Monday, 15 April 2013

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Pike fishing on a budget Part 2

Loch o the Lowes near the Glen Cafe

You can make your own traces relatively cheaply and this has the increased advantage of allowing you to custom make them to your own requirements. Visit the PAC website for recommended breaking strain/length/hook size/type etc. Alternatively you can buy readymade traces on e bay at £4.50/10 from a Scottish Supplier using Fox wire, Nickel plated Mustad hooks (see PAC site for barbed vs. barbless) and barrel swivels these offer fantastic value for money.

Avoid plastic coated wire stainless steel hooks and wire; they take a very long time to be dissolved by stomach acid in the event of deep hooking.

For unhooking your catch you will require a couple of pairs of stainless Artery Forceps (10”) £12 will get you good ones. A couple of pairs of long needle nosed pliers available from tool stockists on e bay (4 pairs for £10). Heavy duty wire cutters in case you have to cut the hooks Tesco do a pair for £3.50 that will cut through hook gauge wire with ease. If you are fishing on a rocky or shingle bottom you need an unhooking mat (if no soft grass is close to hand). You can spend £40 if you want or do what one of our anglers did – suitable size of 3” bedding foam (£3) wrap in soft nylon from a cheap bivvi (£0) duck tape and you have an unhooking mat the equal of a bought item. If you encounter a deep hooked fish cut the trace only as a last resort, if other anglers are nearby seek assistance. Allow the fish to recover before releasing. The PAC website goes into the requirements for safe Pike angling in detail please read thoroughly before fishing.
The river that joins the Lowes to St Mary's.
You will need some form of bite indication, again go to the PAC site for research based advice but essentially you want a pair of swingers preferably with weights built in to enhance drop backs. Most people tend to go for the rigid or motorcycle chain type to minimise wind problems, a pair on e bay (Nash) £16.00. For setting up again use your peers and independent research (PAC site). If you require an aid to your indication there are many electronic type indicator aids on the market (set of 3 £16.00 various suppliers), but remember rely on your mechanical indication with appropriate end tackle and you will never go wrong. See our earlier article “looking to the future”.
Be a safe angler, understand what happens when a Pike takes your bait, understand the anatomy of a Pike, (how would you feel having forceps abrading your lungs or your skin pulled along a gravel bank)? Be a competent angler, be able to justify your methods don’t just look the part sitting behind your bank of all singing all dancing latest edition multi coloured alarms in blissful ignorance, knowledge breeds confidence, protect your Pike fishing future and research your sport!
So there you have it a very basic set up for around £200.00 there will be many other bits and pieces (nets weights floats etc) you will need but the basics are here. Almost certainly you will want to upgrade your tackle when resources allow, again do not be taken in by flashy advertising. Consult your peers, visit a few Pike forums and you will see even top manufacturers turn out mundane items every now and then. If you use a local shopkeeper make a few discrete enquiries and if you are fortunate enough to have a knowledgeable vendor by all means use the outlet.

Search the internet for best prices and on e bay watch the items over a period of time. I remember one vendor who had 6 fixed spool reels on offer and these reels were continually relisted for over a year without a single sale, this tells you more than a glossy ad! For all the information you will need visit

Club AGM 18th Feb Tibbie Shiels Inn St Mary's Loch 19.30hrs Members Only!

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