Pike and Perch Fishing for Beginners - Positive Fishing (2022)

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Are you interested in trying the exciting world of pike or perch fishing?

Not certain where and how to start?

Well, you are in the right place! This Pike and Perch Fishing for Beginners article is to help anglers learn to catch some predator fish.

I have spent numerous years fishing for these two species and will gladly share some of my experience to help you master the first steps of successful pike and perch fishing.

Perch Fishing

Pike and Perch Fishing for Beginners - Positive Fishing (1)

A big advantage of taking on the perch game is the numbers you have at your disposal. Perch is not a solitary fish. If there are perch in the water of your choice, it is very likely there are a lot of them!

If you learn where to find them, half of the job is already done. And when it comes to fishing for them, the fun will be endless!

How to Find Perch?

If you are fishing on a river, this should be a rather simple task. If you are fishing in a lake – even easier!

Perch avoid dwelling in fast-flowing water and will stick to the slow-moving parts of the river. At the same time, they are always near some sort of cover providing shade and ambush points.

In rivers, this could be river bends, grass patches near the bank, rock formations providing cover, sunken trees, etc.

In lakes, perch are often scattered and present at nearly every type of habitat. But you will most often find them hiding in the grass or under lily pads. Drop-offs and underwater formations (trees, rocks, or anything else) are also hot spots you should search for!

If there are some tiny fish swimming about the chosen spot – even better! Perch should be around, as these fish are most likely their food source.

How to Fish for Perch?

Fishing for perch can be performed either using baits, or lures.

Bait fishing is considered to be easier, and more beginner-friendly. Lure fishing offers a lot more adrenaline and fun but is also more demanding.

I will cover both types of fishing, and let you decide what suits you best!

(Video) DEAD PIKE EVERYWHERE - Is this the future of Fishing? (WARNING: Graphic)

Bait Fishing for Perch

The simplest and most effective way of bait fishing is using a simple float rig and earthworms.

You need a float road (I personally prefer a match rod of 4.20 m) and a size 3000 reel spooled with a 0.20 mm monofilament line. The weight of the Float can vary depending on the water type: 2-3 g float can be more than enough for a lake, but you will need to scale up for rivers.

40 cm hook length made of 0.18 mono coupled with a hook ranging from #2 to #8 is the rig of choice. You just need some lead shots to balance the float, and you are ready for fishing!

Earthworms can be used as a single worm, but if small you can string a few of them together onto your hook.

Adjust your depth so that you are within 0.5 m of the bottom, and simply start searching the water by casting your float close to previously described spots. If perch are there, they will take your bait in no time!

In order to have successful fishing, try hitting the water early in the morning or in the evening. If the weather is overcast, you can go fishing any time of the day!

Lure Fishing for Perch

Lure fishing enables you to cover a lot of water in a short time span! Therefore, it is perfect for searching for new fishing spots.

If you are just starting with lure fishing for perch, it is best to do so with an ultra-light setup. A spinning rod with casting weight up to 7 g, 2000-2500 size reel, thin braid (PE 0.6), and a meter of 0.16 mm fluorocarbon line is a perfect combo for perch fishing adventures!

When choosing your lures, it is best to stick with the simplest solution. A choice of small silicone grubs or shads in the 1-3” range, combined with appropriate small jig heads ranging from 1-5 g, will be more than enough to have a nice fishing day.

When choosing colours of your lures, follow the watercolour rule – if the water is clear, use natural colours; if the water is murky, go with bright, flashy colours. To start, chartreuse, white, and pearl-green lures should be more than sufficient!

Lure fishing for perch can be simply described as hopping along the bottom. Perch are bottom-dwelling fish, and therefore bottom is the place to search for them!

Try casting your lure somewhere in the area where you expect perch, and let it sink to the bottom. Now, you need to produce a series of jumps from the bottom, getting the attention of the perch, each time letting your lure sink back down. As a general rule, perch will take the lures more in the fall!

This technique is called jigging and is the most common way of fishing with silicone baits. Mastering it on perch is a perfect starting point for advancing to other species like pike, or especially zander!

