Moving hot spots
For decades now, experienced pike anglers have recognised the phenomena of ‘Hot Spots’. These are places where larger pike are always present whilst surrounding areas are almost devoid of their kind. They are sometimes associated with a particular feature, such as an area where there is decaying weed or where a river or drain narrows down, or they could be places where prey fish are always present. The precise reason for a ‘Hot Spot’ may never be known, but all I need to know is that they can exist, and they are what I am always seeking out, particularly in winter time.
There’s nothing new in this revelation, but in recent seasons I’ve noticed a slight variation on the theme – ‘moving’ hot spots. On some waters I fish, the ‘Hot Spot’ tends to change every season. One winter the big pike will be gathered on a drop off that is easy to cast to from the bank, another season they will be up against a drop off well out into the lake where I need a drifter float to reach them, and this year I found them in a relatively shallow area adjacent to very dense underwater weed.
The point I’m trying to make is that I could easily have missed out on some good sport had I not searched for the new ‘Hot Spot’. I could have sat in the swims that produced last winter, or the winter before, and blanked, blaming my lack of success on the weather or my bait and rigs. The fact is that all I was doing wrong was fishing in the wrong place. As soon as I found the new ‘Hot’ area, it was runs galore, using simple rigs and cheap bait. There was nothing clever about it, I just tried different areas until I stumbled across it. Since my first discovery of the swim, I have tried all the old ‘Hot Spots’ and had just one run. The pike were all holed up in this tight area which they have chosen to be in for the winter.
I treat these ‘Hot’ areas as I would pre baited swims. I just catch one or two fish each session and then leave them along for a week. If you overdo it, they will simply move away and you have to find them again. As there are other lakes in the vicinity, I spend the rest of my days exploring them – looking for, and hoping to find new ‘Hot’ areas! When you have several ‘Hot’ swims to fish through a day, you’ve really got your act together!!