Northern pike are notoriously aggressive predators, and chase down prey with incredible bursts of speed, mouthfuls of razor-sharp teeth, and impressive muscular bodies. They can be caught with a wide variety of different lures – spoons, spinners, swimbaits, and topwater buzzbaits all have their place in the pike fisherman’s tackle box.
While they’re often willing to attack any lure that crosses their path, pike can at times act a little on the picky side. Bringing along the right pike lures for a given situation will greatly increase your odds of catching that monster pike!
I’ll break down some of the best pike lures in different categories, so you’ll be well equipped for whatever the fishing gods have in store for you.
Quick Answer: 10 Best Pike Lures
- Best Spoon: Eppinger Original Dardevle Spoon
- Best Soft Plastic Swimbait: Storm Wildeye Live Pike
- Also Consider: Magnum Swimmin’ Dawg Musky Pike Lure
- Best Spinnerbait: BOOYAH Pikee Spinner-Bait
- Best Crankbait: Rat-L-Trap Lures 1/2-Ounce Trap
- Also Consider: Rapala Rippin Rap 07
- Best Jerkbait: Suick Weighted Thriller
- Best Topwater Frog: Livetarget Hollow Body Frog
- Also Consider: Bomber Lures Model A Crankbait
- Hard Plastic Swimbait: XFISHMAN Pike Lures Multi Jointed Swimbaits
Top 10 Pike Lures
No list of Northern pike lures would be complete without this legendary gamefish spoon. Spoons have been a long-time favorite of many pike anglers due to their reliability, simplicity, and effectiveness at attracting the pike bite – and this 1-ounce spoon is one of the best in the biz.
More than a century after it was first produced, Eppinger still makes this classic lure with the same design. It features a fantastic wiggling-and-wobbling action as it moves through the water, and works just as well for trolling or casting.
The one-ounce, 3-5/8” length is one of the largest one Eppinger manufactures – and hits the sweet spot for targeting northern pike. The classic red and white color scheme may look a little tame when compared with some of the flashier options, but it’s got a proven track record going back decades.
These spoons will work year-round, particularly when things heat up in the summer months. Keep in mind it’s not weedless, so you’ll need to be a little cautious when fishing weedy shorelines.
- Works well for trolling and casting.
- Simple wiggle-wobble action proven to attract pike.
- Classic red-and-white color scheme.
Best Soft Plastic Swimbait
Storm makes some of the most realistic swimbaits on the planet – and this gorgeous-looking specimen is no exception. Its lifelike color patterns perfectly mimic the appearance of a juvenile pike, and as pike are notorious carnivores, it will attract them like a moth to a flame.
An internally weighted body provides a highly realistic swimming action, with the tail wagging back in forth and presenting a tantalizing target to nearby northern pike. A treble hook comes mounted to the belly, and a VMC needlepoint hook is integrated into the back.
Storm sells the lure in three different sizes – 4”, 5”, and 5 ½” – so you can easily match your lure to the pike size in your area. Drag it by weedbeds and watch these aggressive predators absolutely demolish your lure.
Keep in mind the tail will most likely sustain some damage if you fish with it enough. This is the case for any soft plastic used with pike, as their razor-sharp teeth will go through most materials like butter.
- Highly realistic swimming action.
- Lifelike pike color patterns and holographic flash foil.
- Secure I-Bolt systems.
- Three sizes available: 4”, 5” & 5 ½”
If you’re looking to catch the biggest and baddest pike and musky on the planet, you’ll have a hard time beating this ultra-realistic soft plastic swimbait. Designed by professional guide and swimbait guru Luke Ronnestrand, it’s 11-inches long and 7-ounces and built to attract those true monsters lurking in the depths.
A paddletail design provides the maximum level of thump and vibration to alert nearby fish of your presence. The hand-poured and hand-painted in the USA body makes for a shockingly realistic look, while a flexible internal harness provides durability and long-term performance.
Two treble hooks are mounted to the base of the lure, including a forward front hook that helps you catch head-hunting fish. You can use either a straight retrieve or a pull/pause style retrieve with excellent results.
Several different colors and patterns are available, including perch, bluegill, and walleye – so you can easily find the right one for you.
- Large swimbait for attracting the largest pike and musky.
- 11” long and 7-ounce weight presents an impressive target for large fish.
- Realistic paddletail action.
- 2 treble hooks for forward and rear bites.
While spinnerbaits are often thought of as bass fishing lures, they can also be deadly effective for catching northern pike. They’re easy to use, provide a bright and flashy display that drive pike wild, and because they’re virtually weedless, you can use them around weedy shorelines without worry.
This particular spinner is designed specifically with pike, musky, and giant bass in mind and features oversized skirts, blades, and hooks. Each lure also comes with a 12” steel leader, so you’ll have everything you need to start catching pike right out of the box.
The quality is surprisingly good for a mainstream product and the ½ oz. size puts you right in the sweets pot for catching decent size pike. Eight different colors are available, but for my money, the best options feature bright yellow, green, and orange colors.
- Large ½ oz. spinnerbait is ideal for pike, musky, and giant bass.
- Each lure comes with 12-inch steel leader.
- Durable, high-quality blades and skirts.
Without a doubt, one of the best ways to entice a pike to bite is with a noisy rattling lure like the made in the USA Rat-L-Trap. These lipless crankbaits are proven to catch a wide variety of fish, and pike are an absolute sucker for them.
Interior rattlers create plenty of loud noise and vibration – provoking any nearby pike to attack with gusto! The ½ oz crankbait measures just 3-inches long but creates enough noise to imitate a much larger fish.
