Pike fishing season officially kicks off on the 1st October. If you’re an experienced angler, think of this blog as a way of brushing up on your pike knowledge. For recent enthusiasts, it’s a great opportunity to learn all about one of the UK’s most popular coarse fish. Not only will you learn the best ways to catch pike, you’ll learn how to do so safely and responsibly.
Want to reel in a predator? Start by finding their prey. Roach and bream are common prey for pike, so they’re never too far away from where these fish gather. If you see them in shallow waters, check any nearby drop offs. Pike will wait in these deeper waters for the perfect time to strike. Pay attention to waters with a lot of weed growth. They provide pike with great camouflage when hunting their prey.
Weather is also an important factor for pike. Their prey will shoal together in deeper waters in cold conditions, in search of a more constant temperature. October shouldn’t present too much difficulty. However, in November and December, anglers should be looking in waters that are at least six to fifteen feet deep.
One tip for locating pike that many anglers aren’t aware of is the presence of grebes. These birds eat many of the same species of fish favoured by pike. So if a grebe is diving into waters to snatch roach or bream, pike shouldn’t be much further away.
One of the most important pieces of gear is a wire trace. Pike have incredibly sharp teeth. Monofilament or braided lines don’t stand a chance, regardless of how heavy they are. A great product to use is Drennan’s Esox Super Trace Pike Wire.
Pike are strong fish, so your rod needs power to match. If you’re new to pike fishing, the ideal rod length is approximately 8 foot. Try the Shimano Yasei Red AX Spinning Pike Lure Rod. It has a casting weight of 20 to 60 grams. This means you can use it with almost any standard pike lure and a range of general purpose lures.
In terms of bait, deadbaits such as mackerel and herring are great for catching pike. Using deadbaits has particular benefits in winter months. The colder temperature of the water means a pike’s metabolism is slower. This means they’re less likely to chase livebaits. Pike are highly visual and scent-based in their pursuit of prey. Therefore, the addition of bait liquids is sure to boost your chances of a catch. We sell a wide range of bait liquids, from brands including Korda, Sticky Baits and Mainline Baits.
Another valuable tool is a pair of long pliers, for removing hooks safely. These Greys Prowla Long Nose Pilers are ideal, with a long reach of 12 inches.
Pike are much more delicate than they look. Therefore any responsible angler should have the right unhooking equipment. They should also practice catch and release techniques. To safely unhook a pike, you first should place them on an unhooking mat. We recommend this padded unhooking mat from Savage Gear. The pike should be turned on its back, then you can place your fingers under its gill plate. Open the pike’s jaws, which you can usually do by lifting the pike’s head. Once you do this, you can remove the hooks with your pliers.