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A look back part 2 Pike fishing

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A look back part 2 Pike fishing

Post by longshot on Sat Jan 09, 2010 6:57 am

I wrote a short piece on fly fishing recently, and it gave me a little impetus to do another piece on Pike fishing. Now, I will be the first to agree with anyone who says there are better Pike anglers on our forum than me. But my little story will not be about the big Pike IĎve caught or the large numbers of pike caught, because neither would be true. No this short piece will be about some of the tackle that over the years I may have used and regrettably sometimes misused. And how today, with a new insight into the discipline. I have found a renewed interest in this area. Some may recognise some of the details from other pieces, but I hope I can keep them to a minimum. So from the beginning (are you ready for this). My first Pike! Caught when I was about 14 or 15 years old. I can remember very well where, a small side stream off the Lee navigation at Cheshunt. A very historic side stream I should add, as it was used to transport armaments from the Royal gunpowder factory where via the navigation they would ultimately end in London and the river Thames, and on to who knows where. This little stream was, when I first fished it, lined from the canal all the way to the very dilapidated lock, by reedmace. Strangely not very many people fished there. It was by lure fishing that I eventually after many attempts caught my first ever Pike.
The side stream 2007

Although only about 2 1/2 lbs it meant the world to me. I had finally caught one, thereíd be no stopping me now. The tackle couldnít have been more basic. A seven foot solid glass spinning rod, a very basic fixed spool reel, something like 7lb line. And an Ondex spinner. It was with tackle like this that over a number of years Iíd catch a lot of Pike and Perch ( one of the Perch was huge) and a surprise Chub of 3lbs 10oz that was to remain my PB for many years. All were caught on spinners, Ondex and Mepps mainly, with one or two taken on plugs.
A small Pike caught from the side stream in the 1960's

During this time I gained more experience and I progressed to using livebaits. The floats that we used then were akin to buoys on a lake, they were that big! But they represented a major change in my approach to Pike fishing. We also whilst using these floats might add to the set up a couple of Pilot floats. Quite why we used these was always a mystery to me, but they did look nice. Snap tackles!! Goodness knows how we ever got away with using these. When bought from a shop they would only be about 12 inches long, had no swivels attached and were like coiled springs. Only those sold as livebait traces were nearly alright, being around two feet in length with a swivel midway but not at the line end they did at least offer a little more safety to the Pike and the angler. The only thing in their favour was the way they were made they were beautifully whipped around the hook shanks and did last a long time. Gags!! If ever anglers have invented a more barbaric piece of tackle Iím yet to find it. Made of a spring like metal they had pointed groves at each end and would be put into a Pikes mouth forcing it open. The hooks then could be safely removed, or so they said. I saw more than one fish lifted by this tool and obviously they didnít fair too well, as they often struggled and fell off and thrashed around on the ground.

The Pike Gag!


Thankfully these are no longer used. Also in those days we didnít use long forceps, we had to use forked disgorgers, again not that good for the Pike. Unhooking mats are used by almost every angler now, but they didnít exist when I was a boy, so any Pike unfortunate enough to get caught would more than likely be laid on the towpath or if it was lucky, on the grass. This does sound barbaric doesnít it! But the truth is that in those days the majority of anglers knew no better. There were of course those that did all they could to protect all fish when out of the water. And it was these thinking anglers that moved the sport forward to what it is today. So a big thank you goes to those anglers, without them I dread to think what it would be like.

Some of the lures etc that I used in the 1960's





A quite rare Spinning flight.


Last edited by longshot on Mon Jan 11, 2010 6:14 am; edited 2 times in total

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Re: A look back part 2 Pike fishing

Post by Stotty on Sat Jan 09, 2010 7:16 am

still using Ondex for my perch fishing this day and age havent changed one bit and still catching.



top job as always

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Re: A look back part 2 Pike fishing

