Lee Swords Fishing

Just another WordPress site


Pike Fishing…A Guest article by Lewis Gaukroger

Chasing The Big Girls

By Lewis Gaukroger


Over the last couple of season I have been privileged to guest on a picturesque lake specifically targeting pike. Primarily used for duck shooting the lake is rarely fished; overgrown in its natural beauty the lake has been left alone to evolve with the changing seasons. Supporting a wide variety of wildlife an enjoyable aspect of each session is blending into the background and witnessing the natural events unfold.


With snow blanketing the country and heavy rain forecast for the night before the next session, the only concern I had was the sudden drop in water temperature as the melt water made its natural course into the lake. The last session I had on the lake was back in December, with conditions appearing perfect for the pike to be on the feed, however this was not the case and after trying various methods I blanked. Returning to the lake, the snow had indeed melted with the persistent overnight rain and only vague traces of snow could still be seen. I set up in a sheltered tree lined bay, as blustery winds pushed across the lake causing choppy waves to lap up on the opposite bank.


Setting up a standard float leger method consisting of 15lb main line, a 20g bob float, 3oz lead, 27lb 7-strand wire trace, 2 semi-barbed size 4 treble hooks. Sardines and herring have been the most successful dead baits on the lake and I started both rods on freshly frozen sardines. Spreading the rods at different distances to cover a greater area, I set the alarms onto the most sensitive setting. Sitting back amongst the small willow trees and reeds several Roe Deer bound by with their white rumps flashing through the tall grass, whilst a Great Crested Grebe dived repeatedly to no prevail out in front of the swim. After around 2 hours I intended to bring the baits in and inject them with attractant oil, however whilst slowly retrieving a sardine I received a hard take from a reasonable pike though the fish dropped the sardine immediately. Lewis with a nice pike on wobbled sardineBreaking down the rig and removing the float and lead, I wobbled a fresh sardine through the same area and this was quickly followed and nailed, an energetic fight was soon over and a lovely plump low double female fish was landed. Just out of interest I continued to wobble a sardine through the same area for the next 30 min and received numerous explosive strikes, landing 2 more fish of a similar size to the first. As the feeding spell slowed I set up back to a float leger and injected herring oil into a sardine, which I cast out to around 25 meters. Several more hours passed and the wind was still blustery causing numerous false indications on the floats as they bobbed under and emerged in a rhythmical pattern. As the left hand float bobbed under again, the alarm sounded and the float continued to move away to deeper water, as the alarm increased in frequency, I pick up the rod, disengage the bait runner, wound down and struck into a heavy fish. Feeling the weight of the fish as it shook its head and powerfully charged to the left, I clambered through the reeds to ensure the other float was avoided. After several energetic runs stripping line off the drag, the fish was soon under control. A flash of colour was visible before the fish graced the surface from 12ft of water. Slowly guiding the fish over the net she was brought to the bank placed on the mat and unhooked with ease.Lewis with a stunning pike of over 25 Resting the fish in a deep landing net it was at this point I realised her enormous elegant size. After a few quick photographs over the mat she was weighed at 25lb 0oz and a new personal best. Supporting her whilst she recovered, she soon kicked gracefully back to the depths.


The afternoon progressed and I received no more indications of another feeding spell, a skein of greylag geese dropped in and squabbled with the geese already on the lake and several pairs of mallards spiralled down steeply before un-elegantly landing on the water. Reflecting on this session I have realised all the events that have sub-consciously imprinted in my memory and it’s these events that make such angling memories so special.


Leave a Reply