Tip-Up Pike Tips

Tip-Up Pike Tips

Rick Hammer of Aqua-Vu hoists a pretty one from the waters of a nearby lake. And, of course, he's not using a tip-up. Because he's contrary.

Rick prefers using the HT Original Ice Rigger, a kind of rod-holder, flag-tripper,  in combination with a sensor connected to a remote on his belt. With his underwater camera array, buzzers, bangles, and beads, he's Mr. Gadget. And the Ice Rigger is cool, because it allows him to fight the pike on rod and reel. (I often use them for trout and steelhead in shallow water.)

Somehow (don't ask why), I prefer the primal hand-over-hand combat of tip-up fishing. Been doing it a long time and I look forward to it every winter.

I broached the topics of Bigtooth rigs fluorocarbon last time. Bigtooth Tackle actually makes pike-muskie leaders with 100-pound fluorocarbon line instead of wire. These work perfectly well. But I actually prefer the wire Natural Quick Strike rig they make. I use 20-pound Stren fluorocarbon leader material above the wire harness in really clear water. The lakes we fished this week are extremely clear.


It breaks up the continuity of thick, braided line extending to the the tip-up. It never breaks, so why not? Do pike see the line? Yes If so, do they care? Nobody will ever know so I'm just hedging my bets. One of those million details.



The Bigtooth Natural Quick Strike Rig is shown here. It's a wishbone-shaped affair and the design almost ensures that a pike will be hooked in the corners of the mouth if you set while it's still running away with the bait crosswise in its mouth. Those little spinner blades floating on the wire make the rig legal in Minnesota, but they're positive attractors. When the sucker moves, those blades move, and it makes a difference. I've been using a fly-reel pouch to keep hooks from engaging the sides of my HT Enterprises DeNeveu Creek tackle bag. That bag really comes in handy when pulling light sleds into remote lakes on foot like we've been doing.

Rick is going batty because ice is his season and he can't drive on it yet. Which is bizarre but true. In Minnesota, we tend to be driving our trucks on the water by now. Rick said he saw two trucks on the ice yesterday and they were right on top one of his favorite walleye spots. "I'm driving out there tonight," he said. Haven't heard from Rick today.

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

Recommended for You

Steve Quinn talks new softbaits for bass from Berkley. Bass

Sensational New Softbaits for Bass

Steve Quinn - April 22, 2019

Steve Quinn talks new softbaits for bass from Berkley.

To help you get a handle on it all, we offer the following rundown of top choices on the buzzbait scene. Bass

Buzzbaits for Bass

Dan Johnson - February 02, 2015

To help you get a handle on it all, we offer the following rundown of top choices on the...

Some of Canada's best pike waters are within driving distance. Pike & Muskie

Best Drive-To Pike Waters

Gord Pyzer

Some of Canada's best pike waters are within driving distance.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Trailer Bass

Trailer Bass

Doug Stange introduces us to some terrific jig trailer lures for largemouth bass.

New Abu Garcia Baitcasting Reels

New Abu Garcia Baitcasting Reels

In the booth of one of fishing's all-time great reel makers, Outdoor Sportsman Group writer Lynn Burkhead and Andrew Wheeler of Pure Fishing discuss one of the brand new baitcasting reels from Abu Garcia being released at ICAST 2019.

X-Factor Smallmouths

X-Factor Smallmouths

The In-Fisherman staff keeps it on the cutting edge, as they use the X-Factor plus topwater lures for smallmouths.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

'Walleyes spawn in spring and understanding spring walleye migrations, whether you live north or south, will help you pinpoint their predictable locations year after year. 

Walleyes spawn in spring, but spring may arrive in February in Mississippi, March in Walleye

Understanding Spring Walleye Migrations

Gord Pyzer - June 02, 2018

'Walleyes spawn in spring and understanding spring walleye migrations, whether you live north...

Pole lines illustrate the paradox of catfishing. At a time when excellent rods, reels, and other Catfish

Catfish Pole Rigs

Richard Peterson with In-Fisherman - April 28, 2016

Pole lines illustrate the paradox of catfishing. At a time when excellent rods, reels, and...

Catfish are simple creatures that can be caught using the best catfish rigs. Catching them is simply a matter of putting a good bait in the right in front of them. Catfish

The Best Catfish Rigs

In-Fisherman - January 11, 2018

Catfish are simple creatures that can be caught using the best catfish rigs. Catching them is...

See More Stories

More Pike & Muskie



No one wants to travel to a big-pike nirvana and have to worry about catching fish. What if rules Pike & Muskie

Barbless Hooks for Healthier Pike

Doug Stange - April 15, 2018

No one wants to travel to a big-pike nirvana and have to worry about catching fish. What if...

Dramatic changes have reshaped Lake of the Woods. Pike & Muskie

Lake of the Woods Muskie Trends, Tactics & Threats

Cory Schmidt - September 26, 2019

Dramatic changes have reshaped Lake of the Woods.

When it comes to a natural presentation for pike, nothing rivals livebait rigging. Even under Pike & Muskie

Catching Late Summer Pike on Livebait

Steve Ryan - August 01, 2018

When it comes to a natural presentation for pike, nothing rivals livebait rigging. Even under

See More Pike & Muskie

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.