Post by mark on Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:52 am

pike have been treated poorly for a very long time mate and although i haven't witnessed it first hand for a while i'm sure it still goes on. probably about 6-7 years ago i fished for a club and we had matches every weekend. on one particular match somebody caught a pike accidently i think and well it didn't go back to say the least. it was a good fish and diserved much more respect. at that time most of the members used to think the only good pike was a dead pike. i was also lead to believe this at that age and thats probably why i never targeted them. i'm glad i'm no longer in them circles and now have the upmost respect for pike of any size, well any fish for that matter. the point i'm trying to make is i'm surprised there is any pike left these days nevermind the ferosious specimens that are lurking in the depths across the country due to the poachers, poor anglers and the miss guided indivuduals.

good post ken its fasinating to see how the sport has evolved, for the better in most cases
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Re: A look back part 2 Pike fishing

Post by longshot on Sat Jan 09, 2010 10:00 am

I could tell some real horror stories about bad handling of fish, and not just Pike. But thankfully not from recent years.

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Re: A look back part 2 Pike fishing

Post by mark on Sat Jan 09, 2010 10:11 am

it has come along way, i don't put it down to harsher penalties or new laws i'd say its down to educating. what ever it is though keep it coming as its only a good thing
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Re: A look back part 2 Pike fishing

Post by Dave The Rave on Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:10 pm

great read there ken im glad the anglers mindset has changed for the better. it would be nice to hear about the handling of fish in days gone by if u get the time ken.
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Re: A look back part 2 Pike fishing

Post by longshot on Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:12 pm

Dave The Rave wrote:great read there ken im glad the anglers mindset has changed for the better. it would be nice to hear about the handling of fish in days gone by if u get the time ken.


I'll see what I can do Dave.

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Re: A look back part 2 Pike fishing

Post by Dave The Rave on Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:13 pm

your a good man, keep up the great reads mate i hope everybody else enjoys them as much as i do!
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Re: A look back part 2 Pike fishing

Post by Fenman2 on Sat Jan 09, 2010 5:06 pm

Dave The Rave wrote:your a good man, keep up the great reads mate i hope everybody else enjoys them as much as i do!

geek I'm with that, a good read, very enjoyable .

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Re: A look back part 2 Pike fishing

Post by Stotty on Sun Jan 10, 2010 4:02 am

Another thing I must say is pike gags its funny as a child they were an essential bit of kit for pike fishing. Some of theses thinks were horrific they actually had prongs on them. Just for the younger anglers. The problem with most gags isnít the sharp pointy bits as these can be made different like Kens ones. Or even covered up, but more to do with the fact that they are to strong and can break small pikes jaws. Some while back PAC arrived at a voluntary agreement with the tackle trade that gags would no longer be available but this has gone by the way side and there readily available once again.

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Re: A look back part 2 Pike fishing

Post by longshot on Sun Jan 10, 2010 5:41 am

Stotty wrote:Another thing I must say is pike gags its funny as a child they were an essential bit of kit for pike fishing. Some of theses thinks were horrific they actually had prongs on them. Just for the younger anglers. The problem with most gags isnít the sharp pointy bits as these can be made different like Kens ones. Or even covered up, but more to do with the fact that they are to strong and can break small pikes jaws. Some while back PAC arrived at a voluntary agreement with the tackle trade that gags would no longer be available but this has gone by the way side and there readily available once again.


Although available I urge any newcomers to Pike fishing, and any youngsters to think twice before buying one. Far better to go with someone who knows how to handle Pike and learn from them. I know we keep saying the same thing over and over, but it is of the utmost importance that this message gets across.

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Re: A look back part 2 Pike fishing

Post by Woodchucker on Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:26 am

Pike have been abused for years and still are now, on the Wharfe Yesterday I saw and confronted 4 lads fishing for Pike using barbel rods sat on rests just like I do with mine, when I asked them about bite indication they said that they watched there rod tips pissed off In modern times when you can use the internet or pick a magazine off a shelf they cant even set up a simple float, its a foooking joke.

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Re: A look back part 2 Pike fishing

Post by longshot on Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:39 am

Woodchucker wrote:Pike have been abused for years and still are now, on the Wharfe Yesterday I saw and confronted 4 lads fishing for Pike using barbel rods sat on rests just like I do with mine, when I asked them about bite indication they said that they watched there rod tips pissed off In modern times when you can use the internet or pick a magazine off a shelf they cant even set up a simple float, its a foooking joke.

