Save Our Pike

Save Our Pike

The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads are world-renowned for excellent pike fishing. Large pike up to 30lbs in weight have been caught on the rivers and broads, but their numbers are on the decline so good fishing practices are vital to protect and increase numbers.  

This is a plea from a very concerned fisherman asking for help from  all visiting and local fishermen on the Norfolk Broads......

SUMMER PIKING

"After some of the sights I have seen this evening whilst out on the bait boat, I am having a bit of a rant I'm afraid (unusual for me), but the message needs to be spread....

Ever wondered why you see dead pike floating in the edge of reed beds? Here's one reason why....

As the better weather is here the shallow water of the broads heats up very quickly, and feels like lukewarm bath water to the touch, much like the shallows on a carp water. As the water gets warmer and warmer the dissolved oxygen levels (DO) plummet to virtually nothing.

Now pike this time of year are at their most active and will attack pretty much anything that moves and give a good scrap, great stuff for some good sport you say, however this is not good for the fish themselves....

Pike are a very delicate and sensitive fish despite their fearsome look, and need a high amount of dissolved oxygen in the water to recover fully after a capture. They exert their energy attacking their prey/your bait. We then hook into it and fight/play the fish to net, in doing so draining the pike of any energy it had left in reserve.

We then land the pike taking it out off the water to be unhooked and photos taken.... By now the already exhausted fish has been out of the water 5-10 mins (longer if you are inexperienced and have difficulty in unhooking a deeper hooked fish). We then return the fish to the water often not giving the fish time to recover in the net before been released, and even if you do give it a good time to recover, it is still sat in oxygen depleted margins.

As a result the fish may seem to swim off slowly but will often just go belly up a few mins later totally unknown to the capture who is still revelling in the glory of his amazing catch.....

Now I'm not saying every fish caught is going to roll over and die, however a high percentage do. Also it is a very different ecosystem here on the broads to most deeper waters around the UK, especially further north, so this may not be a problem where you are from, but here on the broads it is a big big problem, that is adding to other problems resulting in a decline of pike numbers on the broads.

The answer to solving this is quite a simple one really.....

Don't fish for them in the summer months, to help preserve stocks for the future"

We all love the Norfolk Broads and the pleasure this area gives to so many, so please heed the warning and try not to catch these iconic fish until summer is over and the cooler weather kicks in.

The following is a government press release about the care and handling of pike during the winter months published in 2016

Government Article on Pike Management

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