Two excellent set-lock treble hooks come included, so you’ll never need to worry about replacing poor quality hooks when they inevitably break. Rat-L-Trap makes the bait in a massive variety of different color schemes – so you can find out what works best for you.
- Interior rattles produce plenty of noise and vibration to attract pike.
- Realistic color schemes.
- Two set-lock treble hooks come included.
- Proven crankbait for over 35 years.
Similar to the crankbait reviewed above, the Rapala Rippin Rap is another highly effective lipless crankbait that presents an irresistible rattle that calls pike up from the depths. It features a tall, skinny shaped body and distinctive BB rattle sound that works well for a variety of conditions.
Fast and slow retrieves can be equally effective with this lure, and its textured scale body creates a highly realistic looking presentation. It’s available in three different sizes – with 7 being ideal for pike, while 5 and 6 are more suitable for typical bass fishing.
Two large treble hooks, one mounted to the tail and the other mounted to the belly, allow you to get a solid hookset no matter where the pike attacks your lure. Make sure to use these lures with a solid wire leader, as pike can easily swallow the 2 ¾” body.
- Interior BB rattles produce plenty of noise and vibration.
- Textured scale body creates a lifelike presentation.
- Size 7 is 7/8 ounces and 2 ¾” long body.
Fishing with jerkbaits is another highly effective method of catching northern pike. These baits imitate the shimmying ‘stop-and-go’ action of a baitfish perfectly – which works to attract pike like candy to a baby.
The Suick Weighted Thriller provides an enticing dive-and-rise action that drives pike and musky wild. The added weight causes the lure to dive deeper on each ‘jerk’ than the unweighted model. The smaller size has an overall length of 7” and a ¾ oz. weight, making it perfectly suited to the size baitfish most decent-sized pike prefer.
Realistic color patterns and holographic finishes create a realistic-looking presentation, while the hand made in the USA wooden body will last for years of hard use.
- Handmade in the USA.
- Weighed body provides legendary darting action.
- Works well for northern pike and musky.
- Two sizes available: 7” and 9”
Best Topwater Frog
This hollow-bodied topwater frog is one of the most exhilarating ways to catch northern pike on the planet. It’s the perfect choice for fishing in heavy cover, as the upward facing barbless hooks are completely weedless.
There are several different sizes to pick from, ranging from a compact 1 3/4” up to a 2 5/8”. The larger sizes are more suited towards pike fishing, but you could still hook them with the smaller sized frogs.
Pike like to hang out in heavy cover – especially in the spring and fall. This can make catching them challenging with traditional lures, so a weedless topwater lure makes an excellent addition to any tackle box.
Livetarget sells the frog in a variety of different color patterns, but like other lures, the most productive colors will generally be chartreuse, bright orange, and silver.
- Hollow body and upward facing hooks are completely weedless.
- Anatomically accurate design.
- Variety of sizes and color patterns available.
No list of the best pike lures would be complete without including a good crankbait. The lure creates an erratic action similar to an injured baitfish – which makes a tantalizing target to any pike in the area. Pausing between retrieves gives the pike ample opportunity to strike your lure.
The tough construction means it will last for years of hard use and deliver consistent results. It dives about 8 to 10 feet deep, and depending on the speed you work it with you can usually get it down to 15 feet.
A detailed multi-step painting process creates a lifelike muted color pattern that pops in the water. You have over 30 different patterns to choose from – so you’re bound to find something that catches your eye.
- Realistic action mimics the stop-and-go behavior of an injured baitfish.
- Tough construction will last for years.
- Works well for trolling as well.
Hard Plastic Swimbait
Realistic, ultra-strong, and deadly effective, this hard-plastic swimbait is just the thing to attract pike, muskie, trout, and lunker bass. It’s available in three different lengths – 5”, 8”, and a massive 12” – so you can tailor your presentation to the fish in your area.
The multi-jointed construction causes it to ‘swim’ through the water with lifelike behavior. It can be fished slowly or fast, either way will flutter perfectly to catch the eye of any fish around. It’s made of sturdy ABS plastic with an ultra-strong textile jointing – so you know it will last for years of use.
Three color patterns are available: fire tiger, line through pikes, and realistic muskie. Each uses a screen-printing process to transfer an actual image of a live baitfish onto the lure. They also include a small rattle to create noise and vibration in the water.
A razor-sharp mustad treble hook is mounted under the gills and right behind the anal fin, giving you opportunities to catch fish striking from either direction.
- Realistic swimbait action swims like a real fish.
- Joined hard-plastic ABS construction.
- Ultra-realistic lifelike color patterns.
- Three sizes available: 5”, 8”, and 12”
Which northern pike lures are best?
With so many different options, how do you know which lures to use when?
The good news is, northern pike aren’t picky. They’ll strike at a wide variety of lures, and as long as you make a commotion, you should be able to attract their attention. Pike are ambush predators, so you want to present them with a loud, colorful, shiny offering that kicks in their predatory instinct.
Bright colors like chartreuse, silver, bright orange and yellow/green all work well most of the time. Another thing to note about pike is that they like large lures – go big and you may be surprised at the monsters you hook!
Lastly, you’ll want to with something relatively durable. Whether it’s a topwater frog or a swimbait, pike can eat up your lures if they aren’t up to snuff. These fish have rows of razor-sharp teeth that can slice through soft plastic like butter, so you’ll also want to make sure you use a good wire leader.
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I’ve loved being in the outdoors for as long as I can remember. I grew up fishing, canoeing, and camping throughout the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. It’s what lead me to start this site and share my passions for fishing, diving, kayaking and more. Nowadays you can find me writing about my passions or (preferably!) preparing for my next outdoor adventure.