Fishing for pike in winter
In winter, many species of fish practically stop feeding and fall into a drowsiness state, only the cold-loving burbot remains active. But it is very difficult to get this spotted handsome man today, since he is not found everywhere and leads a secretive near-bottom lifestyle. Therefore, in the cold season, fishermen have to be content with small roach and perch, and you can forget about trophies until spring. Many people think so, but not zherlichniki.
Restless pikemen improve the classic girders, come up with new working designs, successfully apply them in practice and get great pleasure from their hobby. Still, after all, fishing for pike on girders in winter is a reckless, dynamic and almost always effective fishing. This method is applicable everywhere, regardless of the characteristics of the reservoir and fishing conditions. It is relevant throughout the long winter, even in the midst of the January frosts, which fishermen call the dead season.
Where to look for pike in winter?
Unlike other species, finding a pike is not difficult at all, you just need to remember those reservoirs where it was well caught in open water. On small lakes with a maximum depth of no more than 3 meters, the predator exterminates almost all small fish over the summer, therefore it literally starves. She greedily pounces on everything that seems to her edible, not to mention the mouth-watering live bait. In such places, pike fishing on girders in winter always brings a rich catch, however, small specimens are often caught on the hook.
Fishing for large pike is possible on rivers and large lakes, however, searches take more time in a large area. To fish such a territory, you have to install dozens of girders, place them far from each other, which brings certain inconveniences to the process. But the effort is worth it, since on large bodies of water the chances of catching a trophy fish are very high.
Unfortunately, the winter days are too short. As soon as you deploy your entire fishing arsenal, it’s time to collect it. Therefore, experienced zerlichniki anglers never arrange the tackle at random, for example, in a banal checkerboard pattern. They prepare for winter fishing even in the warm months: they study the depths, fix the bottom anomalies in their memory, remember all the promising points at which the pike can ambush.
An excellent place for installing a winter gutter will be exits from pits, hills at the bottom, areas near snags, walls of dry reeds and other remnants of vegetation. In general, pike in winter can be caught near any, even the most seedy shelter.
Winter pike traps
The fishermen’s fantasy has no boundaries. You understand this when you see dozens of different devices on the ice: simple and complex, compact and dimensional, with colorful flags and tennis balls painted in a bright scarlet color. Here you can find both store and self-made zippers, and the latter are becoming more and more every year. Every self-respecting zherlichnik tries to develop his own design, or at least try to modernize the basic one by adding a couple of useful elements to it.
Conventionally, all girders for pike fishing in winter can be divided into several main groups. Let’s consider them more similarly:
- Zhivtsovka with a wide base. Its main design difference is a wooden or plastic circle with a diameter of at least 20 cm, in which a slot for a fishing line is provided. It also has special holes for installing the spool holder and flag. The reel rotates in both directions. Under it, a bite alarm is started, firing after the first turn.
- Tackle on a tripod. The zherlitsa on legs is the highest, so it can be seen from a great distance, which is important in such fishing. The three-legged stand, on which all other elements are attached, is installed directly above the hole. The principle of fixing the bite is the same as in the previous version – when the coil starts to rotate, the flag takes a vertical position.
- Zherlitsa-changeling. This simple device consists of a piece of plastic tubing and detachable wire legs. It is installed next to the hole with the front end up, which at the time of the bite is in the water and the line comes off freely along it without alerting the predator. The disadvantage of such a tackle is that it is applicable only on clean ice, it may not work on snow.
- Ice tackle (constant). Fans of trophy fishing prefer pike fishing in winter on the girders at night. It is at this time of the day that more than credits are often found. But nobody wants to stay out in the cold until morning, so anglers use special under-ice structures. They can be installed in the evening, masked with snow so as not to be seen by competitors, and check them in the morning of the next day. The tackle consists of a wooden stick and a plastic tube attached to it. In the working position, the tube with the coiled fishing line is lowered into the water, and the stick simply lies on the ice. At the moment of the grip, the line jumps out of the cut and comes off freely, allowing the predator to swallow the bait.
