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Pike fishing


walshie
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The only pike I've ever caught was a little jack on maggots when I was fishing for roach. 

There's a massive lake up the road with some of the biggest pike in the country and a lot of double figure stuff and I fancy actually fishing for them.

Do people still use snap tackle and wire traces? I read only yesterday that tope fisherman now use heavy mono instead of wire and wondered if that applied to pike too.

I'll probably be float fishing deadbaits. Would a 2.75lb carp rod and a reel with 15lb line do the job?

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The advice I'm going to say is to pop along to this lake and speak to any pike anglers there, as I'm sure they'll offer specific advice on tackle and fishing for that actual lake. Also ask at your local tackle shop,,,, that should be a mine of advice and help for your requirements.

My personal needs for pike fishing was to get away with the lightest tackle possible, only use barbless or micro-barb [small 10/12's] hooks on supple wire traces [used to make my own] and be versatile/mobile during any sessions after old Esox 😊

Good luck 😉

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Wait till Autumn to fish with dead baits for the bigger fish would be my advice.

Great sport can be had fishing  lures on the surface in the summer months.

As for end tackle a wire trace is a must. Plenty of vids on YouTube etc👍

Edited by aga man
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I love my pike fishing, although for me it's all about the lures. The big debate isn't so much wire vs mono, it's wire vs fluorocarbon. Fluoro is supposed to have the same refractive qualities as water, make it almost invisible, but I'm not convinced it's worth the change. It will still cut through and you have to go so thick that I'm sure it's more visible than wire. It's even more critical with dead baiting, because the pike will have access to the bait longer before the strike, so definitely go wire.

Tope fishing is slightly different because of the use of circle hooks. the fish takes the bait and moves off, and you don't strike, you tighten down on the fish, which drags the hook out of the mouth and sticks in the scissors, meaning the trace is much less likely to come into contact with the bitey sharp bits. Pike fishing works differently, where the trace is actually inside the pike's mouth, particularly with dead baiting, so, it's a wire trace for me.

Your rod, rig and tactics sound spot on if you're dead baiting. A big ol' landing net and an unhooking mat, and back yourself up with some long nosed forceps. Watch a lot of videos of unhooking in the meantime, but the bigger the fish, the easier they are to unhook, so go big or go home ;)  If you have a mate who's experienced, take them along for the ride.

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2 minutes ago, chrisjpainter said:

I love my pike fishing, although for me it's all about the lures. The big debate isn't so much wire vs mono, it's wire vs fluorocarbon. Fluoro is supposed to have the same refractive qualities as water, make it almost invisible, but I'm not convinced it's worth the change. It will still cut through and you have to go so thick that I'm sure it's more visible than wire. It's even more critical with dead baiting, because the pike will have access to the bait longer before the strike, so definitely go wire.

Tope fishing is slightly different because of the use of circle hooks. the fish takes the bait and moves off, and you don't strike, you tighten down on the fish, which drags the hook out of the mouth and sticks in the scissors, meaning the trace is much less likely to come into contact with the bitey sharp bits. Pike fishing works differently, where the trace is actually inside the pike's mouth, particularly with dead baiting, so, it's a wire trace for me.

Your rod, rig and tactics sound spot on if you're dead baiting. A big ol' landing net and an unhooking mat, and back yourself up with some long nosed forceps. Watch a lot of videos of unhooking in the meantime, but the bigger the fish, the easier they are to unhook, so go big or go home   If you have a mate who's experienced, take them along for the ride.

Got the landing net, unhooking mat, forceps etc. Need to stock up on terminal tackle now. 👍

1 minute ago, Pangolin said:

 

Thanks. 👍

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Before you go I'd recommend you watch some video or read some articles on unhooking them!

 

The usual way is to put a hand under the gill cover on the bottom jaw as this opens the mouth. Dont use a gag. A set of 12" forceps a long set of wire cutters. Always use a trace and min 15lb mono mainline. When you get a run dont listen to the 'count to 10 before you strike' rubbish- strike straightaway and you'll avoid any deep unhooking. And barbless trebles are not only easier to unhook, but save your fingers getting frozen trying to get hooks out of nets in winter!