Pike Fishing

Pike and Perch Fishing for Beginners - Positive Fishing (2)

Fishing for pike is a big level up from perch fishing. These predators will grow much bigger than perch and are also incredibly aggressive. It takes some skill to successfully land your first pike!

To do so, you need to learn how to read the water, and also how to assemble your tackle to prepare it for a fight with pike.

(Video) Lure Fishing for Perch Tutorial – Robbie Northman

How to Find Pike?

Firstly, try avoiding big, especially faster-flowing rivers. These waters hold pike but are very tough fishing grounds for beginners.

Instead, focus on smaller rivers and lakes. Pike hunt from ambush positions and it can be very easy to locate them if the water is not too big!

For example, is there a sunken tree in the water? If yes, there is most likely a pike under it! Is there a small bay covered in lily pads? Well, there ought to be some pikes under them! The same goes for drop-offs, grassy shallows, reed belts, structures such as peers, etc.

With some experience, you will learn to recognize pike spots just by taking a look at the water!

How to Fish for Pike?

Pike are most commonly targeted with lures, due to the high adrenaline experience this fishing technique offers.

See also

Fishing Reel Gear Ratio Explained


Daniel Mooers·

You can also target pikes with live baits. This is a lot easier compared to lure fishing, but is also not even close to when it comes to adrenaline!

Bait Fishing for Pike

First, you need live bait. You can either purchase them, or use a light float set up to fish for some small roach, rudd, or chub.

Then, you need a stronger, at least 3 m long rod that can cast a 100g rig to a sufficient distance. Couple it with a size 4000-5000 reel, and spool it with a 0.35mm or 0.40mm monofilament line.

Making a live bait float rig might be a bit of a challenge – luckily, there are ready-made float rigs available for purchase, which is a good option for beginners!

When you are all set, you only have to cast your rig in a good spot and wait. When a pike approaches your bait, the float will begin to tremble – this means the fish is trying to get away from the predator. When it goes underwater, you have a strike! However, you need to wait a bit, as the pike still needs to adjust the bait in its mouth and start swallowing. This is known as a second run – the float will most likely circle a bit after first sinking, and then go underwater again. And this is the time to set the hook!

Lure Fishing for Pike

At the moment, lure fishing for pike is by far the most trending fishing technique in Europe. Pike will respond to a variety of lures, hit the lure with immense aggression, and will put up a hell of a fight! Coupled with a respectful size they can achieve, it is easy to understand why pike fishing is a bright spot in the fishing industry.

If you are just starting your pike fishing journey from new, you first need to assemble a basic pike spinning setup.

For most waters, you will be fine with a Medium Heavy rod with Fast action. 2.7 is the length to go for waters with enough room for casting. If there is a lot of overgrowths, consider a shorter 2.4 m rod. Coupled with 4000 sized reel spooled with PE 1.2 mm or 1.4 mm braid, you are good to go!

There are only 2 more things you need: Wire leaders and of course Lures.

Wire leaders are essential due to the toothy jaws pike possesses. Pike will cut your monofilament or braid off. You can make your own, but for the start, it is easier to purchase some ready-made pike wire leader in your local shop. They are easy to find!

Now, the lures. To start, you do not need to spend a lot of money on a variety of lures. You need a couple of #3 – #5 spinners and a couple of 15-40 g spoons (bright for clear water, brass for murky water) to get you going. If the water is grassy, a simple spinnerbait is a perfect solution!

All of these lures are very simple to use. They can be fished with a straight retrieve, or with stop-and-go variations that will enable you to search through water layers. Since pike likes to be near cover and obstructions, you will find it is near impossible to avoid getting snagged – but this is also a part of a learning process for beginners!

When you are all set, you only have to cast your rig in a good spot and wait. When a pike approaches your bait, the float will begin to tremble – this means the fish is trying to get away from the predator. When it goes underwater, you have a strike! However, you need to wait a bit, as the pike still needs to adjust the bait in its mouth and start swallowing. This is known as a second run – the float will most likely circle a bit after first sinking, and then go underwater again. And this is the time to set the hook!

