Friday, 9 June 2017


A punch up in a pub car park is not that dissimilar to  catching pike on a tenkara rod. It's violent, explosive, up close and personal. My friend says this isn't tenkara it's elevenkara.

And to avoid getting a bloody nose one must fight by Queensberry rules. 

These are: 

1) respect your opponent
despite their voracious and scary reputation, pike are beautifully adapted, fine-tuned predators and are delicate and vulnerable when removed from the water. Handle them with care and return them to the water quickly. Don't fish for them at all when the water is warm and dissolved oxygen levels are low and never overplay them. Get the fight over with fast. 

2) go properly tooled up
this means a rod strong enough to subdue your opponent quickly. This is no place for your classic trout tenkara rod. I use a Dragontail Hellbender. The Wisco 2 is also good. Use a wire trace and barbless hook for your pike streamers. I like offset worm hooks because even when the fly is engulfed the hookup is almost always in the scissors of the pike. 

Use a section of fluoro between the casting line and the wire trace with a breaking strain that will protect your rod from breakage. I use a 15lb mono casting line, an 8lb fluoro section and a 20lb wire trace.With the right gear you should be able to land your pike on a fixed line rod just as quickly as any other method.

3) pick your fights     
don't bite off more than you can chew. Not all pike are for you. Some are too big to take on so don't do it. It will end badly. To avoid running into the big girls who will mess you up bad, don't prospect water 'blind' - you don't know who is lurking about. Instead, choose clear water where you can select an opponent by sight. Start with the small guys to get a feel for what is and what is not a fair fight.

4) plan in advance
be clear in your head how you will land your fish. A large long handled net is useful.   

If a violent monster turns up unexpectedly, just walk away and don't make eye contact. 

One last thing - be sure to pack good pair of long handled pliers for unhooking. Oh, and a change of underwear.



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