How to catch large pike on order? Mick Brown owes his success to baiting with pieces of fish.
Changes, that have happened in recent years 15 years in carp fishing have been revolutionary. As a result, anglers are now catching more and more fish and ever larger specimens. Some carp are that big, that sometime, even in the wildest dreams, it was hard to imagine defeating such a fish. So far, the hair leaders have contributed the most to the current image of carp fishing, self-cutting kits and protein balls.
I am watching all this progress with quite mixed feelings. Suddenly it turned out, that even anglers with little experience can enjoy the joy of fishing today, even beginners. Unfortunately, I don't see a single reason, for which these colleagues would have to deny themselves this. On the other hand, I wonder, did all these improvements somehow distort the essence of fishing itself, If catching a wonderfully large fish is so easy today, whether or not it diminishes the achieved success?
I naturally began to wonder, Is it not possible to achieve better results in catching pike in a similar way?. I have been catching these predators for over thirty years and I have no major problems catching a few nice esoxes in the season. Everything is just a matter of time. Unfortunately, no one has too much time. After all, there is a family, there are friends and you will probably admit it yourself, that fishing should not obscure the whole world.
I asked myself a question: is there a way, to catch big pikes often. and at the same time not devote all your free time to it?
Before that, I assumed, that such a thing is possible. And it turned out, that the solution to this problem is clearly visible, and only for various reasons did I not allow myself to think, that such a "modification can be made” in fishing. I mean deliberately attracted pike. Anglers who deliberately attract pike and thus become successful are not heard very often. Neville Fickling, famous English pike hunter, he had already experimented many years ago with attracting these predators.
And although in good faith he later published the results of his observations, only a few anglers appreciated them and used them in practice.
Baiting is a recipe for success and applies to every species of fish caught. We can only count on good results then, when we lure regularly and over a long period of time. First, however, we need to develop a careful plan of action. A long-term strategy is essential, so that the baiting of the pike results in regular and sure bites.
Attract according to plan
Neville Fickling was attracting the pikes with a scientist's accuracy. After seeing the results of his experiments, I made a plan, which in my opinion had a real chance of implementation. When choosing a fishery, I decided to go small, 25-hectare lake, in which I could fish calmly and freely experiment with “meat groundbait”. Only occasionally other anglers appeared at this lake and they were mostly spinning anglers. Rarely anyone managed to catch a bigger pike in it. In this basin, the shores were difficult to access, while fishing from the boat was prohibited. I confess honestly, that it didn't make my job any easier.
The assumptions of my plan were very simple – I wanted to lure all the big pikes from the whole lake to a selected place near the shore and get them used to a specific type of food. By eliminating the long wait for a bite, I was hoping, that the time of effective fishing will be significantly reduced, and that was what I really cared about. I started the whole project in the early fall. I decided to entice for two and a half months, and only then to fish. Going fishing (to other fisheries) I always drove to the lake for a while, in which I was conducting my experiment. The enticing never lasted more than a few minutes.
Mostly I was enticing twice a week, two kilos of fish each time, thanks to which pike almost always found food lying on the bottom. The predators also had plenty of time, to get used to the food offered to them and learn, that they are not in any danger because of it. Big pikes are very comfortable. It is for sure, and they eat it most willingly, which is the easiest to get at the moment. The predator only needs to pick up a dead fish from the bottom, while alive, it must first “wait”, and then still hunt. According to my theory, having enough dead fish pieces lying at the bottom would be effective in holding back large ones, lazy pike in one place.
But before I started in earnest, the "bait campaign."”, I had to answer three for myself, what important questions – how much groundbait, where and when should I throw it into the water?
The number of dead bait fish depended only on the number of pikes in the lake. The tank I selected was not one of the easiest to catch, that is why large pikes rarely fell prey to anglers. There were a lot of pike weighing less than two kilograms in this water, but only, at least that's what I estimated, 10-15 predators could have a mass of over 8 Kg (the lake was not very big). All big pikes (those weighing over 8 Kg), I remind you once again, that these are only my estimates, together weighed approx 100 Kg, Pike of this size eat four times as many fish as they weigh each year, Only then do they grow normally. So my big pikes needed approx 400 kg of food, In order to get the predators accustomed to the chosen place, I decided to "feed."” one third of the mass of the planned groundbait and only then start fishing. I assumed, that pike eat 50 percentage of their annual nutritional requirements in the first three months immediately after spawning, 10 percentage during the summer months (July, August September), while the others 40 percentage mainly in autumn and partly in winter.
I started enticing in mid-September. On the last day of November, I was fishing for the first time. By then, I had used approx 50 kg of dead fish. However, I must add, that during these two and a half months I had the impression many times, that everything, what I'm doing doesn't make any sense, that this is just an unnecessary waste of time. I was wondering, for example, do I attract in sufficient quantities, that pike give up hunting for live fish, am I laying out the groundbait in the right place? Or maybe I only fed cormorants and grebes? These and similar questions tormented me throughout the preparation of the fishery.
Ditch with pike
Place, in which I decided to present groundbait. I chose very carefully. Riding a boat on the lake was not forbidden, so I was able to use the fishfinder without any problems. This reservoir turned out to be quite shallow (usually up to two meters deep). However, I managed to find three places with a depth of three to four meters. The two deep holes were quite small, while the third was shaped like a narrow gutter with a length of over 100 meters. This gutter stretched for a dozen or so meters along the shore covered with a fairly wide strip of reeds. There was definitely big pikes there, if only for this reason, that in late autumn, in deeper places, general cargo also accumulates. This place was perfect for creating an attractive fishery of toothed predators.
