Northern Pike

Josh's Notes

2016 Season Notes

What a great year chasing Pike. At the end of last season I came down with the sickness of dancing with the devil. This season I cut my smallmouth season in half and started concentrating strictly on chasing pike. Starting in mid August, I started having some success all up and down the Kishwaukee River. What a beautiful, magnificent river. I was able to land over 40 river pike this season in about a span of 10 weeks. I tie a simple fly called the Martian Muddler that most of my pike were landed on. If it doesn't rattle it doesn't fish!.

2015 Season Notes

I don't target Pike too often so I know very little about their behaviors. I do know they are exhilarating when they strike and can make your heart skip a beat. I run into most of my Northern Pike in the South Branch of the Kishwaukee River but they can be found in both Pierce and Olson Lakes, and the Rock River and its tributaries. Any type of big streamer will work well. This upcoming season I plan to get out on Olson and Pierce in my kayak at ice off to see if I can catch some pre-spawn pike. Since I do not target Pike frequently I cannot rate any of the waters around here. Hopefully this next season I will be able to provide more information where to find them.


Northern Pike are often called "Water Wolves" and they live up to their reputation. Pike are one of the most fierce predators that can be found in the waters of the Midwest. They feed on fish, frogs, leeches, and when the opportunity presents itself they will feed on small mammals including small birds. When food is scarce they will even feed on their young.


Pike prefer colder, slow moving waters. Here in Northern Illinois biggest pike are found in lakes but also can be found in the Rock River and it's tributaries. When the water temperatures reach the upper forties Pike will move into shallow waters to spawn. Look for vegetation in back bays where the waters can be several degrees warmer than the main body of water.