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Float Fishing for Pike

Pike become very popular coarse fish in the winter. There are different available options for targeting them, but an exciting way is float fishing!

Where are they?

Pike can often be found in many waterways. Mostly, they will be where the baitfish are. Remember to keep an eye out for signs of activity. This could include small fish dimpling the surface. Where the smaller fish are, the pike shouldn’t be too far behind. In running water, look for eddy’s as a pike will often sit in the slower moving water. Weir pools are usually a good location.


If possible, choose an overcast day as pike don’t like bright conditions. It’s also easier for them to hunt their prey when it’s not as bright. Pike will still continue to feed when it’s very cold. However, a milder day with a warm wind will usually be best. 


Make sure you’re using good tackle. You can get specific pike rods, but a carp rod is often fine. A decent reel will be perfectly adequate, just make sure your line is heavy enough. Eight to ten pounds is a good starting point.


There are many options when it comes to floats and float rigs. A good starting point would be a simple sliding set-up! 


There is a range of floats available on the market. A popular option is the slimline dead bait pencil. This is ideal for close to medium range fishing on a calm day. However, if you’re fishing further out (medium to long) then a good option would be a hi-vis dart style float. This is good for when there’s a slight ripple on the water. Loaded versions are often easier to cast and more stable in breezy conditions.


There’s a large selection of bait on the market to choose from. Most people have their favourites. It’s a good idea to bring a selection with you to see what the fish are preferring. Mackerel, herring and lamprey are all popular. A good way of helping your bait to be more easily located by a pike is to make sure before you cast it out, make cuts in the flesh to allow the oils and juices to be released into the water.