Father and son fishing on lakeside

What is Predator Fishing and How To Take Part

Predator fishing is an exciting activity and requires some know-how to guarantee results. Read our guide to get started.

To master the art of predator fishing, you need various specialised equipment and techniques to see results. Find out how to get started with our best practice tips and equipment to look out for.

What is Predator Fishing?

Many anglers enjoy the challenge of predator fishing as these species are often considered to be more difficult to catch than other types of fish. Predator fishing usually includes pike, musky, bass and walleye and can be done in fresh and saltwater.

Anglers use either trolling, casting or jigging depending on the type of predator fish they’re looking for as well as the fishing conditions in terms of location, seasonality, time of day and more.

How do I Start Predator Fishing?

Choosing the right equipment comes first and foremost. Predator fishing requires special fishing gear, such as a heavy-duty rod, reel, and line, that can withstand the weight and strength of more sizable and powerful predatory fish. Lures like spinnerbaits, jigs, and crankbaits are also popular for catching predatory fish.

Here are your predator fishing essentials:

Forceps are an essential part of predator fishing. As predator fish have razor-sharp teeth, forceps will help you minimise the risk of getting bitten. A pair of long-nosed forceps, usually around 12 inches, work great as they comfortably slip between the fish’s jaws or through its gill covers. This is then used to help you remove the hooks embedded in the jaw.

Wire traces
Predators are able to bite through regular monofilament as well as braided hook lengths. In order to keep your fish untethered to the treble hooks, use a wire trace of at least 10 inches in length.

Wire cutters
Use wire cutters to cut wire traces. It can come in handy when your fish has hooked awkwardly to the treble hooks or becomes lodged within your landing net. Wire cutter will help you cut the net and free the hooks quickly and easily.   

Landing net
You’ll need a sizable landing net to safely hold and cradle large predator fish when lifting them from the water. It’s a good idea to opt for a net with a 6ft handle as well as folding 36-inch arms.

First aid kit
With catching predator fish comes a little extra risk; while we've already highlighted some extra safety gear to account for that, a first aid kit is vital. Even the most experienced anglers can suffer from cuts and grazers when catching fish with sharp teeth. You’ll want a kit to manage any bleeding and have an antiseptic to hand to keep any infection at bay.

A braid or monoline works well for predator fishing. If you’re going for a momo mainline, opt for one at 12-15lb breaking strain to accommodate the strength of the predator fish. For braid, opt for a 30lb breaking strain.

Two men fishing at riverbank.

Things to know about Predator Fishing

Catch and Release

Make sure you follow local fishing regulations and practice responsible catch-and-release techniques to protect predator fish populations and maintain healthy ecosystems. Try and handle the fish with care to minimise the stress placed on the fish and opt for barbless hooks for easier release.

Identify your Target Species

Take some time to research the different types of predatory fish that can be found in your area. By prepping ahead of time, you’ll understand the habits of the particular fish you want to catch and what gear and bait to use.

All about Location

Predator fish tend to congregate in specific areas such as weed beds, drop-offs and underwater structures. Make sure you find a spot known for the fish you’re targeting, and keep a lookout for areas that provide cover and hiding places for fish.

Lures and Lure Equipment

  • Caperlan combo seacoast 100


    Lure rods offer additional power from the middle to the butt, along with flexible tip sections and are usually on the shorter side, around 6 to 10ft long. You can find the rod’s casting weight along the length of the rod. Just remember, the higher the weight, the more powerful the rod.

    An 8ft rod alongside a casting weight of 15-40g will usually offer enough power to cast most lures and stop and control a sizable predator fish.

  • Fishing reel


    You can opt for a fixed spool reel, which will bring some extra reliability to your fishing session. You can also opt for multiplier reels which are best suited for professionals, as these are slightly more difficult to set up and can add complications when casting.

    Ensure your rods and reels are powerful, as predator fish are hard fighters and can get quite sizable, reaching over 30lb in weight.

  • Fish lure


    Make sure you have the right type of lure or bait. For predator fishing especially, lure that mimic the movements as well as the appearance of typical prey targeted by the predator fish will be most effective compared to alternatives.  

    Consider the brightness of the day and the colours on the water bed, i.e. if the water is dark, you’ll want darker bait to blend in.

Where is best place for Predator Fishing

Predator fishing can occur in various water bodies, including rivers, lakes, and oceans. For the best places in the UK, check out the following:

• Esthwaite Water, Hawkshead, Cumbria
• New Junction Canal, Doncaster, South Yorks
• River Welland, Spalding, Lincolnshire
• Nene Embankment, Peterborough, Cambs
• River Wye, Hereford, Herefordshire
• Patshull Park Fishery, Wolverhampton, West Mids
• Grafham Water, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire

You’ll find the best catches in shallow water during spring and fall, usually close to shore. For summer, get fishing in the morning, at dawn or late afternoon for the best results.

If you’re fishing in mid-October, predator fish will likely migrate deeper into warm waters as they feed close to the bottom and stay there in winter, so you'll have to venture a little further. It’s a good idea to go out angling when it’s darker - just before sunrise or in the later afternoon.

Caperlan rod

Get your fishing gear

Predator fishing can be a challenging and rewarding sport for those who enjoy the thrill of the chase and the excitement of reeling in a big fish. Make sure your fishing kit can keep up and browse our range below.