This week I have written a lot about pikes and I thought I´d write a little blog post about them also. I´m planning to do a bigger lure test and review in the following weeks and I would especially like to focus on pike-fishing lures. This time, I will shortly write about my pike fishing habits. I have already told you a lot in my previous articles. For example, I wrote about the pike spawning period, about the best seasons to catch pike and also about the weather, so you could have an idea how a good pike fishing day would look like. Anyways, let’s go to this times story.
Where I catch my pikes?
I usually catch pike on the lake, less on rivers. Sometimes I also find myself fishing at sea. My record pike from my home country is about 8kg. Caught it from my secret lake in Viljandy county. But my overall record is from Finland. I caught this monster from a quite small lake in Kuusamo named Kalliojärvi. It was approx. 10kg monster. I haven´t seen a pike that big since then.
Usually when the season begins, my best catches have been from places with muddy bottoms. I have noticed that pikes like to hide in deeper holes. In such places, the water is generally warmer in the spring, and other fish that the pike hunts also gather in such areas. The fishing depth is usually from one meter to one and a half meters, sometimes a little deeper, if I have detected a deeper hole in the bottom. I often get the impression that what matters most is just to find a spot with warmer water, there will be fish also. Fish finders with an option to show water temperature, are a good helping hand. How to choose a good fish finder, I´ll be writing in following articles.
Does wind affect fishing?
I have gone out and caught a pike in every wind condition, but the warm winds are still the best. In Estonia the warm winds are usually from south, southwest and west. I personally don´t like winds from east at all. First of all, they are colder and secondly, they reduce the water level in the sea, which is very bad in some particular bays. The wind direction has no other effect except that the heat of the air often changes with the wind. When it gets colder, the bites get worse.
In my experience, pike is always the most active shortly before a thunderstorm, when the sky goes dark and I can already see some lightning. But I have gotten good catches with every weather, even in the middle of the day and with a cloudless sky. It could be only a luck, because usually nothing bites in these conditions.
What lures I use for pikes?
In the spring, same lures have worked for me as in the summer. I usually start catching with my Kuusamo Professor and Storm Subwart (7 cm) lures. If it´s a good day, these work very well. If it´s not so good day, then you have to start trying different lures and tricks. If the pike gets picky, I take out my smaller Storm Subwart (5 cm), Bete Lotto (15g), Falkfish Spöket (18g) or silicon lures. Last fall, in ice cold water, I tried long and narrow „sardine type“ wobblers, and guess what, they worked like a charm. These look like just narrow sticks and they have almost no play when reeling. But they are so well balanced in the water. They worked really well in the fall and I believe they work in the spring also.
During fishing, I usually don’t let in the boat anchor before I have actually caught one, so far, I´m casting from a drifting boat. This way you can quickly go through a large area and look for fish. The chances of finding a decent pike flock are greater this way.
While drifting with the boat I usually use Kuusamo Professor „turtle“ version. It has turtle pattern on the surface of the lure that reflects light in a way that makes the lure’s side flash brightly. This model is especially suited for trolling, but it can also be used with lightweight casting tackle. Pike responds very well to it – if it won´t bite it, at least it will definitely follow it. As soon as you see them following the lure and not biting, then it’s time to try other lures. I change my lures a lot and quite often. I usually go out with a large pile of lures. I don´t think this will affect fishing success, but this way I have more options and I can see what type of lure fish like.
Once I have found a good fishing spot, then the anchor goes in. There are, of course, such specific places I already know are good. In these places I will be stationary from the beginning and start fishing. If I see a good spot from far away, then I slowly approach it, and leave the boat a little away from it. That´s to avoid scaring the fish.
Play with the lure
The game of the lure is a key when catching pike. Making pauses while reeling in is very important. Sometimes it only bites while pausing. I call this method „pulsating lure retrieving“. After you cast the lure, let it sink to the required depth, then roll the reel for five to six turns and let it sink again for a few seconds. The lure, moving up and down like this, resembles an injured fish and definitely attracts pike, because it seems like an easy prey. When I see pike following the lure, but not biting, then slower scrolling has not helped me. On the contrary, quick short pulls have helped in these cases.
Well, that´s all for this time. I will be definitely writing about pikes again in the future. But for now, try to follow these tips and tricks and you should get a bite in no time. Thanks for reading, I hope this was helpful.