Pike (Esox lucius) 

Found throughout most European rivers, lakes and drains, the Pike in most venues is the apex predator. Although a predatory fish actively seeking out prey fish including Pike. The Pike is also known for scavenging for dead fish on the bottom or taking out the straggling diseased or dying fish amongst the shoal fish it preys upon, this feature of the Pikes feeding habits make it an important member of a venues inhabitants by helping to control disease amongst the fish stocks. Pike don't just stick to eating other fish, the Pike will take anything that enters the water, that it thinks will fit in its mouth. This includes waterfowl, amphibians and basically any creature that inhabits and swims in the water. The Pikes overall success as a predator is its speed from stand still to hitting its prey at lightning speed. The speed of the Pike is achieved through the setting of its dorsal and anal fins near the tail.

The largest Pike caught in the UK currently is 46lb 13oz, this Pike came from a reservoir in Wales. Most of the big Pike being caught on a regular basis tend to come from reservoirs, particularly the ones used as Trout fisheries. Although the reservoirs are the place for the big girls, most venues will be home to at least a few twenties or Pike coming close to this weight. When targeting Pike you will find that the bigger fish mainly show up when fishing dead baits, although there is the odd unexpected surprises.


When locating Pike for Angling the most obvious place to find the Pike is where the prey fish are. When winter fishing for Pike, which is the traditional time of the fishing season to target Pike. The best places to start are where the Prey fish have shoaled up, these areas can be quite easy to find as you will see the prey fish jumping frequently as the Pike strike into the shoal. Alternatively, the places to look for are features where the Pike can sit in wait for unsuspecting prey to pass by. This includes Reed , beds, overhanging bushes or trees, sunken treesoutlet pipes and basically any where that looks like something could lurk near and strike out from. Another area to consider when fishing a river venue is the shelf, this where the shallow of the margin drops into the deeper main channel. The pike use this area as a patrol path for picking up prey or dead fish. On the right day this can be a very productive location to place a paternoster rig or a legered dead bait.