(Video) How to fish crank baits for perch. Retrieval options, and how to adjust through the seasons


Both perch and pike fishing is constantly evolving, with numerous fishing techniques being used, adapted, and changed every day.

This article hopefully has given you an insight into the basics of pike and perch fishing, but it is up to you to keep exploring the options, and find your way of becoming a master!

Practice makes perfect!

Check out my other articles on What are Freshwater Predatory fish and the Best baits and lures for predator fishing.

  • About
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Denis Savretic

Denis is an experienced freelance fishing journalist, with a passion for freshwater and saltwater lure fishing. Zander and seabass are his favorite fish species, but he also enjoys spending some quiet hours enjoying float fishing (both match and bolognese).

Latest posts by Denis Savretic (see all)

  • Winter Lure fishing For Zander: Best Tips For Rivers and Lakes - January 22, 2022
  • What is Bolognese fishing? The Ultimate Guide to Bolo Fishing - December 29, 2021
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(Video) What colour lures for clear water???


What month is best for perch fishing? ›

During late spring and early summer, early morning and early evening hours are best. During late summer, late afternoon and evening is best. In autumn, the best times are morning, and late afternoon evening. During the winter, the low light of late afternoon-evening is good.

What is the best setup for pike fishing? ›

It is important to structure your line with the reel and rod set up you plan to use. For a reel that has at least a maximum of 15 pounds worth of drag, we like to use 15 to 20-pound braided line. While when using a reel with at least a maximum of 25-pound drag, we typically use a 30 to 40-pound braided line.

What time of day is best for pike fishing? ›

Early morning right before the sun rises is an excellent time to target hungry pike. You can either find them in open or shallow water hunting down their first meal of the day.

What is the best bait for pike fishing? ›

Soft rayed fish that have lots of natural oil in the skin and flesh make the best dead baits for pike fishing. These natural oils leech into the water and help to attract pike that may be cruising in the area. Some of the best dead baits are smelt, alewives, small whitefish, chubs, and the always popular sucker.

What colors do perch see best? ›

Lure color is also an important consideration. Perch typically respond well to bright colors like white and chartreuse, but they may also bite more natural brown and green tones that imitate crayfish and other prey.

What is the best bait for perch? ›

Perch fishing with worms tends to produce the best results, but maggots, prawns and lobworms are also amongst the best bait for catching perch. You can also try feeding the perch, spreading some maggots over the area you intend to fish. But don't go overboard as perch are small and can fill themselves up quickly.

What depth do you fish for pike? ›

Most of these fish are caught in shallow water. Big pike, however, go deep. Many times they are in water 15 feet deep or deeper. At these times, a big deep running lure is needed.

When should you strike pike fishing? ›

Tips on starting pike fishing, when to strike etc (2013) - YouTube

What colors attract pike? ›

The very best lures to use for pike in clear water are swimbaits, softbaits, and crankbaits with an authentic pattern and swimming action. Natural lure colors that resemble the pike's prey, such as white, silver, green, or black, have proven most effective.

Are pike hard to catch? ›

Pike are aggressive apex predators and are usually easy to catch, because they will chase and bite at almost anything smaller than them.

Where do pike like to hide? ›

They will stick to the back of bays where water warms up quickly with the morning sun and they have lots of weeds to hide in. The really large Northern Pike are more likely to hang around points leading into bays, narrows between islands or in river current especially later in the spring.

Does pike eat perch? ›

Northern Pike are at the top of the food chain in most lakes and they just about eat anything. Walleyes, Chubs, Perch, Bass, Shiners, Frogs, Snakes, Birds, Bugs and other Pike are all on there menu.

What kind of lures do pike like? ›

Crankbaits come in may styles from lipless to deep divers. Having a great depth range is great as the fishing season progresses. The lipless crankbaits are the go to crankbait lure for pike fishing. The lipless is a shallow running lure that can get to depths of 12 feet with a quick retrieval.

