1. NORTH DAKOTA
HOT SPOTS TO FISH: A perennial favorite in the Peace Garden State is Devils Lake, a vast (and expanding) inland sea of pike-angling opportunity near the town of the same name. Because of the lake’s size, you might have to roam around a bit.
BEST BAITS: Hit shallow areas near submerged trees, setting your baits within 4 feet of the bottom.
HOT SPOTS TO FISH: Hit Upper Red Lake along Highway 72 near Waskish. A large portion of Upper Red lies outside the Red Lake Indian Reservation and is open to the public.
BEST BAITS: The lake is shallow and weedy. Spread sucker-baited tip-ups over broad flats and along gentle breaks, 8 to 12 feet deep.
HOT SPOTS TO FISH: Explore the U.P. backwaters of the Menominee River from Norway to Carbondale.
BEST BAITS: Low angling pressure lets pike grow large, so bring big suckers for bait.
HOT SPOTS TO FISH: Pike grow fast on a diet of ciscoes at Lake Geneva, equidistant from Madison, Chicago and Milwaukee.
BEST BAITS: Lookfor trophies along steep breaks where ciscoes school. Live suckers draw bites.
5. SOUTH DAKOTA
HOT SPOTS TO FISH: The town of Arlington holds a pair of aces. Pike average almost 6 pounds at Whitewood Lake, and West 81 Lake is loaded with northerns that weigh in the double-digits.
BEST BAITS: Bigspoons are the ticket here.