Spring along the shores of the Missouri River here in South Dakota means time to create some trophy northern pike fishing memories. Catching these beauties is no simple feat; however, with the right gear and a little luck, you will soon be reeling in the big one.
- Leaders – The northern pike is a monster fish, so a regular monofilament just will not suffice to bring them to shore. Use a thick 12 inch 30-pound leader for better stability to haul in your prize catch.
- Keep your distance – Just one look at the teeth on a northern pike should be reason enough to give them a little room after hauling them in. Take care when showing off your prize or you may risk an unwanted injury. And, never grab a pike off the line. This is a good way to lose some fingers. Handle the fish with a strong pliers or even a jaw spreader.
- Bring your best tackle – Choose tackle that is specifically for northern pike for the best results. Spinner bait and spoons are among the best choices.
- Choose a good rod/reel combo – Be sure to select a fishing rod that can handle the weight of a northern pike. Consider a rod gauged at 9-weight or higher for the best results. In addition, choose the right reel to get the job done and use heavy duty test line so you will have no trouble bringing your prize catch in.
- Find the perfect fishing spot – The Missouri River offers a plethora of great spots to snag your trophy northern pike. In addition, cool water lakes also offer great opportunities to find these monster fish. The guides at Mansland Lodge can lead you to the best spots around Alaska, South Dakota.
- Map the fish – While this might sound like an old wives’ tale, you actually can map out the best places to find northern pike by reading the shorelines and looking for clues. Ask locals for suggestions, seek out swampy inlets and look for dark areas of the waterway you are visiting. These are all great places for northern pike to hide out.