it is odd but there are times where these fall pike key in on things that are very different than normal table fare. We were in northern minnesota just last week in voyagers national park. At times we could even see the pike and we would throw everything we had at them with not even a flinch, I finally stumbled on a presentation that shocked me. I was using a 3/8 ounce multi colored gumball jig and night crawler. once I hit the pattern it was a hoot, caught many fish Just short of the 30 inch limit (only one over that) and had may hit the jig and spit it at the boat, this was not limited to smaller pike. Had one in the high 40's to the boat but could not get a net around him, ( being geared for walleyes with 8lb. test and no leader it was hard to land anything over 35 but we managed a few, biggest was 42). the rest of the week was a hoot, never knew what you were going to bring up from the depths, caught everything on the same rig, walleye, perch, bass, suckers, even a couple of large lake sturgeon, one 60 inches.
This lake is so over run with forage that at times you have to give them an alternative, we saw plenty of minnows, and leeches through the lake, swimming just feet below the surface even in 80 ft of water, some of those leeches were 15 inches long ( never saw anything like that before, like watching eels swim by the boat.)
we have caught several fish on chunks of deer meat as well during this time of year, who would have known.