Regardless of the type, all structures are equipped in the same way. A sinker in the shape of an olive is put on a monofilament with a diameter of 0.25 to 0.5 mm, a stopper is placed under it, and then a leash with a regular hook, double or tee is tied. The thickness of the main line is selected taking into account the average size of the predator in the reservoir. The weight of the load must correspond to the strength of the current and keep the live fish on the point.
As far as the leash is concerned, this piece of girder rig continues to be the subject of constant controversy. Pikemen of the “old school” insist on the need to use a steel leash that can withstand a pike bite, and young people put forward their own serious counterargument. Say, a coarse piece of wire scares a predator, due to which the number of bites is noticeably reduced. Some have found a way out of this controversial situation and successfully use a fluorocarbon thread folded in half.
Fluorocarbon is an inconspicuous, abrasion-resistant material with high strength. Such a leash will be the best choice for pressed rivers and lakes, where the target is too picky. The length of the leash depends on what it is made of. For tungsten, nichrome and lead material – 12-15 cm, for nylon or fluorocarbon line – up to 70 cm.
As mentioned above, hooks for pike fishing on girders in winter are used different: single, double, triple. Which one is better is hard to say. The tee detects fish more reliably, but it looks frightening, and you won’t be able to plant live bait through the gills with it. Theoretically, this is possible, but the fish will not live long after such a procedure. Perhaps it is worth stopping at the golden mean – the double. Many winter fishermen do just that.
Effective pike traps
Zherlichny pike fishing starts at home. You need to properly prepare for it: check the tackle, if necessary, replace faulty elements, sharpen and put a 130-centimeter knife on the ice ax (the wider the hole, the less problems with playing large specimens), check for the presence of such a useful tool as hitchhiker.
Upon arrival at the reservoir, you must decide on the installation site. On the lake, you should pay attention to the coastal zone: vegetation, snags, overhanging trees. If areas with an uneven bottom are known, it is imperative to put a couple of live baits on them. On the river, gates installed at a bend (under a steep bank), next to large obstacles (a fallen tree, a boulder), on channel edges, in places with a weaker current can please. The distance between them should not exceed 25 meters. Longer spans make the sector harder to service. You have to run a lot, which is unlikely to please the object of catching.
The fishing horizon is determined based on the weather conditions. First of all, indicators of atmospheric pressure are taken into account. The rule here is one: low pressure – live bait at the bottom, high – at a certain distance from it. The optimal horizon can be calculated experimentally by setting the vents at different heights.
Fishing for pike on the first ice makes it much easier to cope with this task, since fishing during this period mainly takes place in coastal shallow water areas with a depth of no more than 1.5 meters.
Usually, the installation of a gutter consists of 4 stages:
- sounding the depth with unloaded tackle;
- winding the line to the desired horizon;
- fixing the coil with a signaling device (flag);
- bait bait and sending it into the water.
The same steps must be repeated with each tackle, and when everyone is placed, you can relax a little and calmly wait for the first “red” signal.
Tactics for catching pike on girders in winter
A pike bite on a winter zerlitsa has its own characteristics. After the flag is triggered, the coil starts spinning, then a pause follows, after which the rotation resumes. What happens underwater at this time? The toothy predator grabs the prey, moves away to a safe distance and stops to turn its head into the mouth. At this moment, the coil also stops.
Having swallowed the bait as needed, the pike starts moving again, which is again signaled by the coil. Now you can hook and gently pull the toothy to the hole. When fishing in the midst of numerous snags, the hooking should be done earlier, so as not to allow the fish to get to the nearest blockage and entangle the equipment in it. In this case, there will be much more descents, but you will not be able to catch it differently in strong places.
The pike is a strong opponent. She will desperately resist, try to free herself from the hook at any cost, fight for life to the last. When the hole is less than two meters away, it will see the light above, mobilize the remaining strength and double the power of its jerks. This is the most difficult stage of playing, when any careless movement can become fatal for the fisherman and life-saving for the predator. In such seconds, all the charm of pike fishing on the girders in winter is manifested.