First 10+ kg pike on the 4D Herring Shad
Since most lakes at are frozen in Sweden, me and my fishing buddy Haris Beganovic decided to take a couple of days off and drive south in search for open water.
Since Sweden is long, weather conditions can vary a lot depending on latitude this time of year. It can also be tricky to calculate were to find pikes this time of year since it can differ a lot between different bodies of water. In some lakes, pike get ready to spawn whereas in others its still winter fishing e.g. you find pikes around schools of baitfish.
A beautiful 110cm pike. What a fish!
We ended up at a lake we’ve been keen on fishing for several years. Air temps were between -4 and +5 °C and heavy winds made our options to choose spots limited. Deep clear water lakes in this part of Sweden can be quite tricky. Normally these types of lakes are shaped like bathtubs with little structure and even less grass and bottom vegetation. Pikes in such lakes often live a life hunting pelagic baitfish and rarely move into shallow waters. But, in springtime they are forced into more shallow waters to spawn.
Even though the day was windy and cold, we still managed to get quite some decent fish
We assumed that the spawning period had not yet begun but that pikes most probably would be found close to spawning bays. Probably on deep drop offs outside such bays, feeding on whitefish and burbots in order to add weight before going into shallow waters to spawn.
The beautiful fish of Sweden
We picked a spot to fish that offered as much protection from the wind as possible. Outside a spawning bay, were the drop off was at its steepest. Drifting over 14 m dept we had depts of 5m to 40 m within casting distance. The first hour went by slow without any strikes but then suddenly Haris bent his rod and we landed a nice meter pike. Soon after I got a hard strike and could land another meter pike in perfect condition. We were now confident that our strategy was right. And very true, just before lunch I got the strike we had been waiting for. After a short fight we landed a 110 cm 10,1 kg pike! To start the season with a pike like that is more than you could ask for!
One pike had a burbot in its belly which it tried to get rid of during the fight
This pike took a 25 cm 4D Herring Shad in the colour pike, rigged with a 15 g corkscrew head and a SG steel E-rattle placed thru the body. You really want a bait that presents itself and with its great rolling action the herring shad is a perfect choice! Pelagic pikes often put up an aggressive fight so make sure to choose a rod with a lot of backbone! My go to setup for pelagic fishing is a Savage Gear Swimbait rod (>240 g) combined with an Okuma Komodo 364.
GO! Catch and release!