There are a number of ways for rigging live bait for pike. You can use a large jighead, a single standard hook, or a treble hook. When fishing with fish as bait, you can rig the fish through the lips, the nostril, or the back behind the dorsal fin. I personally prefer to run the hook through the upper lip and out the nostril.
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What kind of bait to use for Pike?
Sucker minnows in the 8- to 12-inch range are ideal for dead bait fishing. Smaller minnows will only tempt bites from non-target fish and smaller pike. Keep these baits frozen solid until it’s time to use them, then let them thaw about halfway so they are soft enough to stick a hook in.
How big of a hook to use for live bait?
Hook a 3-inch sculpin through the lips with a size 4 bait hook and add enough split shot 18 inches above the hook to make the bait bump -bottom as it drifts downstream. Tip: Fishing a freshly dead sculpin is similar to using a live one. Twitch your rod tip during a drift to give it action.
What kind of hooks are best for Pike?
The best hook sizes for pike are 1/0 in partridge style hooks and 2/0 or 3/0 in treble hooks. Using larger hooks increases the number of fish that are hooked and landed. Also, larger hooks are less likely to bite pike deeply in the throat making it easier to safely release fish.
Where to place the bait on a minnow?
If the fishing area has a lot of weed growth, suspend the bait about 1 to 2 feet above the weed cover. On two hook rigs, one hook should be placed just behind the dorsal fin and the second near the tail. A second option is to place one hook near the dorsal fin and the second on the bottom of the minnow near the head.