Lure fishing basics
If you have already done some pike fishing you will have some of the basic tackle required for lure fishing.
Landing net, weigh sling and unhooking mat, for example. Many experienced lure anglers prefer a larger meshed net (either knotless or rubber coated) than they would use for bait fishing as this reduces the number of hook tangles they get when netting lure caught pike.
Because lures are usually fitted with larger and thicker wire hooks than are used for bait fishing a standard pair of forceps might not be sufficient to unhook lure caught pike. A pair of fine nosed pliers, maybe with long handles, is better, and a tool called a HookOut is also recommended. These give you better leverage on the hook, and keep your hand clear of both the pike’s teeth and any free hooks.
Should you experience difficulty in removing a treble hook with your pliers it is quicker, better for the pike, if you cut the hook up and remove it in two or more pieces. A strong pair of side cutters or small bolt croppers are perfect tools for this job. Close your eyes when cutting the hook just in case the point of the hook flies in your direction. If the cut portion of the hook remains in the pike’s mouth remove it with your pliers.
A wire trace is just as essential when lure fishing for pike as when bait fishing. So long as it is fifteen inches or longer it will be fine. Make sure it has a strong swivel at one end and a strong snap link at the other, of a design that will not open up accidentally when fishing.
There is a wide variety of types of clips for spinning and jerkbait traces. Choose the right type for the lures you will be using and the weight of the lure being cast. Don’t go too fine as this can result in not only lost expensive lures, but lost pike too!
It is a good idea to use stronger line and trace wire than you might for bait fishing as the repeated casting involved in lure fishing will place additional stress on these items. Line of at least 18lb (30lb braid) and trace wire of 30lb are suggested for lures of an ounce or so. Braid offers greater sensitivity and a reduced diameter to monofilament. It is also less likely to suffer issues of line twist.
For techniques such as jerkbait fishing specialised tackle is required, seek advice from an angler experienced in this field.
A PDF file copy of this Fact sheet (2) is available here. Lure fishing basics
Pike Anglers Club of Great Britain Fact Sheet 2: Lure Fishing Basics 9/2004 Edition ©2004 PAC-GB