As we all know, pike are freshwater fish therefore their natural food source are other species of freshwater fish right. Because of this, common sense would dictate that the best dead baits to use to catch pike would therefore consist of freshwater fish, such as roach, eels and carp amongst other species however this is not the case.
A pike will never encounter sea fish in its natural habitat, however this does not it will not devour a sea fish given half the chance. In fact, many pike anglers prefer to use sea fish over and above freshwater fish when targeting pike and some exceptionally large pike have been caught using various species of sea fish as dead bait. So, the question has to be asked Why is sea fish such a good dead bait for pike? Many species of sea fish are oily and full of natural juices, which attract pike and encourage them to feed.
There are many different types of sea fish and whilst all of them could be used as dead bait there are only a few species of fish that actually are. I mean, you wouldnt be casting out salmon or cod in order to catch pike would you? These types of fish are too good to eat and way too expensive to put on a line in order to catch a pike. The favourite species of sea fish amongst pike anglers include species like mackerel, herring, sprats and smelt. These fish are also notoriously oily and juicy, which only adds to the appeal of using them as dead ait to catch monster pike.
There are other advantages associated with using sea fish as dead bait for pike. Sea fish are readily available and can be bought from local supermarkets, fishmongers and bait stores. Wherever you are and whatever the time of day you should be able to locate some sea fish to use as dead bait, which makes it great for those times when you just fancy an hour or two by the river trying to catch a pike. Sea fish are in an abundant supply and are cheap which is another good reason to use them as bait.
So, when dead baiting for monster pike I would reach for the sea fish first time, every time.