1. Don’t Bottom Out
Pike are active predators with upward looking eyes and a preference to strike from below, so why on earth do most anglers only use dead baits on the bottom?
Popped up baits are one answer, or better still try suspending your offerings in midwater. This can be far more effective for patrolling pike. You can also use any breeze to tow or drift baits, searching out far more water than you would otherwise. Trotting is also excellent on rivers.
2. Wobbling Works
Good old fashioned sink and draw style fishing is excellent for big, wary pike that have seen every lure and bait in the book. Coarse baits are king, but don’t be afraid to fish them really slowly. Unlike with lures you can even stop the bait dead still when a pike follows.
My new book ‘Tangles with Pike’ has further wobbling tactics and a really smart sink and draw rig to try.
3. Groundbaiting for Pike?
Criminally underused but highly effective, groundbaiting is excellent for pike. Pick a fishmeal type mix and introduce either through a feeder or simply ball it in; whether the pike themselves or their prey take notice first, it can really bring a swim to life.
On coloured waters where pike rely on smell rather than sight it can be an especially good way boost your results. In my own experiments on muddy rivers for example, a feeder rig has received double the number of takes compared to a straight lead.
It’s also worth a go on clear venues such as drains and cold canals however, but I’d switch to liquidized bread. This is a cheap way to get prey fish piling into your swim, and the pike won’t take long to attack.
4. The Power of One
If your fishing feels rather cold and stationary, why not leave the chair at home on your next trip? Grab just one rod and some essentials and you’ll find wobbling, lure or fly fishing excellent fun and low on boredom.
Far from catching less with just a single rod, a light roving approach will often win you more fish, as well as taking you to those hot spots lazy anglers never reach. The more you search, the more you’ll find.
5. Cut down on Trebles
Lures or rigs with multiple treble hooks are not great for pike, landing nets or indeed clothing. Single hook jigs and flies are much kinder on the pike, while baits can be mounted on just one treble or hair rigged on a large single hook. Experiment with alternatives and you’ll be doing yourself as well as the pike a favour.
6. Antisocial Hours
You might prefer to be tucked up in bed, but the best time to fish for pike is so often the dawn. You might shiver a little setting up in the dark, but that first hour of light might be worth several hours of daylight put together. For those with work or family commitments this is also an excellent way to buy you a couple of hours fishing while everyone else is asleep.
Dom Garnett’s new book represents a brilliant and eye-opening selection of stories and articles guaranteed to entertain and inspire your own fishing. Featuring stunning photography and great writing, it’s the ideal Christmas gift for any keen predator fisherman.
It is available in hardback (£15) HERE and Amazon sell a Kindle edition.