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The pike is Britains largest native predatory freshwater fish. Its size has made this fish the
target of many anglers hoping for the catch of a lifetime.
Scientific Name: Esox lucius
Maximum Weight: 70lb
Average Weight: 7 - 8lb
Maximum Length: 4ft
Life Span: 18-25 years
Fast, efficient and streamlined the pike cannot be mistaken for any other fish. Most of its characteristics are adaptations to
its predatory lifestyle. Camouflage colouring, eyesight, body form and fin arrangement all contribute to the pikes success as a hunter.
The pikes body has yellow and green markings which help disguise the pike as a patch of weed. All the dorsal and anal fins are grouped
near the tail giving the pike tremendous power to launch itself after prey. The mouth contains many razor sharp teeth.
Where to find Pike:
Pike seem to thrive in still waters of the gravel pit/reservoir type, but can also live comfortably in canals, lakes and rivers.
Although predatory by nature the Pike is an opportunist who will, at times, eat almost anything that the angler an offer.
Normally, however, the pike is a fish-eater. Small pike usually prefer to catch fresh food, but big pike often become scavengers and quite happy to eat any dead
fish they come across. Strangely enough, big pike do not even seem to mind overmuch if they eat almost rotten fish, although they are
more inclined to go for fresh dead fish if given a choice.
Live fish make the all round best pike bait, and as pike are not fussy it does not matter really what type of fish is used as bait.
Roach, rudd, dace and gudgeon are the most commonly used livebait in the United Kingdom, mainly because tehy are easiult obtainable.
Small bream also make a good pike bait, as do perch.
Deadbaits are also extremely effective. The deadbait has afew advantages over livebait, particularly if the angler dislikes he idea of impaling
a live creature on a large hook. Suitable deadbaits can be obtained from the local fish shop. Mackerel, herring, sardine and sprat make good baits.
It isnt known why pike like sea fish, but the probability is that pike are attracted to the oily smell of the flesh, and being lazy creatures, pike are content
picking up an easy meal instead of chasing after shoalfish upon which they normally feed.
Trout and grayling also make good deadbait for pike.
As one would expect an effective form of groundbaiting for pike is by throwing in whole of chopped up fish.
Authors preferred baits:
Sprats and Mackerel deadbaits tend to be attractive to Pike and have produced some good fish, as well as Roach deadbait. Plugging is also a good way to catch Pike.
How to catch Pike - Techniques at a glance:
Livebaiting, deadbaiting - by float or ledger. Plugs and spinner. Spinning a deadbait can be very effective.