Northern mn ice fishing trips

Northern MN Ice Fishing Trips: Targeting Northern Pike on Lake of the Woods

Lake of the woods is home to a plethora of fishing opportunities, making it a true bucket list destination for Northern MN ice fishing trips. Fish found in Minnesota lakes like Lake of the Woods include walleye, eelpout, and various panfish, but we are here to focus on northern pike. These torpedo-shaped predators are exciting catches and can reach sizes upwards of 40”, making them perfect for those trophy fish photo-ops. So, how do you target northern pike and land your very own monster? We are here to help! 

A Bit About Northern Pike

Northern mn ice fishing tripsOne of the most important aspects of targeting any fish is learning about their habits. If you don’t know where a species likes to hang out or what their feeding habits are, you are going to run into some problems trying to get a good lure in front of them and reeling them in. One of the most prominent things to know about northern pike is that they are ambush predators. They lay in wait in the weeds and strike at prey that unknowingly swim right by a hungry pike lurking in the shadows. Their bodies are long and torpedo shaped to help them launch for prey and their coloring is prime camouflage to blend in with the weedy flats that they love to frequent. With that being said, the best places to drill the ice when in search of pike are those areas of weedy flats and another hole or two along where the weeds taper off. You can try a tip-up in one hole in the weeds and place another further out. It’s even better if you have a few anglers in a group to set up in various spots throughout the area. 

Northern Pike Ice Fishing Tips

Since we know a bit more about where to find northern pike and how they eat, the question now is, “What should I put on the end of my line?” Having the right lures is key with targeting any species of fish as most of them have varying diets. During the cold winter months, northern pikes become aggressive eaters. They do have that ambush predatory eating habit but will also scavenge. You can try to use dead bait, but live bait is typically more enticing. Wax worms and minnows with spoons can be used for jigging, and don’t get discouraged if you are pulling up smaller panfish because that means the area you are in has things that are on the menu for the pike you are looking for. 

Northern mn ice fishing tripsAnother thing to keep in mind is the best time of day to fish in Minnesota for northern pike. With northerns, that old saying, “the early bird gets the worm,” tends to hold pretty true. Early morning hours until about noon are when northern pike tend to be most active and will give you the best chances of snagging a few good catches. Anglers have also had good luck catching northerns right around dusk.

Experiencing Northern MN Ice Fishing Trips to the Fullest

When it comes to northern MN ice fishing trips, you can’t really go wrong on Lake of the Woods. Whether you are targeting northern pike, walleye, eelpout, or any number of other fish found in Minnesota waters, you are bound to reel in quite a few exciting catches! Lake of th Woods is well-known for it premier fishing and River Bend Resort is located right where the action is. If you want to try your hand at reeling in phenomenal catches, head to one of the best lakes for ice fishing in Minnesota- Lake of the Woods! 


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