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Pike fishing on Bala - advice?


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I’m taking my two eldest sons pike fishing on Bala in a few weeks. I’m not an angler but they are very keen despite their young age. We will be fishing from a canoe, with life jackets (not buoyancy aids) and a flare gun in case of disaster. Does anyone have any tips? 

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1 minute ago, WalkedUp said:

I’m taking my two eldest sons pike fishing on Bala in a few weeks. I’m not an angler but they are very keen despite their young age. We will be fishing from a canoe, with life jackets (not buoyancy aids) and a flare gun in case of disaster. Does anyone have any tips? 

Take someone who knows what to do? would any of the members of the expedition have been pike fishing before? If not, I'd say cancel the trip. Pike are sharp, snappy, angry but also very delicate creatures. they're tricky to hold at the best of times and doing things in a canoe makes the show a whole level up in complicated! When are you going?

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My brother and brother in law are very keen fishermen. They will be there but they aren’t interested in pike. Our family summer holiday is in 3 weeks - to Bala due to Covid but I’m pretty excited by it. I’d happily just fish for minnows if the pike are too tricky/dangerous. 

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27 minutes ago, WalkedUp said:

My brother and brother in law are very keen fishermen. They will be there but they aren’t interested in pike. Our family summer holiday is in 3 weeks - to Bala due to Covid but I’m pretty excited by it. I’d happily just fish for minnows if the pike are too tricky/dangerous

Bala's got some serious (non-pike) fish in it. I think it's got a superb stock of perch in there. Small jigs with some soft plastics on worked from a canoe could be a great way to catch them. 

Pike are really delicate and can be prone to damage of the gill rakers. If they take a lure or a bait aggressively, then getting hooks in gill rakers can be fatal to the fish as that's how they take in oxygen. Have a good read of the Pike Anglers' Club guidelines for pike fishing. It might help you make a decision as to whether you're happy to take them

http://www.pikeanglersclub.co.uk/aboutpac/handlingcode.htm

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You could bank fish the 'Outflow' which flows out of Llyn tegid (Bala Lake), a good few coarse fish and some good pike along that stretch. £5 per day adult and £2.50 junior. I was in Bala Anglers for around 10 years but purely fished for grayling. A good friend used to fish for pike every now and then on the outflow and had some 'monsters' over the years. Bala lake has a fish in it that is not found in any other lake it is called the Gwyniad, I lived in hope that one day I may have caught one but never a 'snifter!'

Do not be fooled by the water temperature in the Lake, I swam it end to end last year  at the beginning of June and the water was a 'Barmy' 12 degrees 🥶 Out in the middle and around the side it can get very choppy. The water is black.deep and cold!

https://www.balaangling.co.uk/page2.html

Great that you are getting your sons out and post up how you get on.

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As said, best to keep it simple. Short spinning rod and a lure. Potentially catch anything from perch to pike to trout. I would flatten off the barbs to make unhoooking easier. Keep your gear to a minimum and watch the kids don’t get excited and rush to one side of the canoe to see what you’ve caught

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I hope you all enjoy your holiday. I suspect that you might have one or two challenges to overcome but some research on unhooking fish on you tube will at least give you a start - everyone unhooked their first pike once upon a time. In any case holiday challenges are character building and can be the source for much exaggerated tale telling later on.

When I landed about my hundreth pike, at just over 17lbs - I thought I knew what I was doing by then and so the temptation to grab a short pair of forceps to 'just' nip out the one part of a treble that was just hanging on to the scissors overcame me - the pike flicked his head at the movement or the pressure which resulted in a painless  incision down to the bone of my index finger by one of its long side teeth. This required 2 trips to hospital as they treated it as a dog bite, washed it out with hydroxide then left it open for 2 days to make sure there was no infection The second trip resulted in 14 micro stitches to close the wound and a 1 inch scar. which reminds me to this day not to get complacent - I purchased the longest set of forceps that I could  

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