Friday, 21 February 2014

In to some fish - plus some lure instructions for anyone interested

What's that, the rivers are running off you say? Well not for everyone in the country just yet but I spotted my little bit of water was heading in the right direction. So I kept my eyes on things and predicted I'd be able to get out for an hour with the lures. That would be most welcome, and if I even saw a fish I'd probably have been happy. In the end I was over the moon with my results. No river monster just yet, but I bagged, lost and missed a stack of jacks and it brought it all back to me why I love my pike fishing, and why with the lures. Follows that got my arse twitching, misses from crazy jacks getting the hit wrong and misses from me being too eager to set the hooks when I shouldn't have, plus on top of that some bad angling where I lift out too soon, schoolboy error! Also right at the end, I managed a lump to crown off a frantic bit of sport with a pike that put up a great scrap, topped seventeen pound, was absolutely stunning and I even got it all on camera.

So yes of course I stuck all the bits I had together and made a video for my new youtube channel. It's not a bad effort and I also think it is an improvement on my previous videos too. It helps if you have some good footage and after a few days of faffing, tweaking and then redoing I finally got it sorted. Still learning and still trying to find the best way of doing things and I also have plenty of ideas for the future to work on so I hope to do other things than just the pike hits and misses in this one. I reckon you'll enjoy it but any feedback is most welcome.

On to the video itself and more importantly what it contains. Yes pike attacks and some are fantastic but I didn't want to stuff you full of "look at me I can catch pike". I'm not a pro but I do feel I often have a natural take to lure fishing which I have found some people do not have. Same as some anglers know all the rigs, knots, techniques and finicky things that i haven't got a clue about I suppose. While editing this video I thought about adding some instructions to it to explain what and why I was doing what I did. In the end I opted to leave it out but maybe revisit that idea another day. Possibly get some better underwater lure footage and talk through everything, but in the mean time I thought I'd type some words for any readers who might be interested. You can go ahead and just watch the video if you're a dab hand with the lure rod already. But if you struggle with lures or particularly you can't seem to catch on the Savage Gear four plays, read on first and then watch the video.

The Savage gear 4play hard lures come in three types, the swim and jerk version, the lip lure and the lowrider. The first one is a simple cast out and wind in lure. Mostly this is all you need to do with a swimbait but if you want you can add in a pause or a jerk to trigger a hit or get the pikes attention. In this video I don't use the swim and jerk version as I prefer either the lip lure or the lowrider. Many of you will remember me harping on about my rainbow lip lure in the past and to be honest last year I hardly used it at all. Come the start of this year and things being a little tricky I found it was a go to lure and it has already got me some results including the high double. Now the lip lure too can be used as a simple straight retrieve and it works like that. However I prefer to give it strong, sharp jerks which makes the lure wobble, rattle, vibrate and flash giving out maximum distress signals. The jerks will be hard and fast, but I'm trying to not move the lure far at all. Time in the water is important and far too many people cast out and wind in within seconds. The swimbait and liplures don't dig in at all and only work the top couple of feet of water, and even the lowrider with it's larger lip does not go down much more than four or five feet especially when using a heavy 80lb braid which will hinder the diving even more if you didn't already know.

So strong, fast jerks to get the attention while at the same time, not really moving the lure too far. A nice pause will let the lure sink a little and getting to know the lure is most important. Knowing how fast it sinks, and knowing the depths of water around you can help you keep that lure in the zone longer, but off the snaggy bottom. If the bottom isn't snaggy let the lure sink right down and even leave it there. The keen eyed viewer will notice in the video, that many of the fish on this occasion came from a very small bit of water. The pike were stacked in one small spot which was half a flick of the rod tip long by half a flick of the rod tip wide, not much water at all. It was a small, shallow slack spot right off some fast water. I wasn't launching a fifty yard cast, I simply flicked the lure out a few feet, sometimes in to the fast water and then aimed to get it out of their and keep it in that slack, making as much distress as possible in that zone for as long as possible without snagging up on the bottom.

As the video starts the first couple of fish are hit and lost on a lowrider then a squirrely burt. These are the go to lures when the water is a little more coloured. I don't want the big lip to make the lure dive, I want to make use of the extra resistance it gives on the jerk and the extra noise, flash and vibration it gives off when I do give it a good jerk. Same style retrieve as the lipe lure, it just exaggerates everything much more because of that big lip. The burt is another go to because it has a rattle inside and is noisy as hell. If the water is murky it will get the pikes attention. The burt used is also a shallow burt so doesn't dig in and get snagged up and just works to about two feet under the surface and when that's over 4-5 feet of water that is plenty. After all that, I still miss the first two fish but quickly realise that I probably have just jacks in the area and since I'm in need of a fish I make a switch. A light rod and a four inch white kopyto and single hook. No stinger as that will get me snagged up as I intend to slowly bounce it along the bottom. The jacks will see it and it will make for an easier hook up. No more lightening hits and lures crashing against teeth, just a simple open and suck it in for the pike and the first fish is bagged. Thinking about why you miss a fish, and then the right change can get you the fish next time.

So you can see from that I don't just cast out my favourite lure and expect to catch. Sometimes you can do that of course but mostly I try to put some thought and effort in to what I do. When it comes off it's much more rewarding and it'll help get you a fish when other lures don't. Some days a pike will hit anything, some days they won't. The video shows pike smashing in to anything and everything but actually what it doesn't show are all the casts of the jerkbaits that never got a follow, the big eels that just had me making a lot of splash and a few more lures that didn't work. The 4plays seemed to always get a reaction. When I was catching I switched to something else and then nothing, switched back and then fish action again. Make a note, sometimes the lure you normally catch on doesn't work and making the change can see you get their attention. For me on this occasion, the 4plays giving out lots of vibration and flash were the key to getting their attention. Even better for me, they hits they produce should keep the attention of the youtube viewer too.


  1. Awesome video Paul really enjoyed that, you did well getting the fottage of all the takes. The one where the fish came up from directly below as you lifted out was a good one, and a nice bonus quality fish at the end.

    Heard you drop the 'f bomb' right at the beggining lol

    1. cheers Matty. Easy to get footage when the pike are playing ball. using shallow lures that I mostly worked up near surface so any take was seen. Ps, I don't swear.

  2. Paul,

    I enjoyed the video, a good effort.Thankfully the rivers around here are running off now so I will be out at the weekend.The first trip in about four weeks.

    I'll try to remember to pack the correct tackle ;-0

    1. Good luck mate. As my video shows, the fish were very concentrated and near some fast water/shallows. They seemed to be on the feed so if you have somewhere similar may be worth a go? Make the most of the rivers while we have them.