Does anyone have any suggestions or preference? Is trolling a better tactic than jigging? Locating them when they're deeper is much more of a challenge.
Deep water pike takes a lot more time and patience but you can catch some monsters. The biggest pike will actually go deep to feed on Trout. While the shallower pike will feed on Walleye, Bass or even smaller Pike, Trout contain more oil and give the pike a much more satisfying meal. But you're right, you can't cast for deep pike.
From my opinion, you can troll with down riggers, much like you would for salmon or lake trout or you can do some vertical lure jigging. There's good techniques for this. Just be ready to set that hook HARD!!!! The strike is a sideways or t-bone hit. It's a BIG SMASH. Be ready.
Because the hit is so hard and so is the hook set, short stiff rods might snap. You'll need something a little longer for this type of fishing. Try a 7 to 8 foot rod (musky rods are great). Down deep the pike are bigger too. Sometimes in the 30lb range. 60 to 80lb braid is what you'll want with heavy lures.
Gord Wallace -
How deep have you caught Northerns? I fish in Northern Minnesota in May, and there aren't many Northerns above the 30" mark in the bays or the mouth by then. Any idea how deep I need to go?
If the wind is blowing over 10mph I like to drift with blue gills as bait. I have a spot where it goes from 15ft to 35ft and then back up to 15ft. I use in-line sinkers and have blue gills hooked through the nose. I have had great luck getting pike this way. The baits are dropped anywhere from 15ft to 25ft.