Pike Pro Presentation & Attraction Products User Report
Tue 07 January 14
I’m happy to admit that I’m fairly inconsistent when it comes to pike angling, it’s not something I do a great deal of, but as the cold weather sets in, I’ve got to do something to get out on the banks, so I’ve had to dust off the gear and find a venue to give me some action where I can really try out the new terminal tackle I’ve received from the Pike Pro range at Baitbox (www.baitbox.com) The range has already been reviewed here on www.ukspecialistangler.com so I won’t go over old ground, but as a user, I was interested to see how it would perform in the hands of an occasional piker!
My chosen venue was Cudmore Fishery in Staffordshire; I’ve known owner Cyril Brewster and the excellent team up there for some time now, so it was easy to find out what had been caught recently and gain any other hints or tips which would help me get amongst fish. Sadly, George Hodgkinson informed me that although he had heard reports of the odd fish hitting the net, he had received no photographs to confirm it, so my session was likely to be difficult……. Waking up in the morning, blizzarding snow storms and unsettled weather did little to improve my confidence…..
Arriving at Cudmore, it was straight into the cafe for a quick brew with the lads before setting off for a wander around Tara Lake which is now the designated predator lake containing catfish in excess of 60lbs, pike to almost 30lbs and huge perch to well over 5lbs! I wanted to fish this five acre lake with the cold wind at my back and hopefully find a sheltered bay or corner with some cover to give the pike somewhere to ambush their next meal. I know that pike love overhead cover, so with that in mind, I set up in a small bay near a sunken tree and plenty of reed cover; the additional bonus of an aerator pumping oxygen into the immediate area wasn’t lost on me either as I knew it would attract prey fish in to the swim…..hopefully the pike would follow.
Tackling up, I’d selected a pair of 3lb test curve rods so I could put plenty of pressure on any pike to prevent them getting caught in snags or weed beds; pike are a delicate fish, so I had no intention of potentially causing unnecessary damage with poor tackle choice. Twinned with 10000 series baitrunners, I was confident that I had enough to land any snappers that may fall for my baits! I had decided to fish a static deadbait in around four feet of water alongside the sunken tree; if pike were anywhere in cover, it was going to be here, so I wanted to give them something to investigate. My rig consisted of a Pike Pro readymade snap tackle with a pair of size 8 semi barbed trebles attached with a Pike Bomber feeder fished on an accompanying paternoster; each of the hooks had a bright red bait flag already flying, so it was a simple task to tie it directly to my 15lbs mainline. Just a quick point; all the Pike Pro traces are very tidily finished with rubber sleeves to prevent any sharp edges which may damage either pike or fingers which makes them extremely user friendly.
I tied the Pike Bomber to a short length of line ending in a wide bore swivel to provide minimum resistance should a hungry pike pick up the bait. This was pushed up the line followed by a rubber bead to protect the trace knot and help reduce tangles before being baited. On the snap tackle, I carefully hooked a large chunk of ‘bluey’, securing one of the trebles firmly in the tail root. The ‘bluey’ (also by baitbox) has an advantage over mackerel deadbaits in that it has a much higher oil content which means more attractant in the water for longer! To add even more scent into the water, I used the Pike Pro oil and air needle kit to inject some winterised Lamprey oil into the heart of the sponge within the Pike Bomber and gently forced the remainder into the bait itself. This was then lobbed gently out in front of me, left to settle and the line tightened to give optimum bite indication. I smashed up a few sprats and threw them over the top as a few free offerings and then set about the other rod.
The second rod was rigged to let a smaller sprat deadbait hang nose down in the water under a float which would be allowed to drift some distance to cover a little bit more water in an effort to bag a smashing snapper. I used some of the Pike Pro bait spray dye on this rig, so a word of warning; keep your hands out of the way or you will end up with yellow or red fingers! It goes on very well through the atomiser and instantly sticks to whatever it touches and lasts for ages! I even considered wearing rubber gloves as it was so potent…..remember that fact when you have just used it, got it on your hands, and then disappeared behind a tree to answer the call of nature!
With both baits in, it was time to sit back and wait whilst keeping a wary eye on the float in the distance. By this time, the weather had cleared considerably giving way to bright sunshine and high pressure; again, not ideal for predator angling, but I was determined to bag at least one fish before giving up. Watching the water, I hadn’t seen anything except carp cruising the upper layers (in December?!) and a few small rises from roach; not a single sign of any of my target fish which led me to think I had perhaps selected the wrong area. The water in front of me was fairly shallow and I was banking on it warming up first as the sun hit my corner of the lake before anywhere else, but I was concerned that the pike may have been in deeper, darker water. It was time to move; I’m not someone who particularly likes moving swims, especially when fully loaded with tackle and in cold weather, but it seemed the only option.
As I turned towards repacking the rucksack, a single bleep from my static rod gained my full attention. I hate to leave any pike interest for too long as I don’t like to have a deeply hooked fish; I’d rather miss the run than risk damage, but this was a ‘funny’ take and I wasn’t sure it was a pike. The indicator continued to rise and fall just an inch or so, and this continued for about ten seconds before I decided to lift the rod. I’d noticed the line moving as it entered the water, but I still hadn’t confirmed it was a pike until the hooks set and then the fish hit the surface in an angry explosion of cold spray! For an early season pike, it had loads of energy and steamed off on a surging run taking around 30 yards of line as it headed for open water. When it got there, it decided to tail walk across the surface (a beautiful sight with the sun behind it!) before doing its very best to eject the trebles firmly lodged in its jaws with a series of head shakes before it tired and glided to my waiting net. Success!
Taking the fish over to the waiting mat, it was gently lifted out so I could slide my hand under the gill plates to open its mouth and remove the semi barbed trebles. The lack of a barb on the hooks that do the work makes unhooking pike much easier and I’m always grateful when I don’t have to try too hard to get them out. It wasn’t a big fish at just 10lbs 8ozs, but after a day without expectation, it was extremely welcome and was my first double figure pike on my first ‘proper’ session of the year!
Returning the pike to swim slowly away, it was easy to reflect on the tackle supplied by Pike Pro; as I’ve stated, I don’t pike fish enough to warrant the huge array of tackle which is available to modern day specialist pike anglers, and I certainly don’t have room in my shed for all the bits required. To be able to use ready-made rigs allows me to pick up a few when I fancy another crack at piking and the oils, colours and flavours from Pike Pro mean I can put maximum attraction into the water with minimum effort to increase my chances of a take. Innovative products such as the Pike Bomber can also be used for my barbel and chub fishing on the rivers, and the various ‘smellies’ can also be put to good use elsewhere so it pays to use your imagination; angling is all about gaining an edge, and with Pike Pro, you don’t even have to work for it!
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