Best lures for pike fishing

Best lures for pike fishing

by Aidan Bordiuk |
Updated on

Pike are some of the best fish you can catch on a lure, they grow big, they look magnificent and they can be very aggressive, which makes them very catchable. There is nothing quite like retrieving a lure only to feel the savage thump on the rod tip where a pike has engulfed it, leading to line being stripped from the reel as battle ensues. Lure fishing has an extra element of surprise and anticipation, with every turn of the reel you are always wondering if that will be when the fish strikes, adding an extra element of excitement over other forms of angling.

Pike are very accessible fish, which makes them great to target. They inhabit most waterways, so if your local fishery is a canal, river or lake, chances are there will be pike there to target, the only place you seldom find them are commercial fisheries. As the best time to fish for pike is usually as the light is fading, you generally only need a couple of hours before or after work to catch them, so even those short on time can get out and try to lure one.

Best lures for pike fishing at a glance...

Best Weedless Soft Plastic Lure For Pike Fishing: Fiiish Minnow

Best Surface Lure For Pike: Westin Spot On Top Walker

Best Big Water Pike Lure For Pike Fishing: Fox Rage Replicant Wobble Lure

Best Shallow Water Crankbait Lure For Pike: Yo-zuri Crystal Minnow

Pike are known to be inquisitive and the lures they can be caught on vary massively, whether you use a spinner, a hard lure or a soft plastic, if a pike is hunting, it will take anything. Most days, though, it is not as simple as that, and your lure choice can make all the difference in how successful you are. Try to take a selection in your tackle box to make sure you have all bases covered. In this guide, we check out some of the best lures available that will catch you more pike...

Best pike lure for cold water

The Rapala Shadow Rap diving lure is very unique in the way it sits underwater due to its neutral buoyancy. Once you have wound the lure down to the desired depth and you stop reeling, instead of floating back up or sinking, the lure will just sit there. This serves two purposes, not only does it stop you getting snagged, it allows you to slowly work the lure at the depth the fish are feeding at, which can be really useful in cold water.

The lure is best worked with small, sharp jerks on the rod, which causes it to move very erratically before pausing. This gives the fish time to investigate the lure, and very often, the bites will come just after you pause the retrieve. They are also very effective if you know the fish are holding up somewhere and you only have a short area to work the lure in.

Designed to mimic the behaviour of a dying fish, darting and rolling around when the rod tip is flicked. Very realistic action that helps catch wary fish.


  • Suspending action keeps lure in front of fish for longer.
  • Realistic action.


  • Not the easiest lure to use effectively.

Best weedless soft plastic lure for pike fishing

When it comes to soft plastic baits, the Fiiish Minnow really does take some beating. The action the lure has and the colours they are available in just seem to prove irresistible to pike, and anglers find themselves using them time and time again.

The lures have a detachable head, so you can swap the bodies for a different colour or if they get damaged. The weedless design ensures you won’t get snagged up, making them ideal for weedy or snaggy swims. The jig head comes in 6 styles depending on the depth of water you’re fishing, in weights from 6g-190g, you’re sure to find one right for the scenario you're faced with.

The lure bodies are available in sizes from 7-20cm and 19 colours, from Fluro Pink to the infamous and ever faithful Black Minnow, a colour which seems to take more pike than any other. These lures work best on a slower, constant retrieve and are a must-have if you fish soft plastic baits.


  • Very realistic swimming action.
  • Weedless design reduces snagging up.


  • They are soft plastic, so they are prone to being destroyed, although they are very tough.

Best spinner bait for pike fishing

Designed to catch pike predominantly, these Savage Gear Da'bush Spinner Bait lures are unlike anything else out there. With a pulsing soft plastic skirt and two rotating blades, these lures send out loads of vibrations and signals to alert any pike in the area that they are there.

It is hard to describe what these lures are trying to emulate, as they are so alien looking, whether the pike hit them protecting territory or as a food source we don't know, what we do know is how effective they are. They are great for searching out the depths due to their design and the jig head attached to the lure.

Coming in a range of sizes and colours, if you want to get the attention of the fish, this lure will certainly do that. Best fished on a straight retrieve, allowing the lure to pause and sink a little in stages can make all the difference.


  • Very attractive.
  • Easy to fish with.


  • Can be a little too outrageous in some situations.

Best shallow water crankbait lure for pike

The Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnow needs little introduction to lure anglers, its fantastic rolling action coupled with a robust design has made this lure a winner and the first choice in many pike angler's boxes. The Prism Flash finish on these lures makes them highly reflective and perfect for fishing in low light conditions, they will maximise any light they can, allowing you to fish longer. Available in a range of colours and sizes, you're sure to find one that works for you.

A maximum diving depth of around 1m makes these lures great for shallow venues like canals and drains, as you won't get snagged up on the bottom but will be able to work the lure close enough to where the fish are lurking. A steady retrieve with lots of flicks of the rod tip to make the lure roll and dart is usually the best way to tempt a pike to snatch at it.