It seems that Iíve either been a bit naive or have been fortunate to fish waters where the anglers are a little better educated, in the angling sense. It appears that this education of the younger anglers is going to be a continuing problem and with each generation we have to start over again. Woodyís post demonstrates this perfectly.

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Re: A look back part 2 Pike fishing

Post by Stotty on Sun Jan 10, 2010 10:06 am

longshot wrote:
Woodchucker wrote:Pike have been abused for years and still are now, on the Wharfe Yesterday I saw and confronted 4 lads fishing for Pike using barbel rods sat on rests just like I do with mine, when I asked them about bite indication they said that they watched there rod tips pissed off In modern times when you can use the internet or pick a magazine off a shelf they cant even set up a simple float, its a foooking joke.

It seems that Iíve either been a bit naive or have been fortunate to fish waters where the anglers are a little better educated, in the angling sense. It appears that this education of the younger anglers is going to be a continuing problem and with each generation we have to start over again. Woodyís post demonstrates this perfectly.

That is up north though Ken Innocent Whistle Wink

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Re: A look back part 2 Pike fishing

Post by Woodchucker on Sun Jan 10, 2010 12:39 pm

longshot wrote:
Woodchucker wrote:Pike have been abused for years and still are now, on the Wharfe Yesterday I saw and confronted 4 lads fishing for Pike using barbel rods sat on rests just like I do with mine, when I asked them about bite indication they said that they watched there rod tips pissed off In modern times when you can use the internet or pick a magazine off a shelf they cant even set up a simple float, its a foooking joke.

It seems that Iíve either been a bit naive or have been fortunate to fish waters where the anglers are a little better educated, in the angling sense. It appears that this education of the younger anglers is going to be a continuing problem and with each generation we have to start over again. Woodyís post demonstrates this perfectly.

I would have understood it Ken if they had been 12 years old but they were 25-40 years old, sad but true Suspect

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Re: A look back part 2 Pike fishing

Post by Fenman2 on Sun Jan 10, 2010 1:04 pm

geek I've got to say its not just the kids . A couple of weeks before Christmas I was watching a guy lure fishing with nylon line tied direct to the lure .
I mentioned that it was an expensive way of catching pike (i.e. bite offs) and of course that he might condemn a fish to a lingering death . He Dick head just shrugged it off and said that lures weren't expensive enough to worry about Arrgh !
To tell the truth he Dick head wan't so much lure fishing as giving the lure instruction on low altitude aerobatics and tree pruning Jerk It so I think the pike were fairly safe HaHaHa

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Re: A look back part 2 Pike fishing

Post by Dave The Rave on Sun Jan 10, 2010 3:52 pm

lol serves him right
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Re: A look back part 2 Pike fishing

Post by edbeef on Sun Jan 10, 2010 5:07 pm

Good stuff again Ken!

I don't know about you all, but I researched and researched until I felt that I knew about the methods enough to try on my own, otherwise, I'd go with someone I knew had the knowledge to make sure I was doing it right.

I started piking in October and boy did I burn out my internet on the search before I went!

When I arrived I spoke to 2 or 3 groups fishing on the lake before I got my rods out to ensure I could call on them to assist in the unhooking of the pike as I had seen it 1st hand but not done it myself.

I personally don't think it was that hard to ask for assistance on the bank - others may disagree.

I know for a fact if someone asked for advice while I was fishing, I'd be honoured in that they have decided that I'm not an idiot just dipping my line, but someone approachable and able to provide assistance. And, of course, I would help.
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Re: A look back part 2 Pike fishing

Post by mark on Sun Jan 10, 2010 5:14 pm

very sensible of you that ed, but not everybody thinks along the same lines. usually on a quite day if i'm fishing n see some younger lads fishing when they catch i'll have a wonder over n observe on the off chance i could be off assistance, not only that but to get the lowdown on what they caught and at what range etc etc but in a less obvious way off course hahaha just play it cool boys Cool Smoking play it cool
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Re: A look back part 2 Pike fishing

Post by Woodchucker on Sun Jan 10, 2010 5:55 pm

edbeef wrote:Good stuff again Ken!

