Pike Fishing Techniques
Here we have a list of what I believe are crucial pike fishing techniques and tips for lure fishing to help you get more fish on the bank. Obviously, everyone has their own tips and techniques on how to catch a pike, and these ones of mine certainly don’t guarantee a fish. But these are handy tips that have proven successful time and time again for me, and hopefully will help you as well.
Buy Several Colours of Your Favourite Lure
When buying your lures, If, you end up with a favourite one it’s well worth buying it in several colours. As a general rule, in murky water, or overcast days it is advisable to use a nice bright pattern such as a ‘Firetiger’. Whereas if it’s clear water and/or a bright day, get a natural pattern on your line, the Pike shouldn’t have any problems seeing it.
Search for Features
Pike prefer to ambush their prey, they don’t like to chase around to much if they can help it. Especially in the colder months when they don’t want to use up too much energy. For this reason, they will be lurking amongst reeds, overhanging branches snags, and such. These places are always worth a cast.
Cover Plenty of Water
Whilst casting, cover as much water as possible. It’s not a bad idea to work your rod in a fan shape. From left to right or vice versa. Once you have covered all the water in front of you, then move on and keep repeating until you find the Fish.
Think About the Retrieve
Don’t just chuck your lure out, think about the retrieve, a good tip is to use your lure in shallow water, and study how it moves under different speeds and retrieves. In the Summer retrieve your lures shallow & get deeper if you get no takes. In winter retrieve deep & get shallower if no takes. This is because generally in the warmer months the fish tend to hang around in the shallower warmer water. In the winter the shallows are colder so the fish tend to head for the deeper holes.
Whilst retrieving your lure it is worth always imagining a Pike is following it. It’s all too easy to get a bit lazy and just reel it straight in. Jig it about a bit, try to entice the Pike to strike. The more you mimic a dying fish the better.
Big is Sometimes Better
Again in the cold winter months, a lot of Anglers believe that the bigger the lure the better. There are two reasons for this. One is that the Pike is very territorial and will see the lure as a threat and will attack it. The second reason is that in the colder months the Pike is preserving energy. Basically meaning the fish isn’t going to risk using up a lot of energy going after a small meal. The bigger the prey the more energy the Pike can take in.
Always Use a Trace
It goes without saying that Pike have got large sharp teeth. For that reason when piking always make sure you are using a wire trace.
Too often I have seen pike with trebles and line caught up in their jaws. It surprises me how many people still don’t bother with traces.
So please get yourself some decent traces if you haven’t already.
Don’t Use Big Barbs
I personally don’t like having trebles full of barbs. It can end up a messy affair, especially in the landing net. To overcome this, crush your barbs or swap for barbless or semi-barbless hooks. It is also worth buying a rubberised landing net.
Rubberised landing nets are a great investment. You can now get them in all shapes and sizes and there are some great ones out there for lure fishing. Get a nice light one that folds down nicely and you won’t regret it.
Try Fishing at Different Depths
Always fish at different depths and with different retrieves before moving on from a swim. This way it is possible to cover a lot more water. One day the fish could be on the bottom, the next day they could be mid-water, so you need to cover all angles to enhance your chance of catching.
If you are fishing a large area of water such as a reservoir, a Deeper Pro Plus could help you in sussing out the depths of water.
Top tip: Keep your soft lures in separate containers. They can have a chemical reaction when mixed together and can cause a melting effect.
Spend Time Finding the Baitfish (a Good Pike Fishing Technique)
As with all lure fishing, it will always boost your chances of finding the Pike if you can locate the Baitfish. Look out for signs such as Fish topping. Cormorants, Grebes, Kingfishers, and Heron all feed on Baitfish, so it’s worth keeping an eye on where they are feeding.
Big Is Sometimes Better
In the cold winter months, a lot of Anglers believe that the bigger the lure the better. There are two reasons for this. One is that the Pike are very territorial and will see the lure as a threat and will attack it. The second reason is that in the colder months the Pike is preserving energy. Basically meaning the fish isn’t going to risk using up a lot of energy going after a small meal. The bigger the prey the more energy the Pike can take in.
Slow Your Retrieve in the Colder Months
A lot of dedicated lure Anglers will fish all through the winter months for the Pike. One of the best Pike fishing tips for winter lure fishing is to slow your retrieve right down. In general, the fish are more lethargic when it’s cold and don’t want to use up all their energy chasing prey around. So keep the retrieve nice and slow with plenty of pauses.
Don’t Ignore the Margins
When you’re out on the bank, as with all predator fishing, never ignore the margins. A lot of the time Pike will be waiting to ambush in the undergrowth. Every time I move swims I do my first cast in the nearside margin, in case I end up spooking any Fish underfoot.
Dusk and Dawn are Usually Very Productive
Most Anglers firmly believe that the best times for chucking your lure are around dawn and dusk. If you can, don’t ignore these times of the day.
These times are usually when the predators are at their most active. Get out there, throw some lures about and see for yourself.
Learn the limitations of your lures and when you have them sussed, use the right Lure in the right situations and you will not go far wrong. Youtube has a great selection of lure fishing tutorials. I hope these pike fishing techniques and tips will put more Pike on the bank for you.
Top tip: In the winter months slow the retrieve right down to almost a standstill, remember less is more.