Springhead angler gives insight on a passion for pike

KEEN angler Dr Steve Rogowski from Springhead, who has written books on the topic, looks back on another year in the sport locally…

Dr Steve Rogowski with one of his catches

Although I fish for pike all year round, the traditional season is from October-March (inclusive) simply because during the summer months many big fish anglers tend to focus on other species such as carp.

During the last six months I have had many and varied piking trips to such as Fenland, the Lake District and various Yorkshire rivers and canals. The waters visited include the Middle Level Drain in Norfolk, Rydal and Coniston waters in Cumbria, and Yorkshire rivers such as the Ouse and Ure.

All produced some decent pike, as have reservoirs in the North West of England more widely, but readers will probably be more interested in my exploits in the Saddleworth area.

I am a member of Diggle Angling Club and Saddleworth Angling Society both of which have waters, notably reservoirs, containing pike.

Admittedly thirty pound fish are unheard of and twenty pounders are hard to come by, but putting in the time and effort can bring success.

For example, I have caught several over the twenty pounds mark, the biggest being 27lb 8oz though admittedly it was several years ago. Even so, local pike action is certainly there to be had with even the smaller pike being hard fighting and providing excellent sport.

I tend to use live and dead fish as baits with, for example, live roach and perch and sea dead baits such as mackerel and sardine being favourites.  Incidentally, although I rarely use them these days, lures – artificial baits – also have their day.

Anyway, how was the last traditional pike fishing season for me? Looking back at my angling diary, although I caught some decent pike up to the fourteen pounds mark, unfortunately none of them came from the Saddleworth area.

For some reason none of the waters I targeted here produced anything like the double figure fish in the photo which was caught about two years ago.

Some pikers I have spoken to put this down to cormorants eating prey fish, this impacting on pike stocks. Others wonder if there are some unscrupulous anglers who are catching and killing pike in order to eat them.

There is no easy answer but whatever the reason it will not put me off my ‘passion for pike’.


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