I first went pike fishing around 10 years ago and whilst learning and researching how to catch them I found that there was a minefield of information out there. Endless rigs, baits and tactics to use, to be honest, it felt really complicated but over time I’ve realised it doesn’t have to be! In the tutorial below I take you through a few simple tried and tested tactics that anyone can go out and use to catch pike: 

Small fish underwater

Tip 1.

If you’re at a body of water and you see lots of smaller fish swimming around there is a good chance pike are likely to be present too. Most rivers, canals, lakes and reservoirs have a healthy population of pike. Your best bet is to research your local waters and see what other anglers have caught. 


Tip 2.

Walk around your chosen water with polaroids to see if you can spot any pike, these glasses help take the glare off of the water so you can spot fish more easily. 

Weir pool

Tip 3.

Weir pools are one of the best places to find pike, where fast raging currents meet slack water that’s where the pike will often be lurking. Weir pools are often deeper than other parts of the river, fish will choose to hold up in these areas to hide from predatory birds. 

Pike float fishing

Float Rig.

The first tactic I would recommend is float fishing, I have a full tutorial on how to set this rig up here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Onab_Z8N5g0&ab_channel=FishingTutorials

It basically consists of a large float that will hold the weight of a large live or dead bait. 


Mackerel on the beach

Tip 4.

My best advice for dead baits would be to check out your local tackle shop to see what they have in their freezer. Alternatively, in summer you could go down to the coast and catch some mackerel which you can then freeze until winter to use as your dead baits. 

Casting a pike rig

Tip 5.

The rig is pretty simple, the most important aspect of using it effectively is to cover water and drop your rig in as many different spots as possible. If there is a hungry pike in your swim it will normally take the bait quite quickly, I like to adopt the approach of 10 minutes in each swim and then move to a new spot.


Overhanging tree

Tip 6.

I always look for cover when choosing a spot to fish, this can be in many forms such as dying lily pads, reeds, overhanging trees, weed and even man made covers like bridges and weir pools. 


Playing a pike with braid

Tip 7.

I find a 3lb test curve carp rod of around 10ft long works quite well, I pair this up with a 4000 size reel loaded with 30lb braid. Having a braided mainline helps set the hook easily due to the lack of stretch, I would definitely recommend it! 


Casting a lure

Lure Fishing.

This is an active type of fishing which involves casting, walking and constantly being on the move. For people that are impatient and struggle to sit for long periods of time then you will love lure fishing 🙂 


7ft spinning rod

Tip 8.

You really don’t need much tackle to start lure fishing, a spinning rod of around 7-8f paired with a medium size spinning reel is an ideal set-up. The shorter and lighter rod makes holding it all day a lot more comfortable. 


braided reel

Tip 9.

As with the float fishing tactic I also like to use braid on the reel for lure fishing, it helps you control the lure and allows you to feel even a gentle tap from a fish as it takes your lure. 


40lb wire trace

Tip 10.

Tied onto your braid is a 40lb wire trace, this avoids the pike biting through your line.


Lure quick clip

Tip 11.

On the end of the trace is a quick clip, this makes changing the lure really easy. It can be quite confusing which lure to use as there are so many to choose from, I find most lures will work, pike attack when they see something that looks like a fish so choose a lure that you think will best imitate the prey of a pike. 


Multiple different lures

Tip 12.

A couple of things to remember when choosing lures are the weights and sizes. For example, on my local river, you need some weight to get the lure down into the fast-flowing water. Likewise, on a deep lake, you also want a heavier weighted lure to get the lure down deeper. 


30cm trout lure

Tip 13.

Lures come in many different sizes from tiny spinners to great big 30cm lures. I tend to go for smaller lures which are likely to be taken by pike of any size. Use a larger lure if you wish to avoid the attention of smaller predatory fish. 


Pike Fishing

Have Fun.

Hopefully, you can now choose a method and go and catch your first pike!


Check out my simple fishing guide book below!

A 100-page guidebook, full of colour illustrations and helpful fishing information.