Especially in waters that are strongly blinked and where there is high fishing pressure, a lure can still be very effective and that is the dead bait fish. Because especially big pike can be very lazy and like to take the bite lying at the bottom without showing much suspicion. Especially in winter and late autumn the bait fish is often clearly superior to the spoon, wobbler or rubber fish. How I fish for pike with the bait fish is actually quite simple and I will show you here.
The right bait for pike
The best bait for pike depends on the fishing water. Above all it is important which fish are found there and also the season plays a role. For a certain time in summer the pike often shoot themselves completely for the smallest fish.
The rest of the year you are usually well advised to fish with hand held roaches. Where available perch are also very good bait fish for pike. The spines don’t have to be cut off either, because they don’t bother the pike, even if some anglers cut them off before fishing. A big advantage of perch is their tough skin, so they can often be cast without falling apart.
Piercing the swim bladder
About the swim bladder: it should be pierced when the bait fish is offered floating in the pose
When bottom fishing, an intact swim bladder gives a little buoyancy and lifts the weight of the heavy triplets and assembly. That’s why I leave them intact for bottom fishing.
For targeted fishing for capital pike, I recommend bait fish with 20 cm or even a little more. Also my next tip brings mainly big pike.
With sea fish for pike: Herring, sardines and mackerels as bait fish
Fatty sea fish such as herrings or half mackerels are very good big pike baits, especially in winter. Their very strong inherent smell attracts predators from far away and the fish oil makes a great scent cloud. This bait is also practical to get, because these bait fish are available in almost every supermarket.
Of course the fish must not be smoked or pickled, but best left natural or gutted from the freezer.
This is to be observed
It is best to take the sea fish half-frozen with you to the water, then the very soft fish hold much better on the hook.
Additional hold for the bait fish is provided by some bait elastic or some line wrapped around the leader and tail end of the bait fish. The fact that the purchased fish are gutted does not harm the success of the catch, because they simply smell very strong. To make the bait smell even stronger you can inject some fish oil into the bait with a syringe.
Feeding for pike
Feeding can be done not only when fishing for pike. As a pike angler you have two options for feeding. During the day you can lure small whitefish to the fishing spot with a simple fried fish food or some breadcrumbs, which will attract the interest of the pike.
The other method is ideal if you are feeding sea fish. This method is a bit closer to the classic feeding of pike and consists of regularly throwing small pieces of fish into the water a few days before the seat. This will also get the pike used to the more unusual bait fish.
Another tip on the subject of feeding: never feed only one spot. Maybe the spot is bad, maybe another angler is already sitting in the fed spot on the day of fishing. It’s best to be flexible and feed at least two or better three spots. If nothing works at one place you still have a plan B. On the fishing day there is no feeding, that’s the big difference to the feeding for fish.
Lure fish correctly bait
Baitfish correctly baiting is not that difficult and there are countless variations of it and almost all of them work very well.
The hooks for pike fishing
I use triplets sizes 6 to 8 for pike fishing. These hooks grip very well in the very hard pike mouth and today’s quality of hooks ensures that even these small ones don’t bend open. Hooks of size 1 or 2 grip much worse and the false bite rate increases. Furthermore, large triplets are also more conspicuous and pike can see hooks. I like to take two triplets of the mentioned size, then you can strike very quickly and the pike will not swallow so deeply.
The best methods of baiting bait fish for different fishing techniques
- Baiting the bait fish for float fishing / pose for a floating bait fish.
- Baiting of bait fish for fishing on the ground, can also be used with pose mounting The bladder remains intact
Steel leader: How to tie a steel leader myself I have explained in this article. Which material I use for it I show in this article.
Mounting with float on pike
A pike float should carry about 10-35 grams depending on weather conditions. As already mentioned the swim bladder should be punctured at the pose of the floating bait fish. An assembly for pike can be very easy and does not require any gimmicks. Pike, unlike zander, are also much less suspicious when they feel resistance.
This is my standard assembly:
- First the stopper is placed on the main line
- Then the float
- Now a lead corresponds to the float
- A rubber bead protects the knot to the
- 40-70 cm long leader with triplets and bait fish
Assembly for bottom fishing for pike
In case of wind, waves or if the bait is to be laid out far from the fishing spot, then a basic assembly is the right one. 20-60 grams of lead are usually sufficient. The leader should be at least 70 centimetres long, because sometimes we don’t notice bites so quickly.
The assembly then looks like this
- On the main line first an anti tangle tube is placed, there the weight is hooked in. Alternatively simply use a pear lead with swivel
- A rubber bead on the main line prevents the knot from being damaged by the lead.
- A carabiner swivel is knotted to the main line
- The leader is hooked into the swivel – ready!
How to make your own steel leaders for pike fishing, you can read here >>
How to set the stop
When is the right time to set the stop depends on the assembly. If you use two triplets of size 6 to 8, as I have described, you can strike when the pike has taken 1-2 m of line. But after 1-2 minutes at the most the strike must come. If you are fishing with sardines you can set the hook very quickly – best immediately at the bite, because the soft bait releases the triplets easily and the lures are very small.
Logically, the bigger the bait, the longer you have to wait. Often pike first pull something off and stop after a few meters of line taken. If the pike then starts moving again, it is always time to strike.
Here pike stand here in all seasons
Pike prefer to stand at 5-6 m or even deeper, if the waters allow it. So in winter you have to look for pike in deep waters.
Around spawning time, pike in shallow water like to stand over old, half-dead weed. The fish also gather in these places before the spawning season. After the spawning period they spread out again over the water.
In the evening the pike are often found in shallow water, because not only pike-perch know where to find prey. At night they often retreat to slightly deeper water, unless you are dealing with the very rare nocturnal specimens. In the mornings the pike are often found at their classic habitats. Lunchtime is usually the worst time to fish for pike in summer.
In autumn the pike are the most difficult to find. They are usually found until the first frost in relatively shallow areas and often not in those they visit to spawn. Often, however, it is the big fish in particular that migrate to the depths earlier. The only thing that helps here is to search and some knowledge of the water to find out where the fish are.
The fishing spots
The best fishing spots on lakes or rivers are listed in this article. Also with indications of where the pike can be found.
I have created this article about spinning for pike. It contains techniques and many tips.
Fishing tackle for sitting on pike
The right tackle for sitting on pike is quickly and easily explained. Carp rods of around 3lbs and 3.6m length are suitable for use as rods. As a reel a stable free spool reel>> is recommended. So if you already have carp tackle you are well prepared for the pike seat. When using a monofilament line, a 30` or 35` line is recommended, whereas a 18` to 20` line is sufficient for a braided line. Monofilament line even has advantages when sitting on pike, as it is better for absorbing the jumps and head shaking of pike when you are drilling.
Important fishing accessories for bait fishing for pike
Here are a few tips for important or useful fishing accessories for pike fishing.
- A unhooking mat protects the fish when you want to put them back
- Without a lockjaw, bloody fingers are almost guaranteed
- A long and stable artery clamp allows a clean check
- If you want to thread your bait fish a bait needle is useful
- A spacious predator landing net >> ensures a pleasant landing. Since you never know where the hooks are exactly, a hand landing is often very dangerous.