Lure fishing

Lure fishing for pike is, without a doubt, the most exciting way of catching these powerful and predatory freshwater sharks. Lure fishing involves casting, and subsequently retrieving, a piece of metal that looks like a fish that has some treble hooks attached. When lure fishing you are not trying to encourage the pike to eat the lure, instead the objective is to try to make the pike attack the lure and hook itself in the process. Pike are territorial fish that will defend its territory and attack anything that enters it.

 It makes no difference what the intruder is, be it a small silver fish, a passing duck or even another pike, the pike will attack to defend its habitat. Walk in to any fishing tackle shop and you will see a whole range of different lures and tackles for lure fishing. Lures are available in many different shapes, colours, sizes and varieties and selecting the right ones for your lure fishing adventure can be quite a challenge, simply because there are so many different types of lure.

Lure fishing baits

Here is a box of brightly coloured sinking lures that are primarily used to catch pike. As far as lures go, these lures are quite small and are suitable for pike of all sizes. In addition to pike these lures may also be taken by a perch, which is another predatory fish that is common throughout many lakes and rivers.

A box of lures for pike fishingCredit: yackers1

1) Sinking lures

Sinking lures are possibly the most popular lures used in lure fishing. As the name suggests, a sinking lure will sink to the bottom of the water once it has been cast out. Once the lure has reached the bottom of the water you then need to retrieve it. If you want to bounce the lure across the bottom of the lake or river you need a nice, even and slow retrieve. If you want to fish the lure mid-water you need to retrieve the lure a bit faster. The faster you retrieve the lure the closer to the water’s surface it will be. Many people argue that an erratic retrieve is best as the pike will notice the movement and attack the lure.

Sinking lures allows you to fish very deep lakes and reservoirs and are ideal for catching pike in the winter months when they are closer to the bottom of the reservoir, lake or river.  Sinking lures are available in a variety of different styles, sizes and colours.

2) Surface lures

Surface lures, which are sometimes known as “top water lures”, are designed to remain on, or just below the water’s surface. Consequently, surface lures will not sink or dive, no matter how quickly or erratically you retrieve the lure. Pike are attracted by things splashing about on the surface and will often rise to attack them. As such, it is best to get a surface lure that creates some splash.

Lure fishing with surface lures is best in the summer months, or early autumn when the water is warmer and the pike are more active. Surface lure fishing is very exciting and exhilarating as the pike will tend to attack hard, fast and leap out of the water as they take the lure. 

Surface lures are also very useful in waters where there is a lot of weed. Sinking lures would be useless in these waters as the lure would simply sink in to the weed and out of sight. Surface lures are a great way of dealing with weed as they will simply skip over the top of it.

Surface lures (sometimes known as "topwater" lures) offer perhaps the most exciting form of lure fishing for pike. Few things are more exhilarating than an aggressive take from a large pike on the surface and some pike will hit the lure on the surface so hard and fast that they will come clean out of the water!

There are many different types of surface lure available and some of them are made to look like field mice and frogs. Despite their weird, and unrealistic design, these lures actually catch pike and are rated as the best surface lures by many anglers.

3) Diving lures

A diving lure is a combination of a sinking lure and a surface lure. A diving lure will sit on the surface of the water once it is first cast out. When you start retrieving the lure it will dive towards the bottom of the water. The faster you retrieve the lure the deeper it will dive, although there is a maximum depth to which the lure will dive to. On the front of a diving lure there is a large plastic lip that determines the depth the lure will dive to. The larger the lip the deeper the lure will dive. If you stop retrieving the lure it will float up towards the surface of the water.

By varying the rate and speed of retrieve and momentarily stopping the retrieve to make the lure float to the water’s surface it is possible to cover a lot of water in search for a pike.

Diving lures are best used for lure fishing in the colder months when the pike tend to be closer to the lake or river bed. By varying the retrieve of a diving lure you can make the lure movement erratic, which will help make the lure more noticeable to the pike and make it attack.

4) Jointed lures

Jointed lures are simply lures that are made out of two or more parts all attached by a small hinge. When lure fishing with a jointed lure the individual sections will move independently of each other and wobble erratically as the lure is retrieved. This additional vibration and movement should help to attract the pike and encourage them to attack. Some jointed lures have a “rattle” in one of the sections which creates even more disturbance in a bid to get the pike interested.

Jointed lures come in floating, sinking and diving varieties so there is one for all seasons and all occasions.

Jointed lures are a specific design of lure that can be either surface, sinking or diving. Jointed lures are, quite simply, jointed in the middle, either once or twice, giving the lure much greater flexibility. This gives rise to a fantastic action in the water in the form of a wholly realistic waggle that neatly resembles the action of a bait fish.

5) Spinners

Arguably, spinners are the most well known lure used. A spinner is simply a small spoon shaped piece of metal that rotates around a central shaft. When lure fishing with a spinner you cast the spinner out and it sinks to the bottom of the water. When you start to retrieve the spinner the spoon will spin around (hence the name) giving off flecks of silver flashes as it travels through the water. The faster the retrieve the faster the spoon will spin round. If you stop the retrieve the spoon will stop spinning and the lure will sink to the bottom of the water.

Spinners are available in a variety of different sizes, styles and colours, although silver and gold coloured ones tend to work best. As well as being used to catch pike small spinners are often used to catch perch and chub. 

6) Spinner baits

Spinner baits are a lure consisting of a rotating spoon and a feather. Spinner baits are usually made using a single hook, as opposed to a treble hook, hence they are good for catching other predatory fish that do not have mouths as big as a pike, such as perch, chub and bass.

Because a spinner bait has a single hook they are good when lure fishing in weedy water in the summer and autumn months. Like all lures spinner baits come in a variety of different sizes, styles and colours so there is one available for all occasions.

7) Jerk Baits

Out of all the lures the jerk bait is the newest variety in the UK. Pike jerk baits are huge and much larger than any of the other types of lure, however if you catch a pike when lure fishing with a jerk bait you know it is going to be a big one. 

 When lure fishing with a jerk bait you need to be more erratic with the retrieve and flick the rod from side to side and up and down to really get the best out of the lure. Because of their size you need some strong tackle when fishing with jerk baits so if you are planning on lure fishing with a jerk bait get a decent rod capable of casting heavy lures, get some strong line and get a big fishing reel.

With so many different types of lures for lure fishing many people will often ask, “what is the best lure to use?” The answer to this depends entirely on the type of water you are fishing, the time of year you are fishing, the size of pike (or indeed any other predatory fish you are fishing for) and a bit of luck. There are some days when you will not get a nibble on a sinking lure but change to a jerk bait and all of a sudden you hook two or three in quick succession.

Because of the uncertainties of lure fishing it is advisable to have at least one of all the different types of lure in your tackle box when you go lure fishing for predatory fish. Because it is possible to catch large pike and small pike on small lures it is probably best to have a box full of smaller lures, unless you can afford to buy several sizes of the same type of lure.

Lure fishing allows you freedom to chop and change lures quickly and easily to make the pike attack. So, if you start off with a lure and have had no luck after several casts change over to a different lure for several casts and see what happens. If you still have no luck, change lures again, and again until you find one that works. Whatever you do, never keep persisting with a lure that is not working in the hope it will eventually bag you a pike.