Top 5’s


1. Mackerel

Mackerel makes a great winter pike bait (especially if you chop the head off) as they are very oily and this will help even the most lethargic pike, that is laying up in very cold water, home-in on your bait. They are also probably the best and most popular bait among pike anglers looking for a bait to pop-up when fishing above a weedy lake or river bed.

2. Sardine

A favourite amongst seasoned pike anglers and definitely the best value bait on this list. Pop to your local supermarket’s fish counter and you should be able to pick-up half a dozen average-sized baits for £2 or thereabouts. These are best cast out frozen as they are very soft when thawed, but many a big pike has, and will continue to be caught on a good ol’ sardine!

4. Smelt

A yellowy-white coloured sea bait that has long been used by pike anglers for the reason that pike really seem to love them! Often quoted as smelling ‘cucumber-like’ this is a classic, must-have for your bait bag/box and will catch a pike on almost every type of venue. They cast well with a tougher skin than a lot of other sea baits, so good for longer distances if needed too.

Give these baits a try this winter and you could end up with a few nice pike in your net

3. Lamprey

This eel-shaped sea bait simply oozes blood and scent that makes it easy for a pike to home in on – which makes it a great dead bait for coloured winter waters. You’ll get two baits – a head and tail section if you cut in half – some tackle shops sell them already cut into sections. Also a great bait if you wish – or need – to try a popped-up bait when fishing weedy waters. Cast really well as they hold the hooks brilliantly with a tough skin – one bait can often be cast all day (until you catch of course!).

5. Roach/Rudd

An obvious, but often over-looked dead bait nowadays, as many anglers tend to stick to sea baits which are generally easier and cheaper to get hold of via supermarkets. Often expensive in tackle shops, the key is to find a water where you can catch your own (where allowed) and store them in your freezer. The beauty of roach or rudd is they are a big part of a pikes natural diet so are guaranteed to produce and you also get the chance of a bonus zander or two if you’re fishing a water that holds them.