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12 minutes ago, gsalmons said:

Before you go I'd recommend you watch some video or read some articles on unhooking them!

 

The usual way is to put a hand under the gill cover on the bottom jaw as this opens the mouth. Dont use a gag. A set of 12" forceps a long set of wire cutters. Always use a trace and min 15lb mono mainline. When you get a run dont listen to the 'count to 10 before you strike' rubbish- strike straightaway and you'll avoid any deep unhooking. And barbless trebles are not only easier to unhook, but save your fingers getting frozen trying to get hooks out of nets in winter!

Spot on with everything, 

 

I cant believe you can still buy gags, braking teeth and damaging mouths on a Pike could be the death in the long run.

Strike early.  Many many moons ago i deep hooked a 12lb Pike from the Dove, i ended up killing it due to the gullet being ripped open, very upsetting and unforgettable. 

Barbless hooks  are far better for both you and the fish, Believe me, fishing on Loch Scur and and driving to Cavan Hospital and spending a couple of hours in Cavan A&E having what they called a digi block and my thumb cut open to remove a size 4 hook that had gone in the pad of my thumb to the nail. I gave the chap i was with a few choice words. i was helping him un-hook a small jack He was told to use barbless. 

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Hello, I use 15 llb line, but I use a dedicated pike rod, I never use snap tackle hooks any more, a single 4 sea hook de barbed , long trace, swivels, sea bait I fix on with small rubber band at tail, hook in head, bottom fish with sliding float, or long fat floater , small bubble type above float to keep line on surface,  don't forget a good leather glove in left hand if holding pike, and antiseptic lotion and plasters if you do get a graze on the skin, it can bleed a lot as a chemical given from pike will do this, good luck

Edited by oldypigeonpopper
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Largest I've had is 28lb.

I always use a wire trace between 12 & 18" long. Swivel at one end and depending on day, hook(s) crimped on business end. Snap swivel if lure fishing. I only use drennan wire and drennan crimps, not found anything else worthy of note, although of course opinions vary. 

I usually use a minimum of 10lb line, most often 12lb. I only use brand names like Maxima, Leeda or Drennen. Finding out your cheap chinese 15lb breaking strain line is only 4lb when a hard fighting tail walker is on is no good for the fish. I've never used braid but some of my friends swear by it, it being non stretch.

Almost any rod of 1 1/2lb test curve or above will be adequate but a decent reel is a must. Cheap reels can lock up under pressure and you may end up walking backwards and forwards with a siezed reel to play a fish you have little hope of landing.

Although it's popular to use a huge deep landing net, in reality a leather rigger type glove on the left hand is more practical and lift the Pike rather than let it roll in the net and the hooks become a tangled mess. 

I would also invest in a pair of 12" forceps, straight or curved for unhooking. A good pair of wire cutters too. Sometimes it's easier to cut the trace, then remove the hooks. Easy enough to re crimp later. Best the Pike goes back unharmed as they fight with everything they have till they give up. Exhausted Pike need rest and oxygen to recover.

Check your local by laws, not all waters allow live bait or bait brought from "other" waters.

I prefer sea baits, mackerel, herring, sometimes red snapper, all bought fresh from the local fishmongers. Not supermarket or prepackaged garbage. 

Good luck👍

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18 hours ago, chrisjpainter said:

I love my pike fishing, although for me it's all about the lures. The big debate isn't so much wire vs mono, it's wire vs fluorocarbon. Fluoro is supposed to have the same refractive qualities as water, make it almost invisible, but I'm not convinced it's worth the change. It will still cut through and you have to go so thick that I'm sure it's more visible than wire. It's even more critical with dead baiting, because the pike will have access to the bait longer before the strike, so definitely go wire.

Tope fishing is slightly different because of the use of circle hooks. the fish takes the bait and moves off, and you don't strike, you tighten down on the fish, which drags the hook out of the mouth and sticks in the scissors, meaning the trace is much less likely to come into contact with the bitey sharp bits. Pike fishing works differently, where the trace is actually inside the pike's mouth, particularly with dead baiting, so, it's a wire trace for me.

