Pike Fishing at Night: Tips and Techniques

It is no news that northern pike ranks highly among the best prize game for many anglers. Not only are northern pike usually big, but they are also intelligent and always put up a good fight. While pike fishing is a popular sport, most anglers only engage in it during the day.

This is because of some preconceived notions about the impracticality of night pike fishing. The truth is that fishing for pike at night time can be effective if you use the right techniques.

This article highlights the best techniques and tips for pike fishing at night.

pike fishing at night
Source: Canva Pro

Do Pike Bite at Night?

Before we proceed to the tips and techniques, it is important to understand the behavior of northern pike at night. To answer the question. Yes, pike bite at night.

However, it is important to note that their feeding activity is usually slower at night compared to daytime due to digestion and poor sight.

They rely on their sharp sight to feed during the day, but they can hunt at night using their other senses.

The senses used by pike for feeding at night include their two pair of nostrils for smelling their environment, a lateral line for sensing vibration, as well as sensory pores and pits for sensing movement.

Stimulating these other senses will help you to catch pike when night fishing.

The Best Time To Fish for Pike at Night

If you intend to have a successful night pike fishing trip, it is important to cast at the right time. Fishing in the dead of the night when it is pitch black is counterproductive, as northern pike, as well as their prey baitfish, will be asleep at this time.

The best time to go after them is during the short period between activity and rest, which comes one hour after sunset.

Pike enjoy feeding at this time of the night, as the darkness makes it difficult for baitfish to sense their presence. The poor lighting makes it easy for anglers to catch pike at this time.  

Best Techniques for Night Pike Fishing

Fishing with effective techniques increases your chances of catching pike at night time. In this section, we will discuss the best techniques for night pike fishing.

Lure Fishing

One of the best ways to fish for pike at night is by lure fishing. The reason why lure fishing is effective for night fishing is that the lures make noise and vibrate. This ensures that the senses of the pike are stimulated.

If you are fishing with lures at night, it is important to scan the surroundings properly. This will help you to prevent casting your lure into a tree or bush.

It is best to cast along the margins on the two sides of the water. This will give you a full view of the water to cast your lures efficiently.

The best lures for fishing pike at night are lures with bright colors, noise, and vibration. The color ensures that the lures stand out in the dark, while vibration and noise stimulate the sensory pores and lateral lines of the pike.

The best colors to go for when it comes to pike lures are neon green, chartreuse, white, and neon yellow.

Bait Fishing

Avid anglers use live and dead baitfish for a night session of pike fishing. Bait fishing is an excellent alternative to lure fishing.

You can use both live and dead bait with a technique known as ledgering. Ledgering is a form of fishing on the bottom of the water, and it is efficient for different reasons, which are:

  • It carries the bait to pike resting at the bottom.
  • A ledgered dead bait at the bottom of the water is effective in catching fast and slow pike.
  • The vibration of live baits bounces off the bottom, alerting the pike to the presence of prey.

The best dead baits are ones that come with a strong smell. This will stimulate the nostrils of the pike and trigger them to bite your bait.

Some of the top choices of dead bait for night pike fishing are smelt, herring, sardine, mackerel as well as sprats.  

For live baits, you want to go with something that can stay alive all through your night session. Recasting your bait time and time again will always cause the pike to get away.

The best live bait for night pike fishing includes suckers, ciscos, rudd, shiners, roach, perch, and shad.

Fishing Accessories to Use for Fishing for Pike at Night

There are fishing accessories that are essential for fishing pike at night. These accessories are different from your fishing gear, such as fly rod, line, and reel, but just as important.

These accessories cater to your safety and the efficiency of your fishing. Some of them are:


Fishing in the dark is dangerous for both the angler and the pike. Fishing in poor lighting, you might hurt yourself by slipping or snagging your clothes on a tree.

Lack of proper lighting also causes problems when it comes to handling and unhooking the pike. You can choose between a rechargeable lamp or one that works with batteries.

Bite Alarms

Bite alarms are used to alert anglers when pike bite their bait. Bite alarms are very helpful when fishing at night due to the limited lighting.

Electronic bite alarms usually come with LED bite indicator lights as an added feature.

Bobbins or Hangers

Bobbins work along with bite alarms to alert you to bites from pike. Bobbin pulls down the weight of your line in the case of a bite, sending the message to your bite alarm, which then alerts you.

First Aid Kit

A first aid kit is a must-have when fishing for pike at night. Pike teeth are dangerous at night, just as it is during the day. The limited lighting at night puts you at a greater risk of getting hurt when handling pike.

Other things to take with you include; an unhooking mat and a water bottle.

Tips for Pike Fishing at Night

Now that you know the best techniques and items for pike fishing at night, it is time to run through some tips.

Lure Selection

The lures that you choose go a long way in determining how successful your fishing session is. Lures with vibration and water displacement features will effectively attract the attention of pike.

Colors and scent are other features to look out for.

Slow Trolling the Weed Beds

Weed beds provide a cool spot for pike to rest in the late evening. Therefore, slow trolling these weed beds with your lure provides a good chance of catching pike.


Pike fishing at night can be really fun and rewarding if you use reliable techniques and quality gear. Three things to cater for while fishing for pike at night are lighting, safety as well as lures fishing.

Your first aid box should be the first thing in your fishing pack so as to ensure that you treat yourself quickly in case of any injuries.

Headlamps and flashlights are also needed to provide ample lighting for fishing and safe movement. Going in a pair or group for night pike fishing is the best option.   

Images –

An 8.9lb pike caught on a large roach.

A selection of quality pike bait ready for a night of fishing.

Daniel O’Neill
Fishing Expert
Daniel specializes in fly, predator, and saltwater angling. He has practiced angling from a young age, quickly developing his knowledge of fishing fundamentals. His angling journey began in Ireland, primarily targeting rainbow trout on a fly rod. His passion for angling grew extensively as he ventured into other forms of fishing. He primarily targets freshwater and saltwater destinations in Ireland and the UK. His favorite catch to date was a 7lb / 3.6KG thick-lipped mullet from the Northern Irish coast—a prized fish to target on a fly rod. He is now the owner of DON Angling, a business that intends to inform and educate anglers on the best techniques, methods, and etiquette available.
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