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  • Writer's pictureNicolas Marxer

How to catch pikes during winter

Catching pikes in the winter can be challenging for several reasons. Pikes are less active in the winter and tend to retreat to deeper, cooler waters. This makes it harder to locate them and can also make them less likely to bite.

Catching pikes in the winter can be hard, but with the right knowledge, techniques, and gear, it is definitely possible to catch these elusive fish. It's important to understand their behavior, habitat, and feeding habits in order to increase the chances of success. One also needs to know what gear one needs to use and how the gear can be used as effectively as possible.

Where are the pikes during the winter months?

During the winter, pike will retreat to deeper and slower-moving waters where the water is cooler. Some common areas where pike can be found in the winter include:

  1. Deep holes: Look for deep holes or trenches in lakes and rivers where pike can hide from the cold. These areas can provide them with a suitable environment to survive the winter months.

  2. Channels and drop-offs: Areas with channels and drop-offs can also provide pike with a suitable environment during the winter. They can use these areas to move from shallower waters to deeper waters.

  3. Weed beds and other structures: Pikes will also seek out slower-moving or still waters where they can find shelter from the cold. Look for weed beds, logs, and other structures that provide cover.

  4. River mouths and estuaries: In the winter, pike can also be found in the mouths of rivers and estuaries where they can find a suitable habitat and prey.

  5. Thermal refuges: Some lakes and rivers have thermal refuges, areas where the water doesn't freeze and that can hold a lot of oxygen, these areas can be great places to find pike.

How do the feeding habits of pikes differ during the cold months?

During the winter months, the feeding habits of pikes can differ significantly from other seasons. Here's a closer look at how the feeding habits of pikes change during the winter and how to adapt your fishing strategy accordingly.

  1. Pikes are less active: During the winter, pikes are less active and tend to expend less energy in pursuit of food. They will be less likely to chase after baits and lures, and will rely more on ambush tactics to catch prey.

  2. Pikes have less available prey: Prey items such as minnows, leeches, and frogs may not be as abundant in the winter, making it harder for pikes to find food. This can cause pikes to be more selective in their feeding habits, targeting larger prey items that will provide them with more energy.

  3. Pikes will target larger prey: During the winter, pikes will target larger prey items, such as larger fish, as the energy from a larger meal can sustain them for longer periods.

How to present the baits and lures during the winter to catch pikes?

During the winter, pikes will be less active and less likely to chase baits and lures. Slow down your retrieve and allow your bait or lure to sit in the strike zone longer to give the pike more time to make a decision.

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