Friday 26 October 2018

Dawn Raid

On the ponds waiting for first light - time to find the morning pike feeding spell, and I made my first cast at 7.30am. Exciting stuff, but the excitement wore off as the lures were repeatedly ignored...

First take was over two hours later, I lost a pike about 8lb on a Mepps. Next take was at midday but again it spat a plug this time - I was out of time and hadn’t found the morning pike time...

You can’t draw any conclusions from one trip, there might have been any number of factors (including a frost the night before). More research required - so more pike fishing to be done - love it!

Monday 22 October 2018

Go Big. Or Go Home!

I’m very impressed with the thru line pike - so I've bought his big brother... The first was 8" long and weighs 2⅓oz - that was a big lure - until I met his brother, 12" long and weighs 7oz!

It’s designed for trawling but I wondered if could I cast it? I tested casting in a field - didn’t want to crack off a £10 lure to go fishing on its own! I think with a shock leader the answer is yes.

It’s exactly the same size and shape as the mini-jacks the cannibals are feeding on, bit dark in colour but they seem to lighten as they get fished/chomped - had to resist a chuck without a shock leader...

I’ve had five pike on junior now, looking forward to trying to get one on senior. SG do have an 18” version (4D range that don’t look as good in the water) but I’d probably need a beach caster and a run-up!

Friday 19 October 2018

The Big Bite Theory

You can catch pike anytime of the day or night, but they definitely have distinct feeding spells when your swim suddenly comes to life, I’ve noticed it pike fishing full days on The Wye with my brother and while out on the boat with James.

Nothing for hours then 3 or 4 pike in quick succession - have they suddenly moved in or were they there all the time? I have a theory they switch on about 3 hours before sunset and actively hunt for about 2 hours, completing their hunt an hour before dark.

Getting a few pike on the scorecard recently, and photographing every one for my 50 Pike Challenge I’m going back over the time stamp on my camera and seeing how accurate my theory is. I mostly just fish in the afternoon, so not a full picture but it’s a start.

Obviously there are lots of other factors; conditions, venues, time of year etc. But it would be great to work out even a rough Pike Time, where you stand the best chance of getting a run. So I need to collect more stats... A great excuse for more pike fishing!

Edit: I've added the first 40 pike above - time before sunset. So now I’m going to do some dawn raids to see if the graph is the same in the morning! Probably proving what any fisherman with a couple of seasons under their belt knows - dawn & dusk are best times to fish!

Wednesday 17 October 2018


My fascination with pike began long before I ever caught one, as a five or six year old I’d regularly quiz my Dad about them; how many teeth have they got? how long do they live?

I remember him telling me they are cannibals - pike eat pike - for some reason I found this new fact even more fascinating - I had to meet this fish! BTW: 300+ teeth, lifespan of 8-12 years.

After stumbling on a pike nursery a week or so ago, the thought of catching a cannibal hasn’t been far from my mind. I’m not prepared to use a jack for bait - but I’m all about lure fishing at the moment.

I tried my giant pike pattern plug, it fishes great at a depth of 5-6 foot - but here it’s only 1-3 foot deep and I had to fish it too fast. I had a look around and settled on a Savage Gear 3D pike.

It’s worth shopping around, got it online for six quid - bargain! I was worried it was designed to catch anglers rather than fish - until I saw it in action - a thing of beauty in the water!

Right on the limit of my light lure rod I gave it a test. I fished it slow, watching the line for signs of a take - I needn’t have worried - 4 takes and the pike hit it like a train, all taking line off the drag on the hit!

I have never had takes like it, but I need to scale up the gear - unable to set the hook on two takes! But I did get a couple of cannibals on the scorecard - love it - tell the 5 year old me!!

So going to scale the gear up; much heavier rod, multiplier, 20-30lb line. And I’m looking at pike pattern lures all over You Tube, I’d like to roll this out across all the (less snaggy) pike waters I fish...

Monday 15 October 2018

Show & Tell - Lures

Really enjoying this lure fishing lark, and putting a few pike on Pike Blog! As my favourite lures change over time I thought I’d put the ones that are currently collecting scars here...

Savage Gear 4Play: slow sinking but I normally fish them just under the surface, fairly slowly - you can even stop them and they still get hit. The bleak pattern has taken a serious beating!

Bomber: first one was sent to me from the States by my brother, fishes 3-4 feet deep and moves like a fish (not the wiggling snake action lots of lures have). Battered and brand new above.

Storm Curl Tail: fairly cheap and great over snags and weed with the hook facing up. And the perch and pike love them, I wonder how many of these I’ve used to destruction!

Mepps: the old classic, pretty much unchanged since 1938! Great mid-water down to dragging bottom. I like the silver and blue ones best - and always ones with spots (even if I add them myself).

Jitterbug: another classic, and to be honest they really have to be in the mood to hit these - worth the effort though as the takes are spectacular! That’s my current go-to lures - what did I miss?

Friday 12 October 2018

Small World

Having explored the small ponds I’ve landed over 20 pike and seen a lot of follows, no doubles landed and only one scrapper double spotted. I was hoping there might be a forgotten monster lurking about but I’m starting to think this is as big as they get.

It’s great fun catching them on lures - and who knows, perhaps there is still a big girl waiting to be found. I’ll keep coming back, it’s going to be a refuge from the winter floods - but it’s time to start researching some new venues - as well as visit some old favourites.

Wednesday 10 October 2018

Micro Pike

With the pike proving elusive - we weren’t even sure there were any in this pond - me and Richard had scaled are lures right down and were hitting a few perch. Love the action of these Storm curl tails.

Then Richard landed a micro pike, and within half an hour we’d had two each and lost another two - we had stumbled onto a pike nursery! Were there bigger pike here eating them?

The answer came when a double appeared from nowhere and sucked up my tiny lure, thrashing about on the surface she quickly shed my hook - cr*p - about 12lb - first chance this season to bag a double!

The micro pike had vanished but I did land this larger jack (easily big enough to eat the micro pike). It got me thinking; I’ve got a few pike-pattern lures at home - they’ll be going for a swim next time...

Monday 8 October 2018

Vanishing Act

The days are still clinging onto summer but the nights are getting colder. A quick mission to the river searching the gravels with polaroids for barbel - and they have vanished...

It seems to happen this time every year, they move off the shallows and find the deeper water ready for the colder months. I only spotted three - fortunately convincing two of them to take a bait - result!

Friday 5 October 2018

Back To The Pike Ponds

Waiting on a river permit it was back to the ponds, a late start and the wind was a pain, I still fancied adding a few more pike to the opening week... And I lost 3 pike before landing the jack above.

Next up was this nine pounder, I’ve checked the photos and it’s a recapture of the 9lb 10oz pike from a few days ago - I don’t want to see you again until February when you’re a double!

And after remarking what great condition the pike were in for the time of year - I had a really long skinny pike - still fought like a nutter, just needs to eat a few more bream.

My mate Richard rounded off the short trip with the jack above - on a wobbled deadbait. Good work, but surely you’re holding that fish backwards! They all face left on here!!

Wednesday 3 October 2018

Pike Time

Opening day, a new venue and a trip into the unknown - I’d heard there were pike here but didn’t know if they were here in any numbers and had no idea of potential size - exciting stuff...

Time to pack light - just half a dozen of my favourite lures and go for a wander, a quick chuck in likely spots before moving on. Second or third spot I had the jack above, my pike season had started...

The next take was so savage it broke the lure..!

Another jack but they’re really up for a fight...

Mini-pike, good news for the future (unless grandma spots him)...

Best of the day at 9lb 10oz, nearly a new venue double...

And pike number six to round off a fantastic afternoon.