Big mama pikePosted on 29 January 2014 by Vincent
Since a couple of years it has become a tradition to go pike fishing in the winter with some buddies of mine from Dyckers. Last times we went pike fishing in our polders around Utrecht. Now we wanted to go for something bigger… Big mamas! Big mama pike that is…
Photos by: Brian E, Paul v D, Henk-Jan ten B and me
If you want to catch big mama pike in The Netherlands, theres always one area that comes to mind. That area is called the “Randmeren”. It’s a couple of big lakes that separate the province of Flevoland from the rest of the Netherlands. I’ve fished there before with Paul.
We headed out there with a great bunch of friends. A nice apartment was rented near one of the lakes, food & beers were bought, and we hoped the pike were eating!
Sander and Paul would tackle the big mamas with Paul’s boat, the rest of us got in the cold waters with our bellyboats. The boat has the advantage to hop spots very quickly and efficient, but the bellyboat has some advantages as wel. You can concentrate on certain hotspots a bit better.
On friday evening I met up with Paul, who already brought his boat to the harbor near our apartment. Paul fished for a short moment, and landed his first fish of the weekend already. Lost a bigger one too.
The tackle we would be using consisted of 8- to 10-weight rods, rigged with heavy sinking lines (most of us were fishing a Di7 sinking line) and big streamers. Paul and Sander mostly fished with big zonker/bucktail streamers in a variety of colors. The red head and a perch color combo proved to be best for them. The rest of us mainly fished with big 20-25cm EP-fiber and H2O-fiber streamers. Brian, Edwin and I only fished with black/purple colored streamers. For tippet we used 80lbs fluorocarbon or titanium wire.
As always, we couldn’t keep our hands off our beers the evening before. Around 3 or 4AM we went to bed, therefore we started our day a bit late. But hey, it’s not always all about the fishing.
We were near the first spot around 10.30AM. Before I even got my bellyboat wet, Edwin already had 2 fish. Incredible. But he deserves it. Edwin has some hours put in this fishery (check his blog about it).
It was a bit quiet after Edwin’s first two fish. After about an hour I got my first take. A nice fish! This fish put a good bend in my Loop Booster #9. Not the biggest one, but it counts!
After this fish it remained quiet for a while. We saw some big fish on our fishfinders, but the pike weren’t eating. We met up with Paul and Sander, they had a couple of fish each.
Suddenly we heard Brian screaming. He had a big fish. Sadly he was a couple hundred meters away from us, so we couldn’t help him to get a decent picture. Brian’s first pike was a decent one, about 90 centimeters.
This area was hammered by now, about time for a new spot. On this new spot we saw a lot of baitfish and big arches on our fishinders. Getting a fish would only be a matter of time.
Edwin showed his skills again, and caught two nice pike in a row. The biggest one was about 90 centimeters. The other one a bit smaller.
Apart from a couple of missed strikes we didn’t get any more bites. We called it a day. The pending BBQ was teasing our minds.
Time to get out of bed. Of course, not too early. Brian and I chose a new spot. We headed out to fish a little harbor from the banks. The wind was keeping us from getting in the bellyboat immediately. This little harbor was full of pike! We both got several takes, but we all missed them. It was one of those days… A lot of pike followed our streamers, but we could not stick it in their mouth. Finally, Brian got a small pike. After that, Brian and I both missed some more pike. I got 5 takes from at least 2 or 3 different fish from one dock. None of them sticked. Well, it’s all in the game.
Time to hop to another spot. But Brian wanted to try one spot in the corner of this harbor for a second time. On his first try he didn’t see anything, but he knows this is a good spot. BAM! A fat pike finally took the fly.
We hit the water with our bellyboats on another spot. We got a call from Jasper that he had managed to get a pike near our apartment as well.
Jasper and Henk-Jan joined us on our second spot for the day. Brian got a big fatty after a couple of casts.
A couple of casts later I finally got my first pike of the day. Not a big one, and not nearly as well fed as Brian’s last fish. I caught the fish only a couple of meters away from the spot where Brian caught his fish. This shows these pike can hunt a school of baitfish pretty close to one-another.
The pike are really starting to eat our flies. Brian lost another nice fish and I caught one a couple of casts later.
Sander and Paul where also doing well. They both caught a couple of fish a few km’s away from us.
Brian and I spotted some schools of baitfish on a corner. Maybe there’s a big mama around here? Henk-Jan got a take but the fish shook the fly out of his mouth. Brian got another take. BAM! Big fish! Really big fish!!! The fish fought really well. This was a meter+ fish. Finally it came to the surface. 100cm+ For sure!! Suddenly his rod straightened and Brian was looking a bit sad… He lost the fish while struggling with his gloves. Damnit!! That was the biggest one we saw this weekend. That really sucks…
Brian got his mind together and made another cast, thinking he just lost the biggest fish of the weekend. BAM!!! Another take. Looked like a good fish too. Looked like a reeeeeaaaally good fish… Could this big an even bigger one? Brian’s Loop Cross #10 bent to the handle. Wow, this really is a big fish. Or maybe a decent fish hooked on his back? We all joined Brian when he was fighting his fish. This looked like it could be the biggest pike I ever saw in real life. Brian fought this fish really well, he wasn’t about to lose this one too.
The fish finally came towards his bellyboat. God damn, that’s a monster! Brian tried to land it with his landing net, but the net simply was too small. We all paddled towards the shore to land this beauty. We all felt privileged to share this experience. The measuring tape stopped at 116cm’s! Maybe it was even bigger because the fish was bent a little bit when measuring it. It’s a real hassle to measure such a big fish in the bellyboat.
Witnessing all of this made us doubt wether to keep on fishing. There was only about an hour left, and it probably wouldn’t get any better than this. After enjoying the moment for a little while, we started fishing again. We found some more big schools of baitfish, with big arches crossing trough them. That must be pike. Jasper got another good sized fish that was stalking a big school of baitfish.
I lost a fish which took my streamer right under my bellyboat. I even saw the fish on my fishfinder before it took my fly. After that, I missed one or two more fish. But all of that didn’t really matter that much. We had our portion of fishing today. What a day… We couldn’t think of a better way to close our weekend. Thanks guys for the great weekend!!