Tuesday 19 September 2023

Swamp Pike

As you can imagine I've really been looking forward to this trip, and a highlight was going to be spending a day in the boat searching for a swamp pike - perhaps a bit of a long shot - but a day in the swamp!

The target was a chain pickerel (esox niger), and hopefully some bowfin (also known as mud pike) while we were searching - links go to Wikipedia. Could we find a pickerel, a real species of esox?

Gear was an ultra-light 4' spinning rod, 4lb mono and a beetle spin lure. There was a obstacle though - the swamp was full of aligators - you had to get the fish in the boat very, very quickly!

We had a bowfin within half an hour - and right on cue a large aligator appeared and headed for the boat! Quickly netted, Paulos slammed the boat in gear and we made our escape.

A few casts later I hit a pickerel - and it shook the hook - gutted! We fished on, avoiding the gators, landing 14 bowfin - including a real monster. But with a storm looming we were running out of time...

Another chance came - but I knocked it off the hook in my rush to land it before became a snack - arggh! But then magic happened - I got one. Never have I been so pleased to land a mini-pike!!

As the storm arrived we raced for the dock - and I trolled the lure behind the boat on the way in. Yup - another one on the last cast... What a brilliant, brilliant day! Nice one Paulos!!

A bowfin - one of 14 of the day.

Monster bowfin - fantastic!

Pibb Xtra - for xtra concentration...

Where are you?

F*ck Yeah - a swamp pike!!

Last cast - pissing rain - lightning - aligators - number 2 - delighted!


  1. Amazing, well done!! Incidentally what's your pb Alligator??

    1. Cheers, really wanted another variety of esox, nope, not going to try and collect them all (although I will try for an esox masquinongy at some stage). I’ve avoided adding a PB alligator so far - and hopefully will continue to do so!