by Jim Martinsen
Mepps Communications Director
Pike, really big trophy pike, can make even the most experienced angler's heart scream. And, although not common, many pike anglers are still managing to land 25-pound wall-hangers each season.
Pike are voracious eaters, attacking their next meal with a vengeance that sometimes belies their size. The northern pike has easily earned its nickname “waterwolf!”
Pike haunt the shallow bays and weed beds of northern lakes throughout the year. Big pike, however, will move to deeper water during long, hot summer days.
Many pike fishermen believe pike quit hitting once the water temperature has reached 65 degrees. Some will even tell you that in the summer they lose their teeth. This is just not true. Mid-summer can be one of the best times of the year to fish for big pike.
Big lures catch big pike. Although Mepps Aglias in sizes #4 & #5, and Mepps Aglia Longs in size #4 are super pike catchers, Mepps Tandem Aglias, Musky Killers, Giant Killers, Mepps Marabous and Musky Marabous can sometimes be a better choice for really big northerns. Big pike haunt weed beds, thick weed beds, and the natural bucktail or marabou dressings on these lures cover the heavy-duty treble hooks so well these spinners can become virtually weedless.
Keep in mind, big Mepps spinners are heavy-duty lures and require medium-heavy to heavy duty equipment. You'll need a stiff rod, 14 to 17 pound test line, and 9 to 12 inch steel leaders.
Every pike fisherman has caught his share of northern from 4 to 10 pounds. Most of these fish are caught in shallow water. Big pike, however, go deep. Many times they are in water 15 feet deep or deeper. At these times, a big deep running lure is needed. Mepps offers four spinners that will do this: Mepps Magnum Musky Killers, tandem Musky & Giant Killers and the Mepps H210.
Then there's the #3 Mepps Syclops spoon. It weighs a full ounce, and it drops deep quickly. If you're looking for even more weight, try sandwiching two #3 Syclops front to back... you'll have a brute of a lure that weighs a full two ounces. Fish the Syclops deep and slow. It's an excellent “countdown” lure. As soon as it hits the water, begin counting. If the lure hits bottom when you reach ten, start your next retrieve at eight.
If you're looking for a lighter approach, try trolling a Syclops Lite along the edge of a weed bed, or cast it over the top of shallow weeds. Need more depth just tie on a Syclops.
Because light penetration is poor when fishing deep, the Syclops is available in a wide variety of "hot" colors, as well as polished brass and genuine silver plate. Try platium lures when you’re fishing shallow water on overcast days.
One final tip... fish weed beds with a #1 (1/2 oz.) Timber Doodle. Before attaching the Mister Twister® Split Double Tail™, lip-hook a shiner or sucker minnow in the bend of the hook. The added scent will not only attract pike, but any walleye or smallmouth bass that happens to be in the area. Practice catch and release.