Perch gather in deep holes in gravel pits and can be caught on a running ledger or running paternoster rig baited with a whole lobworm. Place the rod on rests, leave the bale-arm open and give a run plenty of time before striking.
For pike, a sturdy purpose-built or carp rod, 10-15lb b.s. Line, and a wire trace carrying two or three treble hooks, is standard kit. Good baits are dead roach, small bream, herring and mackerel, which can be free-lined on the bottom or, in breezy weather, cast out beneath a sliding float to work across water with the wind. A deadbait, cast far out and retrieved jerkily to simulate the erratic progress of a sick or injured fish, makes an effective bait when searching large areas of varying depth. Pike, like carp, regularly patrol channels and shallow bars through deep water. Such spots are always worth special attention.
Advantages of float-fishing
Float fishing is also widely practised in gravel pits and has some advantages. A sliding float, an antenna, or in windy conditions, a long, wide-bodied float, can be used to search deep water under the bank for tench, bream and roach during the summer months. A float is also helpful when fishing deep water beyond a shelf on which a ledger rig would snag and so reduce bite indications.
Lastly, remember that the steep banks of gravel pits and the deep water immediately beyond them are dangerous places. Watch for crumbling banks, and note them, especially when night fishing. Remember, too, that while you may be enjoying your night’s fishing, others may be sleeping. Not only is it bad fishing to create noise and disturbance, it can also lead to ill-feeling between anglers and local residents.