I bet everyone has seen an old local fisherman putting his finger to his mouth, then raising it up in the air, holding it there for a while and then saying „ Yap, today is the day“. And next time you see him coming home bags full of fish. How do they know when it´s a good day to go out fishing or when it´s not worth trying at all? In this post we will find out if there is such a thing as the best weather for pike fishing? Also, I wrote about the best seasons to catch a pike. Check it out!
There really are some factors that affect how active pike is. It´s important to understand that smaller pikes eat almost every hour, because they need more food for growing and they can only catch smaller fish. That´s why the smaller ones feed more often. Trophy pikes, on the other hand, catch a bigger fish once and then digest it a couple of days. And next time that monster pike is going for a hunt, your lure is in front of him and your record catch will be in the net. But how to figure out, when is the next hunt going to happen?
A good hunting day for a pike
Pike will choose a good day to hunt according to the weather. But it gets more complicated from here on. The ideal pike catching weather varies from season to season. In December when it´s sunny and cloudless day, it´s a good chance that pike will go hunting and you will get a bite. But the same factors in May aren´t so good at all and you will probably go home empty-handed. So in the following post I will describe you four perfect days, each one for different season. If you keep these tips and tricks in mind and also start noticing the differences from your own experience, then soon you will be like that old local fisherman I told you about.
A good weather to catch a pike in spring
The days are getting warmer, but nights are still cold. The temperature fluctuates a lot. And that´s why you often find your water body under a thick fog. It´s advisable that you wait for the fog to dissipate, but I also have had times when pike was biting like crazy with fog. If it gets warmer, all the smaller fish are going towards the shore. You will notice all the smaller fish jumping around. Those small and active fish attract pikes.
The day shouldn´t be too hot. If the spawning period was warm also, then you can expect the pikes to be already well-eaten. But if it´s late spring and the spawning happened in colder weather, then the pikes are still hungry and you can expect them to be quite active.
In spring time the weather isn´t that important while catching a pike. If they are hungry, they will go hunting regardless of the weather. In spring the pike has it´s spawning period. In most of the countries, it´s prohibited to catch them while that period. So before going fishing in spring, check your fisheries law. Also, I wrote about the spawning of the pike in my previous post, you can check it out.
In general, it´s best to go fishing pike after their spawning period. I have noticed that usually 1-2 weeks after the spawning I get the best results. From January to April, cloudless and sunny days seem to work fine. An experienced fisherman once told me that every warmer day makes the pike active in spring. After that in May and forward, cloudless and sunny days don´t work anymore.
What method is the best to catch a pike in spring?
Using a spinning in spring is a good option, because pike is hunting at the shore. It would be better to catch them from the boat. You should anchor the boat away from the shore and make your casts towards the shore. Pike is always facing away from the shore, with its tail towards the shore. So when you are casting from the shore, then you are reeling the lure towards the pike and it has to turn itself in order to catch the lure. So when you are casting from the boat, then the pike will be in perfect starting position to attack the lure. From one of my previous posts you will find what kind of and what colour lure you should be using in spring.
A good weather to catch a pike in summer
The water is now warm. Sometimes there is rainfall. If the temperature drops suddenly, there will be fog, some days are sunny and hot, thunderstorms happen, there are calm days with no wind at all and stormy days. Summer has it all. There are lots of factors that affect the activity of pikes in summer.
Many fishermen say that when it gets hot and sunny, then there is no point going out to fish a pike. It´s partly true. If you have your own best spot to catch pike, then you won´t find anything from there in a hot and sunny summer day. That´s because this predatory friend of ours doesn´t like hotness that much. So it goes deeper to the places that are cooler – 5 meters or even more. In rivers they go to riverbed – it is a cooler flow there. If you still want to go out and catch a pike on a hot day, you should use brighter lures, because these are more noticeable in deep and dark water.
Best days are with partly cloudy sky and with a gentle breeze. Rain is also good in the summer. If you hear a thunderstorm coming then it´s the perfect time to get the best bites. 1-2 hours before the thunderstorm pikes go crazy. Sometimes you get more fish in that one hour than in a whole day.
