Shallow Running Plugs by Gord Burton

When pike are located in water less than ten feet deep they can be tempted by using shallow diving plugs and by that I mean that dive will no more than ten feet when casting and retrieving. I use this approach at any time of the year and have had good results at all times.

On so many waters I have exploited such situations using this sort of lure; in fact many of my greatest catches have come when fishing this way. Large numbers of pike of all sizes. Multiple catches of big doubles and twenty pounders and even thirty pounders, a mega bonus. The number and selection of plugs for this particular situation are legion but I will throw in a few of my greats to help you readers along the road to "pike savages lures". Super Shad's, Jake's, Shallow Invaders, Believers, Rapala Minnows and Magnums and of course the legendary Creek Chub pikie.

Also I must not forget the many small alphabet lures that catch loads of fish. Also slow sinking Jerkbaits are proving to be dynamite catchers of big fish and the Strike Pro Buster Jerk range are destined for greatness. In the most favourable clear water conditions and when the pike are in an aggressive mood they are likely to come chasing and slashing at the lure retrieved in a whole variety of ways. A fish just off the bottom in a prowling mood is likely to shoot right to top and strike a plug retrieved high in the water but in contrast a fish in a lesser feeding mood may require something a bit closer or easier to hit so the many changing retrieves become the secret of stirring the pike, into the strike! whee ha, I love it!

Colour of the water governs my choice of lure and style of retrieve a great deal. So think carefully and ensure you pick a good lure for the job. In clear water a whole range of  colours will score heavily for you, perch and shad patterns being great, black banded plugs are excellent in water tinged with colour as are the gaudy fluorescent patterns, just keep experimenting and you work out a good code of fish catching retrieves and lure finishes.

Cast the lure out and crank it into action then periodically or sometimes throughout the retrieve keep jerking lightly on the rod to make the lure keel on its side and give off flashes as it comes back in. This trick will send out the call to fish. If no result from these first efforts simply send the plug deeper down into the water so that it is working its way down to the fish that may not rise up to strike.

Even anglers of long term experience go a bit jerk and twitch crazy at times but sometimes a more subtle approach will pay off. In which case a none-stop, continual reeling in of a lure and putting no other action into a retrieve brings about the best results. In fact I hammered the big trout water pike silly fishing this very way. Quite often this tactic will bring lots of follows from pike but a sudden spurt in the retrieve and change in the action of the lure will get a take.

Sometimes stopping and allowing the lure to rise up in the water is a deadly trick to bring about takes and one I have had a huge number of pike fall for, and also expect slack line takes as the lure rises. In complete contrast I have hammered out lots of fish really ripping and jerking on the rod when fishing big crankbaits like 'Pikies' and 'Super Shads'. Mind you vigorous style of fishing is usually in wild windy weather conditions, in my early days I rejoiced "give-em a Creek Chub, they love em"! Lets me tell you also that you cannot retrieve too quickly for pike no matter how fast you reel, fish will still lash onto a plug. Lots of times I have shown this to work, so you see all sorts of ruses will work at times, its getting it right on the day! 

Gord Burton.