Spring 2022 Blog


Pike fishing in May can be spectacular, some studies have indicated that pike do most of their feeding for the year in May. I you think about it, it makes sense, they are recovering from spawning and most of their prey fish are about to, or in the process of spawning themselves, so these prey fish make easy pickings for them.

The timing of your fishing in May is, in my experience, critical. There is usually one week that the pike go ballistic. The other weeks are, well, standard pike grinding weeks. Usually this “Hot Week” falls in the middle of May, but it can be earlier or later depending on environmental factors (usually water temperature). Most of the time I get it wrong t and it’s always the week after or before I put some time in. This year? Wrong again!

pike boat

I did put in a bit of time for the pike on the fly at various venues, and I caught, but only a couple of decent fish really. Lots of jacks was the order of the day at Chew, in fact I think I had around 15 of them in the first couple of hours which was worrying. A couple did have some big bite marks on them however so hopefully there are still a few big ones left in there.


I also spent a bit of time tying some new fly patterns up for a couple of new venues. Something that I haven’t really got that excited about in a couple of years, but I find it quite therapeutic tying up pike flies. I couldn’t tie small trout flies, my hands aren’t that delicate, but I think I don’t do a bad job with pike ones – though they look a bit messy, they certainly catch fish which is all that counts really.

Pike fly

The end of may saw an invitation to a Zander fishing competition called “Lake Challenge”, with Westin being one of the sponsors of the event. The event was well attended, the zander fishing was a bit difficult by all accounts, which was a bit strange as I couldn’t stop catching them! I think most anglers were simply fishing too deep using vertical methods that usually work in the cooler winter months.


I don’t usually fish that much for zander at this time of year as simply there aren’t many places where you can! However, what I do know is that Zander behave very differently in May, and out on the water, after catching a few, it was clear that they had just finished spawning as all the ones I caught were long and thin. They were all very active and in the upper layers of the water as well. It was quite interesting fishing, occasionally coming across groups of two or three fish out in the open on the side imager and expecting to catch each one after casting to them.


The key was letting the lure “fall” down to them. Not vertically, not really horizontally, but a cast that dropped the lure diagonally over them on a tight line worked every time. Getting the sun angle correct was also an important factor, which means positioning the boat correctly is just as important as the angle of the cast. In most instances, there is very little point in pulling a lure back towards the sun if your zander fishing, as they don’t like it. It is better fish a lure from the direction of the sun and over them or better still fish one perpendicular to the sun angle and across them. You can “see” the way the fish are sitting on the side imager, and it will become apparent that static zander will all be sitting in one way on a certain day.