However, it was impossible to fish there from the shore, and from the boat, as I already mentioned, Fishing was forbidden. It cost me almost a full day of work, but finally I cut a corridor in the reed belt. In this place, fishing was quite difficult and in fact only possible with trouser boots. I do not hide, that was fine with me, because such a handicap effectively discouraged other anglers from fishing in this place.
You are probably curious and would like to know, what exactly I was enticing. Well, I only attracted small pieces of fish, because I was careful, that it will take longer for pike to collect the groundbait lying on the bottom, and thus will stay in this place longer. The whole fish, especially greater, a predator could simply grab it in its mouth and swim away with it. In my fishing freezer I always kept "old" lures, it is at least once used when catching dead fish. After thawing again and cutting them into pieces, they were perfect for baiting pike. I got the rest of the dead fish for groundbait from my friends (I asked them, so that they do not throw away used lures). I cut each acquired fish into pieces ranging in length from 5 into 10 cm and put it in the water always in the same place on a not too large surface. Mostly they were pieces of mackerel and herring, although quite often I also attracted with cut white fish. The hour of the great hunting has finally come. With rather mixed feelings, I cast two fishing rods with bits of dead fish on the treble hooks. It was freezing, a quiet and slightly cloudy afternoon on the last day of November.
I had a bite almost immediately and after quite an exciting fight I picked up an eight-kilogram pike in great condition. But the story – in a lake, in which it was rarely possible to catch anything with a dead fish, this result was really remarkable. I carefully measured and weighed my prey, and then released it back into the water. I decided not to tempt fate that day anymore, for I was happy to catch such a beautiful fish anyway. The pike was thick and relatively short, that is, as not complaining about the lack of food pike from trout lakes. A few days later I had some free time again and went straight away to check my bait spot again. That December afternoon I had such a wonderful fishing adventure, that I am so speechless, to describe it all exactly. Six strikes, one by one, and the big pikes themselves! He had almost the largest predator 10 Kg. At some point I decided to stop fishing, because I felt, that if it goes on like this. soon my super hunting ground will be exploited once and for all. Besides, it stopped giving me pleasure anymore – catching another fish was too easy! I had barely had time to drop it, and the next pike was already taking me. The predators took the bait without any suspicion, and it was impressive, that they were just waiting, for their food to fall straight from heaven.
A typical English pike with a weight 10 kg is well over a meter long. The biggest predator from the fish caught by me “great sixes” only had 90 cm in length and should normally be approx 7 Kg. This fish had a very drooping belly, and the pieces of mackerel could be clearly felt through the abdominal wall, tempted the day before.
Now I knew, that my theory was correct. I managed to "create" a very good pike fishery, but how long will my happiness last? This lake was located near my home and that is why I wanted to keep this fishery as long as possible. So I decided to catch at most two pike and take at least two days off after each fishing trip. Throughout December until the end of the season, how many times I went to my lake for pike, every time I was catching a large predator. Over time, I became so confident in my successes, that I had my camera ready before I even cast my fishing rods. If two lures were too close to each other on the bottom, it happened to me several times, that one pike was swallowing both pieces of dead fish before I could hook. But what not to say, it is extremely enjoyable – cast the line and wait, what kind of pike will take this time. With so many pike caught, I have learned to recognize individuals over time. Especially two esoxes were taking me quite regularly. I had an impression, that they reigned supreme in the entire immediate vicinity (after all, the island occurrence of pike is absolutely natural). One of the predators was well over 9 Kg, the second almost 11 Kg. The bigger pike had only 95 cm in length. Once, I had already caught it with a fishing rod before I even started baiting. This fish was only then 8.1 Kg. For several months of regular "feeding”, the already remarkable pike quickly gained weight and became an impressive specimen. Each time all pike caught for the next time in a row were slightly larger, and sometimes they gained weight at an impressive rate.
Lots of specimens
I only caught many pikes once, and then I never saw them again. I was afraid, that catching too many pike in one day could consequently harm my entire annual “productivity”. Experienced anglers learn quickly and are becoming more and more cautious. I had to force myself, to control the "fever" of fishing.
It was amazing, that little pike took almost no pike. Only at the end of December I caught a few medium-sized fish. These fish were also very fatty. The pike I caught were too thick at first glance. I have never seen such beautiful fish in any of the known to me, good pike fisheries.
I caught it by the end of the season 11 various pikes weighing over 7 Kg. I used to travel enormous distances and pay astronomical amounts for this, to be able to catch similar sized pike. And here it turned out, that in no time, almost free, I managed to "create" a pike fishery a few kilometers from home. After implementing the first part of the plan, I drew conclusions: thanks to the right baiting you can catch almost all large pikes from a medium lake in one season. The fed pike gain weight and even at the end of December they are in excellent condition.
Some might be wondering, or because of this, that suddenly I started catching big pikes on a regular basis, I have no less pleasure in fishing? Fortunately, it's not that bad. I am dreaming of, trying out some other new ideas, which I came up with while experimenting with baiting big pikes…
On the fish head
The author does not use whole dead fish to catch pike. He believes, that pieces of fish are much more effective. On the hook (anchor system) puts on a little bit bigger than these, which he tempted. The head parts of the fish proved to be extremely effective (also marine). Perhaps this is due to the optical influence of the lure's eyes on the pike. Thanks to the use of a system with two hooks (one hooked on the upper lip, the second one is impaled at the base of the dorsal fin) even a very quick jam is possible. Empty strikes are extremely rare.
The lake has since 1,5 into 2,5 meter deep. Only in three places is it a little deeper. The author managed to locate a 100-meter-long trench with a depth of up to 4 meters. The small picture shows the cross-section of the baited fishery.