Monday, July 30, 2012

A seriously useful bit of kit for pike fishing

If you haven't got one of these, go buy one. It really will help you catch more pike over the course of a winter, it's really that simple.

I always carry a sharpening stone in my pocket to make sure the hooks are sharp, because blunt hooks can cost you fish. I inspect them every cast when I'm bait fishing, because it's surprising how often you can blunt them without noticing until you bump a fish off because they fail to go in on the strike.

Gravel pits are particularly bad when it comes to getting a point dinged on a stone or piece of flint. Sod's law that'll be the one that fails to gain a hold in a pike's bony mouth, when one picks your bait up. Hooks on lures need sharpening regularly too - not just every few weeks, if they start to go rusty.

I got the carborundum stone from a tool shop. It cost me two quid four or five seasons ago and it still does the job, despite getting a little bit grooved. The pocket file alongside it in the picture below cost around the same from Tesco. It's got a finer groove in it, which is ideal for touching up the points on smaller hooks on bait fishing traces.

Both stone and file are used in a similar way. Just grasp the hook firmly by the shank, between thumb and forefinger of you left hand (if you're right-handed...) and stroke the stone along the point, working from the bend to the point.

Don't try working the hook along the stone, as - speaking from bitter experience - it's an easy way to end up with a hook point in your finger.

Once you get the hang of if, you can sharpen the hooks on a bait trace or a lure in a few seconds. And those few seconds just might make all the difference between a good hook-hold and a fish that stays on, to one that comes adrift.

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