Featured on Fisherman's Blues - Talksport2
When targeting pike with dead bait, it is often best to keep things simple. Overcomplicating your set-up can lead to unnecessary frustration and confusion.
The most important aspect to consider is how to detect and whether a pike has taken your bait. To help you get started, we’ve compiled two simple yet effective pike rigs that have proven successful. Read on to learn more about these rigs and how to use them effectively.
The Running Ledger Rig for Pike
When it comes to dead baiting for pike, the running ledger rig is a simple yet effective setup that can be easily deployed without the faff of having to sort float depths or making sure the wind is behind you required in other methods of fishing for pike. The beauty of this rig is once it’s fishing the free-running aspect of it ensures that when a pike picks up your bait they won’t feel any resistance and will begin to move off indicating a bite. You can then wind down and strike, almost always guaranteeing a fish to be on the end.
When fishing with this rig setup, it’s important to position the rod on banksticks equipped with an alarm and a drop-off indicator after casting out the dead bait. Avoiding deep-hooking is crucial, and having both the alarm and indicator helps with bite detection and ensures you can respond quickly to any takes. Remember, the longer the pike has your bait in its mouth before striking, the higher the chances of deep-hooking the pike.
What Components will I need for the Running Ledger Pike Fishing Rig?
To set up an effective ledger rig system you’ll need the following components;
- Drennan E-sox Bait Trace
- Fox Rage Predator Ledger Stems
- Fox Rage Quick Change Trace Link
- Korda Flat Swivel Fishing Lead
How to use the Running Ledger Rig?
With the dead bait attached, cast the baited rig to your preferred area of the lake or river. Once the bait has sunk you can tighten down to the weight, taking out any bows in the line between your rod tip and the rig. With your rod tip pointed in the direction of the rig (to minimise resistance) you can now place the rod on the banksticks, setting both the alarm and the drop-off indicator. You should now be able to open the bail-arm without issue.
With the bail arm open and the indicators set you can sit back and wait for an indication of a bite. Because you’re fishing a relatively tight line to the bait as soon as a pike picks up your bait you’ll get some form of instant indication.
Watch this Handy Running Ledger Fishing Video
Drifter Float Rig for Pike
When covering a large expanse of water in search of a pike, the drifter float rig is considered one of the most effective techniques for float fishing. This method is particularly useful for anglers who are looking to cover lots of water in search of their target species.
When using the drifter float rig, your bait is suspended above the bottom of the lake – on a buoyant float. The float is designed to catch the wind and allow you to drift the bait, covering vast areas of water. This method is highly effective because instead of waiting for the pike to come to you, you can move towards the pike.
Once you have located the pike, you can switch to a more static approach, such as a running ledger rig, or continue to use the drifter float rig to explore other promising locations.
What Components will I need for the Drifter Float Fishing Pike Rig?
To set up an effective drifter float rig system you’ll need the following components;
- Fox Rage Predator Drifter System
- Fox Rage Predator Quick Change Weights
- Fox Rage Quick Change Trace Link
- Drennan Slim Crimps
- Savage Gear Crimping Tool
- Drennan 7 Srand Trace Wire (28lb)
- ESP Swivels
- Sakuma Fishing Beads
- Drennan E-sox Bait Trace
How to Use the Drifter Float Rig?
When it comes to fishing, having the wind behind you can make all the difference in allowing your bait to drift away from you. If you’re looking to fish effectively from most banks on rivers or lakes, we suggest using a 12ft rod with a 4000+ sized reel, loaded with a strong braid. This setup will ensure you have the distance, power and control you need to make the most of your fishing experience.
Setting the right depth for your bait is crucial for successful fishing. To ensure a steady drift and avoid snagging any weeds or debris on the bottom, it’s recommended to set the depth shallower than you might expect. This is especially true when fishing for pike, as they tend to look for prey above them due to their eyes being located on the top of their heads. For example, if you’re fishing in a lake with an average depth of 8-10ft, setting your bait at 5-6ft beneath the float can help you avoid any obstacles and increase your chances of a successful catch.
Once you make the cast or set the drift from the margin you can open the bail arm and allow the wind to do the work. With a raised rod tip (higher front bank stick) you’ll allow the braid to peel off of the reel with ease. Watch the float as it works its way across the water keeping an eye out for any indication of a bite, that’ll come in the form of the float bobbing deeper than normal, being pulled to the side or underwater completely. We’d always recommend that at the first sight of any bite indication you wind down and strike immediately to prevent deep-hooking.
Watch this Handy Drifter Float Fishing Video
What else might I need?
Whenever you’re fishing for pike we recommend you have a good set of forceps and long nose pliers. These are essential to hooking the pike quickly and safely. We also recommend you use a rubber mesh net which is friendlier on the pike and is easier to remove hooks from should they come out when landing the fish. Finally, an unhooking mat of some description is also better for the pike – a padded or sided unhooking is even better! It is not only safer for the fish it allows for better control when setting up to weigh or photograph the pike.
Both of these dead-baiting rig set-ups are excellent for catching pike. Each has its own qualities and we’d recommend you experiment with both as on given days, due to weather, depths or flow one will outfish the other. These aren’t the only effective ways you can fish for pike with dead baits, they’re just the ones we use and have had success with.
It’s also worth noting that in some circumstances you would opt for one set-up over the other just because it doesn’t suit the venue. For example, using a drift float method on a narrow fenland drain might not be the best way to spend your time on the bank, whereas a static float or running ledger rig may be more suitable.
Get out there and give dead baiting a go for pike this winter!