Fishing for Pike in the Summer Months ?


James stewart

I am by primary nature a Pike angler , I do really love those big girls !
It is with a heavy heart that I leave them alone from late March until Mid - September , I know that some good sport can be had but I find it hard to go for them durring this time.
How do anglers find them durring the summer months , not from a lure angling perspective , but do you see many live or dead baiting for them do waters in mainland U.K. permit these methods durring the summer. I myself think we can place them under too much angling pressure and they should be given a break at some time , that is my main reason for letting them be for a few months.
Any thoughts any one.
Can any of you lads point me in the direction of a good supply of Smelt over in N.I. it is hard to get and very over priced !

all rounder

OK I am probably going to upset a few people but here goes! I think we take this "caring for the fish" attitude too far. Fact is if we cared that much we would not go fishing! Now do not get me wrong I am definatly in favor of unhooking mats, safety rigs, close season at spawning times (variable and left to discretion of the fishery controller) and many, many other things but to start avoiding fishing for a fish during the summer as its not in peak condition is going to far. I mean when does a fish like hook stuck in it ? Tell me this, What would you say is the peak time for Carp ? I hear they are in their best condition and highest weights during the winter?.so should we stop fishing for them in the summer then ?

I think piking as a winter pursuit is a stigma that has been attached to that branch of the sport. Personally I very rarely fish for them in the summer and start around October time, buts that only because I move away from other species who become progressively harder as the temperatures drop. I would however have no qualms about fishing for them in the summer if I felt it was time well spent in their pursuit.
I am sure that someone is going to throw the prospect of giving fuel to the "anti?s" and I agree that we need to work our image but for heavens sake lets be realistic about it.


Managing Editor
Feb 23, 1999
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I agree with 'all rounder'. If we take this caring for fish to any greater lengths we may as well stay at home. How the hell do we justify sticking hooks in fish if we carry on mollycoddling them any more than we already do?


I personally dont Pike fish much in the Summer.The reasons being the same as why I dont no longer Carp fish in the Winter.Call me soppy but Piking to me is white,crisp high pressure winter days and Carping to me is warm sunny dawns and muggy nights!Sorry! No problem with people fishing for Pike in the summer though.Most people who do are die hard Pikers who understand about the extra problems in hotter weather and can deal with them.And they do pull well then.

Paul Hiom

i find that using deadbits in summer is almost a waste of time although you will get the occasional fish in pits/lakes picking them up especially at night. Summer piking should reflect what the species are looking for and that is live fish. Pike are very active in summer, especially on rivers and streams and you are better off travelling light with a bucket of livies and a free roaming float set up. Same rule for pits. Keep moving, because you can bet your life the Pike will be. Also, yes take care with summer pike because they will flap about on the bank. I prefer to hand land them with a strong grip on the lower jaw, dont let them bounce out of your hand and hold tight. Only bigger fish need placing on a mat and i would say sit over the fish with it between your legs and unhook in the normal way ensuring that the pike will not slide off the mat. If you want to sit behind two rods and relax, still stick to livebaits fished at various depths with a float or sunken float paternoster.

Andrew Calvert

I don't Pike fish very often in the Summer but find a wobbled dead bait very effective when I do (I generally fish in Monaghan/Cavan and live bait is as we know banned in the South). As far as location goes leave the larger waters unless you have plenty of time to spare or are willing to spend a few days for sucess. I find it's better to fully cover a smaller water providing there is a good variation of depths and habitat available. As far as smelts in N.I. I don't know where you live in the province but if you are close to a prawn fishing port have a word with a skipper who will usually be able to supply a few for the price of a pint. You can also get an unbelievably cheap and ready supply of many other baits. The less traditional baits definitely do the business on the more heavily fished waters (Muckno, Eglish, Newry Canal etc.) My current favourite wobbling baits are dyed blue Whiting or Gurnards, but don't tell the Belfast red wool brigade!

paul williams

for superb summer piking give the rivers a go friends and myself have took very large bags of river pike [in our case predominatly the lower severn] they pull much harder during the warmer months so use sensible gear then they go back still fighting fit a boat is great help on larger rivers

joseph foxall

have you tried using live bait perch and wobblin a dead bait sand eel i've had some good results on the lancaster canal with this in summer.even lure fishing has been productive

Chris Bishop

Quite a lot of people up here (Fens/Norfolk...) fish for them all year round. As long as you're careful I don't think it does them any more harm than targetting big females when they're full of spawn at the back-end of the season.

I find lives and deads work fine, you have to bear in mind they're more widely spread at this time of the year, so it pays to be a bit more mobile.