As Mr. Bill stated- depends on where "up North" means.
My .02 for some basic guidelines to target them specifically would be:
7-8' M/H or H pole, 6-12" steel or flouro leaders, 30-50lb braid line, large round baitcasting reel (not a bass reel).
Original 1oz. red/white or hammered nickel Daredevil spoons, or a 1oz. Johnson Minnow (gold), 1oz. spinners or bucktails in red/white, firetiger, black/orange have all produced well for me.
Jaw spreader, long nose pliers/hemostats, bolt cutters (for cutting hard to remove hooks), camera, fishing glove (to protect hand from potential gill plate cuts) if desired.
I've not fished live bait for pike, they always seem to readily eat lures whenever I fish for them. I'm sure others have different ideas.
And, these are just some guidlelines/basics to think of. NP in general will seem to eat just about anything that comes within striking distance of their mouth. Musky are a bit more wary...
FWIW- I caught a 22" pike a few days ago, on a 1/8 oz inline spinner with no leader and 6lb mono line while targeting smallies.
Good luck out there!
LIfe is short... fish naked and show off your pole!