How do you target a pike? ›

How to Target Northern Pike | Rapala Fishing Tips - YouTube

This article on Canal Fishing for beginners will cover everything you need to know about canal fishing from the permits required, the tactics you will want to employ, the right tackle to use, and lots more.. The Grand Union Canal at Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire 50% of the UK population live within 5 miles of a canal!. Winter canal fishing can be difficult to catch fish, an angler using a pole on the Nottingham Canal There is almost no closed season for canal fishing which means you can head to your local canal to catch a few fish any day of the year.. When the water gets too warm the fish will sit deeper in the water column in order to find the colder water near the bottom.. To go fishing anywhere in the UK you will need to buy a rod license first.. The best bait for fishing for pike includes live bait or dead bait , lures, and spinners.. You will find some very big carp in canals but they are not in every canal so you will want to do some research to ensure you are fishing in a canal with some carp in it.

If you want to catch pike at night, which can be tricky, check out this complete guide to night fishing pike .. Smelt, shiners, suckers, and shad are bait options that can catch you a lot of small and medium-sized pike Big pike really prefer lures over live bait though.. Here’s a general list of the best pike lure varieties that will catch you plenty of small and medium pike, with some occasional giants mixed in .. For a complete breakdown of every lure and piece of gear I recommend for pike fishing, check out my complete pike fishing gear list .. A lot of pike anglers have success fishing these early in the morning in the fall along weed edges as pike try to build up energy stores for winter.. Pike can be Very finicky so it is important you figure out what pike are hitting and only throw those baits.. Don’t fish slow-moving baits with leaders because pike will keenly study your lure for anything wrong.. Most serious pike anglers catch their biggest pike in cold water under 50 degrees.. As sunlight gets a little warmer and days last a little longer, this will spike pike activity and can be great fishing for new and seasoned pike anglers.. Dead bait can be really effective baits for pike year-round but I would only recommend using it in early spring when pike are seeking them out above moving bait.. But if you are fishing with slow-moving baits, don’t use a leader as pike will have more time to observe your bait.. If you fish with long crankbaits, you shouldn’t need a wire leader because pike tend to grab these baits towards the back of the bait, far away from the line and knot where the teeth can cause issues.. I recommend using a standard fish attractant scent to your lure when fishing for pike.. Pike can be tough to catch so adding scent and flavor to your bait can cause pike to bite and hold on a little longer.

As it is with pike fishing for beginners, you may not be aware of how to hook the pike.. Many times, the bigger northern pike won’t be hunting in the same places where all the other northern pike like to hunt.. Northern pike are such an aggressive species that they will even cannibalize on younger northern pike.. You have a number of available dead baits when it comes to northern pike and what works one day might not work the next because of how the tastes of the pike change with the season.. The live baits are like the dead baits in that the pike will often go for the same type of fish, except they’re alive.. In general, the female northern pike will normally be larger than the male northern pike.

My main target throughout these sessions has been predator fishing for winter pike and perch.. As well as fishing across the UK, I also headed to Sweden to fish the Baltic Sea.. One of my favourite methods when fishing soft plastics is to either fan casting or casting at certain features i.e. trees, bushes, deeper channels and any other areas fish may be lurking using soft plastics.. Sometimes, when fish are weary of the lure I find that dropping the retrieve off can entice a bite when the HTO Stick drops.. When fishing for winter pike I always use wire leaders with the HTO Titanium Leaders being my number one choice.. As well as lure fishing for winter pike, I also enjoy dead baiting for them too, the winter months are a great time to try and bag yourself a twenty!. Not only do I use this for my winter pike fishing but I use it for sea fishing too.. I’ve had some frantic lure fishing sessions for perch once I’ve located the shoals!. I had some nice perch fishing Graffham this year in deeper water using the HTO Boru Heads in 5 and 10g coupled with HTO Mega Sticks .. This mean that I could fish through the weeded areas that held the fish without getting snagged.. With the HTO Mega Sticks I used the HTO Boru Jig Head in 15g, attached to a HTO Titanium Trace .

