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The Ultimate Guide to Canal Pike Fishing: How to Find and Catch Them Using Lures

Introduction: Exploring Canal Pike Fishing

Canals can often be a great location for targeting pike on lues. With their deep and slow-moving waters, canals are often home to some hefty pike that can be caught using a variety of techniques. Lure fishing for pike is a popular and exciting way to catch these predatory fish, as pike are known to be aggressive and will often strike at a well-presented lure. With the right equipment and technique, catching pike on lures can be a thrilling and rewarding experience for any angler.

Image credit: @Perchsearcher

Understanding the Habits and Behaviour of Canal Pike

Canals offer a unique environment for pike, and understanding their behaviour in this habitat can be essential for successful fishing. Canal pike tend to favour areas with structure, such as weed beds, drop-offs, and bridge pilings. Their movement patterns in canals can vary depending on factors like water temperature, weather, time of day and time of year. As ambush predators, pike will often lie in wait near cover and strike at passing prey. Their feeding patterns can also change throughout the year, with different types of prey being more prevalent in different seasons. By learning more about canal pike behaviour and habitat, anglers can improve their chances of a successful catch.

Selecting the Right Lures for Canal Pike Fishing

When it comes to canal pike fishing, choosing the right lure can make all the difference. The right lure can increase your chances of catching a pike, while the wrong one can leave you empty-handed. So, what are the top pike lures for canals? It’s important to note that pike are known to be aggressive predators and will often strike at anything that catches their eye. 

However, certain lures have proven to be more effective than others. 

Choosing the Right Colour for Canal Pike Fishing

One important factor to consider when choosing a lure for canal pike fishing is the colour. The colour of the lure can play a big role in attracting the pike’s attention, especially in dark and murky canals. Some effective lure colours for canal pike include bright green, orange, chartreuse, and yellow. These colours are known to be eye-catching and can make your lure stand out in the water, increasing your chances of getting a bite.

Image credit: @Fishing.With.George

Choosing the Right Type of Lure for Canal Pike Fishing

Another essential factor to consider is the type of lure. There are many types of lures to choose from, including spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and soft plastics. Spinnerbaits are a popular choice for canal pike fishing because they create a lot of vibration in the water, which can attract the pike’s attention. Crankbaits are also effective because they mimic the movements of a wounded fish, which can trigger the pike’s predatory instincts. Soft plastics are another 

great option because they can be rigged in different ways to imitate live bait, making them more appealing to the pike. 

Going armed with a variety of lure styles will always be an advantage as it means you can switch from one type of lure to another allowing you to figure out what is the most effective on any given day.

Three of Our Favourite Lures for Catching Canal Pike

We have compiled a list of our team’s top picks for lures that are effective in catching canal pike while lure fishing. These lures have been selected for their versatility, allowing you to fish in various ways such as slowly on the bottom, quickly with lots of vibration, or even on the surface with occasional pauses.

Z-Man Project Z Chatterbait

The Project Z ChatterBait by Z-Man is a top-of-the-line bladed swim jig designed for avid anglers worldwide. The streamlined head design allows the blade to swing freely, resulting in more vibration making this the perfect lure for fishing in clear or murky canal water. You can also add a trailer to this lure such as a smaller shad style lure with a paddle tail to emit even more action. 

Fox Zander Pro Shad

The tail of the shad has been cleverly designed to produce a natural lure movement, which wobbles slightly from side to side. The shape of the tail helps to eliminate the risk of over-stretching when fishing the shad or in fast-moving water. The shad is made of an extremely robust rubber mixture, which makes its lifespan five times longer. Additionally, the shad produces a high-frequency vibration around itself that is very attractive to pike, perch and zander.

Berkley Zilla Swimmer

The Zilla Swim is a swimbait consisting of four pieces that has an exceptionally natural and subtle action. It displays a beautiful S-curve when retrieved slowly or quickly. You can use the Klip Lok system to present this bait in deeper water if necessary but due to its natural slow-sinking properties, this lure is brilliant for fishing in shallow canals, over and around weed.

Techniques and Tips for Finding Canal Pike Hotspots

If you’re planning to fish for canal pike, it’s important to locate the most productive areas for fishing. Canal pike are known to gather in specific areas, including deeper pools, near weed beds, lock gates, and along drop-offs. Find these areas and you can almost guarantee a pike will not be far away.

There are several ways you can find these areas, By far the quickest and the easiest is using your eyes. Structures such as lock gates, weed beds and where two canals merge are all worth targeting. You could also use a fish finder – such as a Deeper Smart Sonar to check out what’s happening underwater. Rather than using it to look for fish, it’s wiser to use it to search for underwater drop-offs, hidden structures and snags. 

Image credit: @Perchsearcher

Once you’ve located a productive area, you’ll need to read the water to identify specific spots where the fish are likely to be found. This involves paying attention to the movement of the water, the depth, and the presence of structures such as rocks, logs or vegetation. Canal pike are ambush predators and will often hide in cover waiting for prey to swim by, so look for areas that provide cover and structure.

By taking the time to locate productive areas and reading the water for specific spots, you can greatly increase your chances of a successful canal pike fishing trip.

Presenting Lures to Tempt Canal Pike

Selecting the appropriate retrieve technique can make all the difference in catching pikes. It’s important to understand the different techniques available and choose the one that is best suited for the particular situation. Additionally, working lures effectively is crucial for attracting fish. 

Knowing the right speed, depth, and pattern of movement can help increase the chances of a successful catch. Varying your retrieval speed and ‘working the water column’ allows you to not only search through layers of water but also work out if the pike are up for a chase or are taking an almost static lure. 

Image credit: @Perchsearcher

Conclusion: Mastering the Art of Catching Canal Pike on Lures

Fishing for predatory fish, particularly pike, on canals may seem like a daunting task, but it is not much different from fishing for pike on rivers or drains. In fact, if you live near a canal, it is worth exploring the waters to see what kind of fish species might be lurking beneath the depths. Canals provide a unique environment for fish, with plenty of structures and hiding places for them to thrive. With a bit of research, you might just find the right spot and potentially land a catch of a lifetime.

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Steve Evans
Steve Evans

Founder & Chief Editor of Predator Fishing World. Steve has been predator fishing for well over a decade and has amassed a deep knowledge base to share with you.