Where the hell do you go for here?
Pike are one of the top predators in the UK fresh waters, so in most cases where you will find other coarse fish you will find pike. Rivers, canals, lakes, gravel pits, reservoirs.All have the potential to hold various sizes and numbers of pike, but are they there?
The web has made it very easy to locate waters within a stone throw of you home. So where should you go?
Big Lakes / Reservoirs (100+ acres)
For me personally, I was brought up on 100+ acre waters and now after many years I treat they like any other water I fish, but for the newcomer they can be a daunting prospect to fish. Avoid this to begin with, unless you want to have alot of blanks. But once you have have a fewer fish under you belt and know how to read a water, give them a bash. There be monsters in them waters!! If you do decide to tackle a reservoir , try to find OS maps before and after construction. By using the maps, you can work out the contours of the lake bed and find the marginal shelf, old river channel and other feature. Also, don't forget to fish the structures as they do tend to hold resedent fish.
Small Waters (under 50 acres)
A great place to start. Even if these waters only hold jacks and doubles they are great fun for the newcomer. The best bit is that as a newcomer, you can cover most of the water on a day session and you should catch if there is a decent head of pike. I was lucky, and had a couple of waters close to where I use to live. No more that 10 acres each, but they had pike to low doubles. We use to fish them with lures and deadbaits and would catch 3-4 in a session. Being smaller, you can tackle these types of waters very easily and you will be able to refine you tackle and techniques. Look for reed beds, overhanging trees, bays, generally areas were pike can ambush their prey
Just the place for a budding lure angler or roving piker. Keep it light and stay mobile and you should be able to pick up the pike. Look for the areas in winter were the bait fish hold up, in the back eddy's, weir pools, back waters, boat yards etc and avoid the faster flowing water.
Like the smaller waters, most commercial waters are either stocked with pike or have a natural head of managed pike. These places can become over fished and pressured at times and you do find that unfortunately that the pike can become battered if not baliffied properly by the owners. But they can and do hold some big pike and in most cases they will readily take lures or deadbaits. The good thing about commercial waters is that some have on site angling coaches and people willing to help the newcomer.