What is the Best Depth for Northern Pike Ice Fishing?

Are you planning to go northern pike ice fishing? You’re in for a treat because this is the ultimate winter sports fish worth showing off! Northern pikes are large, have aggressive feeding habits, and you can find a lot of them, making it a fish for anglers of all levels.

However, you will need knowledge and skill to catch northern pike, as with all fish. This may have you wonder, ‘what is the best depth for northern pike ice fishing?’

Read on to find out what the optimum depth is when ice fishing for northern pike.

best depth for northern pike ice fishing

What is the Best Depth for Northern Pike Ice Fishing?

The first thing to think about is where to fish for northern pike. Their stomachs would usually dictate their locations. These fish won’t swim in schools, and you can find them heading to forms of lake structures to find their next meals.

You can find them hanging around different structures such as rock piles, humps, points, and breaks. When northern pikes are in shallow waters, they are usually cruising in mid-depths. When water starts to become more profound, it will stay closer to the bottom.

During the early ice, you can find northern pike in reasonably shallow waters, around bars, points, and weed edges. But when winter continues progressing, Northern pike will follow food, moving further out and in deeper waters. But when spring comes along, northern pike starts moving to shallow areas again in pre-spawn areas.

In general, pike is usually found within 3-15 feet, where you can see light vegetation.

To be more exact, anglers would set their tip-ups and place bait off the bottom, depending on how deep the water is. If the water depth is 12 feet, find the bottom and set your line about 1-2 feet off the bottom.

However, when fishing in vegetation, think in halves. This means if the bottom is 12 feet, then place your bait at around 6 feet. That way, your bait will be clearly seen by northern pike, not hidden by vegetation.

But again, northern pike is usually in shallower waters during early ice and when spring nears. When fishing during such times, you’ll find northern pike swimming in waters that are less than 5 feet deep.

Wrapping It Up

When fishing for northern pike, you must understand where to find them and how deep they usually swim. This will help you figure out your fishing strategy and have more chances of getting a bite!

I hope that this article helped you learn a lot about northern pike ice fishing, especially regarding what depth you need to fish in for success. Keep this information in mind, so you have better luck at catching northern pike to tell your friends. Good luck!

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