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Northern Pike Fishing In The BWCA by Mike Sakowski of Canoe Camp Fish .Com

For those fortunate enough to take a fishing and camping trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area of Northern Minnesota (BWCA), one of the most exciting fish to pursue is the northern pike. These waters can be loaded with northern pike, some of which can reach trophy sizes. As a canoeist, however, you lack the usual gear and tackle like depth finders, minnows, trolling motors, etc. Furthermore, you are probably visiting many of these lakes for the first time. So how do you catch these fish?

Northern pike are aggressive fish. They also like to hang out near shallower water on drop-offs. This makes pike very likely to hit crank baits or spoons retrieved 2 to 6 feet below the surface. To find these fish in these unfamiliar waters, I have found trolling near drop-offs to work very well. My favorite trolling bait to use for pike is a 4 3/8" or 5 1/4" long Original Floating Rapala with one or two split shots ahead of it. Cast it out, start paddling, and provide a little additional line so the lure is a fair distance behind you. Obtain the depth you want by adding or subtracting split shots. Watch your rod tip closely - it should vibrate with a regular frequency to match the action of the lure. If the rod tip stops vibrating or vibrates irregularly, you have probably snagged onto some weeds or debris and you should clean your lure off and recast.

Trolling will help you find the best spots on the lake quickly. Once you find those spots, you can try fishing with other baits and lures. Leeches and crawlers are easy to bring in on a wilderness camping trip and these may offer some good action. Also, don't be surprised if in addition to the pike you are pursuing, a nice smallmouth bass or walleye latches on to your line.

For more information on fishing and camping in wilderness areas, go to CanoeCampFish.Com


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