Boat Fishing tips

Boat fishing for pike requires serious organisation with your tackle unhooking and releasing of the fish, firstly tackle, rods these need to be a little shorter than for bank fishing work around 10 to 11ft in length and a test curve of around 2.5 to 2.75lbs.lines and traces are the same as for your normal bank fishing.

Landing nets, some pike anglers prefer to use a round headed net minimum size around 30ins ideally these are best used with two people in the boat as these nets require a scooping motion and are not suited sometimes to one person fishing alone. A triangular net of no less than36ins is far more practical for fishing alone maybe with a shorter handle than you would normally use. Once a pike has been netted the best thing to do is to bring it along side of the boat and perform the unhooking in the net if possible, if not, the net can be attached to the side of the boat and the unhooking gear and camera etc can be made ready, prior to carefully lifting the fish on board.

On the bottom of the boat carpet can be used to cover any irregularities that could prove harmful to the fish if it starts to thrash about. On top of the carpet a quality unhooking mat is required. Unhooking tools should be at hand at all times, but not in your way, preferably in a small sleeve or pocket fixed to side of your boat. Scales and a decent size weigh sling and camera are always advisable to have at hand too, don’t forget to keep your camera in a waterproof holdall,
with the pike onboard, unhooked, weighed and photographed it is now time to carefully reintroduce your pike back to the water, being very careful kneel down and carefully place the pike in the water making sure it can keep its balance and that it does not roll over, hold the pike by the wrist of its tail keeping it upright until it is strong enough to safely swim away or in some cases soak you as it powers away from the boat.

Anchors a vital piece of essential kit especially if you are hiring the boat, always check that you have been provided with two decent anchors with at least three times the depth in anchor rope on each one, this is a safety issue in itself.

Imagine the wind is howling and your motor has gone dead on you ,by putting in your forward anchor and paying out most of the rope wait for the boat to settle itself head to wind you should then be able to slip in your after anchor more or less up and down, this will give your boat a secure mooring with no worry of drifting while you assess the problem or call for assistance .A shorter rope would only compound the problems and you will find yourself at the mercy of the weather with your anchor bouncing bottom all over, not recommended! Always have your own spare anchors in the back of your car when hiring a boat they can save the day before you even get on the water.

Pike fishing from a boat in winter can be a very slow and cold experience so a good supply of hot drinks is essential along with plenty of food.

Warm clothing is a must as moving around in the boat is very limited so wrapping up must be the orders of the day remember you can always take something off. You are probably better to wear several layers of thin clothing as to one or two thick jackets as the thin layers trap in the air and keep you much warmer. Also a dab of Vaseline rubbed into the hands can also keep the cold at bay.

There are many quality fishing suits on the market today to suit most people’s budgets in either one or two piece configurations I personally don’t have a favourite but if you do purchase a two piece suit it always gives you the option to remove the jacket should the weather dictate.

Last but by no means least a quality life jacket preferably one with a crotch strap to stop it riding over your head, and a salt capsule in it that automatically sets off the jacket on its immediate immersion into the water.