  • Fantastic rolling action.
  • Can be fished on a variety of retrieves in salt and freshwater.


  • Maximum dive depth of 1m does limit it to shallow venues.

Best big water hybrid lure for pike fishing

Rapala X Rap Peto
Price: $25.99

This hybrid Rapala X Rap Peto Lure features a hard ABS body that is finished in a wide range of realistic fish patterns from roach to rainbow trout, whilst also benefiting from a soft plastic paddle tail to the rear. This gives the lure incredible amounts of movement and extra vibration, so you get the benefit of a jerk bait and a soft plastic all in one.

The X Rap is available in 14cm and 20cm up to a weight of 83g. Due to the large size of these lures, they are most suited to heavy tackle when targeting large pike on big lakes and reservoirs from a boat. The weight and size allows you to effectively search the drop offs and deeper areas, whilst also matching the prey size to mimic the large trout these pike often feed on. They also come with a spare tail should any damage occur to the one supplied.


  • Very realistic designs.
  • Large and heavy, perfect for big pike in large venues.


  • A bit too large for smaller, more intimate venues.

Best big water lure for pike fishing

The 18cm and 23cm version of this Fox Rage Replicant Wobble Lure has established itself as a big water specialist pike lure, accounting for loads of enormous pike, it really is worth having in your bag if you enjoy fishing larger venues. The lure is also available in smaller sizes of 7cm, 10cm and 14cm, so you can still utilise the effectiveness of the lure on smaller venues too, the body is made from a soft plastic material with a weighted head.

Available in a range of colours designed to replicate the pike's natural prey, like roach and perch, they give off a fantastic wobbling action that you can really feel on the rod tip as the tail of the lure kicks as you wind it in. The lure works best by casting it out, allowing it to sink to the depth you want and then retrieving it at a slow and steady pace, the paddle tail will do all the work for you, so there is no need to flick the rod tip.


  • The tail of the lure really thumps on the retrieve.
  • Great for pike of all sizes.


  • Body can be damaged after a few fish.

Best trolling lure for pike

If you want a soft plastic swim bait that looks as good as the real thing it's impersonating, then these Savage Gear 4D Line Thru Lures are definitely for you. A 4D printed pattern gives the most realistic finish to the lures and are made to mimic anything from brown trout to roach, the Line Thru design also allows the lure to slide up the line when taken to stop the pike's teeth damaging it.

These lures come in sizes from 15cm all the way to a massive 40cm offering, and they really lend themselves to being slow trolled from a boat. This is something that is increasing in popularity as it allows you to cover a lot of water with minimal effort. The 4D lures kick and vibrate really well and follow an S-curved pattern, thanks to their segmented body, to ensure they look natural to a hungry pike. The lures are also scented to further increase their appeal to predatory fish.


  • Brilliant lure for trolling.
  • Incredibly realistic.


  • Lures don't come in a size smaller than 15cm.

Best small water crankbait lure for pike

Salmo Executer Shallow Runner
Price: £7.99-12.99

Salmo has a reputation for creating quality lures for all predatory species, and the Salmo Executer Shallow Runner is no different. Each lure is tank tested before packaged and they are so confident in their lures that if you're not happy with how it performs, they will replace it. The Executor is a dumpy-shaped, crank bait lure that floats and dives down to around 1-1.5m when retrieved. The 12cm version is a great size for pike and is perfect for a range of smaller venues such as canals and rivers, where the average size of prey for the pike is generally quite small.

It's best fished on a faster retrieve with lots of movements from the rod to make the lure jolt and swim erratically. The lure is available in lots of patterns and sizes in 5cm, 7cm, 9cm and 12cm


  • Ideal for smaller waters.
  • Lovely action.


  • The lures are quite light, so aren't best for big, windswept waters.

Best surface lure for pike

These Westin Spot On Top Walker lures, made for the American market to target bass, are super effective surface lures for catching pike. The 10cm length is ideal to catch pike of all sizes.2 The lure is designed with a V-shaped body profile that keeps the lure sitting correctly on the retrieve, preventing the lure rolling over the line and snagging itself whilst keeping the hooks down in prime position should a pike take the lure.

Elevated ribs break the surface tension of the water to create turbulence rather than an overstated splash, with the scoop nose creating a more subtle pop than other surface lures. The Top Walker has been designed to create enough disturbance to attract a fish without causing so much to look unnatural, which can often spook the fish. The lures are hand-finished to ensure they are as good as they can be before getting to the consumer.

These are best fished on a 'walk the dog' style retrieve, sharp jerks on the rod with slow winds of the reel to take up the slack will cause the lure to skate from side to side.


  • Subtle action.
  • Great quality.


  • Surface lures do tend to be the most difficult to catch pike on.

