5 Deadly Deadbaits

Pike Bluey dead bait

So you’re starting pike fishing but are confused about what deadbaits to use then look no further. Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned pike angler here are 5 deadly deadbaits for Autumn that you should be using.

1. Sprats

Many a Pike angler cut their teeth on sprats. Small and easy to use, these small fish can be deadly when fishing venues with smaller Pike.

Sprat Deadbaits

Due to their size they are likely to be engulfed quickly and early striking is a must to avoid deep hook fish.

You can use a single size 6 or 8 semi barbed treble hooked in the tail end or a pair of semi barbed trebles. You must strike early.


2. Pichards (Sardine )

In the UK we call them Pilchards but in Europe they are called Sardines.

Sardine Pike Fishing

Ranging in length from 15 to 30 cm, these fish live in dense schools, migrating along the coast.

Because they are so oily fish Sardines are great bait of you are looking for some attraction in the water.

Sardines are the perfect size fish to be fished as a whole fish. A two treble hook trace with size 6 or 4 semi-barbed hooks is ideal.


3. Bluey (officially called the Pacific saury). 

These fish can only be described as a cross between a Mackerel and a Garfish. Their natural environment is the North Pacific where they feed on plankton and the larvae of fish in mid water. They have beautiful shiny electric blue glimmer and are high in oil. Pike Bluey deadbaits

Because it is such a long fish the most common presentation is to use half a fish, preferably the tail end as it is simpler to hook.  Use a two hook trace with size 6 semi barbless trebles.  Hook one or the trebles in the end of the tail as shown. If you can try and get the hook around the back bone it will be more secure. Place one hook from the remaining treble hook halfway up the back or the flank of the fish.  Because the skin is not really tough enough to cast distances so it is best fished in the margins of at around 15 meters.

If you want to cast further then use some fine bait elastic and wrap it around the trace where the tail meets the body around 15 times so you make a rubber band.  Because you have created an anchor point you will be able to cast a bit harder and fish further out.


4. Half Mackerel

These oily fish have been used as pike deadbaits for decades and can be used whole or in half. If your quite new to Pike fishing then starting with half of a “Joey” or small

Half Mackerel Pike DeadbaitMackerel would be a great starting point.

These smaller fish are around 25 – 30cm long and because they have tough skin they are ideal for casting further.  They are also fished on the same rig as the Bluey.


5. Horse Mackerel or Common Scad

Scad or Horse Mackerel as they are known are not actually a Mackerel, but belong to the family of Jacks and Trevallies. 


At present Scad are found in the eastern Atlantic Ocean off Europe, Africa and the south-eastern Indian Ocean. They grow up to three pounds so the ideal size to use as bait is around 20cm or 3-4oz. so fish as you would a Sardine using a tandem (two) hook trace.

There are some bait companies that offer colour variations of all the baits above.

Why not check out my article on Pike species by clicking here