Pike Love Lamprey!
Posted Predator Tactics at Oct 06, 2010
Predator ace Mick Brown explains how lamprey can turn your fortunes around when targeting hard to catch pike...
Catching pike on trout waters, and other hard fished venues, can pose problems at times as the pike in these waters seem very reluctant to take deadbaits. They seem to get into a routine of spending most of their lives hiding away in thick weed and only emerging once in a while to snatch a rainbow from the upper layers. These make a big easy meal and allow the pike to take a long comfortable digesting period between each one. Deadbaits rarely interest them enough to break this feeding pattern.
Livebaiting is usually not allowed on these waters so that just leaves lures. With the water full of weed and the well fed pike lying deep in amongst it, the pike angler can be faced with serious difficulties, especially in the depths of winter when fishing for pike is sometimes allowed outside of the trout season. This was the scenario I once faced on a water I had been fishing for ages with meagre results.
Lure fishing there had not been very productive either but deadbaiting results were totally abysmal. I’d failed miserably with herring, mackerel, trout, pollen and sardine. I just had no confidence using deadbaits there. Then I remembered the pulling power of lamprey, a bait that had worked elsewhere when all else had failed. They just ooze with blood and body juices and seem to draw pike when other baits won’t work. I bought a fresh supply and booked a day at the lake. With confidence still at a low ebb, I started lure fishing and cast another rod rigged with float fished lamprey into the weed. To keep it just on top of the weed I used a float and no weight on the line and set the depth to just touch the top of the weed.
It wasn’t a nice day at all. The sky was black, the rain thundered down and nothing was interested in the lures (as usual) but three hours into the session, I noticed the float had gone. One second it was there and the next it wasn’t due to the way I had set it to sit lightly on top of the weed. Must be a trout I thought! As I felt a great lumbering lump ripping through the weed strands I knew it had to be a pike. And it was, not very long but a really fat one. With the lamprey still on the hooks, I removed them and put her in the weigh sling. At an ounce over twenty pounds, I was delighted! I'd got one on from a really tough venue on a deadbait at last! Now I can’t wait to get back there for another go. There’s something special about lamprey as many other pike anglers are discovering too.