Two 30s head up 'crazy' piking session

A bucket of fish heads played its part in a prebaiting campaign that ended in one of the best hauls of gravel pit pike of all time.
Huge predators of 33lb 4oz, 30lb 3oz, 28lb 4oz and a couple taking the scales round to 24lb were the highlights of what Angling Times columnist Steve Rowley described as ‘the session of my life’.
Seven fish for a combined weight of over 150lb fell to the specialist from Gloucestershire when he legered his favoured sardine hookbaits at a gravel pit in the south of the UK.
“The recent rains had really coloured up this pit and the first day I didn’t have a single take, but then the water began to clear and it all kicked off big time,” Steve told Angling Times.
“I think the fish had shut up shop because of the recent cold conditions, but I just timed it to perfection, catching them as they came out of their slumber wanting a really good feed. But I never imagined that I’d have an afternoon like this.
“It all kicked off with the
28lb 4oz fish and a couple of jacks, then at 3pm the really big fish started to show. The 30lb 3oz pike was the first to be netted, then I had two simultaneous takes that resulted in two 24lb pike in the net at the same time, followed by the 33. It was crazy.”
Prebaiting is a tactic that’s not often associated with predator fishing, but Steve introduces hundreds of kilos of feed into his chosen network of stillwaters every winter.
He feeds his likely-looking spots with mackerel heads and whole herrings, which he says have played a huge part in his success so far this season. He’s landed no fewer than 18 fish over the 20lb mark, with four of these weighing over 30lb.
“Pike don’t just sit there and wait for individual baits to be cast in front of them. Prebaiting can be just as effective as for other coarse species because it gets them used to visiting a certain area to feed,” Steve continued.
“It also gives pike a regular food source and helps the fish put on weight.”