Great points all! Here's another tidbit that is part experience and part from others. I find that Pike are first in, in the spring. By in I mean up shallow, what say you?
I worked for John Propp, holder of six tippet class IGFA records for a year or two and knew him much longer and he'd always try and hit a really far north location, close to the NW territories, very early, as that's when he found those huge Pike up and hungry! That leads me to another as the "Northern" Pike got it's name for it's predilection for lakes and rivers, further north. Of course man got involved and stocked them here and there but with Pike and Tigers in large part, look for cooler waters just as the true Muskys will be found where/when it's warmer.