Pike Fishing

Pike are an important part of the fishery and pike angling accounts for around 8-10% of our  business. The Lake has a rare and an ideal environment for pike, and still hopefully holds the Ladies UK weight record of 39lbs 8oz (also the Lake fish weight record). There is a good head head of these wild fish which give superb sport on fly tackle, bait* or lure*. On average expect to catch around 6 pike per boat per day with one of these being in double figures and a chance of the fish of a lifetime – a Lake 30lb plus fish.

All pike must be released carefully back to the water, having first ensured recovery in the net or along side the boat. Standard fishing for pike is by fly only. If you want to lure or bait fish there is limited access via the Pike anglers Alliance Scotland or the PAC see more below.

Fly Fishing for Pike

Fly fishing for pike is one of the fastest growing sectors in angling and is the least stressful to the pike as only one barbless hook  is in contact with the fish. To avoid overplaying the fish a 9/10wt rod should be used in conjunction with a pike proof leader. Fly Pike fishing is is available throughout our main season to the general public as per trout fly fishing (book online). Prices are as for trout angling. Tuition is readily available as is tackle hire (see coaching and tariff pages). Fly fishing for pike is available when convenient and by arrangement – throughout the winter (mainly weekdays – book on line through the website).

Below is the current procedure and rules for fly fishing for pike.

Fish are to be unhooked in the water in the net. So if fishing two to a boat, unhookers should make sure that the other angler does not unbalance the boat. Pike nets will be provided. Only Drogues supplied by the fishery are allowed. If the fish is to be weighed this should be done by attaching scales to the weigh sling for a quick weight to be achieved. If a photo is required the fish can be held for a short moment above (or nearly above) the water while the photo is taken – if possible. The body and the head should be equally supported – especially with large fish as if too much weight is supported from the gills, damage to the fish can occur. All anglers should carry long nose pliers for releasing the hook and wire cutters in case the hook needs to be cut. Only single debarbed hooks (max size 6) are allowed. The price for an evening boat is as detailed under tariffs. A proper weight of fly rod is required (9-10wt) as this ensures that the fish is played out quickly. All fished should be supported in the water after unhooking until they can vigorously swim away. In summer, the Lake is a stratified (distinct temperature reduction with depth) and these layers do not mix until winter. As the Lake is mesotrophic (moderately productive) there are many organisms living and growing at all depths. In the summer these organisms quickly use up all the oxygen at depth, and as there is no mixing below about 10m, these deeper layers become anaerobic (devoid of oxygen). If a fish is released too early above these deeps then it will sink into an area with no oxygen and die. Particular care should be taken when releasing fish above deeper areas and fishing should be concentrated in areas of shallower water (the majority of the Lake is less than 10m deep) to avoid this possibility (see depth map in brochure).

All boats must fill in a catch return (use trout recording sheet) but state number and weight of pike caught. The fishery is and will remain primarily a trout angling water and income from pike fishing will help to boost trout stocking levels and maintenance of the boat fleet. We have pike gear for hire (cost £10, £80 deposit per rod kit, £100 per 2 rod kits).

Lure and Dead Baiting:

Six days of lure and dead bait Pike fishing is only available through PAAS or the PAC in the winter months.  No freshwater dead baits are allowed. Rules for these days are available from the clubs – PAAS (Pike Anglers Alliance Scotland)and the PAC (Pike Angling Club of Great Britain and Ireland). The dates for these events can be found under Events/Competitions.

In addition PAAS negotiates some lure only evenings (contact PAAS) during the summer.


To summarise:

Pike Fly Fishing is allowed as per trout fly fishing and all hooks must be debarbed.

All fish must be unhooked outside the boat (pay attention to balancing the boat).

Fish must be held until recovered before release.

Weighing to be done in capture net using portable spring scale.

Long nosed pliers and wire cutters to be carried at all times for unhooking, hook cutting.

All hooks  – max size 6.0

9/10wt rod required.

Accurate catch returns required from all boats (including blank returns)

Only drogues, nets, mats supplied by fishery allowed on water.