Best pike lure for fly fishing

These Sovereign Super Baits Flies are hand-tied in the UK and come in a huge range of patterns, so there will be something here for everyone. With an epoxy head and quality materials, the flies are built to last, which is important when using flies for pike, as many disintegrate after a few fish.

They provide a lovely pulsing motion when stripped through the water and the addition of translucent fibres helps them sparkle to further increase their attraction.


  • Lots of colours and patterns.
  • Robust, won't be destroyed after one fish.


  • Large flies may take some getting used to casting.

What to look for in a pike lure

Pike have and always will be caught on a variety of different lures, from the most natural looking to the most outrageous, but there are always lures that seem to outperform others consistently. It is always best to try and match your lure to the venue you are fishing. If it is a big deep reservoir and the pike are renowned for staying in water below 3m, it is no use casting out a surface lure or a crankbait that will only dive up to 1m, as the fish will never see the lure to be able to take it.

Similarly, if you're fishing on a canal or small river, casting out a large 30-40cm sinking lure would be almost useless. It would make far too much commotion and would be on the bottom before you had the chance to close the bail arm. In this situation, a small, floating lure, soft plastic bait or crankbait would be a much better option, as they would allow you to stealthily search out the water column without the risk of getting snagged on the bottom.

It is always worth carrying a few different styles and colours of lures with you on any trip, as some days, colours can be really attractive, and on others, the fish seem wary of them. There are also days when pike are much more interested in a smaller lure, and other days they want a larger lure. Much like all lure fishing, keeping the changes coming can be the difference between success and failure. It is worth noting that you should use strong braid or line and always use a wire trace, there is no excuse for being snapped off by a pike for having tackle that's too light.


Soft plastic lure: A lure that has a soft, rubberised body designed to feel more natural when the fish take it.

Floating/diving lure: A hard plastic lure that will float on the surface but, when retrieved, will dive under the surface thanks to a plastic vein on the front. They are also known as crankbaits.

Rough ground: A name given to a fishing mark where the bottom is made up of rocks, boulders, weed and other items you're likely to snag up on.

Weedless: A lure design, where the hook point is buried in the lure to prevent it getting caught up, the hook is exposed when the fish bites down on the body of the lure.

Jig head: The metal weight, generally with a hook attached that is used to mount a soft plastic lure on to give it the weight to cast and sink to the bottom.

Paddle tail: A flat, rounded section at the back of a lure that causes drag in the water, causing it to kick erratically.

Rattle: Some lures have a hollow internal compartment that is filled with ball bearings that knock together when retrieved to create a rattling sound.

Diving vein: A thin, rounded plastic or metal plate mounted on the front of a lure. When retrieved, it causes drag that forces the lure downwards.

Walk the dog: A method of retrieving a surface lure to make it look as natural as possible. By maintaining a constant retrieve and flicking the rod tip, the lure will snake from side to side, looking like an injured fish.

Lure action: This refers to the way a lure moves when it is retrieved by the angler.

Dropshotting: The method of using a weight at the end of the line and attaching the hook further up the line. This is then jigged back slowly to the rod tip.

Paternoster rig: A rig that involves the lead being at the end of the line and one or two hooks being attached above it, this keeps it away from the lakebed and reduces the resistance when a fish takes the hookbait.

Frequently asked questions on pike lures

Should I use a bigger lure when fishing for pike?

Lure size when pike fishing should be dictated by the size of the average prey in the water you're fishing. Pike generally will have a look at most things, but if something doesn't feel right, they won't swipe at it unless they are really hungry. Smaller lures can catch some very big pike when they are feeding on fry, minnows and bleak. But there are also times when a big lure is more likely to stand out and grab their attention. Take a selection of sizes and experiment on the day.

When are the best times of day to target pike on lures?

Pike are often most active during periods of low light such as dawn or dusk, this will give you your best chance of a bite, as they use the low light to ambush their prey. However, if there is a feeding frenzy or lots of activity with people fishing or a match going on, the pike can be very active throughout the day too, as they are stimulated by the activity of splashing and fish being played in by other anglers. It's always worth fishing after a match has finished and speak to the anglers to see where the pike have been hooked. Don't rule out lure fishing after dark, too. Sport won't be as consistent, but you may well fool a monster.

Should I use a single or treble hook on pike lures?

This is an interesting debate that has hit pike fishing in recent years, and the trend nowadays is to use as fewer hooks as possible for the safety of the fish. There are times when fishing a single hook is a massive advantage too, for example, when fishing over snaggy bottoms, as they can easily be fished 'weedless'. Regardless of the number of hooks used, it is always best to carry all the proper equipment needed to handle pike correctly and safely so they go back fighting fit every time you catch one. Remember that whilst they may appear to be a savage predator beneath the water, they are actually one of our more fragile fish species.

Author Aidan Bordiuk is an enthusiastic angler who enjoys all fishing disciplines from match fishing to beach casting. He is currently occupying the position of Commercial Content Writer at Angling Times.

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