With October 1 becoming more and more accepted as the traditional start of the pike fishing season, anglers are looking forward to engaging with Britain’s finest indigenous predator again.
The TAA-run Killingworth Lake allows piking from October 1 and there are also piking opportunities on WACAC’s QE2 Lake at Ashington and both the Bolam Lake and Talkin Tarn country parks provide day-ticket sport for pike anglers.
Excellent pike catches have already been reported from the car park at Esthwaite, still the Mecca for pike fans, but it is on the lower reaches of the Tees where pike are providing consistent sport.
A superb 17lb river pike taken fom Middleton One Row by Keith Rutter on ledgered sprat was caught again six months later but almost 2lb heavier.
All the slower water on the Tees around Yarm and Stockton has pike populations and the majority offer free access too.
The patch has regional pike clubs serving the area which welcome new pike fans, and joining such an organisation is recommended.
On the second Tuesday of every month Tyneside Pike Anglers meet in Blaydon CIU Club and on the last Tuesday the South East Northumberland Branch of the Pike Anglers Club hold a meeting in the Northumbrian Piper, Red House Farm, Fawdon, while others exist for Teesside and Cumbria.
Further afield, St Mary’s Loch, situated in the heart of the Scottish Borders and Loch of the Lowes, offers the chance of superb sport in a magnificent setting.
St Mary’s Loch is three miles long, half-a-mile wide and up to 150ft deep and St Mary’s Angling Club controls the fishing and offers use of their five boats for a small fee.
If rowing is not your thing, then bring your own outboard (max 4hp). Deadbaits and lures can tempt pike to 25lb.
Killington Lake, near the M6 at Kendal in Cumbria, is now open for predator fishing courtesy of the controlling club Kent AA.
Pike anglers can use sea cleadbaits to entice potential monsters. Tickets in advance from the water keeper’s cottage or from 01539 724867.