Fishing for pike in Holland
In the Netherlands you can fish for pike basically everywhere and in any thinkable way. For instance, you may find yourself roaming around the ditches and canals in a residential area with your rod. A regular spinning rod of 2.10 metres long and a few spinners, plugs or other lures will suffice. You’ll typically catch several, mostly small to midsized pikes per day. By the way, if you set off into the polders with a fly rod and a streamer, you’re also in for great day of fishing.
Another proven technique is jerkbaiting – especially on the larger waters. The same is true for trolling from a boat.
At hotspots such as the Randmeren, anglers pull out monster sized pikes! Next to jerkbaits, large, soft shads with a light jig and an additional tail dreg also work very well. These are much softer than plugs and jerkbaits and therefore feel much more natural to the pike. On popular fishing waters, using soft rubber lures can make all the difference between a nice day out fishing and a fantastic one.
And of course then there is fishing with dead bait. This technique has been gaining popularity in the Netherlands the last few winters, and that should come as no surprise: using live bait has been prohibited in the Netherlands since 1997. Does that influence your catch? Not at all! Many huge pikes are being hooked each winter in the many yacht harbours along rivers and lakes using dead bait – such as dead roach or sea fish like sardines, herring, smelt and horse mackerel. You also can’t go wrong at other hotspots such as bridges and pumping stations in polder waters.
There are several ways to angle using dead bait: by using dead bait in combination with a float or by using a bottom bait rig in combination with an electronic bite alarm, as used in carp fishing. Of course it is still important to hook the fish within seconds, in order to prevent the pike from swallowing the dead bait altogether. Therefore always bring extra-long unhooking pliers and a cutter if you go fishing for pike!
In the Netherlands we value our fantastic pike stocks. That’s why there is a close season for pike fishing from 1 April up to and including the last Saturday of May – during this period you’re not allowed to use artificial or dead bait. In the Netherlands we always release the pikes we catch: that’s why even in the smallest waters they’re growing to over 1 metre in length.
Do you want to go fishing for pike in the Netherlands? Then be sure to do this in the period from June to February. The period from September to February is considered the best period to give it a try because in this period there are less water plants than in summer.