One of my first blog posts has also turned out to be one of the most popular – my Top 5 Walleye Lures article. I've also been emailed a few times now asking what my top 5 lures would be for Pike on a fly in lake so I thought I would give it a shot. For the most part my group focuses on walleye on our trips about 80% of the time and the remaining 20% would be pike. The bulk of our trips happen in mid to late August and personally I like to cast for pike more than I like to troll - so my list is influenced based on those preferences. The two largest pike I have ever landed were caught on walleye and bass rigs (a worm harness and a wacky rigged Senko) but if I was pressed these are the 5 lures I would pack for our trips if I could only choose 5.
Johnson Silver Minnow
I love casting this spoon. Its light, easy to crank and weedless (for the most part) I always bring a bronze and a silver finish in the 1- and 1/8-ounce size. If I had to pick one colour I would go with bronze. I also like to tip mine with a 6-inch grub in white. This spoon shines when fishing around weed and wood. Cast it in and around the thick stuff, burn it back and hold on!
Len Thompson 5 of Diamonds
Another spoon and a classic at that. Say 5 of diamonds to a fisherman and I bet most can picture this gem of a lure. I prefer the number 4 size (1 and 1/8 ounces) in the traditional yellow/orange pattern. I love the versatility of this lure. With its size and wobble I can cast it with a speedy retrieve, slow roll it back to the boat or even troll it. One of my better pike from our Root Bay trip came trolling a 5 of Diamonds on the deep side of a weedy point.
Mepps Musky Killer
I think my love of the Mepps stems from fishing musky on a small lake in Haliburton. I had a ¾ ounce #5 Black Fury that was deadly. Fast forward to our fly ins and it’s become a staple in my box. Since this lure isn’t weedless, I find it excels in a bit deeper water than the Silver Minnow. The biggest pike I have caught casting was on this lure. Throwing long casts to a rocky point the big girl chased her down and hit about 15 feet from the boat – golden!
Rapala J 13 - Gold Fluorescent Red
A carry over from my walleye lure selection this bait has become one of my favorite baits period (second only to the bottom bouncer/worm harness). 95% of the time I am trolling it on a long line anywhere between 4 and 15 feet of water. My brother had a lot of luck on Ogoki lake pulling one behind a bottom bouncer including a few nice fat pike. I may cast this lure a bit but when using a leader, I find the amount of tangles a nightmare.
I can’t say that I have ever caught a lunker tossing a top water, but I have had a lot of fun! Colin did catch a beauty on a frog patterned XL jitterbug on Shekak Lake and I do know experience pike anglers will throw smaller musky topwater’s for pike. On our Lady Evelyn trip Pete shocked us all with a beauty pike caught on a rubber frog from retrieved over lily pads. I prefer using a hollow body frog – like a Live Target Hollow Body (yellow and black is my go-to) Find yourself a shallow, sloppy, weedy mess and start casting. The blow ups are worth the price of admission. I remember pounding a shoreline on Miminiska Lake at dusk and it seemed like the hammer handles were fighting to get to the lure first. Trust me, it’s a hoot.
So those are the top 5 pike lures for me. I like my selection, after reading a lot of Mike Borger’s stuff I have a few Dr Spoons and some of the Live Target Suckers but I do not have enough data yet to consider them "favorites" but overall I would feel okay bringing only these 5 into a fly in with me (with backups, I am not crazy). These lures give me options to troll, cast, go deep or shallow and have some fun. I know my first trips I brough 30 lbs of tackle but over the years I have been able to pair it down – a reduction of 5 lbs of tackle is 5 more beers lol! I generally try to have 80% of my tackle focused on tried and true and 20% focused on new lures or tactics. I fish a fair bit in more pressured cottage lakes in the summer and find that the fly in trips offer a great way to build confidence in new tactics.
PS - I am NOT sponsored or affiliated with any of these products - but I am SO open to it