Lee Swords Fishing

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Time for some Trent Pike!!

The temperature has fallen through the floor,the chub may need a day or two to acclimatise therefore …it is time for a bit of Trent pike! Like carp I don’t really do much fishing for these prehistoric creatures on man made venues, I don’t really like the whole “fakey-ness”  about the places, yes some of the fish are stunning and yes, I would fish them and enjoy them if the opportunity arose for me to do so but I don’t feel the need to do my piking any places else but on the Trent, I like Trent pike!

So what is my main line of attack for the Trent fish? To be honest it isn’t that different to how I go after barbel! which may sound completely odd but it was over 20 years ago that I found that feeder rigs stuffed with minced fish worked just as effectively for pike as feeder rigs stuffed with ground bait  pellets or maggots work for barbel and chub, bream roach and carp. all fish species like to hear the dinner bell ring and then get an alluring whiff of something nice on the current, like a fresh sardine, orLee Swords and Matthew Stewart Smith with a 20

IMG_6936 lovely shiny eyed roach or even a mackerel half.

“I know people dismiss sardine as a “Noddy” bait but in my experience it works a treat for Trent pike so I don’t mind being a “Noddy”, I have been called a lot worse in the past and i’ll certainly be called a lot worse in the future!”

Therefore with that in mind I don’t care what bait I use as long as the bobbin drops off and the line coils away into the depths! One rig I have had a fair amount of success on these last few years whilst out after a big old long and lean Trent pike has been a variation of the “Mick Brown” kebab rig that allows the angler to use chunks of bait rather than whole fish.

Lee Swords home made "treble" kebab rig

My good mate Ron Clay thought that my treble based version looked an abomination and that no Trent pike he has ever seen would not “go” for something so” fashionista” as that, less than 10 minutes after making the remark he was eating his words.

I only have one rule when it comes to traces, they need to be “high quality” affairs long enough and strong enough to cope with everything. I make my own most of the time so that I can get exactly what I want and can guarantee the connection quality. I hate to see these tiny little budget things being sold, they are shit, they are dangerous.


If you do not have the time or experience to make your own there are several companies out there that make some high quality stuff that can be relied on to not let you down at the critical moment.


Another method I love to use on the river is the “lure”, it is such an active method and the angler covers so much water that the chances of finding a feeding fish are far increased, you just have to remember to slow things down a bit, it is no good striping a lure across the top like you did in summer, it is time for  some “slow dancing” tripping a lure along the bottom or steadily working a lure around some structures. Lee Swords selection of lure sizes

I like the Calcutta single hook lure for this type of angling, they are effective and they don’t snag up easily having only one hook that sits proud of the bottom. Many people would question the sanity of anyone lure fishing in winter but with a little a thought and a good selection of lure sizes and colours, success can almost be guaranteed.

the one thing you have to remember though is that the size of the lure does not always correlate to the size of the fish caught, sometimes a pikes ayes are a lot bigger than their bellies and they attack lures that are in reality a lot too big for them to handle!

Small Trent pike...big belly

trent pike 17lb 10oz

And on other occasions larger than average pike fall for smaller than average lures (and baits) and that is all part of the fun of it!

And that is the main thing for me, I am not an out and out pike fisherman, I am just a fisherman that does not like to blank, hence the reason I target the stocks of Trent pike when the conditions dictate, however that said I do not advocate anyone going after these magnificent creatures without the correct equipment to protect them and the angler. pike have a lot of teeth and big mouths!

If you are going after Trent pike or any pike for that matter you will need forceps, not one pair either, I would say at least three with one set at least 12 inches long and a pair of wire snips/ tin snips in case you have a need to de-construct a trace in situ.

pike mouth

There is never an excuse to damage a fish…Although on occasion damage will occur to the angler…So if you don’t want to see a bit of “claret” from time to time don’t go fishing for pike!

Lee Swords poorly finger!


Trent pike have teeth!

Lee Swords unhooking a trent pike

And if you do go fishing for pike don’t just take the stuff you need to unhook them safely take the gear you need to keep yourself free from harm.


Rivers edges are dirty places full of potential infection. so make sure you are carrying some disinfectant and waterproof plasters, septic wounds can seriously ruin your day so don’t think your a hard nut by ignoring the tiny little puncture wound, get it sorted out and cleaned up ASAP!

Right where are those rigs I need to get me some pike fishing done!!

But remember…Fish safe, respect the pike and treat it with dignity…and don’t count to thirty before striking !!

For more pike action read this…


2 Responses to “Time for some Trent Pike!!”

  1. Hi, just saw your post while doing researches on pikes… Wanted to say something that might interest you and other pikes fishermen… some pikes (not all of course) are safe carrier of an illness which is deadly for man : the leptospirosis. It is an illness caused by a bacteria which is found in rats urin. It doesn’t bother pikes but the bacteria is usually found in its teeth. This illness has serious consequences even when not deadly since it destroy liver and kidneys. And even if you survive to it, it greatly afftect the rest of your life. So, your advices are absolutely good. And I would add that if someone doesn’t feel well after a few days, when he has been harmed by a pike, he should rush to a MD and takes it very seriously. Hope it helps… There is a chance this illness is not in UK but I know a lot of british anglers comes fishing in France…

  2. Yes, you are right,Wiels disease is something we should all take seriously!

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