Best Northern Pike Fishing In United States – Our 5 Best Spots

Northern pike has been one of the most favored trophy fish for decades. The pike‘s ability to strike out of nowhere and with ferocious power makes the fight enjoyable and adrenaline-filled. 

The US is lucky enough to have many lakes that are home to these monsters of the deep. Today we are going to cover our best northern pike fishing in the United States

best northern pike fishing in the united states

One of the great things about pike fishing in the United States is that pike can be found all year round – even winter. Many anglers favor ice fishing for northern pike.  

If you have a keen eye for pike and fishing in general you shouldn’t have any issue hooking one of these trophy fish in any of the waters we’ll list below.

Lake Mendota, Madison Chain, WI

The Madison Chain is not just one lake. It is 5 distinct lakes and is renowned for being Wisconsin’s best-managed pike fisheries. Each of the 5 different lakes offers anglers different options when it comes to hooking their pike. Lakes Mendota is our favorite and we believe it trumps the rest when it comes to hooking northern pike

This is because it offers different structures from rocky reefs, extended points, fast breaks, deep basins, and even shallow weed flats. Your options are endless here. 

Another great thing about fishing on Mendota lake is that there is a one-fish, 40-inch minimum length limit. Meaning there is plentiful of big pike in this water. 

Location on Google Maps: 

Lake Onalaska, Mississippi River

Pike fishing tips

Lake Onalaska is 8,391 acres in size and is only 40ft deep at its deepest point with a mean depth of 6ft. Located in La Cross County, anglers are expected to catch a variety of fish here including largemouth bass, northern pike, smallmouth bass, and walleye. 

The bays at Lake Onalaska are shallow, vegetative, and have everything needed to produce large Northern Pike.  

Most pike fishing occurs on the flats of the main river channel in 4 to 7 feet of water. Bluegill can also be caught in these waters by both fisherman and pike… Try using 4-5 inch live Bluegills as bait and you’ll filter out most of the smaller pike – only targeting the larger variety. 

Location on Google Maps: 

Green Bay, WI

Green Bay is famous for housing some of the United States’ biggest northern pike. Green Bay northern pike fishing around the Western tributaries is said to be some of the best. Common areas for anglers include the Fox River, the east shore in places like Little Sturgeon Bay and Rileys Bay, Sturgeon Bay, and the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal up to the north.

Green Bay also has dedicated tour guides for catching northern pike. They will help you out with all of the best spots, gear, and advice. The guide is also kitted out with the latest state of the art boats and fishing systems. You can find info on their rates here

Location on Google Maps: 

Upper Red Lake, MN

northern pike fishing tips

Upper Red Lake boasts some of the biggest northern pikes in the US. This is large because the Minnesota DNR has implemented a slot size whereby all pike from 26 to 44 inches must be released. This allows more pike to breed and grow to a more desirable size. Perfect if you’re looking for a wrestle with a northern pike monster!

Perhaps, one of the most well-known aspects of Upper Red Lake is that it is shallow, Maxing out at only 15ft. Due to the shallow water, the lake freezes over fast – making it a very popular spot for early ice fishing. 

Location on Google Maps: 

Yukon River, AK

The last place you’re going to catch some 50-inch pike in the US is the Yukon River in Alaska. Many anglers report great success using well-placed streamer flies and swimbaits in the river. When you hit the right weather and temperature conditions it is no problem to catch several Pike measuring over a meter long in one single day in the Yukon. 

In the Yukon, pike tend to remain in the shallower water throughout the year, this makes it a great place to land some pike fly-fishing. 

Location on Google Maps: 

What is the Northern Pike?

best northern pike fishing in united states

Before wrapping things up we think it is worth giving some information on the northern pike species as this will definitely help you when it comes to landing one of these trophy fish. 

Northern Pike is found in freshwater throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Because of their body shape, their appearance is distinct from other freshwater fish.

The pike has a long, slender body that is olive green in color and fades to yellowish-white on its belly.

Northern Pike Habitat

Northern pike tends to lurk in areas with dense vegetation in lakes, rivers, and streams. Usually, they occupy shallower waters near the shore. They prefer cool water making them easier to catch whilst ice fishing in the winter. As they like cool water they tend to head into deeper water in mid-summer. 

What Do Northern Pike Eat?

It’s worth mentioning what these pikes like to eat as this might assist you when fishing with live baits. The answer here is a simple and concise one, pike will eat just about anything that fits into their mouths. Pike is a carnivorous species and eats a large amount of food each day. They tend to lurk in dark shallow water and strike rapidly at passing prey. 

To maximize your chances of catching pike with bait I would recommend using live bait with a strong scent to attract more predators. And if possible use lives bait with smaller fish found in the same waters. 


So that just about does it for our 5 best northern pike fishing in United States locations. However, don’t let us limit you to these 5. With a small amount of research, you’re sure to find dozens of great northern pike fishing spots in the US. 

And if you are willing to travel a little further to Canada then you’re also sure to find a tonne of awesome northern pike fishing spots there as well. 

Many people catch northern pike to keep and eat however we think it’s worth mentioning that you should only keep what you are definitely going to eat and release everything else. And always abide by the fisheries rules related to catch and release. 

It’s common for fish species to become over-fished and their numbers rapidly decline. This not only stops other anglers from enjoying the thrill of fishing and landing big pike but also negatively affects the food chain present in the ecosystem. 

We really hope this article has helped you find the best northern pike fishing in the United States. Feel free to comment on your best spots down below!

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