Based on my personal experiences I have always enjoyed catching summer pike more than I have winter pike. Summer pike are fast, energetic, explosive and when they take the lure (I only ever lure fish for pike) they often jump clean out of the water and continue to tail walk during the fight. Catching summer pike not only gets the adrenaline pumping through my veins but also puts a big smile on my face too, and in my humble opinion that’s what pike fishing is all about.
Winter pike, are totally different to summer pike and the polar opposite. Winter pike don’t take the lure with the same excitement and ferocity and it’s only when the lure feels like it is snagged do you realise a pike has taken the bait. Winter pike are slow, lethargic and will not battle as much. Winter pike will make some slow and deliberate runs and give a few head shakes in their fight for freedom, but they won’t tail walk. Don’t get me wrong, winter pike fishing is fun but it doesn’t give the same buzz as summer pike fishing.
I was all geared up for the summer pike season however Mother Nature had other ideas. Before the start of the fishing season, i.e. 16 June, the UK entered in to what ended up being nine consecutive weeks without rain, and the Norfolk Broads and rivers really suffered. The temperatures soared higher than they had done for decades and the raging sun was persistent. As a result:-
The Broads Authority did what they could and artificially increased oxygen levels in the worst affected rivers, but they could not do this for all rivers.
Summer pike exert themselves and if there is not the resources available, i.e. oxygen and food, for them to recover they will die. Teasing pike with artificial food and trying to catch them is cruel when they don’t have the energy in the first place, let alone the chance to replenish the energy post capture, so it was time to pack away the pike rods until things improved.
I did have a go at lure fishing right at the start of the season, before things got too bad and before I knew there was going to be a heatwave, and fished the River Bure (at Wroxham) and Salhouse Broad. Neither of these sessions were successful with regards to catching pike (which is actually a blessing in disguise – although I didn’t think like that at the time) but it is nice to get out on the river bank and cast a lure for a few hours.
We have had a bit of rain over the last few weeks, but still nothing substantial and I have decided to park the summer pike fishing this year and wait for the autumn. Hopefully, next summer will be back to the normal hot and sunny one day/heaving it down with rain the next pattern that we usually have in the UK.
Below are some pike fishing links you may find interesting and/or useful:-
Fishing video playlists ...