When to strike when float fishing for Pike.

rich66

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Hi folks
After some advice on pike fishing as the title says when do you strike when float fishing ? Is it like general fishing wait for it to go under or take off. I want to avoid deep hooking of possible.
I’ve caught pike before on lures but fancy a go at dead baiting.
Thanks
 

Aknib

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For static deadbaiting I always gap my trebles close together and position both sets in the centre of the deadbait body as opposed to one in the root of the tail and one halfway along the body.

In every case I've observed a Pike will pick up a deadbait halfway along the body, slumped sideways across its jaws before turning it head first and swallowing it and the close gapping and position of the trebles on the deadbait allows for an instant strike and virtually no chance of deep hooking.

The other advantage is that the sooner you strike the less chance the Pike has to feel the trebles and reject the bait.

I've lost very few (if any?) fish doing it this way and it eradicates deep hooking.

There will always be exceptions to the rule with regards to how Pike pick up a static deadbait but they're that few and far between that I will opt for this arrangement every time and not worry about the exceptions.

Gap the trebles according to the size of bait you are using, it might be an inch for a small Roach or two or three for a large Herring but as long as they're in the centre of the bait you can strike instantly with a great chance of a hook up in one of the trebles and an easy unhooking process.
 

rich66

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Thanks, that’s great advice. I’d read somewhere the other day about keeping the trebles close together and I understand why now.
I’m thinking of trying mackerel tail or something to start with.
 

Aknib

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This is the kind of thing I use, on this occasion I was after Zander but it shows how closely the trebles are gapped... The only thing I would have done with a full deadbait would be to hook it longways as opposed to across the body as shown here...



I know trebles come in for some bad press but having tried singles, circles and most of the other alternatives I still find them the most reliable for a hook-up and the safest to use for an instant strike, they are very often far smaller than the singles which I occasionally see people using.
 

rich66

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Brilliant thank you, if you don’t mind what size trebles would you recommend ?
 

Aknib

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It really depends on the size of the bait... Maybe an 8 for a smallish 2oz Roach or a 6 for a slightly bigger bait such as small Mackerel or a 4 for a large Herring.
 

rich66

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It really depends on the size of the bait... Maybe an 8 for a smallish 2oz Roach or a 6 for a slightly bigger bait such as small Mackerel or a 4 for a large Herring.
Thought that maybe the case. Thank you once again for the advice.
 

john step

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Thats a good point about trebles half way along Steve. I have started using a variation on that which seems OK. I put a treble on the flank with a large single through the tail. The single stops this ham fisted clumsy angler from casting off the deadbait and feeding the gulls!
The single is merely a bait holder and its the treble that does the hooking.
I make my own traces and leave the single free to slide on the trace but it is stopped by a crimp above the treble. That way it is infinitely variable for bait size.
The other advantage is that should I wish to do so I can reverse the bait to be head first up the line and use it sink and draw.
Works for me.
 

Phil Heaton

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I presume you are float ledgering, strike as soon as the float starts bobbing as a pike can inhale a bait without actually pulling the main line due to the length of the trace.
If you are fishing with a free roaming float again strike at the slightest movement as pike can and often take a bait from the underside due to their eyes pointing upwards and their tendency to lay deep waiting for an opportunity to feed. Due to this its wise to use an uptrace as well as the bait trace to avoid the pike picking up your main line as it engulfs the bait and then biting through the line on the strike.
 

rich66

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Thanks Phil for the information, I’d much rather miss a fish than deep hook one. That’s why I thought I’d ask. I don’t know any pike anglers except one who’s too ill to fish these days.
 

john step

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Rich, I would add that having re read your question about when to strike. I dont actually strike in the sense that you do when float fishing for other coarse species.
Its not a sharp strike like that.

You tighten down ASAP and apply pressure. You will hook the pike if the hooks are in a soft part. If the pike is merely clamping down on the deadbait, which often happens a sharp strike can pull the bait away.

