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ANGLING: Now's the time for a big pike
10:00am Saturday 2nd March 2013 in Sport
Gerald Stratford writes a monthly angling column for the Mail.
Contact him on 01869 321610
THE pike fishing at Farmoor I and II reservoirs has finished for another year with a similar outcome – loads of trout, but very few pike.
I managed to catch one of 10lb, while Peter Coates, from Eynsham, had a different fish of the same weight, but the bigger specimens were as elusive as ever.
There is talk of Farmoor opening regularly for piking, so watch this space.
While we’re on the subject of pike, now is the time to try for a very big female as they get ready to spawn soon.
I will be spending all my spare time leading up to March 14, when the coarse season closes on rivers, fishing areas of the Thames that I know hold good pike.
The places to look for are small tributaries, ditches and brooks.
The males arrive first and jostle for position, followed by the females, and if you’re lucky you can get big bags of fish. I’ve had over 100lbs in days gone by, including 20lb-plus fish.
I find the best baits are herrings and sardines, fished under a float. Use a heavy rod not longer than 11ft and 30lb braid. Set the float off the bottom and attach your herring with a snap tackle.
I make my own, but if you can’t do this, you can buy them from local tackle shops. Never go lower than 28lb for your wire trace, it won’t make any difference to the pike and you will land everything you hook.
Choose a place where you can trot the float down and walk along with it, and make sure you keep your landing net with you. It’s easy to forget it.
One piece of advice is to use a big bait, because those female pike really chase after large prey and are very aggressive. I’ve seen a 20-pounder grab a 10lb fish just to get it out of the way.
- Last Saturday, I paid a visit to the tackle show at Farnborough Airfield – talk about huge, it was massive.
All the big names were there, including Jeremy Wade of River Monsters fame, and the Angling Trust stand was doing good business.
All the top carp boys were present and there were mountains of bait of all shapes, sizes and colours. I think boilies are now attracting young anglers like floats used to tempt us when we were youngsters.