Most of my pike fishing is done with lures these days, they are just so convenient, neither you or your car ends up smelling of dead fish after a session and as far as I’m concerned that’s a good enough reason to stick with the lures!. For me, lure fishing is about searching out potential spots pike might be held up. It’s a very mobile approach and in a typical lure fishing session I’ll cover 3 or 4 different waters in the same day. This makes my sat nav extremely useful and I rely on this little gadget to get me around the north west from lake to lake with no fuss, if you’re an angler that visit’s a few different waters or travels any distance, a sat nav is a cracking device to have.
The first lake I visited was one of my old stomping grounds for carp, a nice Cheshire mere that also contains a few pike up to mid twenties. Most pike in this water are small I thought it might respond well to a lure fishing approach. The first swim I tried was one of the car park swims, I knew from previous experience that a few pike had been caught here in the past so I investigated the swim with a large mepps aglia spinner. I started off on the right hand side of the swim fishing shallow at first and moving slightly further left with each cast until I’d covered the swim in an arc.
Once I’d covered the swim I did the same again but I counted the spinner down a little to fish it at a different depth, I fished around the swim at all different depths but no takes where forthcoming so I had a wander round with my rod and decided to try near a set of lily pads as it seemed like an obvious ambush point for a predator like the pike.
I started again on the right of the swim but nothing happened until my mepps aglia got near to the pads. On my third retrieve a small pike had a snap at my spinner, I didn’t hook the fish but I caught site of a characteristic green flash of a pikes flank. Previous experience has taught me that I’d probably get a take next time the spinner went through the swim. The take didn’t come first time through the swim, it came on the second run through. As the lure came near the pads the pike grabbed it properly this time and I had a short battle with a jack that had no chance of getting away as I was using a 20lb wire trace and 30lb breaking strain power pro braided mainline. I placed the pike on my unhooking mat and used a pair of forceps to remove my spinner, the forceps are ideal for avoiding a pike’s sharp teeth and I’d recommend them to any budding pike angler. Once the spinner was removed I weighed the fish at 4lb and took a quick photo, even though it was small, it was still my first pike of the season.
I couldn’t get another bite after the small pike so I tried a change of tactics, I switched my mepps spinner for a spinnerbait and tried in amongst the dying lily pads themselves. Spinnerbaits are excellent for this type of fishing as they don’t get caught up easily. I was able to retrieve my lure through the pads in the hope of finding another pike. I did see one pike strike in the pads but it was in an inaccessible area that I couldn’t reach and there was no bites for me in the areas I could reach so I moved on.
The sat nav got me to my next lake in no time at all, I couldn’t fish this Shropshire mere without a sat nav because its in the middle of nowhere and very difficult to find. I’ve never known a county with so many single track roads as Shropshire!. The second lake was rumoured to hold a few pike but rumours were all I’d heard. There were a few carp anglers in residence on this lake so I had to give them a wide berth. You never can tell where carp anglers are actually casting too so as a general rule I won’t go within two swims of them. This didn’t leave me with much water, just the margins and a tasty looking set of snags that might hold a fish if I could get a lure close enough to them.
I started with a mepps spinner again working from right to left then I worked the swim again at different depths, I went through most lures and plugs I had but with no luck at all. I have a feeling I might get lucky on this lake but it will be on another day when the carp anglers aren’t around as they were occupying all the areas that contained lily pads and I reckon the pads would probably give me my best chance of a pike on this lake.
During the afternoon it had begun to rain lightly, it was that horrible drizzly type of rain and after an hour of standing out in it I was soaked so I quickly decided to call it a day rather than visit a third water. There will be plenty of time to catch more pike this winter so I headed home with just the one small jack to my credit but at least I was off the mark.