Wednesday, 28 October 2009


To be successful at this pike fishing lark you've basically got to fish where the fish are. That's easy enough to do, after all I do know where I can catch pike, but it's not really enough for me. From time to time I prefer to go pioneering, fishing new places in an attempt to discover pike that no-one else is targeting. This can pay off big-time on occasions. Neglected pike are both easy to catch and potentially big and I've had some good fish in the past by getting off the beaten track. It's a risky strategy however, most of the time an area can be devoid of pike anglers for a very good reason - the fishing's no good!

All of the piking I've been doing has been on rivers. We're having an unusually dry autumn and it's meant that the rivers have remained low and clear - just the kind of conditions I like. I've caught plenty of fish but so far the risk I've taken hasn't paid off - they've all been small.
Big fish aren't the be-all and end-all of pike fishing of course. I've really enjoyed finding these new places and some of them have been breathtakingly beautiful. What's more I've been catching on a wide range of methods with lures, livebaits and deadbaits all taking fish.

The baits have been mostly fished under a planerfloat and there is always a real sense of satisfaction in catching a pike on that method. Indeed I've had several fish on deadbaits fished that way - as opposed to the livebaits I usually use and this will give me the confidence to do that more in the future. Overall though I've caught more fish on lures than baits - and that's been on all four of the rivers I've fished.

Fishing lures on rivers is a risk in itself. Rivers are always full of snags - mostly branches brought down on a flood and losing lures in such places is an occupational hazard. I could, of course choose light lures which don't get down so deep or fish them on a quick retrieve to try and keep them out of the snags but that defeats the object really. Snags hold fish and if you want to catch consistently it's better to fish close to the snags - or right in them!

In order to keep my lures but still fish in amongst the snags I've been using a new trick that's proved very successful. I've replaced all the split rings on the hooks of my jerkbaits with Pro Rigger 50lb bs split rings. This means that every time I get snagged, a steady pull with 100lb Power Pro will break the split ring and leave the hook in the snag. It's working a treat, I've been snagged up lots of times but haven't lost a lure on a snag all season so far.

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