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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TOP TIPS TO LOCATE BIG PIKE
by Alan Dudhill, general secretary, Pike Anglers’ Club of Great Britain
TO CATCH big pike you’ve first got to locate them. Easier said than done on some waters, particularly the larger ones.
Many variable factors effect the location of big pike but a few factors remains the same; their primary objectives are survival, feeding and reproduction.
Once you understand a little about the pike’s objectives, you can apply this knowledge to the various water types to help locate the specimens.
Different types of water have their own unique features, which also has a bearing on feeding habits and location.
Seasonal variations also play a major role in the movement of prey and pike.
The experienced angler can exploit this information to his advantage.
As with all wild creatures, pike are instinctively cautious. Big pike have spent their entire lives avoiding being eaten by other predators from both above and below the water line.
For this reason, they remain cautious even when they reach a size where they are no longer on the menu.
A stealthy approach and a little patience will always improve catch rate but find the pike’s hiding places & catch rates will sour.
Unlike most fish who blow bubbles, disturb the bottom silt or roll on the surface, the pike rarely gives away it’s location when feeding.
For this reason it’s often easier to locate the pike‘s prey instead. Pike are rarely far from their next meal.
Knowing a little about the topography of a particular water may give clues to the whereabouts of prey fish shoals at particular times of the year & the pike won’t be far away.
When in a feeding frenzie the pike’s killer instinct kicks in and their caution all but disappears.
Relate this to fishing and it soon becomes clear why a water may appear to be devoid of feeding pike one day but the next day they will confidently pick up any bait offered to them.
Feeding pike are therefore not particularly difficult to catch so knowing where the prey fish are at a given time of the year will greatly improve the chances of catching.
The key to catching big pike on a regular basis is not only to be able to locate feeding areas but also to locate them when they are not actively feeding, but hiding away, waiting in ambush or laid up between meals.
Pike migrate to their chosen spawning grounds in the lead up to spawning, which takes place in March or April. Knowing these locations and the likely routes the pike will take can lead to huge hauls of fish.
This is where the angler’s understanding of the pike and it’s objectives pays dividends. Apply this knowledge & experience to the different types of water and your catch rate can only improve.
NEXT WEEK: A LOOK AT SEASONAL CHANGES IN LOCATING BIG PIKE.
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.
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