How To Catch Pikes

Fishing for Pikes

Pike fish, habitat and morphology

The sizes of the pikes are varied but as a general rule their length exceeds 70 cm, even reaching the metro easily . Its color is greenish, to camouflage itself in the zones of a lot of vegetation in rivers and swamps, its body composes about 130 scales in its lateral line, they have yellow and white spots. Its surprising mouth is of great size, they have flat form and they emphasize powerful sharp teeth that can finish with any prey that puts them to shot. Pike is a predatorthat lives in areas of calm waters and with a lot of vegetation. The breeding season that we will see later is done in winter where the females deposit up to half a million eggs in a single laying. The pike population is descending alarmingly, it usually inhabits the northern areas of Europe and America and does not make significant migrations.

Scientific name : Esox lucius

Family : Esocidae

Order : Esociformes

Class : Actinopterigios (fish with radiated fins)

Max weight: 25 Kg.

Max. Length : 150 cm

How and where to catch large pikes?

Pike fishing with lures The fishing of the pike , without a doubt is one of the most exciting, especially if we refer to river fishing, let's see where this type of fish is found and what are the most appropriate techniques to do with large specimens. The pike is widely distributed by the three continents that have territories in the Northern Hemisphere, so it can be considered a species that has had a great evolutionary success. However, environmental conditions do not always favor it, especially in terms of its strict requirements for reproduction, which limit, and in some cases prevent, the maintenance of its populations. The end of winter marks the moment when pike begins activities related to reproduction. This moment takes place from the end of February to the beginning of May, according to the temperature regime of each place. During the act of spawning, the females, in general, larger, they move through shallow waters accompanied by several males, smaller than them. According to its size,A female pike can lay between 20,000 and a half million eggs , which is a very high number.

The implementation is mandatory between the vegetation, whether aquatic or terrestrial, in the latter case when the banks of rivers or reservoirs are flooded. The most suitable plants are those that emerge out of the water, such as reeds or bulrushes. The importance of vegetation is due to the need of eggs and larvae of it. The eggs of the pikes remain attached to the plants during the two weeks that the incubation period lasts, and after hatching the newborn larvae also remain attached to them for a time, by means of an adhesive gland located in their head.

Reproduction time of the pike

The pike has spent all the winter actively feeding to allocate energy to the final phase of the maturation of the gonads. It is not that in winter they eat a greater number of prey in comparison to the rest of the year, but their metabolism stays lower, with which the net gain of energy in the cold season is greater. This allows them to breed in a period, late winter, very rare among freshwater fish. The majority of species, with the known exceptions of the common trout and salmon, usually take advantage of the abundance of food that is produced in spring to mature the eggs, which they deposit at the end of this season or at the beginning of summer. This evolutionary strategy has, of course, a raison d'être.

After exhausting the vitelline reserves, the pike initially feed on invertebrates, but after one or two months of life, when they measure about 5 or 6 centimeters, they start eating fingerlings of other species. This moment coincides with the appearance of the fingerlings of cyprinids, which are just the right size for the mouth of the small pikes. These weeks of advantage that the pike takes with respect to its prey are crucial for its survival, because, in this way, they grow rapidly reaching the end of their first year of life to a length of 25-30 cm. The pikeIt is a species that exerts a strong self-regulation of its population, because the highest mortality in its early years is attributed to cannibalism. It is, therefore, very important for each pike to grow as quickly as possible and thus reduce the chances of being a victim of another congener.

In what areas do pikes live? its habitats

The populations of pike that are present in Spain have very irregular cycles, and in general, there is a tendency towards the disappearance of the species , or at least towards a great shortage of specimens. There are, of course, exceptions, and these occur mostly in rivers. The causes of this process are not completely known, and ecological and biological factors are probably involved. Lack of adequate prey, low water quality and high temperatures in summer are some reasons that have been attributed to this process, but probably the main one has to do with the success of reproduction. The majority of reservoirs do not have good spawning areas because, in general, they lack the appropriate vegetation for a good survival of eggs and fingerlings.

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Pike is a species native to regions with a large number of lakes, such as northern Europe and America , where aquatic vegetation proliferates. In Spain there are very few natural lakes of these characteristics, which may be one of the reasons, among others of a biogeographical nature , for which the pike is not part of the native fauna. The reservoirs, however, are not always suitable for pike. After its construction, the progressive filling of the bucket creates excellent conditions for the development of eggs and fingerlings, which usually gives years of great abundance.