As the northern pike can also be a pretty intimidating and difficult species to fish for, especially for beginners, I went ahead and wrote this helpful article filled with my very best pike fishing tips that I have gathered over a period of more than 20 years.. When it comes to monofilament line (used mainly for trolling and fishing with live baits), a mainline with a 15-20lb test is a perfect fit for pike fishing.. Now that you have all the necessary gear and end tackle to start your pike fishing adventures, you just have to grab a couple of pike lures and floats before it’s time to head out to the bank.. Night fishing for pike can also be extremely rewarding and this type of fishing is very exciting as well.. Either head out and catch a bunch of shiners, roaches, or shads a day or so in advance or plan a few extra hours before you start fishing for pike just to catch those baits.. Do not make the mistake and try to catch your baits while you’re pike fishing.. When a pike picks up the dead bait and starts to swim off with it, the line it’ll pull will run freely through the weight, causing no resistance that the fish might feel and giving you a nice and clear bite indication on the other end.. Especially when float or bobber fishing for pike, you can actually stay rather mobile and move around to fish different swims and spots.

Before you go for it there are some things that you need to know about fishing for beginners.. Things aren’t pretty much different in case of fishing either and trust me, I surely can give you some strong reasons why fishing is never a bad choice.. It is not that you will have to go fishing alone all the time.. As a beginner, you need to know about things that you will require to get started with fishing.. Saltwater fishing If you are mainly focused on grabbing the greater amount of excitement, then saltwater fishing is a better choice to get started with.. Freshwater fishing It is way easier for a beginner to get started with freshwater fishing.. Shore Fishing Shores are also considered as a good point for beginners to start fishing.. But in this kind of fishing, you will have to be a little careful at the time of unhooking the fish.. Fly fishing This kind of fishing can be done not only in freshwater but also in saltwater as well and you are going to need some compatible tools & gears for that as well like fly rods, reel, artificial flies.. Ice Fishing Ice fishing is one of the most challenging kinds of fishing in this world.. Fishing Line: For beginners, I think the monofilament line is surely a better option.. Putting lines on a fishing reel. Leaving plenty of lines When you are trying to catch a fish, make sure that you are leaving plenty of lines.

The 3 biggest challenges in fishing for beginners are finding fish, tying on the right fishing tackle, and using the best technique to catch fish on that tackle.. Our team of fishing guides gives you exact recommendation on what to use and how to use it so you start catching fish right away without breaking the bank.. If you are ready to step your game up with larger species, check out our beginner guides on Bass Fishing and Walleye Fishing .. Simply spool your reel with 200 yards of 6lb Monofilament Fishing Line .. monofilament is the ideal fishing line while you are still learning the basics.. #4 Baitholder Hook + 3/0 Split Shot Sinker + 1″ Snap Bobber = Basic Shoreline Fishing Rig. If you have a fishing tackle shop nearby you should be able to buy Baitholder Hooks, Split Shot Sinkers, and Snap Bobbers separately.. Sight fishing is challenging to explain but you will have a natural ability to land fish if they are visible next to the dock.. Gradually reel the fish in, guiding your rod with the movement of the fish and monitoring your line’s tension.. So if you do not have a pair of pliers, the best method to remove a hook from a fish is to rotate the hook so the barb gets close to the surface, then push down on the hook until the barb pops back through where the hook entered.. The hook should now be in the fish’s mouth, so gently rotate the hook once more so it clears the entrance of the mouth.. The greatest fishing tip I can give is to fish with friends .. Whether that’s with your family or a friend from work, you will learn how to fish quicker and catch more fish.

Lures on walleye.. The mouths of the rivers flowing into the big lake have always been and remain one of the most interesting places for fishing.. Imitating such a large walleye prey, large bait when fishing becomes predominant at the crossroads of pike and their victims - in the mouths of rivers, fine feed and fishing zones.. Catch need trolling, up or downstream.. Start catching after dark and check in for the night.. Did anyone try to catch here and trolling?. Good position for casting: upstream of the pit and 45 ° downstream.. For large fish need the right bait?. Catch on sinking lures (Rapala CD-11) on both sides of the river.. Zone C . Large sand barrier at the mouth - a deadly point.

