Starting pike fishing
Our detailed notes on starting pike fishing
are designed to give some guidance for anglers who have fished for other species and are now setting out to catch pike for the first time. A wealth of literature has been produced about pike fishing over the last few years, and it's impossible to distil it all into a few pages. Hopefully this will whet your appetite and provide enough basic information to help you kit yourself out properly and catch and handle your first pike. If you want to go beyond that, you'll find all the information you could possibly want and more - on the Net, in specialist magazines, or in the library.
The most important message to anyone starting pike fishing is to look after your quarry. Pike are delicate and require specialist tools to handle them properly along with a degree of confidence. Many of the pike in Scotland are known to be recaptured a number of times, and could live more years, if you equip yourself sensibly. Some are caught once or twice a season, and mostly they're none the worse for it. But just one bad rig or one piece of bad handling on the bank can put an end to a fish. Most safe practice is common sense, and none of it costs a lot of money or reduces your chances of catching. Unsafe practice, on the other hand, needlessly harms the fish, and can deprive other anglers of the pleasure of catching it again in the future. There's simply no excuse for it, so above all please take care of your pike and practice catch, photo and release.
Pike have always held a place of fascination and mystery too most, probably due to their, often ill informed reputation as freshwater sharks. The mouth of the pike has a very obvious function and over the years it has caused many grossly inaccurate stories about the food intake of Pike to be invented. The Pikes large canine teeth on the lower jaw are not, as is commonly supposed, designed for stabbing and killing, but are used for catching and gripping the prey in preparation for turning it and swallowing it alive. This is done by utilising the other small, backward pointing teeth, which cover much of the inside of the mouth, including the tongue. Almost all these teeth point backwards to prevent the prey from escaping once grabbed and even the pikes gill arches have backwards-pointing spikes to prevent smaller prey fish from escaping out through the gill flaps. It is dealing with this mouth that most beginners fear. But going equipped sensibly to deal with your quarry will ensure no harm to yourself, but more importantly no harm to the fish. The most important message is to anyone staring piking is look after your fish, pike are delicate and require the anglers respect and going equipped sensibly, will allow them to live out there life naturally. None of this good practice costs much, and advice is available freely from your local Pike Anglers Alliance for Scotland representative. There are no excuses for poor handling.