Your rod, rig and tactics sound spot on if you're dead baiting. A big ol' landing net and an unhooking mat, and back yourself up with some long nosed forceps. Watch a lot of videos of unhooking in the meantime, but the bigger the fish, the easier they are to unhook, so go big or go home   If you have a mate who's experienced, take them along for the ride.

This. 
 

Forget flourocarbon, to have a chance of being as resistant to teeth as wire it needs to be 0.6mm and higher and then it’s so stiff it offers poorer presentation and is still more likely to get bitten off. I use really heavy flourocarbon for sharks abroad as they won’t bite with heavy wire but they often bite through it. 

I have experimented with circles for pike but can’t get good presentation, they are good for zander with small baits but for pike small barbless trebles are the best  

pike as very fragile - get someone who knows what they are doing to show you how to handle them. 
 

Don’t fish deadbaits until the autumn - pike are too active at the moment and will become deeply hooked and likely die. Lure fishing is much more enjoyable anyway, especially on surface lures - not much more exciting than seeing a pike explode below a lure. 

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I had a 9lber the other week on a boilie, lightly hooked and it only slightly roughed up the stiff mono hooklink I was using.

Just to reinforce previous comments, I'm just relaying what I've been told by people who know the species:

One of the lads on the lake is a bit of a pike specialist, he is equipped with a set of stainless instruments akin to a small operating feature. He maintains that Pike are very fragile fish and must be handled with extreme care (he reckons 30-50% die after being caught on average in this country) and if you have to cut the trace with the hooks left in then the fish is almost certainly a goner.

I'm pretty sure he described inverting their stomach to remove the hooks and then resetting it on several occasions.

Personally if I was specifically targeting them with trebles I'd use barbless.

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Hello, many pike die due to taking a dead bait to deep in the gut if there's to much time given in the run off and stopping, it changes summer and winter, not easy to determine this hooking time but I hold the line so you can feel when it stops and turns the fish ready to swallow, don't always get it right so am happy to strike early and loose a fish, spinning a lure is 99 percent to got the hook place but I prefer watching  my float , there some big ones in the weirpool here but never seem to bother with my bait 🙄😁

Edited by oldypigeonpopper
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Also a reason for the decline in numbers of Pike are those that take them to eat.

Apparently in Eastern Europe, much like Carp they are regularly eaten. Much like Chicken to us.

Not racially posted, just a simple fact of life.

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1 hour ago, Centrepin said:

Also a reason for the decline in numbers of Pike are those that take them to eat.

Apparently in Eastern Europe, much like Carp they are regularly eaten. Much like Chicken to us.

Not racially posted, just a simple fact of life.

Hello, this is right, they take any fish having seen it myself on the Thames, years ago the French were doing the same in southern ireland taking 100s of pike

Edited by oldypigeonpopper
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3 hours ago, Centrepin said:

Also a reason for the decline in numbers of Pike are those that take them to eat.

Apparently in Eastern Europe, much like Carp they are regularly eaten. Much like Chicken to us.

Not racially posted, just a simple fact of life.

Not racist, just depressing. The Thames has lost a lot of decent fish because of this. Not just pike but carp and perch. Eventually the excuse 'oh I didn't know' is going to be ignored and people are going to start getting fined. But not now...it's never now. There's always some reason why they get away with it

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Here is a useful link to the Pike Anglers Club of Great Britain website:

https://pacgb.com/fishing-for-pike/

If your water is a Club water it may have specific Rules regarding tackle requirements and possibly a stipulation when pike are 'in season' and allowed to be fished for.

The normal considered 'season' for pike is from October 1st to 14th March inc.

What needs to be appreciated is that these fish may look fierce but are actually very delicate and succumb to bad angling and bad handling very easily. 

For a complete novice it would be better going with an experienced angler to show you the ropes particularly when it comes to unhooking.

Finally pike thrive on neglect so if you do strike it lucky do not post pictures etc all over FB etc. as you will quickly get a load of other anglers on your water which will result in the demise of you fishing.

I have fished for pike for years and seen good fishing ruined many times by anglers publishing their catches.

Rich

 

 

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