These fish can be found in most bodies of water in the northern United States and fight a lot harder than largemouth bass !. This includes understanding the best pike fishing lures, pike fishing tips, where to find them, and even how to eat them.. These fish are some of the oldest species of fish that are thought to have existed over 65 million years ago!. Each female can spawn up to 200,000 eggs in the spring which give the little fry plenty of time to grow before winter!. Since they are some of the largest freshwater fish as well as how aggressive they are they do not have many predators in the wild, other than humans.. When looking for good areas to search and fish for pike, remember:. Yes, you will catch smaller pike but when a tank hits your line I assure you, you will want a bigger rod .. This is due to the number of sharp teeth in a pikes mouth, which can cut your line if there is not a leader in place.. Inline spinners are great baits for any type of predatory fish as they generally catch anything that goes after bait fish.. A topwater fishing lure is another great way to catch Northern Pike as they will typically feed on anything that moves in the water.. You should try eating pike especially if the one you catch is invasive in your area.. These fish are always feeding and can be a great fish to go after!

Fishing for a range of species offers the angler choice.. You have the choice of ledgering, float fishing, lure fishing or even fly fishing .. Take it steady when handling pike.. Long forceps Long nose pliers Wire cutters Large hooking matt Large landing net Wire glove. Many anglers believe that pike is not a species that copes well being caught in the summer.. Obviously, as you progress, you will probably want to buy a dedicated lure rod and reel but initially just take what you’ve already got from your other fishing adventures to get out there and give it a try.. If you are totally new to fishing, then I would not recommend that you start your fishing adventures by targeting pike.. A couple of lure rods and reels loaded with braid. You need some light indication that offers a very low amount of resistance.. Carp rods and reels At least 15lb b/s line Bite alarms (not essential but recommended) Rod Rests Drop off indicators Free running rings Ledger weights Wire traces Deadbaits. When float fishing for pike, the first thing to feed onto your main line is a bead, then a pike float (I prefer the in-line float), then ball weight, then another bead and then finally I would tie on the wire trace.. See below a diagram of a typical float set up.. With that said, there are a few things that will make it more comfortable and enjoyable, so don’t forget these items too!. If you are the type of angler that hangs your rods up in winter, it’s time to think again.

You can also fish for pike with live bait on jigging rods if desired and even use only portions of live bait, such as a minnow head tipped on the hook of a jigging spoon or other lure.. Jigging for pike is the more pro-active way of fishing for them compared to tip-ups, and with a stout jigging rod, an angler can cover more water in an attempt to contact active fish.. Great lures for this style of fishing would be vertical jigging spoons, lures like the Rapala jigging rap, Blade baits, rubber baits like artificially minnow designs, and even vertical jigging certain lipless crankbaits can all produce positive results.. This is, in many situations, better than fishing solely with tip-ups, as you are going to the fish, while with tip-ups, you are waiting for fish to come to your bait.. Dense weed beds will still hold pike, but if it is too dense, you might only encounter smaller sized pike that can easily move around in the weed growth, while the larger pike might be near the edge where the deeper water starts or the weeds stop.. Steep structural drop-offs are high traffic areas for predatory fish, as it allows them to easily go from deep water or a mid-lake basin to shallow water, and in many cases, the shallow end of a drop-off is the start of a weed line edge of a weed bed which is a key area all anglers should fish.. You can’t catch fish if they aren’t below you, and to make the most efficient use of your time, you should jig a potentially good spot for a while, and if no fish present themselves on the electronics, you should move on and continue to search for active fish .. Seeing the location and distance of a pike in relationship with your lure or bait can help you to determine if the action you are imparting is triggering the fish to feed, and if the fish is sitting and watching your lure you can change your jigging cadence to entice the pike to strike.. Jigging in combination with tip-up fishing is a great tactic to catch pike while ice fishing.. By bringing the pike within a short distance of your live bait presentation, the pike will in many cases ignore and leave your jigging presentation to strike the “dead stick” live bait presentation.


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