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The best ways to catch northern pike

Updated on January 16, 2012

Many people think that fishing is a dull, boring and inactive sport however this is not always the case. Sitting on a river bank all day and chasing small fish is hardly physical, however fishing for pike is. Pike can grow exceptionally large, and specimens up to 25kg in weight and a metre and a half long have been recorded. If you want to catch a pike there are a few popular methods you can adopt.

Lure fishing

One of the most exciting ways of catching a pike is by lure fishing. Lures are pieces of metal, rubber or plastic on which some hooks are attached. The lure is cast in to the water and retrieved in a bid to entice a lurking pike. The lure is supposed to mimic a sick or injured fish.

There are several different types of lure available, including spinners, spoons, crank baits, plugs, poppers and surface lures. Each type of lure has its own particular use and is retrieved in a different way. If you walk in to any tackle shop there will be several lures of all different shapes and sizes and choosing one can be a real challenge. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what lure you choose as a pike will attack any type of lure if it is dragged past its nose.

Dead baiting

Dead baiting for pike involves using dead fish as bait. When choosing a dead bait you can use a fish native to the water, such as roach, rudd, carp etc. or you can use a sea fish, such as a mackerel or herring. You would think a native fish would be the best dead bait to use, however the sea fish generally catches more pike. Why is this? The answer is because sea fish are oily and leave a food trail for the pike to sniff out and follow.

Live baiting

Live baiting involves using a live fish on the hook in order to catch a pike. When using live bait there are certain precautions you should take to avoid any cross contamination and preserve the life of the bait.

Many people see impaling a live creature on to a hook in order to catch another live creature as cruel, and because of this many anglers refuse to use live bait to catch large pike.

Any other tips?

If you want to increase your success rate when catching large pike you need to do some research and the more you know the better. Knowledge is power and if you know things such as the location of pike, the types of water pike like to live in, the feeding habits of pike and the life cycle of pike you will be far better placed to catch them and you will see your success rate soar.


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