End of a winter fishing season arrived out of nowhere, braking hearts of multiple pike angling lovers in Poland. I however, am lucky enough to live and angle in the Great Britain where the fishing season lasts all year round. I spend most of my fishing trips by the reservoirs and creeks of the Yorkshire county; having said that I cannot complain about variety of fishing spots, while number of the fish within British waters exceeds our own figures by far. That particular combination of different locations and prosperity of testing objects allows me to execute thorough trials of any equipment.
Winter is a time for big fat mammas. Pikes by this time of a year are already quite chubby and females are filled with spawn. That is why those predators tend to weight more and it is easier to beat the personal best in angling. Angling for the “pregnant” females that we aim to release with unaffected pregnancy requires some carefully chosen equipment. Each part of our equipment needs to be sturdy and durable. There is no space for sophistication.
I am a big, heavy lures person and I know through my own experience, that the best solution for big, fat pikes is a casting rig that provides 100% control over the lure. In such a technique the rod has to go through some extreme stress caused by heavy lures and challenging hauling. Exactly the same goes to the rest of the setup. That is precisely why whenever I angle in such tough conditions, I only trust solid equipment that will not let me down in the key moments. Mikado Excellence Baitcast Fight 240 rod with a casting weight range from 50g to 140g that I usually pair up with the Proclaim reel and Octa Braid 0.30, sum up to a perfectly crafted, most efficient setup when it comes to heavy winter pikes fishing. I usually top that set up with the Mikado Fluorocarbon made leader as thin as 1.0. Such a configuration lets me to haul a 1 meter long, fat pike in up to 4 minutes. That means that the fish is not tired and spawn remains intact.
Besides the rod, the reel etc. it is really important to know how to deal with a landing net and what to do with the fish after it gets to that net. Whenever I choose a landing net I tend to look for one that is big enough and that has a silicone coated net that preserves the scales and mucus outer layer of a fish. It also makes the unhooking of tangled treble hooks much easier. Size of the landing net is crucial for comfort of our prey – especially if it awaits its photo session there. I would never put a winter pike (especially a female) in any mat, as the weight of the fish itself could harm its internal organs or the spawn. Pikes caught by me often rest in the landing nets while I am setting up the camera. That is why I always do my best to make sure that they have the best conditions possible while waiting. After a brief photoshoot the fish goes back to the water in a perfect condition.
Landing net that I use, that easily ticks all the boxes on my must-have list also comes from the Mikado range. Same goes to my favourite lure – Goliath that delivers incredible results when used for angling for the fat mammas. I usually arm it with a screw, single or double treble-hooked stinger and a weight, adjusted to the type of the fishery, connected using a snap to the eye. It is a very versatile and handy solution that lets the angler to adjust the weight at any given moment. Another really huge advantage of that system is a fact that while hauling, the lure usually stays out of the mouth of the predator remaining safe from its teeth
I honestly hope that this short read will make the wait for a new season more bearable. I wish all best in New Year to every angling freak and adventure junkie there is. Lots of health and lots of angling successes.
„Daszpike” Grzegorz Sawczyszyn
Mikado Fishing Team