cost fishing option, these work great, be sure to give them a go.
Peetz Herring Spoon Lure
I’m all for precision engineering in my fishing, and my pike fishing lures are no exception!
What do I mean?
This might look like your bog-standard spoon, but there is a clever twist.
This lure is designed to invoke maximum movement. As it lowers, it flutters and spins through the water one way. When you retrieve it, it powers up and spins the other!
You want to know what color to go for, right?
I find ‘black jack’ with a hint of yellow and a vivid orange eye really effective. ‘Moonbeam’ can work well on darker days too.
I love that these come custom fitted with single hooks. This makes storage (and unhooking) so much easier!
It isn’t often lures impress me, but Peetz has thought of everything. Simply put, this one is a joy to use and is one of the best ice fishing lures for pike on the market. Effective and well made.
Storm WildEye Live Pike
Let me tell you a fact about pike…
They are ruthless killers!
So much so that they won’t think twice about devouring their own young. Now that you know this fact, you can take advantage. And if you are fishing for pike, then fish that look like this lure must be in the water.
At 5 ½ inches, this is just the right size to attract a real daddy of a pike to dinner. It looks super realistic too.
The rubber paddle tail gives it a realistic swimming motion.
You may find that this is the most effective pike ice fishing pattern in your box.
Pike are brutal.
Best fished in clear water. If the pike are showing, then this is my first port of call. The interior is also rigged with flash foil. This is super effective.
Dr.Fish Soft Minnow Shad
Remember how I was talking about shads in my pike ice fishing buying guide? This is exactly what I was talking about.
Don’t worry that they look a little like hallucinogenic goldfish. Bright colors are exactly what you need on those dark days.
The most effective winter color tends to be the chartreuse, with the white following closely behind.
The swimming action isn’t the strongest but jigged up and down should get the job done.
If there are perch in the water, give the dark green one a try, pike love nothing more than to tear into a shoal of small perch.
Shads are cheap and give you plenty of options. Because they are so cheap, and you get a few in a pack, they are the ideal way to try a few colors in a single session. These are great value and will work to catch a pike or two!
There are a few general rules to stick to when choosing the best ice fishing lures for pike. Go big, and go bright. Throw in a bit of movement, and you’ve got the perfect combo.
I love using lures for ice fishing. While you are here, why not check out my articles on other types of lures? You’ll find the best ice fishing lures for walleye, or alternatively, if crappie is your thing, there’s something special right here.
What’s your #1 pike lure? Let me know in the comments!