The steady pressure will in these circumstances often make the pike open its mouth to reject the bait. The hooks will then pull into the pike whereas they couldnt before as the pike was clamping them tight.

You will know this from when you have had a roach on the end and a pike grabs it. To all intents you can play a pike for some time merely because it has clamped down on the roach and is not actually hooked at all and the roach eventually comes back somewhat tattier.

I hope that makes sense?
 
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rich66

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John yes thank you I think that makes sense. It sounds a bit like when you get run from a carp on the feeder. You just give enough tension to hook itself rather than a conventional strike.
 

David Gane

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On reading the above, a couple of additional points for you:

Firstly, you're right of course that nobody wants to deep hook a pike. However, if you do it is vital to have invested in a decent set of long forceps; if you haven't got a pair already I strongly recommend that you buy some. Secondly, when unhooking a deeper hooked fish do remember that you can often access your hooks more easily through the gills (taking care not to damage them, of course).

Thirdly, mackerel tails are a good bait, but it's always good to ring the changes and tackle shop sea baits are expensive. Sardines can be bought at your local Morrisons for roughly 4 for £1. I buy them in 4s from the fish counter and freeze them in the bag so I always have a good supply in store at home.
 

steve2

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Firstly, you're right of course that nobody wants to deep hook a pike. However, if you do it is vital to have invested in a decent set of long forceps; if you haven't got a pair already I strongly recommend that you buy some. Secondly, when unhooking a deeper hooked fish do remember that you can often access your hooks more easily through the gills (taking care not to damage them, of course).[QUOTE

One good point to remember if unhooking with forceps is not to have your fingers in the holes. Pike can and do twist and jump and having your fingers in the holes you can't always get them out of the way. I much prefer long nosed pliers and the pistol grip pliers along with long handle cutters.
 

john step

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Another twopence worth from me. Yes the long nose purpose made forceps are 100% better than ordinary long ones. They do not flex. Also , they come as a pair with long handled cutters.

The cutters are invaluable for piking. Not only on the rare occasion to cut trebles in a pike but for those more often times such as the inevitable tangle in the net mesh.

If one treble is in the pike and another in the mesh and the pike decides to flip about a quick snip enables the pike to be unhooked safely and your fingers are not in danger from the errant treble.

If you make your own traces its not much cost to consider snipping the hook or trace and putting a new one on. Better than wasting time freeing the mesh or cutting it in frustration :eek:mg:

Same goes for lures. Have a arrangement where hooks can be snipped from mesh and replaced on the bank. Split rings.
 

rich66

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Some great ideas folks. I’ve got some forceps and long wire cutters from my lure fishing which have been ok so far. I need to start making my own traces I’ve a few for lures but nothing for dead baiting. I quite enjoy making stuff for my fishing anyway so gives me an excuse to fill the dining table up with fishing projects. Just made a pencil type float for my intended dead baiting .
 

steve2

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I know I have mentioned this book before but the Fox modern pike fishing book shows how to make and use traces. It uses Fox product but you can use what ever you use. It's my go
to book for when I need a reminder.
 

Phil Heaton

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I'll second the Morrisons sardines, they seem to be fresher than other supermarkets with shiny scales and bright eyes.
I actually bought a vacuum packer and buy the sardines when they are in stock, vacuum them and freeze. They last longer in storage and don't get freezer burn this way, by packing them in two's you can also bring some home unopened and put them back in the freezer.
To make better use of the packer I also buy meat on special offer and freeze that, it lasts much longer and saves money that your wife can appreciate which makes the buying of the packer easier to get agreed by her indoors.
 
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never thought of a vacuum packer / brilliant idea; i also buy sardines from morrisons as very fresh and cheaper than tackle shop ( sorry shop owners) fox side cutters are very good/ nothing worse than buying a cheap product and it badly lets you down . nothing but praise for fox unhooking tools
 
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