Coarse Fishing

Pike fishing tips

Pike - fish of finest design.


Pike fishing has always been a challenge for any angler. The growing popularity of this sport can be ascribed to pike's undisputed reputation of a voracious predator and the fact that it is one of the most widespread freshwater fish spreading throughout northern Europe and North America.  Here is a brief guide with the basic things you need to know when pike fishing.
First of all, the matter that requires a special attention is the equipment necessary for pike fishing.
Essential pike fishing tackle is: wire traces, 15lb reel line, forceps (for removing hooks), small bolt cutters - pliers, large knotless landing net and unhooking mat.

Wire trace is the key to successful pike fishing. Even small pike are capable of cutting though ordinary line using their razor-sharp teeth. That's why it is essential to use a wire trace at least 45cm (18in) long and not lighter than 30lb breaking strain when you are lure or bait fishing.
Unhooking the pike, sometimes, can be a bit of a problem. You should always treat the fish with confidence. Place the fish on unhooking mat or other soft surface such as soft grass etc. Fish should be turned on its back. Try to put your finger/fingers under a gill plate. While doing this, be careful of the position of the hooks and also pike's teeth. Anglers often use gloves in these situations. Once you insert the fingers under a gill plate, lift the fish in order to open its mouth. Use pliers or forceps to remove the hooks. Some anglers unhook pike in the water which, in the warmers months, is the safest option for the fish. The use of traces with barbless hooks available in most tackle shops will enable you to unhook the fish quickly. If you have problems removing the hooks, ask for help from another angler. You can cut the hook up and remove it in more pieces. Make sure the fish is fully recovered and can support itself when you put it back in the water because pike do not cope well when being kept out of the water for too long.

Pike spawn in the early spring. By the time the traditional pike fishing season starts in October till March, the fish have a chance to recover from spawning and from being in the warm water with depleted oxygen levels in the summer months. Most anglers only target pike from October to March but pike are very active during the warmer months as well.

Lure fishing using spinners, plugs and spoons is more pike-friendly and the only accepted method of pike fishing during the warmers months.
Spoons are really all-round lure very effective in both; deep and shallow waters.
Plugs are used to cover a large area above the weed line. It is used with waters to 10ft. Spinners are convenient and suit all waters because of the wide range of different weights and sizes available on the market.
There are a few things crucial for successful pike fishing using lures. First of all, choose the right lure to suit the water; consider the presence of weed beds and rocks, colour etc. to lure the pike's natural diet of perch, bream, roach and even pike. Cover the water in a systematic way, all the depths, especially shallow areas which can be exceptionally productive.
It is very important to begin retrieving your spinner as soon as the lure has hit the water and retrieve the lure at a steady pace.

Live bait fishing
Pike fishing using live bait is really old school technique and one of the best ways to catch a pike. The right choice of live bait is crucial when pike fishing because there is a variety of live bait coming in different shapes and sizes, ranging from small fish to insects. The size of the bait depends on the size of the pike you target. Minnows ad other small baits are the perfect bait for smaller pike. If you fish on a large lake, it is more likely that there are larger pike and, therefore, a larger live bait fish is needed. Being such a voracious eater, pike would not resist to dace, chub, roach, gudgeon, perch etc.

Hooking these live bait fish can be achieved in three basic ways.
1. Through the mouth: insert the hook through the lower lip and then through the upper lip. This will enable the fish to swim forward and look natural. The only thing you should have in mind is that the bait fish will eventually die because hooking through the lips will stop the water from circulating into the gills.
2. Through the back: insert the hook through the back of the bait fish beneath or in front of the dorsal fin. Be careful not to slide the hook though the spine of the bait fish because if the hook is pierced through the meaty part of the back, the bait fish will live longer.
3. Though the tail:  insert the hook tip through the meaty part of the tail. This will allow the bait fish to swim freely.
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