Pike (Esox lucius)
| Fact File: British Record 46lb 13oz (21.278kg)|
Captor: R. Lewis
Location: Llandegfedd, Wales
The Pike is a respected predator. A strong, streamlined, camouflaged body, combined with a veritable arsenal of teeth within it's elongated jaws. Add to that a sensory system consisting of the tactile pores on it's head and jaws, the lateral line and keen eyesight and you have the ultimate freshwater hunter. Pike live almost exclusively on fish but tales are abound of Moorhens and ducklings disappearing from the surface of known haunts. It can be found in stillwaters, canals and slow-flowing rivers where it can attain a length of 1.5m and can weigh over 20kgs. In Europe, the Pike has been known to reach weights up to 35kg.
Pike are solitary and hunt their prey by lying in wait or stealthily moving around searching for the sick or wounded. Once ready to strike it thrusts itself forward with the aid of it's closely grouped dorsal, anal and tail fin at the unsuspecting fish, generally from underneath. Contact is normally made in the body area of it's prey whereupon the Pike will swim with it's catch until it can comfortably turn it to swallow, head first. Occasionally Pike will attack and eat other smaller and weaker Pike effectively controlling their own numbers.
Methods of Capture. There are three main methods to tempt and catch Pike. Spinning, Lures and Baits. Of the three, the latter is the most popular. The bait can be a live-bait, a freshwater fish used with either a float or paternoster arrangement; this method is frowned upon in most circles. Alternatively, a dead-bait, a recently deceased freshwater fish or sea fish (whole or part) such as mackerel, herring or sprat presented on either a float, paternoster or leger set-up. When fished with floats or paternoster the bait should ideally be presented in a 'natural' position. A hook arrangement consisting of two trebles to a wire-trace hook link, positioned with the leading treble in the body to the rear of the gills or in the root of the pectoral fin, the second treble in the root of the dorsal fin. Legered baits can be hooked with the second hook in the tail, the first hook into the body. If fished at distance, the bait can also be bound to the trace to prevent loss. Some knowledge of the fishery is helpful in locating the Pike as it favours weed-beds, obstacles and underwater ledges or gullies. Strong tackle is highly recommended.
A good guide to starting Pike fishing can be read by Clicking Here
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