With a few days off during the festive break I was invited back to an old syndicate lake of mine to have a go for some of the big pike that reside under its surface.

Arriving at first light on a very mild day, a steady easterly wind blew across the lake. Due to the abnormally warm weather and because of the bank holiday, the lake was very busy as it is predominantly a carp syndicate.

With lots of lines in the water it was important to try and find an area where I could fish away from the pressure that would allow the pike to move in and out of the swim, as they are quite nomadic on this particular water.

I picked a spot on the far bank, behind an island, that divided the main body of the lake from a long arm that is rarely fished.

I knew from memory that a bar ran across the swim, two thirds of the way to the island. Behind that a deep channel provided the perfect ambush point for a roving pike to pick off the boundless shoals of roach.

With my swim selection made I set about getting the rods setup and put theory into practice.

Opting for a two pronged attack so as to cover more options I chose to fish one bait on a simple slider float so that it could be easily re-positioned around the swim whilst the second rod would adopt the approach that scored me so many fish during my previous time on the lake.

No sooner had the float fished bait hit the deck than it was away, a small jack striking the bait on the drop.

A small jack pike took the bait on the drop

A small jack pike took the bait on the drop

Having not had chance to cast the second rod out yet, I was keen to see if the ground bait method would still produce. Casting it into the gully behind the bar it took around 20 minutes before a twitchy take signalled on the bite alarm. Allowing a second or two to confirm the fish had picked up the bait I set the hook.

The fish felt a little better but didn’t give much resistance as I was easily able to direct it towards my waiting net.

A nicely marked double was the highlight of the session.

A nicely marked double was the highlight of the session.

At 12lb 12ozs it wasn’t huge but a lovely conditioned fish and a pleasing reward for dusting off an old method. The rest of the day produced another small jack and one other dropped run.

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