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Chasin` Pike on the Passaic

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This has been one of my newer Adventures…… Pike Fishin` in my kayak on the Passaic River.
After scoutin` around the Summit area every now & then on my lunch-breaks, and marking some places that look very promising on a map of the river, I grabbed my gear, loaded up my `Yak and headed into Summit one Saturday morning at daybreak.
I managed to land four beautiful Northern Pike which included this one that came in just shy of nine pounds.
I`ve worked for the Douglas Auto Group since 2005 and have often pondered about fishin` right here in Summit……. I`d say my hunch paid off!
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My Step-Father and I used to go to up to Canada to catch Northern Pike…….
So being able to catch fish like these right here in New Jersey, is absolutely perfect!
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Had this beautiful Mink swim past my `Yak while Pike fishin` in the Passaic!
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And sometimes ya get a little(or alot!) muddy!
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But my favorite type of weather to fish in is a nice rainy day……
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As I landed this beauty on that type of rainy day! A 35″ 9.5lb. Northern Pike on the Passaic River in the Great Swamp!
*Note – All Northern Pike below were caught in the Passaic River.
I find Pike fishing in NJ challenging, especially when fishing out of my `Yak. Quite frankly, most places where I Pike fish, can only be accessed by a canoe or kayak. Working the river around debris & fallen trees, then ultimately hooking into a nice size Northern Pike will definitely stir excitement in your veins! 

24 thoughts on “Chasin` Pike on the Passaic”

  1. Hi Ken,
    My son is doing a science experiment this summer, testing the water quality of the Passaic river. He was thinking of testing the water at the Northern pike stocking locations as shown on a map online. If these spots were too hard to access, we were just thinking of finding about 4 access points and testing the water quality. Our first really easy spot spot is behind the Environmental center in Roseland. Can you recommend to us places to get to the water? Do you eat the pike you catch? Online literature about the river suggests the water is really polluted and not to eat fish from the river. Is the stocked Pike ok to eat? Thank you, Barbara

    1. Hello Barbara,
      Thank you very much for checking out my site and posting a couple questions.
      Well since you`ve got one spot already, I`ll give you three very accessible spots. Stanley Park in Chatham has very easy parking/access. Then shoot over to Basking Ridge, the Dead River meets the Passaic River right after it flows under King George Road in Basking Ridge by the Exxon station. This is right near Exit 36 on Route 78. The third place that has easy access would be further down-river….. Pio Costa Enterprises, here`s the address: 1275 Bloomfield Ave, Fairfield, NJ 07004. Plenty of parking and again, very easy access to the river. Now to answer your question, “Do you eat the pike that you catch?”…… I do not. While I have eaten plenty of Northern Pike from Canada, I do not eat anything out of the Passaic River. The further down-river you go, the “dirtier” the water gets and there are signs way down river(no where near where I`m sending you), posted warning not to eat the fish from the river. While the pike do indeed look very healthy, I choose not too eat these “River Wolfs” from the Passaic. I enjoy practicing C-C and R….. “Catch, Click and Release” with the Pike that I catch.
      Let me know if I can help you with any other information.

      Thanks a lot,

      Ken-

  2. Hey love your YouTube videos. I was wondering where I can drop in my yak and catch some pike. I usually only bass fish so any tips on what to use for pike lures? Thanks a lot, Matt.

    1. Hiya Matt – Ahhhhhhhh there`s a lot of places to drop that Yak,……. Head on out to Twin Bridges in Fairfield.
      As for lures, I use spinner-baits, Bombers & I`ll throw a #5 Gold Mepps every now & then. Get out there & have a go at it!
      Good luck!
      Ken-

      1. Hi. I was also looking for a spot to catch pike. I have never caught them before, but i really want and i have no sense of where anything is on the river. Do you know a really good spot i can go to to catch some. Thank you.

        1. Hi Jonah – Well…… just about anywhere on the Passaic River is good for those Northern Pike. Elmwood Park is a nice area, but like I said, anywhere can be good…….. You have to get out there and scout around a bit. I would Google Passaic River Map to get some ideas as to where to launch a kayak or go after them on foot Jonah. You have to put some time in though to catch a Pike or two my friend! Good luck!
          Ken-

  3. Hey Ken,

    Came across your site while researching spots along the Passaic for pike fishing. Looking to take my son on his first fishing trip and wanted to make sure we make the most of our day. We’ll be fishing along the shoreline since we don’t have access to kayaks. I’m wondering if you know of any places that are fairly accessible and have a decent chance of catching some pike. Thanks for the advice.

    – J

    1. Hiya J –
      I would recommend headin` over to Pio Costa, it`s an industrial park on Rte. 46 in Fairfield. Good shore-line access and I would bring a nice big can of corn also. The Carp are huge down that way and a blast to catch too! Just Google Pio Costa to see where this is at. Now if ya wanted rent a couple `Yaks, my friends over at Andover Hunt & Fish do rent kayaks. Here`s their site; http://www.andoverhuntandfish.com/ and tell them I sent you there and they`ll set you up. Let me know how you make out. Good luck!
      Ken-

  4. Ken, have you ever been fishing in Elmwood Park across from the High School? I live in Clifton please let me know some good places to put my kayak in. Thanks.

  5. Ken not sure if my last comment posted I was wondering if you changed your Technique in the cooler months fish slower or change to live bait as opposed to lures. I’ve been fishing for Pike on the Passaic River for the last 3 years had some luck and I’ve seen a few River Monsters but had not been able to snag them most of the time I spend Channel catfishing . I am fortunate enough to live right by a stocking area and have a lot of shore access to the Passaic River.

    1. Hiya Vince – I do tend to slow down my retrieve a bit in the colder months. Nothing drastic, just a little bit. As for bait vs. lures, when it comes to pike fishin` I only use lures year `round. Never used bait…… might be fun though! If ya ever want to get together somewhere up in your neck of the woods(river), I`d be into helping you out with those River Monsters. Just let me know.
      Thanks!

      Ken-

      1. Sounds like it would be fun I’ve noticed with this heat wave they have slowed down where I fish I had a monster take a lure while I was bass fishing I didn’t bother setting the hook because within seconds the line was flapping in the Wind his teeth cut right through it 14 pound line I didn’t have a wire leader because I was not fishing for pike at that time but I’ve noticed this big guy hangs out in this one area he must own that part of the river since it’s got hot I have not seen him and I’ve been throwing every lawyer you could imagine at him stuff he hasn’t seen before

          1. Little Falls,I fish from Roseland down to woodland park off the shore line some spots I drop a row boat in.

          2. Hey Vince – I`ve never fished around Roseland…….. I`m always up for checkin` out new territory though. Let me know if ya wanna get together.

  6. Hey Ken i live in Gillette. You pulled up to my house almost 2 years ago asking about parking in my neighborhood (passaic river is right down the street) anyway finally caught the Pike bug and just started fishing it. Hopefully im successful! Great website thanks

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Out & about in the New Jersey Wilderness