The populations of pike that are present in Spain have very irregular cycles and, in general, there is a tendency towards the disappearance of the species

Big catches of giant pikesWhen levels stabilize, production drops. What happens in the following years depends largely on the prevailing weather conditions. The wet years that cause the rise of the water level generate spawns in good conditions. On the other hand, the continuous drought may cause several generations to fail to survive, with the consequent aging of the population and eventually its extinction. In the river, the situation is different, because the pike has expanded significantly by some basins.

There are two reasons: firstly, in rivers of slow or moderate currents the growth of aquatic plants is frequent, and in addition, in the spawning season they usually carry a greater flow, which floods the bushes and herbs of the riverbanks. On the other hand, the regulation exerted by the reservoirs avoids or moderates the large floods characteristic of our rivers, which in other circumstances, would hinder the establishment of this species, little adapted to strong currents.

Pike fishing in winter

In winter, the pike occupies those areas that maintain high densities of fish-prey , generally in waters of medium depths and relatively far from the banks. The rocky cuttings and the elevations or islands in the middle of a reservoir are typical places in which the pike is located at this time. In the rivers they usually stay in the deepest pools. As the days lengthen and spring approaches, the pike tends to move towards shallower areas. This is the pre-spawn period, and as such, the activity is high. Pike fishing is fruitful at this time, mainly because it is closer to the shores of little depth, which makes it more vulnerable. In the very deep reservoirs, the pike is much of the year at medium depths, and it is in this pre-sunset time when it becomes more accessible for fishing from the shores. Reservoirs with a lower slope in their margins tend to have pikes in shallow water longer, so the pre-spawn period is not especially different from the rest of the year in terms of location. The lures to fish pike most indicated are those that have a rather slow action , because the pike at this time does not have the reflections or power that shows at other times of the year.

Special fishing material for fishing large pikes

We are going to use very powerful and highly resistant equipment , since these predators have enough strength and if we want to catch giant pikes we will have to go prepared to the fishing position with our best material, you never know when it will be the day of the "big catches " Normally, we will use the type of fishing to spinning , using lures such as spoons, vinyls, artificial fish, spinners or buzzers, as these have proven to be very effective in fishing for pike . If we are in a place where the legislation allows live baits, we can use them in moderation, fishing this type of fish thoroughly or with a float using this type of bait gives quite good results.

Types of line lows for pike fishing

Gone are the days when any steel cable, thick and shiny, served to capture pikes in sport fishing . At the present time the shortage of pikes and the pressure that they support, they require to tune very much at the time of tying to our line a terminal that supports their fearsome teeth and their, sometimes, big sizes. We will analyze below and separately the most used terminals or bass lines, how to make or knot them, and some more tips so that only you can decide which is your favorite fishing bass for fish with sharp teeth like pike.

Low monofilament line

Capture and release pikesFor many years it has been assumed that pike teeth cut nylon lines smoothly. This assumption, without ceasing to be true, prevented for decades that one of the best materials for the manufacture of terminals, the thick monofilament, was used. However, not all monofilaments are valid, nor in any thickness. The best ones are precisely those of lower quality and lower price (they are so tough that not even the sharp teeth of pikes cut them) and never below 0.80 millimeters thick , if we do not want to lose fish.

Still we must review them after each capture, especially if the pikes have swallowed the decoy completely . One of the problems with which we find ourselves at the time of making one of these basses of line, are the knots. However, those that best adapt to these thicknesses are the easiest to perform. The fishing knots Eights , the Clinch knot with only two or three laps and Albright are the most recommended. Do not forget to tighten them with pliers😉

Low fluorocarbon line

The invention of fluorocarbon yarn in its finest diameters has meant a revolution in the sport fishing of species such as trout or black bass. However, one of its best virtues will be found in the construction of low-line, both for sea and for our pikes in river fishing . Its low visibility even in diameters greater than a millimeter thick, make it go completely unnoticed. A few years ago it was quite difficult to find fluorocarbon coils in their thickest diameters but at present we will not have any problem. We should never use diameters smaller than 0.70 millimeters and the most advisable knots are the same as in the case of monofilament.

Titanium line basses

It is one of the latest innovations in the construction of line lows for species with cutting teeth, both in fresh and salt water. Titanium is the material responsible for the thickness of the bass is minimal (almost invisible), malleable (can be knotted as if it were monofilament) and practically indestructible. These characteristics make it one of the best materials to use with cutting teeth species. At the time of making the fishing knots (the most recommended are the Clinch, the "Figure in eight" and the Albright)we must bear in mind that due to the properties of titanium, the knots will not close as in the case of monofilaments, without this fact harming their resistance. We can also use kevlar line basses, depending on the fisherman's tastes.