I don't know about you all, but I researched and researched until I felt that I knew about the methods enough to try on my own, otherwise, I'd go with someone I knew had the knowledge to make sure I was doing it right.

I started piking in October and boy did I burn out my internet on the search before I went!

When I arrived I spoke to 2 or 3 groups fishing on the lake before I got my rods out to ensure I could call on them to assist in the unhooking of the pike as I had seen it 1st hand but not done it myself.

I personally don't think it was that hard to ask for assistance on the bank - others may disagree.

I know for a fact if someone asked for advice while I was fishing, I'd be honoured in that they have decided that I'm not an idiot just dipping my line, but someone approachable and able to provide assistance. And, of course, I would help.

Its the best way to do it Ed, the pike teach-in days have been a great success, infact both Cheif and Brassneck who come on here both came to the one I ran for Yf forum and have become very compitant Pike anglers.

PS If they ever catch a large Pike I would like to say that I played a small part in its capture Wink

I will be running a lure day next year on a canal that should be a good day Cool Smoking

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Re: A look back part 2 Pike fishing

Post by edbeef on Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:39 pm

put me down for it WC.
You may have seen on YF I was on the pike teach session at Oaklands.
Unfortunately only one was landed and that's the one I saw how to unhook,

I think I could do it no probs after what I saw and read in the lead up to the event but I'd like someone there just in case!

On that note Craigpix, who I met up with has been selfless in his approach - 2 of my rods and 2 of his.
He said if he gets a run it's mine and if I get a run it's mine. :)

Unfortunately, nothing happened!
I'm really looking forward to getting my 1st pike - It's gonna be amazing

Anything to do with teaching, please let me know - I love the opportunity to learn (as sad as it may sound!)
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Re: A look back part 2 Pike fishing

Post by Woodchucker on Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:03 pm

Its not sad at all Ed, I am like a sponge for knowledge and read as much as I can and when I get the oppertunity to fish with other anglers I learn as much as possible. I have been lucky to fish with some great Pike anglers and I have been able to cut corners and learn very quickly, its the best way to do it.

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Re: A look back part 2 Pike fishing

Post by edbeef on Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:23 pm

I'm just a little sad that it's sooooo damn cold!
Nothing better than a pretty stretch of river to sit at in shorts and a t-shirt until 10pm waiting on the take of a 6lb trout!
That's my experience... I'm sure those pike will take over my mindset once I get one! Innocent Whistle
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Re: A look back part 2 Pike fishing

Post by longshot on Mon Jan 11, 2010 3:30 am

Woodchucker wrote:
longshot wrote:
Woodchucker wrote:Pike have been abused for years and still are now, on the Wharfe Yesterday I saw and confronted 4 lads fishing for Pike using barbel rods sat on rests just like I do with mine, when I asked them about bite indication they said that they watched there rod tips pissed off In modern times when you can use the internet or pick a magazine off a shelf they cant even set up a simple float, its a foooking joke.

It seems that Iíve either been a bit naive or have been fortunate to fish waters where the anglers are a little better educated, in the angling sense. It appears that this education of the younger anglers is going to be a continuing problem and with each generation we have to start over again. Woodyís post demonstrates this perfectly.

I would have understood it Ken if they had been 12 years old but they were 25-40 years old, sad but true Suspect

Well Iím more than a little saddened to learn that I am indeed a little naive in thinking that itís only the younger anglers who need educating. I also should get about a bit more, to see for myself the way some anglers deal with Pike. But these days I only fish a couple of waters (for Pike), and the anglers I have watched are all very good at looking after the Pike and any other fish they catch. So IĎm lucky in that respect, and I know I donít have to worry. Despite all the articles in magazines and the weekly angling press, it seems that there are those who either canít read, or are suffering from the same ignorance that existed when I was a youngster. But in my defence, we then had much less information at our finger tips, and only learned from older people. This is not an excuse, just a statement of fact. Today there is no excuse. I really did think we had moved on from those bad old days!!

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Re: A look back part 2 Pike fishing

Post by Woodchucker on Mon Jan 11, 2010 4:15 am

Your right Ken there is no excuse No

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