Pike fishing in winter
Targeted pike fishing is possible all year round, apart from the different closed seasons in the federal states – even in winter. However, you have to adjust your strategy, because when the sun is lower and the weather is often foggy and cloudy, only sparse light reaches the water and the pike’s behaviour changes. If you do this, you can also enjoy fishing luck in winter and catch a respectable pike.
Behaviour of pike in winter
With lower water temperatures, the metabolism of pike/predace also slows down. They are in energy-saving mode, just like other fish at alternating temperatures. As a result, they become extremely lethargic and only require small amounts of food – with the consequence that they no longer go hunting as actively as they do during the rest of the season. As the prey fish retreat to warmer (deeper) water zones during the cold season, the pike will then also be found there. It is therefore advantageous to know the deepest points of a watercourse. Once they are identified, intensive fishing is worthwhile. A colour sounder could be helpful in distinguishing fish that move little from the bottom. When the sun is shining, the pike also stay in shallow water. Few degrees of temperature difference are crucial for them.
Which lures are best for winter pike fishing?
Pike want to save energy in the winter and therefore prefer to hunt particularly large prey fish. And because the hunter and the hunted gather in a few places, the biggest pike grab the biggest prey. This means that you can catch particularly large pike in the right place. The prospect of a capital catch is therefore also good in winter – if you use the right bait. Larger rubber baits are recommended, ideally in a length of 15 centimetres.
As pike respond to strong flank movements, lures should have a broad tail root and a large tail. The chances of an attack increase if the angler stops and leaves the lure more often. If the temperature drops below zero degrees Celsius and the water temperature accordingly, it is advisable to guide the lures slowly and only with sparing actions: For the pike, the bait must be “easy prey”. Vertical lures with a V-shaped tail or fringes are well suited for spinning anglers. A bait fish mounting for pike can also give good results at the right spot. The rule of thumb applies to the choice of colour: In clear weather and/or clear water you should opt for natural colour, in cloudy weather and/or cloudy water for stimulating colours such as yellow and orange.
Biting times of pike in winter
Pike are sluggish in the morning in winter and are very reluctant to bite. The situation looks better at noon. In the afternoon and into the twilight they also snap for prey with increasing intensity. The explanation for this is quite simple: The water, which gets increasingly warmer during the day, gets them going. So getting up early for pike fishing in winter is not worthwhile.