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Live or dead bait for pike fishing?

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Pike and Muskie

I’ve heard you can use both livebait and deadbait for pike fishing. Which is best? What bait do you use?

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3 Answers



  1. Malcolm W. on Jan 07, 2013 Reply

    Though you can use live bait for pike fishing, using dead bait can be quite effective, too. Pike are willing to eat just about any flesh. In fact, they’ll cruise near the bottom looking for dead fish or other dead animals lying on the bottom of a lake or pond.

    So hook up some dead bait, if you want, and lower it to the bottom, and wait for your pike.

    You’ve got to consider the size of pike, too. Small pike go for smaller stuff, like minnows, but you need perch or something equivalent for bigger pike. Generally, the size of the body of water determines how big the average pike is in it. You’re not going to find a huge pike in a small pond because there aren’t enough fish there to feed the pike up to a giant size. A big lake is likely to have big pike in it (plus smaller ones who haven’t reached their full growth, of course).

    Good luck and happy fishing!

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  2. YoungBlood on Jan 07, 2013 Reply

    You can use both. I often use dead bait because it’s so much easier. My best bet would be mackerel – it’s an oily fish that leaves a trail of scent in the water, which if fantastic. It’s also easy to cut up into smaller pieces, so a little goes a long way.

    I also use herring – another favorite of mine because I can just buy it at the supermarket, no need for a special trip to pick it up.

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  3. Sandor Fillior on Jan 11, 2013 Reply

    Pike aren’t fussy eaters, they’ll eagerly take just about anything you throw at them. Take both along in case they balk at one or the other for some reason. I’ve used bluegills and crappie as live bait, and the bigger the bait, the bigger the pike it will pull in.

    Marine fish are also usable with pike, and good results can be had with mackerel, smelt, or herring, all of which leave a rich odor trail in the water. You can even freeze these fish after getting them at the store and take out as many as you think you’ll need for your fishing trip.

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