Do Pike 'go off' dead Sea fish baits?

tommos16

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Basically, my question is the title. With this turn in weather and a few known holding spots, I fished for Pike with the only bait I had - Sardines - with no success. I know it's getting quite late for deadbaits in general, but does anyone find they tend to 'go off' sea fish baits at this time of year? Or are the blanks getting to me?

Thanks!

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terry m

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Not in my experience Tommos.

But for me the watchword is variety. I always keep a freezer well stocked with mackerel, herring, roach and sardines. They supplement the ‘go to’ bait of smelt which never seems to lose its attraction. In addition when I can get them I will use blueys lamprey, bream pollen etc.

Also vary sizes, especially mackerel and herring. Try a really large bait for a change, you will be surprised how easily mid double pike will snaffle a 12 inch bait.
 

tommos16

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Thanks Terry! I'm out for an hour and a half with joey on one rod, perch on the other, will fall back on sardines for the last 20 minutes as it goes into dark. Here's hoping! You've given me some faith at least

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john step

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Its that finicky time of year with pike. At least in my local available water.
My go to bait has been lamprey which I buy a bulk pack. As Terry says variety.

Without trolling through my diary I cannot recollect a pike this winter on lamprey . One or two only on sea baits.

However I have had a good run on roach dead baits.
The other funny thing this winter is that I can recall only one successful run and hook up on float gear. A 15 if memory serves.
I have had plenty of what I and other members have called funny bites.

The float dips or moves a foot sideways and then nothing! Cast a Ledgered bait the same spot and a run often happened with a double landed.

Its only a guess but maybe pike are not so daft as we think and do in fact wise up to a line reaching up to the surface.
 

tommos16

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Yeah your experience sounds a lot like mine John! Location has been key as well, but it's been hard post Christmas fishing for them. I've seen friends have success on rivers over still waters this year, but nothing monstrous due to them being river pike in a small stream. Blank number 12 in the bank now!

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Keep

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everyone has their own opinion on pike deadbaits, it's quite entertaining talking to another piker by the riverbank and hearing what's worked for them

I quite like small mackerel, simply because I have caught them myself in the summer on the beach and catching a pike on your own gathered bait is all the more satisfying.
 

john step

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tommos16

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I'm struggling for Pike, but I've already seen Tench rolling. Looks like the fish don't read the books

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whitty

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Different waters create this,if the water has a relatively small population,or bank space is limited,you(and everyone else)are basically fishing for the same fish,if the majority are using sea fish as bait,they can become wary,similar to pike that are fished for only with lures,or deads,put a livebait on and bingo,yet they wouldn't take the others,sometimes they will only take lamprey....
 

jcal1989

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I find that when waters have been heavily fished you rarely catch on dead baits not natural to the venue, I always stick to what the pike are naturaly feeding on as in my opinion the pike will be more confident in taking the bait. it works for me, and I catch when while anglers using sea baits blank.
 

whitty

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In the main you are right,but at times,on the right waters the opposite is true,being open minded is probably the best option...
 

jcal1989

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yes the likes of lough erne, sea baits work well as it is very large water that would be impossible to be over fished, but for me smaller venues that are fished hard, natural baits work best.
 

pelamid

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I think on some waters pike are caught so often that they "wise-up"!

My first experience of this was when I was in my teens (I am 68 now!) and roach, dace or gudgeon were the baits of choice on my local river Gipping.

Someone found out sprats did just as well as river baits. That was great for about two years and then the pike just went off them, other sea baits sometimes worked, but it was back to river fish for baits again.

Tiny river, quite a lot of pike anglers. Let's face it, when they are hungry pike are easy to catch. How many had been stung by a sprat with a treble hook in it? I am guessing all of them in that several miles of river!

But their only alternative was natural river fish - so they had to eat!

More recently, in Scotland, I found popped-up launce got fish regularly. Maybe not the same fishing pressure on those lochs.
 

keora

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Its that finicky time of year with pike. At least in my local available water.
My go to bait has been lamprey which I buy a bulk pack. As Terry says variety.

Without trolling through my diary I cannot recollect a pike this winter on lamprey . One or two only on sea baits.

However I have had a good run on roach dead baits.
The other funny thing this winter is that I can recall only one successful run and hook up on float gear. A 15 if memory serves.
I have had plenty of what I and other members have called funny bites.

The float dips or moves a foot sideways and then nothing! Cast a Ledgered bait the same spot and a run often happened with a double landed.

Its only a guess but maybe pike are not so daft as we think and do in fact wise up to a line reaching up to the surface.

I've had the bites you mention. I think that often it's a line bite rather than a pike picking up the bait for a second or so.
 

john step

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I've had the bites you mention. I think that often it's a line bite rather than a pike picking up the bait for a second or so.
You may be right. Perhaps they swim around the bait when suspiciously and waft the bait about. I have seen videos of pike underwater swimming round a suspended bait.
 

Tree123

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I've never found deadbaits that great for me personally in early spring . I've always done way better on lives I think once they start to wake up they prefer a moving bait
But o know some people dont like lives/rules ban them
 
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