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by Angling Times |

Pike fishing on rivers can be a little tricky, to help you tackle these very tricky venues we've put together some of the best pike fishing tips for river pike so you can catch more when out on the bank whether you’re an experienced pike angler or decided to try it for the first time, we’ll have you covered with these great pike tips.


Rivers are wild, so you need to take the time to learn the stretch you are targeting to get the most out of your pike fishing. Ideally, walk the river prior to the season, when the river is low and clear so areas of deeper and shallow water are more easily identifiable.

This reconnaissance also allows you to check out areas of weed or even snags. Take in the geographical nature of the land too. The steeper the sides of the surrounding land, the quicker the river will flood in the rains. Plus, the lower-lying rivers also tend to stay in flood for longer. All of these things will affect how the river fishes.


Once you have sussed a length of waterway, it is always best to keep mobile. It is often best to cover a couple of miles or more in a single session. This means keeping your kit to a minimum but the more water you are able to cover, the more chances you will have of finding a feeding fish.

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Keep mobile.jpg


On rivers, particularly strong, powerful waterways like the Wharfe, Swale, or Wye, the pike have built up a great deal of muscle mass as they are used to fighting the flow. So, to ensure you are able to land everyone you hook, step up your gear up accordingly. Use either 20lb mono or ideally braid. It's also best to use 28lb wire for my trace. River fish are not as pressured as stillwater fish, so they are not put off by tackle, so why risk losing them due to too your gear being too light.


Low, clear rivers can be the kiss of death regards pike fishing, as their confidence and cover are blown. This means that especially on days when the sun is bright, either early or late starts are the name of the game. The amount of decent-size pike that have been caught over the years, fishing at either dawn or dusk is incredible.

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It sounds time-consuming, but never underestimate the power of pre-baiting. Rivers such as the Wharfe and Trent are big rivers and experience has shown that the pike on this type of watercourse are very migratory.

By getting the fish used to feeding in a certain area, you can start to either hold them there or intercept them as they are travelling in search of food. No river pike, especially one of the ‘big girls’, is going to turn their nose up at a free meal!


Always use float rigs on a river. Floats are better are giving you early indications that a fish has possibly picked up the bait.

To help induce a bite, one of the best tactics is to give the reel a couple of turns to twitch the rigs back to the bank. This can be like a trigger to a fish that is in two minds whether to take the bait, as it thinks its dinner is getting away.


Often the best time to fish a river for pike is when the water is rising. The prey fish become very active and they need to continually adjust their position in the river due to the ever changing current speeds.

This leaves them wide open to attack from a predator as they are forced to search refuge from the flood.

Conversely, once the river is in flood, the pike fishing will be next to useless due to the extra colour in the water. You will now have to wait until the flow ebbs and the colour once again drops out before the pike will feed confidently. On the plus side, if it floods for a good while, the fish will be ravenous when the waters do eventually start to go down.

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Wondering where is best to go pike fishing this weekend? Then you might want to take a look at our Fishing Near Me page. We’ve got loads of listicles for every species including pike! So if you’re stuck on where to fish then take a look as we can guarantee that you’ll find a river or lake near you, that is stacked with big pike! Click here to see more.


Not had your fix of pike fishing tips and want more? Then head over to our pike species page where we have everything from tips to tackle and venues. Everything you would want to prepare yourself for your next session is here so head over and take a look. Click here to see our species page.

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