PIKE season is in full swing and large reservoirs can be the best places to head for for the biggest fish. Here Alan Dudhill of the Pike Anglers’ Club of Great Britain gives you top pike fishing tips.
LARGE reservoirs have a reputation for producing some truly enormous pike.
Due to their expanse, depth and lack of obvious features, these are also the hardest waters to master.
Few anglers have great success on such waters but for those who specialise in fishing them, the rewards can be great.
Gord Burton, ‘The Piking Pirate’, is one such angler who has dedicated many years to these daunting waters and had more success than most.
For those who are thinking of having a go at a reservoir, you will probably be going afloat and may have the advantage of a sonar to help find underwater features.
There are many aspects to fishing these waters, whether from bank or boat so I’ve covered only the very basics here.
How to locate big pike
Stick to the shallower waters, bays and obvious features such as the dam wall or areas around any other structures.
Don’t ignore the margins though. Many big pike have been caught within a few feet of the bank on huge reservoirs. The surrounding topography may give you an idea of the likely depth and gradient in the margins.
Use watercraft to locate prey fish. Grebes and cormorants often give away the location of fish shoals. Again, find the prey fish and you’ll find the pike.
Best tactics to try
Deep diving lures or trolled baits will allow you to cover large areas from a boat.
Statics from the bank can also give results, particularly if you can find a drop-off or channel to fish to.
Autumn and early winter are good times to find pike feeding on young fry in the shallows and margins.
Once the temperature falls, the prey fish will head for the deeper water and cover of the dam wall.
Large pike will head for the shallow spawning grounds from around the end of February. Find these areas and, as with smaller waters, you could be in for the catch of a lifetime.
CAUGHT A GOOD ONE? Report your pike catches exclusively to the best weekly fishing magazine, Angler’s Mail. Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org