PIKE season is in full swing and now we will be having many more blogs by the Pike Anglers Club, to reflect the seasonal interest in the species.
Angler’s Mail magazine also now has extra pike fishing coverage, including the weekly Pike Scene columns with Mark Barrett, Steve Rowley and Andy Black. It pays to subscribe to the mag to get it in print and now digitally for no extra cost!
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LOCATING BIG PIKE ON GRAVEL PITS
by Alan Dudhill,general secretary, Pike Anglers’ Club of Great Britain
UNDERSTANDING what prey the pike prefer, seasonal variations, migration of prey fish and feeding habits is only one aspect of successful pike angling, but a very important one.
Combine this with local knowledge of a water, a little water craft, a good dose of luck and an even bigger dose of effort and you’ll soon be catching more pike on a regular basis. Your chances of catching big pike will also greatly improve.
We are surrounded by gravel pits, which have been left as a result of local mineral extraction. These are littered with underwater features and once mature can produce huge fish of all species, pike included.
Mapping the topography of a pit is essential to locate features which may hold pike. The bottom will be uneven and irregular with plateaus, deep drop-offs, holes, channels and shallows. Plotting the position of these features is the key to success.
Channels between shallower areas or islands can be real ‘hot spots’ on all gravel pits. Prey fish can easily be ambushed in such channels and pike often herd huge shoals of prey fish into these areas in the winter to feed on at will.
Roach often migrate to deeper water in the winter and the pike will not be far away so it’s important to know water depths throughout the pit.
Plotting features can be very difficult and time consuming but the time spent doing this will greatly improve your understanding of the water and the increased catch rate will make it all worthwhile. If you have several hundred pounds to spend on a bait boat equipped with echo sounder, plotting the main features can be done quickly and accurately.
If, like me, you can’t afford one, traditional methods of plumbing will have to do. Sketch a plan of the water and mark this up as you go along.
You may well be surprised at your findings and your patience and hard work will pay dividends in the end and greatly reduce the amount of time sat waiting for a run in the cold of winter.
Do the ground work, find the key features, put in sufficient hours on the bank and you’ll get results.
For tips on the safe handling and unhooking of pike, and much more, visit the PAC website.
Better still, join the PAC online and help fight to preserve our sport for future generations.
CAUGHT A GOOD ONE? Report your pike catches exclusively to the best fishing magazine, Angler’s Mail. Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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