Pike fishing is challenging for even the most experienced angler. But the exhilaration of catching this sharp tooth predator is too much to resist. Read our guide below to find out more about these impressive fish and how best to catch them.
What are pike?
Pike, or Esox Lucius, is a carnivorous fish that tends to live in fresh waters in the Northern Hemisphere. They can grow to an exceptionally large size, with the average length of a pike being between 40-55cm. There have been reports of some pike growing up to a massive 150cm long and weighing over 25kg, but this is rare.
The pike has a mouth full of sharp teeth which can cause a lot of damage to the unsuspecting angler’s fingers. When hooked, they are energetic and will fight hard and can tire out inexperienced anglers very quickly.
When is pike season?
Typically, pike season runs from October to arch every year.
Best bait to catch pike
When fishing for pike, you can choose either real fish (dead or alive) or imitation baits that fool them into thinking they are a small fish.
Anecdotally, it has been suggested by experienced anglers that using artificial baits will attract pike in greater numbers, while using real fish (dead or alive) will attract the larger fish.
Fishing for pike is not easy and requires specialist equipment to deal with these strong fish. This equipment includes:
Rod and reels
Pike are notoriously dogged fighters when they are on the line, and at weights of 30lbs and over, you’re going to need a powerful set up, regardless of which method of fishing you’re using.
Long nosed forceps are great for removing embedded hooks from pike. You want to keep your fingers as far away from those teeth as possible. Look for something around 12 inches long that you can use to slide up through the gills or down their mouths to release them.
A standard landing net is not going to cut it, you need a larger triangular net that lets you safely contain the pike when lifting it out of the water.
Whether you are using lure or real bait fishing techniques, you’ll need to use a wire tract of at least 10 inches long. Pike teeth will easily cut their way through braided hook lengths and monofilaments.
You are going to need a mainline that can stand up to a pike. If you’re fishing with a mono mainline, then look at something with a 12-15lm breaking staring. If you are prepared to use braid, up the breaking strain to 30.
First aid kit
Accidents happen to everyone from time to time. Having a first aid kit with you is a smart move, especially if you are fishing for pike. Stock it with antiseptic wipes, gauze, tissues, and plasters so that you can treat any cuts and bites straight away.