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Post  Jeffb on Wed Nov 26, 2008 9:37 pm

Hi all, Jeff here, new member, after a bit of help please...

I have decided upon the rather daunting task of a winter river Pike campaign.

Having just moved back to the area I again have several wonderful miles of the River Lea at my disposal.

When it comes to Pike I am a strong believer in not complicating things, keeping it simple, yet effective.

However, one thing I know to put a lot of effort into is fish location, if they aren't there you can't catch-em, and all that!!!

With that in mind I really want to pick your brains about river (canal) Pike location....

Like most eastern Rivers/Canals, the Lea is sluggish, with locks every half mile/mile or so...

The most prominent features are the locks, the odd side stream/cut, an occasional over-hanging tree, and boat yards/moored boats...

Bar the above, I am otherwise faced with hundreds of seemingly featureless yards of river...

With that in mind, where might you start to look for winter Pike on such a river...???

Just for the record, how might one approach/tackle a river, fav' baits and tactics etc... (couldn't resist cyclops)

Look forward to hearing from you...
Cheer,
Jeff
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Post  adamscott on Thu Nov 27, 2008 12:49 pm

I'm not familar with that type of river as the rivers I fish are all northern "spate" rivers. What I would do is go out for a couple of sessions with lures and wobbled baits to try and find any fish-holding areas. When bait fishing I would give a swim 20 or 30 minutes then move, leap-frog down the stretch until you find some Pike. That way you will be learning about the stretch contours, snags and other features.

You say "The most prominent features are the locks, the odd side stream/cut, an occasional over-hanging tree, and boat yards/moored boats"..........I would concentrate on these sort of areas and go from there.

Good Luck

Adam
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Post  Jeffb on Thu Nov 27, 2008 4:58 pm

Cheers adam,

A lot of sense in that, and the idea of leap-frogging down the river is something that Mick Brown also talks highly of...

I have had a couple of sessions lately using wobbled deads, and have had 2 jacks to about 6lb per trip... They both came from a cut next to a lock that had a radial gate? (gate that opens temporarily when the water rises too high)

I would be a tad dubious of lure fishing to any extent now as the water is getting too cold for the fish to be chasing plastic about with much gusto... I will plump for a dead-bait wobbled very slowly under a float...

Well, I'm due out Thursday of next week and will report back with my findings (unless I get a big old girl which I'll keep quite about Wink )

Cheers,
Jeff
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Post  Andy Webster on Thu Nov 27, 2008 10:16 pm

Hi Jeff

Welcome to the community. cheers

On the type of venue you are fishing do not just fish to obvious features to your eyes. Often the location of pike on barren looking waters does not follow the logical thinking. Certainly you should try the leapfrogging tactic. Alternatively you could walk the bank just looking for signs of prey fish and birds feeding. Find the food and the pike will be close by. A six inch depression in the bottom can be enough to hold waiting pike on a shallow drain or river. Just don't give up. You will have some blank days, but when you find the fish you will have plenty of success to make up for the effort.

Regards

Andy Webster

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Post  Andy Macfarlane on Fri Nov 28, 2008 2:02 pm

Alright Jeff. Welcome aboard.
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Post  esoxjeff on Fri Nov 28, 2008 11:38 pm

Hi Jeffb
a good method I used in the past was to set a sliding float @ full depth( so bait sits on the bottom) no weight, let the bait sink/flutter down, leave it for about 5/10 mins, then wind bait back up to float, and let it sink again, this prooved to be deadly on drains and lakes in my area, and it goes well with leapfroging,you could use 2 rods like this or wobble round the area as well.
On a local drain using this tactic, bitter cold day, water the colour of thick tea on a barren/featureless stretch I had a take 6 inches from the bank I was standing on resulted in a PB 20+.shock.
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Post  robh107 on Sat Nov 29, 2008 12:09 am

on my local river (which sounds very similar to what was described) i find the pike to be quite unpredictable when it comes to finding them so yes, leapfrogging the rods every 30 mins can prove to be the best method, although personally if i locate the fish and get a few runs then i tend to stick with the same spot for an hour or so to see if there are more pike lying in the same swim before i continue to leapfrog the rods.
also a little tip: always start as far away from your car as you can then leapfrog the rods back towards it, that way at the start of the session you have the opportunity to view the areas you will fish later on in the day and at the end of the session you have less of a distance to lug the gear back (particularly helpful if you have just had a really good day with plenty of hard fighting fish)
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