Fishing for Pike: Why Use Lures?
There’s no doubt about it, in recent years lure fishing has become very fashionable. Big predator brands such as Fox Rage and Savage Gear have contributed to a growing number of anglers that have ditched the mountain of gear that’s associated with even a short session, and instead they’re grabbing a small bag and a handful of lures.
Indeed, for me, this is one of the most appealing aspects of modern-day lure fishing. It’s a quick, convenient, accessible, no fuss, no nonsense approach to getting out on the bank and catching a few pike. If you’ve not got involved in the lure fishing revolution, then this article explains why you should push all the hype to one side and target some pike with lures.
Fly fishing taught me to travel light and be mobile. Something that’s affected all aspects of my fishing.
Now don’t get me wrong, I still like a range of fishing in my life but what I really do not miss is all the gear associated with some forms of fishing – like carp fishing! Sometimes it feels as though I need a barrow built like a tank to manoeuvre around the lake. I’ve spent many years pushing this thing around vast lakes of over 20 acres or more. You’re loading it in and out of the car, and the whole thing can be quite an exhausting operation.
Everything changed for me about 10 years ago when I was invited to a corporate day out learning how to fly fish for trout. I learnt the basics of casting, and before I knew it, I was wondering around the lakes at Chigborough in Essex catching some very hard fighting trout with a minimal amount of equipment.
Whilst I still very much enjoyed fishing for carp and other coarse fish through the summer (and still do today!) by late autumn, I was nipping out fly fishing and loving every minute of it! I enjoyed the tiny amount of kit I needed and the freedom this provided. I was able to roam around and explore. This lasted for about five years, until the new wave of lure fishing came along, which hooked me almost immediately!
A nice pike caught on a 1 hour session before breakfast!
Of course, lure fishing isn’t really something that’s new. It’s been around years. I remember fishing with spinners, plugs and spoons over 30 years ago. Although looking back now, the gear available was pretty basic. Brands typically associated with bass fishing over the pond have inspired us to become much better lure anglers, and it’s growing all the time. So why is lure fishing becoming so popular and what’s so great about it anyway?
Less kit, more adventure
Lure fishing for pike is excellent for the short session angler, as there is very little time and tackle required. Let’s face it, we’re all busy, we all want to go fishing more, but we just can’t carve out enough time.
Well, when it comes to lure fishing, I’ve been known to go for 45 minutes. It’s now possible to make time, to fit it in where previously you couldn’t. You can keep the small amount of kit in the boot of the car and grab opportunist sessions that fit around your life. It’s a game changer.
Staying on the move definitely keeps things more interesting!
Location, location, location
Pike are everywhere, in lakes, reservoirs, rivers and canals. The number of venues at your disposal are endless. There’s a tremendous amount of scope to get out there, get on the move and explore new waters. Regardless of the approach you use, or the species you’re after, the experts will tell you it’s about location, location, location – and it’s true.
In my opinion, the best way to locate pike is to fish with lures. By travelling light and staying mobile, you can cover lots of water until you find them. It can be so much more effective than plotting up and committing to one specific swim.
You can only catch them if they’re in front of you, lure fishing is the perfect way to put the fish in front of you. On short sessions I’ve not got time to bait and wait – I have to go and find them. I’ve even heard of anglers using lures to find the fish and then setting up deadbaits once they’ve been located.
My new bag. The Spro Freestyle Recon rucksack with built-in lure boxes. Fairly new to the market and contains everything I need for a days lure fishing.
Don’t get bored, get active
There’s always something going on when you’re lure fishing for pike. You’re not sitting behind motionless rods for hours on end. You’re constantly moving, changing lures, switching up your technique and retrieves, to try and land a fish. It’s also great for getting exercise in, which can only be a good thing and you’re entirely absorbed, as you know a fish could strike at any moment.
Much of my pike fishing happens through the winter months. Wearing the right clothes and staying on the move will keep you warm in the coldest of conditions, another compelling reason to leave the deadbait rods at home and to stay active with a lure rod. Nothing is worse in winter than sitting in one spot, freezing cold, waiting for something to happen.
Not massive but certainly welcome on a cold day in January! Staying on the move can keep you warm on the coldest of days.
Lures, like a kid in a candy shop!
We all like buying fishing gear right? Well, buying lures can get completely out of control. What’s available to us now compared to 10 years ago is quite astounding.
Softbaits, hardbaits, creature baits, 3D / 4D realistic inline, chatterbaits all in different weights, sizes and colours. Some may find it sad, I know, but I love a new delivery of lures. I can’t wait to get out and try them.
My favourite brands are Berkeley, Crazyfish, EcoGear, Fox Rage and Savage Gear. Some need to be imported, but the wait only makes them more special when they finally arrive.
A bit addictive! Just some of my lures in all shapes and sizes.
It’s all about the strike!
Nothing really compares to the moment a decent pike hits your lure from nowhere. You’ve made oodles of casts and covered lots of ground. Your mind has started to wander as you make a cast along a nearside margin. All of a sudden your rod is almost ripped out of your hands as a big pike hits your lure really hard at lightning speed.
Your heart skips a beat, you get a buzz, and a rush of blood, as peace suddenly turns into chaos! Actually holding the rod when a fish strikes is something that’s been lost in some styles of fishing.
Personally, I don’t think big lures necessarily catch big pike. Generally speaking, I fish with shads that are only 10cm or so. The Fox Rage Spikey Shad in yellow has been a great lure for me. Not a very natural looking lure, I know, but the pike just seem to absolutely nail them!
Fishing for pike with lures of this size also has the spin-off benefits of catching some fantastic perch along the way. Big perch are awesome looking creatures and one of my favourite species. Why wouldn’t you spread your bets and bag a few of these along the way?
A big perch taken on a 10cm Shad. Why not drop the size of your lures if you know the venue contains big perch!
If this has inspired you to get out there with a lure rod, then that’s fantastic! If you’re not sure where to start then, check out my article on What You Will Need. As always, please consider fish care if you’re a complete beginner when it comes to pike fishing. Go with someone that’s experienced in handling pike initially to build your confidence.
Get to your local tackle shops, grab a few bits and then strap on those walking boots. Travel light, stay mobile, keep warm, explore new things and most of all enjoy your fishing!