Northern pike fishing is one of the most popular pastimes in Europe. These predatory fish are found in lakes, rivers, and other bodies of freshwater across the continent. Anglers flock to the mainland to pursue this species, known for its aggressive strikes and hard-fighting nature. In this guide, we’ll explore some of Europe’s top northern pike fishing locations and provide tips and techniques to help you catch more of these elusive fish.
Europe Location 1: Ireland
Ireland is known for its stunning scenery and wild landscapes, and it’s also home to some of the best northern pike fishing in Europe. The Shannon River is a perfect spot for pike fishing, as it’s the longest river in Ireland and boasts a healthy pike population. Other great locations in Ireland include Lough Ree, Lough Derg, and the Erne River.
When fishing for pike in Ireland, using the right gear is important. A medium-heavy rod with fast action is ideal, allowing you to cast heavy lures and set the hook quickly. Spinnerbaits, jerk baits, and crankbaits are all effective lures for pike and should be retrieved slowly to mimic wounded baitfish movements.
Europe Location 2: Sweden
Sweden is another fantastic destination for northern pike fishing. With thousands of lakes and rivers, there are plenty of opportunities to catch this species in Sweden. Sweden’s best pike fishing locations include Lake Vänern, Lake Vättern, and the Dalälven River.
When fishing for pike in Sweden, it’s essential to focus on the weed beds and other areas where pike like to hide. Spinnerbaits and soft plastics are effective lures in these environments and should be retrieved slowly to entice strikes. Topwater baits can also be effective in the early morning and late evening, when pike are more likely to feed near the surface.
Europe Location 3: Finland
Finland is known for its pristine wilderness and stunning lakes, which makes it a popular destination for anglers. Pike fishing in Finland is excellent in the northern part of the country, where the waters are clear and cold. Some of Finland’s top pike fishing locations include Lake Inari, Lake Päijänne, and the River Teno.
When fishing for pike in Finland, it’s important to use a sensitive rod that can detect even the slightest bite. Jigging is a popular technique in Finland, and anglers often use soft plastic lures or live bait to entice strikes. Spinnerbaits and crankbaits can also be effective in certain situations, especially when fishing in shallow water.
Europe Location 4: Norway
Norway is known for its dramatic fjords and rugged landscapes, but it’s also a great destination for northern pike fishing. The country boasts numerous lakes and rivers home to healthy pike populations. Norway’s best pike fishing locations include Lake Mjøsa, Lake Femunden, and the Glomma River.
When fishing for pike in Norway, it’s essential to focus on the areas where pike is likely to hide, including weed beds, drop-offs, and other structures. Spinnerbaits and jerk baits are effective lures in these environments and should be retrieved slowly to entice strikes. Live bait can also be effective, especially when fishing in deeper water.
Europe Location 5: Germany
Germany is home to some of the largest pike in Europe, which makes it a popular destination for anglers. Some of Germany’s top pike fishing locations include Lake Constance, Lake Müritz, and the Elbe River.
When fishing for pike in Germany, using the right gear is important. A medium-heavy rod with fast action is ideal, allowing you to cast heavy lures and set the hook quickly. Spinnerbaits and jerk baits are both effective lures for pike in Germany and should be retrieved slowly to mimic wounded baitfish movements. Live bait can also be effective, especially when fishing in deeper water.
Techniques for Catching Northern Pike
While the specific techniques for catching northern pike can vary depending on the location, some general strategies can help increase your chances of success.
- Focus on the right areas: Northern pike tend to hide in areas with plenty of cover, such as weed beds, submerged logs, and other structures. Therefore, when fishing for pike, it’s important to focus on these areas and use lures that can effectively navigate the cover.
- Use the right lures: There are a wide variety of lures that can be effective for northern pike, but some of the most popular include spinnerbaits, jerk baits, and crankbaits. These lures can mimic wounded baitfish movements and trigger aggressive strikes from pike.
- Vary your retrieve: Pike can be picky eaters, so it’s important to vary your retrieve to see what works best. Sometimes a slow, steady retrieve will be most effective, while other times, a fast, erratic retrieve will be more likely to trigger a strike.
- Consider using live bait: While lures can be highly effective for pike fishing, live bait can also be a great option. Minnows, leeches, and other small fish can all be effective for pike, especially when fishing in deeper water.
- Pay attention to the weather: Pike tend to be more active in certain weather conditions, such as overcast days or during periods of low light. It’s also worth noting that pike can be more active during certain times of the year, such as in the spring when they are spawning.
Northern pike fishing is a popular pastime in Europe, and there are numerous locations across the continent where anglers can pursue this species. From the clear waters of Finland to the rugged landscapes of Norway, there are countless opportunities to catch northern pike in Europe. By using the right gear and techniques, anglers can increase their chances of success and enjoy the thrill of catching this hard-fighting fish. Whether you’re an experienced angler or just starting, northern pike fishing in Europe is an adventure that is worth taking.