From May to June almost every day is good for fishing pike. They are still hungry from the spawning period and they are getting ready for the lazy and hot summer. July and August are too hot for pikes and they go to deeper waters and shades. So look for tree shades, fallen trees and deeper holes. The worst day is cloudless sunny day without no wind. You won´t see any movement on a day like that. The hot water doesn´t have so much oxygen and you won’t find any fish in old familiar places. If you are fishing on a lake, then look for places that have some kind of water flow – near dams or bridges for example.
What method is the best to catch a pike in summer?
In summer two methods work well – catching with live bait and with spinning. When using live bait, use a bit smaller bait. The days are getting hotter and pike gets lazier, the smaller bites look more attractive now. If using spinning, then try casting lures at vegetated areas first, because pike is looking for shade. Also try areas close to fallen trees or other objects that offer good cover and shade. If this doesn´t work, try to go deeper. Remember that the game of the lure should be slower and not so active. Try pulsating retrieving – cast the lure, let it sink, drag it some meters and let it sink again.
If you see a lot of smaller fish jumping out of the water, then it may be a sign that a pike is near and hunting. It´s a sign for you that you are in a right place.
A good weather to catch a pike in autumn
The trees are getting colourful, the wind is pulling leaves off from the trees, there is still plenty of sunshine, but the nights are getting colder and longer. Because of the colder mornings, smaller fish are going a bit deeper (1m and more). The days are still warm and you can see smaller fish coming up again. That´s also where our pikes will be.
Autumn is a really good season to catch a pike. First of all, pike needs to start collecting fat to survive winter. They start looking for bigger prey, because eating more rarely and spending less time for hunting consumes less energy. That´s why you should also consider using a bit larger lures than you usually do. Also, pike starts to move from the shore to more wide and open areas. It makes catching them easier for you, you don’t have to use weed lures anymore or worry about getting stuck in the weed. Pikes usually go to places where the waterbed suddenly drops. Also catching with live bait works really well in autumn. You can use the wind in your favour. Set up your bait and let it sail in the wind – it makes it more realistic and believable for the pike.
Autumn is the best time to get a trophy pike. Just use bigger lures than usual. Pike is trying to gather as much fat as possible using as little energy as possible. So it will go for bigger fishes. The ideal month to catch a trophy pike is October. In October there are more cloudy days and the wind is just right – it isn´t too strong yet. In days like these pike sits in depth about 2-3m. If it´s a really bright day they can even go deeper – about 4-5m. Now, trolling is also a really good method to get a trophy pike, because pikes come to more open areas.
The good conditions continue in November, but the days are gettig colder and pikes might get more passive and go even more deeper. So just adapt your techniques by using brighter and heavier lures.
A good weather to catch a pike in winter
In winter when the ice covers the water body, the oxygen levels start to decrease. In the early winter there is still plenty of oxygen and pike can be pretty active, if it gets colder and there is a low amount of oxygen, then pike gets passive. It rarely comes out from its shelter – larger area of aquatic vegetation, deeper holes and other places that offer good shelter.
Pike gets active again when the days get warmer. If there is a sudden rise in temperature or it´s a cloudless and sunny day, then pike goes for hunting. That´s the perfect day for you to catch one. If the ice starts melting, in late winter, pike gets really active. It feels the spring coming and starts to regain weight and energy again. They gradually become more active until the peak time in spring.
It is opposite in summer, good days to catch a pike in winter are sunny and cloudless with a quiet breeze or no wind at all.
What method is the best to catch a pike in winter?
If you know some good deeper holes from your trips in autumn, then you can use the exact same spots. The warmest spots are now in the deepest parts of the water body, so that´s where our pikes will be hiding. Live bait would be preferable, I have noticed that it has better results. If you are using artificial lure, it should be played more slowly and passively. If you are lucky you can get a couple of pikes from the same hole.
There are many more factors that play an important role in catching a decent sized pike. For example the moon phases. I wrote about it in one of my previous articles. Also the air pressure is important. If the air pressure fluctuates, the pike will not bite. The air pressure has to be stable, it doesn´t matter if it´s stable at lower or higher pressure levels. So find a period when the air pressure remains the same for 3-4 days and you should have a good day.
The light also is an important factor. When it´s too bright, the prey will notice the predator and is scared away. If it´s too dark, then smaller fish are staying stationary and it´s hard for the pike to find them. That´s why the best fishing times are in early morning and late in the evening. So next time you go out, you have plenty of factors to follow to make sure it´s the best weather for pike fishing.