ESOXHUNTER
Irish Pike & Deadbait Rigs
By Gerry Hughes   April 7, 2007

Gerry Hughes with a Irish Pike
Gerry Hughes with an Irish Pike

Dead baiting for pike is widely used on the European circuit, more so than the American or Canadian circuit.   Basically what it means is what it says dead bait i.e.: Freshwater fish like 6in trout, roach perch, bream & pollen. Sea baits i.e. mackerel, herring, sardine, lamprey eel sections plus many more.   I could go on and on but these are just a few, the more popular.

All of these baits are used on what we call dead bait rigs of various setups, sizes & presentations, you have in this range rigs called Drifter float rig, popped up dead bait rig, static dead bait rig, wobbled dead bait rig to name just a few, these are the ones we will concentrate on for now as they are the more widely used.
Drift Float Rig
                                  Drift Float Rig

Sometimes it's impossible to cast your dead bait right on a spot where you think pike might be lying up, because it’s too far from the bank or there could be a weeded or reeds in your way.   A drifter float can sort that out for you, as long as the prevailing wind is behind you and the wind is not too strong (see diagram above) drifting is a great method on big waters you can cover a lot of water, it`s used a lot in Ireland and has been quite productive for myself especially with 10+ doubles under my belt.   The rig is set up quite easily with your main line going through the controller arm tied to a 23in wire uptrace,a quick change weight, then onto a normal sized 6 semi-barbed trace, the barbed side of the hooks is only for attaching your dead bait on.   Using a fixed spool reel with 80lb bs braid (your own preference) with bail arm opened this allows the drift to run off easily.

The above two pictures gives a clearer view of what the drifter float looks like, the picture on the left shows you how the drifter presents it’s self on the water float up, controller slightly angled with your line running through, second picture on the strike both float & controller come together acting like a dart cutting into the water like butter no resistence, and on the retrieve folds back in the opposite direction and again no resistance.   This is just one of the pike I caught using this method.
16lb 7oz pike caught on float rig
16lb 7oz lough ramor,Virginia,
co cavan,Ireland
Pop-up dead bait rig
Pop-up dead bait rig

This is a rig which suspends your bait up off the bottom using a foam stick inserted into your dead bait or a Polly ball, I use the latter the Polly ball, this is a diagram showing the popped up version foam stick but the Polly ball works on the same principle with ball attached to your top hook on the outside.   Again this rig is best used from shore it is quite effective, have caught a lot of pike using this method, not all doubles, but a lot of fish none the less.
Static dead bait rig
Static dead bait rig

Static deadbait rig - a very simple rig no airs or graces about this one.  It simply a main line attached to your wire trace with a sliding 1oz weight.   All of the mentioned rigs are used with a fixed spool reel,they won`t work with the type of reels you use for spinning or jerk baits.   Find an ideal spot that looks pikey looking, cast your bait out place rod on a setup of two rod rests one at the rear to hold the rod butt, one in front with a bite alarm.  Take in any slack and set the drag on the reel or open the bale arm to allow the pike to run when it strikes.  It is important that you set the hook within 3-5 seconds to avoid deep hooking the fish.   While your waiting for a hit on the dead bait, you can have a second rod for spinning to stop boredom from setting in, but still a great way of fishing.

This pike caught on a very wet irish day 13lb 2oz on a static deadbait rig.

13lb 2oz on a static deadbait rig
13lb 2oz on a static deadbait rig

I hope this was useful information until next time, tight lines Gerry hughes.

Click the mailbox to e-mail.

Last updated on ... April 7, 2007