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Red Hot Fall Pike Action

 

By now the leaves have started to fall, or quite possibly they may have already fallen, completing their one-way trip to the earth. It’s late fall, freeze up is a month away and there’s a hint of winter in the air. This is the pike’s last hurrah. All pike are feeding and feeding well this late into the season, which for many of us may seem a bit strange, as pike are usually associated as the fish of summer. But fall pike are a different animal all together.

For one, the bigger a pike gets, the more intolerance it has for warm water. In fact a big pike, say any fish about 10 pounds or better, will take off and move to the sanctuary of the deep during the summer. That’s where the cooler water is. This is why we catch very few large pike during the heat of the summer. Sure we all catch a bunch of pike about six or eight pounds, but catching those big toothy critters over 10 pounds are hard to come by.

Come fall, however, lake water temperatures cool to the point that big pike are no longer inhibited by temperature and are free to roam, which is exactly what they do. They push up into the shallows to hunt and I really do mean hunt, other fish. In my neck of the woods the lake whitefish makes up a large portion of the Pike’s diet and it isn’t uncommon that half of the pike we catch during a regular fall outing will have the tail of a lake whitefish sticking from it’s throat. Contrary to trout, late season pike are active fish.

I’ve had days where a top water bait catches everything in the water. You can’t go wrong by starting the day tossing a Zara Spook or a Suick in the shallows, be it a weedline or a fast break off a point. Both are good prospecting lures that get hammered, and I mean absolutely hammered when the bite is on. There are days, however, when the fishing requires a little more effort and that’s when I switch to two old faithfuls. I’ll either run a floating diving Rapala Original Float Rap in the Firetiger color or a firetiger Husky Jerk Rapala. Both are plugs and they are great at catching pike.

If the lake has a little chop, the floater diver is more than enough to get a pike to bite. The same can be said if the day is a little or a lot overcast. On those sunny flat calm days however, I’ll move right over to the husky jerks and work the mid depths. The Husky Jerk is a suspending crank bait that will literally hang in the face of a following Northern, which more times than not is too much for them to take and they’ll lunge out to strike.

The neat thing about fall pike is that all classic holding water will have pike, but as fall progresses to freeze up an interesting and annual occurrence happens. The weeds start dying off. This in a pike’s life is a big event. As weeds die, they consume, rather than give off oxygen. That’s a bad thing for a fish, which requires oxygen to survive. But not all weeds die off at once. There will be islands of green healthy weeds kicking around right to freeze up and it is these places we should concentrate our efforts. When you find a green healthy weedbed late in the season you’ve found a pike paradise, packed full of pike of all sizes.

Fall is typically when I’ll catch most of my biggest pike. The reason is simple: aggression. These fish are putting on the feedbag and doing everything in their power to bulk up for the winter season. It’s a straightforward program – eat and eat more. The best approach is to start the day working active presentations and move a lot. It’s run and gun fishing, hitting the best spots and hitting them fast. It guarantees that the bait will be in front of more fish and odds are, more fish will bite.

If you’re like me, the hardest thing for me to do is leave a place when I’ve started catching fish. But the pattern usually goes; get into an area, catch a bunch fast and then the action starts to taper. I often stay, trying to squeeze out those last one or two bites. Eventually I’ll pull anchor, move a mere hundred meters away, get into a whole new batch of fish and I’m right back into the red hot action. Mobility is often the key to steady pike action.

Pike fishing during the waning fall season is fun. It’s packed with action, excitement and big fish. I’m sure all it will take is you landing that first three footer and you’ll be as firmly hooked on fall pike fishing as I am.


Previous Fishing Articles

(1) In The Walleye Zone

(2) Zoo Trout

(3) Fly Selection for Beginners

(4) Fly Fisher's Christmas

(5) New Waters

(6) Big Bad Burbot

(7) Looking Back

(8) Out of Africa

(9) Finding Success on Crowded Trout Streams

(10) Mountain Peaks, Fast Streams, Fall Colours And Rocky Mountain Whitefish

(11) The Browns of Autumn

(12) Fly-Fishing Pike Through The Seasons

(13) Walleye Town

(14) River Fun - One Bite At A Time

(15) Fly Fishing Larger Rivers

(16) Going With The Flow

(17) Becoming A Better Fly Fisherman

(18) Swinging The Fences

(19) A View From The Aerie

(20) Dixieland Delight

(21) Atlantic Salmon - The Fish of 1000 Casts

(22) Do It Yourself Pink Salmon

(23) Montana's Cool Missouri

(24) Pretty Is As Pretty Does

(25) Toothy Critters

(26) Hard Water Lakers at Cold Lake

(27) Top Ten Flies

(28) Northern Exposure

(29) Home Water Lessons

(30) Chicken Of The Sea

(31) Sealing the Deal – How to Ensure You Land More Fish

(32) Deep In The Heart Of Texas

(33) Keep It Up!

