Float fishing for northern pike has become a famous technique which got popular by European anglers. Quickly the technique caught on by all anglers and it became one of the most effective ways to target pike during all seasons. Today if you go to a famous pike fishery such as Lake Simcoe, Georgian Bay or other small bodies of water, most of the fishermen are using the slip float and minnow idea.
Why is this way of fishing very popular? It's popular because it works and catches a lot of fish. The main theory behind a float is that it's a visual on the surface that tells what's happening to your bait below the surface. The slip float method is used especially to fish deep water but it can be suitable for shallow depths too. In order to make a float slip, the line must run through the float itself. The slip float keeps you informed at all times if there is hungry fish hitting your minnow.
Every pike float fisherman uses the basic setup but there are slight differences and changes of tackle that can affect your results. The main components of your setup should include a stopper, a float, lead weights, a swivel, and a leader with a hook. The different types of each component vary in ways such as using a thread stopper or a rubber one, the size and shape of float, lead split shots or sinkers, wire or fluorocarbon leaders, and single or treble hook. These are choices a pike fisherman decides after many experiences of fishing for pike.
The general starter setup would be a tall 15-25 gram slip float that is very visible in all conditions such as a Dragon, Butterfly, or ROX float in which will be adjusted by a rubber stopper to determine the depth the minnow will be suspended at. The stopper is adjusted by giving it a slight pull on the line. Adjust it to the depth required. To weigh down the float, use medium to large size split shots fairly spaced out. The bottom of the rig should include a wire leader, a size 1 or 2 treble hook tipped with a 4-6" minnow in which will be hooked through the dorsal fin or eyes for a natural action. The minnow itself should be suspended just above the weeds. This setup is most effective when it is used to fish a weedy drop off from 8-12, 12-16, and 18-25 feet. When your float fully disappears while fishing that means there is a pike engulfing your minnow. At this point your heart begins to beat at a faster pace and the adrenaline begins rushing through your body. The first thing you must do is to start reeling in the slack line to a point where you feel the weight of your rig. While reeling in the slack line, begin counting to about 8 or 12 seconds. When the count reaches to those numbers, set the hook, and yell FISH ON because you are now fighting an aggressive pike.
Float fishing for pike is an addictive and effective way of fishing. It is fairly simple so even beginners can catch fish. The rig only takes a minute or so to set up, it is fairly cheap and the results are excellent. These are all good reasons why this form of fishing has evolved onto a bigger scale.