Angler’s Mail HQ news editor Thomas Petch (pictured below) gives his own top 6 tips for pike.

EVEN though there are sure to be a few frosts in the weeks ahead, pike will still be on the prowl – they do get caught through hole in the ice in the Arctic Circle after all!

Pike are the most fragile of fish despite their fearsome predatory appearance so always make sure you have a large unhooking mat, long forceps and wire cutters with you. Our  pike unhooking advice article explains more.

And if you aren’t over confident about unhooking pike by yourself, get some advice on the bankside first from experienced anglers. The Pike Anglers Club of Great Britain often have regional fish-ins where novices are welcome to go along.


My top 6 piking tips for the novice angler


Prebaiting can work really well to concentrate bigger pike into your chosen area.

Always check for offers at the fish counter of your local supermarket! And if you any sea fishing, any mackerel, garfish (minus the beak), smelt and the like can be saved in the freezer.

And if you cook a lot of fish at home, freeze the raw heads two.Nov 25 prebaiting


Always use strong tackle as pike can really pull a lot.

A minimum of 15 lb main line combined with 28 lb wire traces are a must and use rods of at least 2.5 lb test curve if not heavier.


I like to use a single treble hook to aid easy unhooking and strike as soon as I get a run to avoid deep hooking.

A hair-rigged chunk of fish on a single size 2 hook can also work very well and aids unhooking for novices.


Because I like to strike immediately, I like to use small baits even for big fish and don’t mind using 2 oz roach or small sections of deadbaits.


Many pikers don’t bother with feeding for small fish but I like to put out maggots and groundbait to bring in the silver fish.

You can, where allowed, try and catch livebaits as well over this feed which could produce an extra fish or two although bigger specimens often pick up deadbaits.


This video with Steve Collett, the Angler’s Mail print magazine columnist, will help you. He’s caught far more pike that I have, too!

Please take the utmost care of every pike you catch, they really are not as fierce as they look.

CAUGHT A BIG FISH? Email photos and details exclusively to: – you could star in the must-read Angler’s Mail print magazine.