(34) River Fishing for Fall Walleye

(35) After the Flood - A look at Southern Alberta rivers and streams one year after the flood

(36) Reindeer Lake - A Diversity of Opportunity

(37) Hawg Holes

(38) Saltwater Salmon

(39) Early Season Dry Fly Fishing

(40) Down a Lazy River –
A Fly-rodding Adventure on the Lower North Saskatchewan

(41) The Fly Fishing Season Ahead

(42) IN SEARCH OF SPECKLED FOOTBALLS

(43) FISHING CANADA'S PRAIRIE CITIES

(44) Bright Fish from the Land of Silver

(45) Canada's "Other" Salmon

(46) Fall Walleye

(47) Wet Flies

(48) Versatility the Key to Success

(49) Grayling of the Boreal

(50) Teaching Kids To Fly Fish

(51) Size Matters

(52) Fly Fishing Small Streams

(53) Chasing Winter Whites One Lake At A Time

(54) Manitoba's Fishing Jewel

(55) The Twelve Gifts Of Christmas

(56) The Point Of It All

(57) Fishing With Friends-Big Weather Seizing The Day

(58) Fall Fly Fishing

(59) Personal Pontoon Boats 101

(60) Big River, Big Fish

(61) Bottom Bonanza

(62) Fishing Small Flies

(63) So Many Choices, So Little Time

(64) Four Seasons of the Bow

(65) Favourite Lakes - Some Like it Hot

(66) GEARING UP FOR SMALL STREAM TROUT

(67) Trout Hunting - New Zealand-style

(68) Don’t Leave Home Without Them –
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(69) Edge Walleye

(70) FLY FISHING STRATEGIES FOR HIGH WATER

(71) Smallmouth Bass – An Oft Overlooked Challenge

(72) Four Corners – Four Waters

(73) Chasing Pothole Trout

(74) Springtime Stoneflies

(75) The Torrents of Spring

(76) Drift Boat Fly Fishing

(77) Bust Them With Bait

(78) Cure the Winter Blues with a Good Book

(79) Hot Strategies for the Cold Months

(80) Cutthroat: The Angler's Trout

(81) Terrestrials

(82) Fly In For Fishing Fun

(83) Rocky Mountain High

(84) Reading the clues

(85) Where the Trout Are
The art of locating feeding trout
in rivers and streams.

(86) K.I.S.S. and Tell Fly-fishin

(87) Fly Fishing 101

(88) To Catch a Big Halibut, or Ling Cod

(89) The Bountiful Bones of Ascension Bay

(90) Grayling in the Eye of the Beholder

(91) Fly Fishing for South Fork Clearwater Steelhead

(92) Manitoba's Red River - North America's Catfish Capital

(93) Eliminating the Spook Factor

(94) Trust Your Electronics

(95) The Most Important Hatch of the Year

(96) Early Season Nymph Fishing for Trout

(97) Finding Success for Ice Trout

(98) Walleye can be Humbling

(99) The Secret to Landing the Big One Finally Revealed

(100) Winter Flyfishing

(101) North Saskatchewan River - An Underutilized Gem

(102) Hot Fall Pike Action

(103) Tips and Tricks to Save the Summer Slow Down

(104) Reading Trout Stream Waters

(105) Frequently Asked Questions

(106) Streamer Fishing for Larger Trout

(107) The Lure of Big Walleye at Last Ice

(108) Deep Water Perch

(109) Post Spawn Brookies

(110) A Fisher's Life

(111) The River's Last Stand

(112) The Big Ones Come out at Night

(113) Coho on the Coast

(114) Chasing and Catching Halibut

(115) Summer in the Mountains

(116) Peak Walleye Season

(117) Slow and Steady Wins the Race

(118) Last Ice Rainbows

(119) The Burbot Event

(120) Tackle Matching

(121) Ice Fishing Strategy #2 - Going Light

(122) Ice Fishing Strategy #1 - Location

(123) The Lure of Brook Trout

(124) The Shallow Water Hunt is On

(125) Hot Backswimmer Action Happening Right Now

(126) Fishing Among Giants-Pursuing Lake Sturgeon on the Prairies

(127) Adventure at Davin Lake Lodge, Northern Saskatchewan

(128) The Vesatile Plug

(129) Bead Head Flies, Plugs and Shot and other Spring Favorites for Pothole Trout

(130) Planning your Upcoming Angling Adventures

(131) Good Fishing at Last Ice

(132) Maximize the Odds - Use Multiple Presentations

(133) Daily Fish Migrations

(134) Fish Migrations - Following the Spawn

(135) Lake Whitefish - An Ice Fishing All Star

(136) Pick Your Favorite Brook Trout Lake...and Go Fishing

(137) A Look Ahead to Great Trout Fishing

(138) Wrestling White Sturgeon on the Fraser

(139) The Fun in Ultra Light

(140) Flyfishing and Leadcore Lines

(141) Embrace the Spirit of Adventure

(142) Never Stop Learning

(143) Ice Fishing is Getting Hot

(144) Jigging through the Ice

(145) An Ice Fishing Unsung Hero – The Setline

(146) Rainbows on Ice

(147) The Season of Ice Begins

(148) Red Hot Fall Pike Action

(149) Hitting it Right with Water Boatman

(150) Facts On Cats

(151) West Coast Adventure

(152) June Walleye Frenzy

(153) Aerated Lakes are Big Trout Factories

(154) "First Fish of the Year - Pothole Rainbows and Browns"

(155) "Northern Exposure"

(156) Sometimes There is More to Fishing Than Catching Fish

(157) Early Season Pike On The Fly

(158) Man Overboard