A Question of Baits

GrahamM

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Generally, my favourite pike deads are:

roach
Joey macks
Sardine
Smelt

but some variation depending on the water, particularly with the top two.
 
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BUDGIE BURGESS

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I would have to say-
Live Roach
Live Trout

Dead Roach
Mackerel
Sardine
Herring
Dead Eel section
Although good I can happily live without the expense of Smelt and Lamprey.The old Herring seems to have fallen from grace with most other Pikers recently, I wonder why?
 

GrahamM

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If we're including livebaits than yes, roach have to go to the top of my list.
 
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Philip Inzani

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Best bait ?
Got to say it...live....anything!

Forgetting problems of availability and just concentrating on effectiveness for a moment I reckon one of the best livebaits is Chub..very tough, good size, nice colour, generally stay deep and dont keep trying to swim up all the time. Also I have never used them but I have been told that Crucian Carp is a great livebait...anyone used them ?

For deads I really like Sardines, I just wish they where not so soft.
 
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BUDGIE BURGESS

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Cruies and other Carp are very strong and hardy baits.They are also easy to keep/transport due to them not requiring much oxygen.Dont use them much for Pike as I prefer the flash of a roach or the "acceptability" of Trout.My first choice for Cats both big and small though.I have always liked chub have every thing going for them except for availability(where I now live anyway!)Big enough Gonks(Gudgeon)are also very good if you can come across them.
 
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mike smith

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I have heard of people using kippers.

Now, how do you keep them on the hook?

Someone I spoke to told me to hook the bait and tie around with cotton, then put the whole thing, trace and all, into the freezer.

An excellent bait, apparently, but only last for one cast as they refuse to be retrieved once thawed.

As an aside, how do you keep your baits frozen? I use a freezer bag and those blue ice packs, but wouldn't expect a frozen kipper to stay in one piece half way through a session.
 
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BUDGIE BURGESS

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Heard and read about kipper but never used it!I always take my frozen baits in a cool box and put a few at a time in an insulated boillie bag with a few ice blocks.The Cool box stays in the car unless I am a long way away.Put as many ice packs in the box as possible and fill up any space with crumpled up news paper.This will ensure your baits stay frozen solid all day.Always remember to zip up your bait bag and close the box lid!
 
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Andrew Calvert

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Favourite baits, live perch/roach, drift netted herring (outfishes trawled herring by a mile), whiting, hake, trout, for the big stuff nothing beats a one and a half pound mackerel. I sorry to burst Dr. Rickards bubble but the fish which he is buying at a Cambridge market is a minimum of eight days old (more likely 14days old, admittedly iced since capture), even if it comes directly from any of the ports on the east or south coast. The only way to get truly fresh bait is to visit one of the smaller fishing ports and get fish off a daily prawn boat (the larger pelagic fleet is where your fish maket fish come from and can sail for many days between landings, and then may even hold fish weeks prior to market depending on prices), these are a great source of bait size whiting, herring, spratts, hake and smelt, which would be dumped anyway.
 
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Gray Catchpole

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without doubt this has to be live roach, unfortunately my local water has banned all live baits, so i stick to lamprey, if i can get it, if not, frozen roach or perch.

the american mangler lure is a really good spinner though, check out catchpole for a review.
 
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BUDGIE BURGESS

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I agree with Andrews buying baits fresh as possible.Why anglers buy frozen pre packed bait from tackle shops is beyond me.No one these days is that far from the coast or a fishmongers.Cant agree with the non oily sea baits like whiting,pout etc never done any good on these.Do you flavour them/inject oil?If I was on a water that presurised I would move!
 
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Ron Clay

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The only deadbait that seems to work for me is mackerel. I use the head or tail end of a good sized mackerel most of the time on one rod and nearly always something else such as eel, lamprey, smelt, roach etc on the other. The mackerel works every time although I did catch a 7 pounder on a sardine a few months ago.
 
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steve reeves

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Tail half of herring !!!!!!
Works every time (well nearly :-})
Seriously though I think it's more to do with what the angler is confident with. If the pike are in your swim and they're hungry then they will eat all the baits mentioned.
 
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Andrew Calvert

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Budgie, pouting is a total waste of time, however I use whiting on the pressurised waters as the weekend cowboys cannot buy it in tackle shops and are too lazy to source some fresh. Myself and my regular fishing partner have had over 20 fish over 15lb the last two seasons on whiting from the one water on which we use whiting as a first choice(and we only fished that water 11 times), the other baits together only give us 6 over 15lb. We generally fish one rod each with whiting and another each with mixed deads or lives. The strike rate for the non-whiting baits is as would be expected from that water by those only fishing conventional baits. Try dying it blue and wobbling it (I know it splits after a while) when the water warms up.
 
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BUDGIE BURGESS

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Thanks Andrew an interesting bit of info.Living on the coast I have acsses to a lot of unusual baits.In all fairness I have found the classics such as Mackeral/herring and Sardine the best but always try new stuff out of interest.On a pit near Canterbury that I used to Pike I twice found 7" Dabs in the margin!They were obviously discarded baits!Fair play to the bloke for trying them.....I wonder if he caught...........
 
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Chris Bishop

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Fresh baits are good, esp smelt, which are a pink colour when you get them from the sea.

So are washed out old baits sometimes. Try going to a hard-fished water and using "old" baits in the margins on a Monday morning, when the weekend crowd have chucked all their un-used bait in and pre-baited for you...

Kippers, smoked mackeral etc do work. Freeze them before use and hook via the skin. Watch out, as some of them float..!

You can also get kipper oil to inject - not as daft as it sounds, as I suspect it's the smell rather than the golden tinge of your Abroath Smokie that attracts the fish.
 
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Chris Bishop

Guest
Whiting does work, I've had fish on the tails.

Dabs are also good - you get them in some of the drains and rivers; try slicing them lengthways for better hook-ups.

Fish you rarely hear of these days is the Jack Travally - solid litle things when frozen, go out like bullets and full of oil a bit like a miniature tuna.

You can get them in Leicester and one or two other places with big asian markets.
 

GrahamM

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I've caught plenty of pike on whiting but in my experience they're either excellent on a water or complete crap. There doesn't seem to be any middle ground with them.

On one water I used to fish regularly I've caught pike (and I'm talking 20's, not jacks) on scrag ends of whiting while fresh roach were being refused.

On yet another water they won't look at them, much prefering any other species live or dead.

They're the two extremes of course, but generally, if you don't catch on whiting within a reasonable time, forget 'em.
 
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BUDGIE BURGESS

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Thats a very interesting comment Graham.Despite what Barrie writes in his article I have found that (on the waters that I have fished any way!)the Pike have shown a marked preference for either Makeral or Herring.Where one has not worked the other enevitably has.Same as your Whiting situation,Why do you think this happens?
 
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Martin Wright

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You're all mad!-The best deadbait is definitely lamprey-lots of blood and eely looking which goes down well on the somerset levels where I tend to pike fish.
The only trouble I've found is the pike seem to swallow them down much quicker than normal so it's important to wind down to the fish asap (they're also a bit pricey).
 
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Paul Williams

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Graham/Budgie, I can understand to a degree some river and fenland fish having a taste for what we class as strange baits, some of our river pike come into contact with all manner, dabs, flounders,shad, etc, but the pit and res pike? why should they seem to switch on to "alien" baits? i doubt if we will ever know. Just as a matter of interest Graham, was the water you are saying responded so well to Whiting a river?
 
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