Dead baiting for Pike on rivers has been a favourite way of fishing for me for many years, and although not an expert, I have picked up a few very helpful tips over the years from other anglers. In this article I thought I would share a few of them relating to dead baiting in general, after having a good trip on the Bristol Avon.
I like to keep my rigs simple when fishing this way, there are so many rigs out there and I’m sure they are all good, but simplicity can often work best. Key things to remember are taking care to tie your knots tightly and make sure your hooks are sharp. A knot coming undone or losing a fish because your hooks were a little rusty can often mean the difference between a rubbish or amazing day’s fishing.
I set up a simple rig with a link leger slid on to the line followed by a bead and then my trace. The trace I generally use consist of two hooks, one treble at the far end of the trace and a single hook which you can move up and down somewhat. The single hook for securing the bait and the treble for main hooking.
It’s always good to go with someone who has unhooked Pike in the past if you have never been before, never put one back with a trace in it!
Keeping mobile on flowing rivers, in my eyes, is key to catching more pike. Give each swim an hour max, then move on to the next. Keeping gear minimal helps here, but you need to make sure you still have the forceps, big landing net, glove and camera of course!
The next key thing for me is where you cast your bait. I like to choose swims with trees, weed banks or some other type of cover in them. Weir pools and areas where two rivers meet are also top places to find Pike lurking. If you can fin and eddy or slack area on the river, flick your baited rig in to it. If not then try and use the features like deep water or overhanging trees to cast your next bait to.
Although not monsters in Pike terms, both of the Pike I caught that day were big enough to put up a great fight, and make the trip well worth it. Both were caught close in to the bank in little slack sections created by fallen trees on the rig mentioned above, and both on sprats that I bought whilst in season from my local supermarket!
Simple rigs, simple setup, simple baits, great results!