The pike season in France is about to start (1st of May) and at last, it is time to get back on the water in search of these crazy fish! If all goes well the fish will be active and then I’ll try a selection of hard baits: jerk baits like the Gamera and Zigra or a swim bait like the Itoka. The new Gunki spinner bait would be a good option too (to read the review written by David Bourdet, click here: Spinnaker) but, if the fish don’t react to them, then it’s time to use plan B!

In that case, soft bait are highly versatile and can be used in many situations at this time of year. When the water is still not that warm, the pike could easily be holding way back in the cover or lying in deeper regions. In both cases a soft bait can save the day and I have 3 different ones that I just know I can rely on: the Clipper, the Grubby Free and the G’Bump. Each lure is perfectly suited to different scenarios: the Clipper to cast as far as possible into the cover, the Grubby Free for covering water and the G’Bump on the G’Fish Pike addict head for fishing underwater trees!

So let’s start with the Clipper; it has a perfectly shaped body to skip it across the surface. The trick to skip a lure is not to be afraid to cast it where no one in their right mind would! The cast needs to be done at high speed and the lure needs to hit the water quite close to you. The trajectory of your lure also needs to be almost parallel to the surface, just like skipping a stone. When it hits the surface, lift the tip of your rod to help the lure skim towards your target. As it stops, let it sink and then start to retrieve. If a fish takes your lure, strike, reel and cross your fingers, it’s one of those situations when the fish really has the upper hand. I like to use a color that has contrast, as I will be casting into the shade created by the cover so I want my lure to stand out. By contrast it could be a very dark back and light belly or a fluo color, but that will be up to the fish to chose!

The Gunki Clipper, perfect for skipping into the cover

Time to talk about a new lure for 2016, the Grubby Free; it is a pre rigged lure which comes in 3 sizes, 8cm, 13cm and 17cm weighing respectively  15.5gr, 37gr and 67gr. I will fish it using a linear retrieve with virtually no animation. Ideally you cast, let it sink to the desired depth and start reeling. It is THE technique for fish when the pike are hiding in the weed beds. As the lure swims above them, all they have to do is to swim strait up to “kill” that unsuspecting lure! If you get bites that you just cannot strike, try a smaller version, or on the 2 bigger models, adding a treble hook on the belly ring. You can also use this eye to add a blade that will enable you to fish higher up by slowing your lure. It’s also perfect to trigger a lazy pike with the flashes and vibrations it produces: just what you need for a windy day. For clear waters the Holo Blue Flake is great or the Green Jelly if you feel the pike fancy eating one of their own.

The Gunki Grubby Free, in the Jelly Green it imitates to perfection a small pike

The G’Bump already has a solid reputation, to many pikes’ dismay, as it has already sent a countless number of them to the dentist, and believe me, it’s not going to stop! A recent trip to Spain has just made the lure become one of my favorite ones for fishing immerged trees. Rigged with the G’Fish Pike Addict head, it is lethal, and with steel nerves and a bit of practice you rarely snag. The trick being to distinguish “tree bites” and “real pike bites”! The lures tail produces specific powerful vibrations which are the key to get those pike to bite. During this trip, we shot the 1st episode of the new series Fish Spotting with the famous YouTube channel, with our host the renowned Illex guide from Extremadura Monsters, Mathieu Schottler. This 1st epidsode will be live on the 21st of April, 20:00 CET, but beware, there are some seriously big fish! In the photo below, you can see why we called this type of fishing “Jungle fishing”. The Serena Lake has vast zones of underwater eucalyptus trees where giant pike just love to hide.

Jungle Fishing style

A Spanish beauty that fell for the Gunki G’Bump

So, if it’s soft bait time, the Gunki range has a lure for every situation, just tie one on, cast, retrieve and get ready for the bite!

Tight lines


Photos courtesy of Tobias Ekvall, Mathieu Schottler & Vincent De Bruyne