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Winter Predator Angling


I started my main Winter campaign early this week, which is to try for big pike from the River Alt. I’ve had a few pike over the 10lb mark from the Leeds and Liverpool canal, Rufford stretch and I want to try and broaden my horizon with new waters.

The plan of action is to cover as much water this winter as I can. I’ve got access to many miles of water through the SDAA (Southport District Angling Association). The River Alt is approximately 38 miles long so lots to explore!

On Monday, the Levels were good and I decided to give it a try, to say I got wet would be an understatement! Waterproofs and wellies for Winter pike fishing are an essential.

Tactics involve, fishing a roach injected with sardine oil and a medium-size herring injected with sardine oil, two rods, moving between swims. The second rod with the roach dead bait, produced a run within minutes, the float totally disappearing. After a brilliant scrap, I landed a 7lb pike in absolutely immaculate condition, definitely been feeding on the shoals of roach which are plentiful in the river.

After battling the weather and thinking of coffee and biscuits, I was about to pack up, then the float disappeared, I was into another good fighting pike, fish taking the roach bait once again, after a few minutes she was on the unhooking mat, lively and ready to go back, this fish weighing in at just over 6lb.

Fantastic short session on the river Alt, sadly no monsters but two lovely fish landed. I will definitely be coming back in the hunt for the 20lb Billy Began!

Tips - My top 5 dead baits for pike:

Roach, Smelt, Mackerel, Herring and Sardines.

By Jeff Cavanagh

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