Best Canada Northern Pike Fishing in Manitoba

The best Canadian Northern Pike fishing change with the season.  Manitoba’s Cobham River Lodge season opens in early June and runs through late August.  Because of our short northern pike fishing season, our trophy northern pike fishing patterns change throughout the Manitoba fishing season.

At the beginning of our northern pike fishing season, the ice begins to break up in May, offering mother nature a chance to warm our fringed Canadian waters.  This, in turn, brings life to our Manitoba bays as warmer water brings smaller fish to feed.  In turn, the larger northern pike also begins to feed in the shallows of our Manitoba bays.

As our Canadian waters warm, the cabbage weeds begin to grow, and by mid-June, the shallows (60 – 121 cm, 2 – 4 ft.) of our Manitoba bays start to fill with larger female northern pike to feed after the May spawn.  As the northern pike moves into the shallows, the smaller fish begin to move out, and so begins the seasonal movement of the Canadian northern pike.

As the smaller fish begin to move, by early July, bigger northern pike also moves.  The cabbage weeds have now spread deeper the giant female northern pike are also seeking deeper, cooler waters as they await their prey at the bottom edge of the weed line in 121 – 143 cm (4 – 8 ft.).

By mid-July, trophy northern pike begin to spread throughout our Manitoba river system to the drop-offs along rocky Canadian shoreline, weedy points, deep river channels, and sheltered Manitoba bays that offer drop points with shaded water to give northern pike the cover needed as they hunt for prey.

Early August is upon us, and the warmer weather pushes our trophy northern pike even deeper along the weed lines (182 – 365 cm, 6 – 12 ft.).  As the warmer climate raises the temperature of our Canadian waters,  the northern pike becomes less aggressive and somewhat lazy during this period.  Smaller fish are still in the shallows, and we look for these pockets to entice a larger northern pike to strike.

Towards the end of August, the trophy northern pike is back into the shallows to feed on small fish and anything else dropped in their path.  But, as in mid-September the water turns, the feeding frenzy is over, as winter is just around the corner.

Northern Pike Fishing

Trophy Northern Pike Fishing Action | Cobham River Lodge

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Can’t make it happen this year, join our waiting list and get the date and trophy you’re after next year.

When you compare other fly-in fishing lodges, you’ll be hard-pressed to hear them mention a waiting list or that they are sold out. The reason is simple; we have the best trophy Northern Pike fishing in Manitoba. While other Manitoba fishing lodges have up to 18 boats firing off the dock each morning, we limit our 76,000 acres to 5 or 6 boats. The result is the best fly-in Northern Pike fishing in Manitoba, but only for a few. After 45 years in business, this has resulted in “Sold out” and “Join our waiting list” being commonplace.

Get on the list and be one of the boats going out next year. We’d love to meet you and your group.

Trophy Northern Pike Fishing
Seasonal Patterns

What sets the stage for June northern pike fishing in Manitoba, Canada is three factors:

  1. First, when was the ice out?
  2. What are the water temperatures?
  3. High/Low weather fronts?

In early June, Canadian northern pike fishing is generally in the back shallows of the Manitoba bays.  Canada fishermen will find trophy northern pike enjoying the warmer waters in the shallow 24 – 45cm (8 – 18 inches) waters.  It is common to see three or more trophy size northern pike in the same clear water bay in early-mid June as cabbage weed growth is still minimal.

Water temperatures and cabbage weeds in our Manitoba bays rise as we move through June.  As the weed line moves, the northern pike fishing changes from the shallow Manitoba bays to the deeper weed line depth (60 – 121 cm, 2 – 4 ft.).  Mid to late June, northern Pike males are more active and can be caught almost anywhere on anything in the system.

As we transition into July, so do the northern pike fishing locations.  July brings full weed beds with cabbage patches throughout our Manitoba river system.  This growth expands the northern pike hunting grounds as the northern pike moves between weed beds, taking up different positions along the weed edge lines to find an ambush point for its next meal.

Larger pike is usually found along the weed edge lines where the river narrows, forcing smaller fish to funnel in front of the trophy northern pike.  Drop-offs and rocky reefs are also northern pike havens this time of year, as they provide easy cover while waiting for their prey.

In early August, northern pike fishing trends hold the same July trend.  Northern pike moves between weed beds in 121 – 143 cm (4 – 8 ft.) of water.  Weed beds are in total growth, with northern pike fishermen mainly throwing weedless spoons in August.  In a warmer season, larger female northern pike can be found in the depth of the deeper weed lines (182 – 365 cm, 6 – 12 ft.).  Northern pike fishermen use heavier spoons and slowly reel in, trying to entice these monster northern pike.

Later in August, the water begins to cool rapidly as the Canadian fall color season is upon us.  Our Manitoba bays start to see their weed lines recede, causing our northern pike to leave the bays for rocky points and shorelines.  Because of the temperature change in the water, northern pike fishing picks up to mid-June levels as northern pike are putting on their winter weight.  Because of the winter feeding frenzy, fishermen have caught some of our biggest trophy northern pike in August.

Northern Pike (Esox Lucius)

Trolling for Northern Pike Fishing
Northern Pike are the top predator on the Cobham River and Hidden Lake while being a very aggressive voracious eater that will attack almost anything that gets too close including ducklings and other pike one-third to a half their size.

Northern pike on the Cobham River tends to spawn in April or May (when water temperature first reaches about 9 °C (48 °F)). Shallow Bays are a favorite spawn location for Northern pike, where the temperatures are warmer, and the vegetation is plentiful for fertilized eggs to attach. Northern pike is capable of breeding at two years of age and tends to lay a large number of eggs (8,500 eggs per pound, in other words, a 10-pound northern pike will lay on average 85,000 eggs this spring).

Within 16 days, the eggs hatch into larvae which live off their egg sacks until they develop to the point where they can feed themselves, at which time larvae are called fry. The fry will start swimming and feeding on planktonic while developing scales and fins; once working fins have developed, the fry has transitioned to a juvenile, otherwise known as a fingerling. The juvenile stage lasts until they start to interact with other adult fish.

The primary factors that allow Northern Pike to grow into full-sized monster pike are our food supply and water quality. We built Cobham River Lodge on the Cobham because having two river systems (Cobham and Paulson) together provides our Northern Pike an endless supply of Walleye, Perch, White Fish, and Burbot to feed on. In addition, both river systems pass within 1 mile of our dock, which provides the most current and cleanest water.

The two river systems feed into our untouched 76,000 acres, private only to Cobham River Lodge northern pike fishermen. Unlike the warmer southern waters where the average life span of a northern pike is 10 to 12 years, the cold clear Northern Canada waters on the Cobham River allow the northern pike life span to exceed 30 years.

In summary, it’s simple; the fish need excellent conditions to allow the time to grow to the monster northern pike size we are accustomed to at Cobham River Lodge. Therefore, all northern pike at Cobham River Lodge and Hidden Lake Outpost must be released. In addition to protecting our large egg-laying northern pike, Canadian Natural Resources have proven that larger females’ offspring are genetically advantageous to smaller fish’s offspring.

This means our fry and juvenile pike will have lower mortality rates and longer life spans and grow faster than those found in other waters without the natural foundation that the Cobham River and Paulson River provide to our fishermen.