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  1. #1


    Anyone seen some comments made, alledgely, by Matt Hayes, about Fly fishers for Pike being responsible for the decline of Pike in trout waters. I no longer buy any of the angling papers so I haven't seen it myself. Any views on the subject?

  2. #2
    Gary Knowles Guest


    Although I don't want to critisise what other people do. I personally am not a big fan of pike fishing in summer. They really do give their all and being quite a fragile fish take some time to recover.

    I think (I've only looked breifly at the article) Matt was talking about fishing for them on quite light gear in summer and hence prolonging the fight.

    If this is so then i would tend to agree, but as we all cause some distress to our quarry its only a matter of to what degree, so I wouldn't condem anyone for doing this - I just wouldn't do it myself.

    Besides, I'm too busy with bream, tench and barbel in summer !

  3. #3
    David Will Guest


    It has been suggested this is why Grafham has been poor.It doesn't help when the likes of Bob Church fishes for Pike with nylon leaders.An unusually clear gravel pit near me has been caned for two seasons summers by lure anglers it has gone from a superb winter Pike venue to a very poor one.

  4. #4


    Thanks for coming back on this. Gary, what you say is valid, if indeed light tackle is being used. Rods are now built for the job and are pretty powerful, but I suppose some may just use their normal trout gear. David, is this a fact about Bob Church? or was he trout fishing and just happened to hook a pike? When he fished the Pike Fly competition he was certainly using a wire trace, so why wouldn't he use one again, if indeed he was Piking?
    Ref. Grafham's poor results, I find it hard to believe that this is all down to Pike Fly fishers! Hardly anyone fishes it for pike with a fly! Perhaps it was the caning it took from a few Fish mongers last year, who not only fished it with fly tackle, but killed all they caught for resale to Hotels and restuarants. At least 1 Thirty and several twenties, plus quite a few Zander disappeared down this route. This has hopefully been stopped by AW bringing in bag and size limits. All of this on top of years of abuse by the netting teams.
    Rutland has been fly fished a bit more than Grafham, but the results of my friends who do it are about 1 Pike every 10 hours. Hardly a case of pressuring the Pike population, more likely a case of pressuring the Fly fisher.
    I think Matt needs to look elsewhere for his causes, namely the practise of going ashore and subjecting the fish to "just one more from the other side" plus the obvious recaptures. Look at Llandegfedd, what's happened to the catch rate there? I bet no ones fly fishing for them there!
    Chew has been Fly fished all this season for Pike, how come there are any left if what Matt says is correct?
    Interesting isn't it!

  5. #5
    Rob Brownfield Guest


    Arrghhh..Blood boiling now! I have fly fished for Pike for many years now so i think I can speak with some authority on the matter.

    To say a fly fisherman is ruining the Pike sport on reservoirs is utter ****! My fly rod is a 10 weight purpose built thing. It will subdue a double quicker than my Amourphous Pike rods!! Unfortuantly, some anglers do fish for Pike using 6 weight trout rods, and I have always been against this practice, but I have seen many, many "Pike" anglers using just as unsuitable "Pike" rods and poor bite indication!

    Now, I lure fish, i make my own jerkbaits, I have been Jerkbaiting for at least 4 years now...regularly..and i can tell u for a FACT that it is these methods on the Trout waters that are slowing the sport down.

    How? Because Pike wise up to bloody great fluorecent Jerkbaits very quickly. Infact, any large lure. Read any book dedicated to lures and it will state that after a bit of pressure (such as several weeks of intense lure fishing on the reservoir Pike Trials!!) the Pike start to look at smaller, more delicate lures. Its happened on my local water! Over the past 2 seasons the pike have got increasingly finicky and now only hit small plugs, the Jerkbaits being almost useless now.

    Look at the methods being used on the reservoirs at the momnet. Large lures, jerkbaits, large rubber grubs etc in outrageous colours. The Pike aint stupid u know! conclusion, using the correct gear, matched to single, barbless hooks and a wire trace is no different to any other pike methods EXCEPT that there is FAR LESS damaged to the Pike, the hook is almost invariably in the scissors and only requires a quick shake with the pliers to remove it and that i truely belive that large lures with large hooks and intense pressure from large groups of Pikers over a few weeks are to blame for the slowing down of sport. We all know Pike thrive on neglect...increase the pressure and they naturally melt away. They are still there...just not so stupid!

    As for Bob Church fishing without a wire trace...I believe it was either Grafham or Rutland had banned wire traces when fly fishing to stop anglers blatently fishing for the Pike (not allowed u see)

  6. #6
    Gary Knowles Guest


    Correct Rob.

    There is fly gear available that is up to the job of pike fishing. What I was refering to was the guys who still use a weight 6 or 7 reservoir fly rod attach a wire trace and away they go.

    Any big summer pike landed on that gear is going to be well and truly knackered !

  7. #7
    Chris Bishop Guest


    This was the leader column in last week's AT, which was guested by matt hayes for some reason.

    I didn't agree with the idea that fly anglers are responsible. As Rob says a fly is far less likely to damage a fish than a big jerkbait with 3/0 hooks, or even a pair of size 6's stuck in an unattended deadbait.

    There are issues about all-year-round fishing. You have to face up to the fact they're getting it 12 months solid on some waters.

  8. #8
    Chris Bishop Guest


    In similar vein, what about Des Taylor's Livebait Ban - It's What Cheats Deserve... piece in today's AT..?

    I've got a video somewhere of Des Piking at Linear. He has a load of live koi carp in a bait cage.

    I'm certain there is an innocent explanation for this.

  9. #9
    Rob Brownfield Guest


    Gary..I agree entirely.

    At the end of the day, ANY inadequate gear could lead to problems, but Flyfishing has been singled out several times by big names as being a cause for poor winter fishing. i am sorry, but I am not going to take the blame for that one.

    I know for a fact both Hayes and Taylor have fished for summer pike using lures...i have seen the videos and read the articles. Also, both dont have any "guilt" when it comes to fishing for spawn bound females in Scotland, the Baltic or wherever come spring time (Old close season) when i am sure this would do much greater harm to a Pike than being played, handled well, and returned in the summer when they are at the peak of there fitnes.

  10. #10


    One other thing that may well put the Pike off at these trout venues is the very fact that Matt Hayes and friends [alledgedly] get to try out these venues prior to ordinary fee paying Piker. As Rob says Pike soon wise up to Lures, it has happened since Rutland first opened in Oct. 1982. The first few days were great, but after that it was a struggle. Same the next year and ever since. Get on early and you are in with a chance, conditions allowing.
    I must admit I had not heard of a wire trace ban at Grafham or Rutland. That makes me a naughty boy! Shame.


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