Stefan ”Trumman” Trumstedt – a legend among pike-anglers – sharing his knowledge regarding autumn fishing for pike. Incredibly fun and we are honored to have him in our series on fishing in the fall 🙂
If you have missed who Trumman is and his achievements, here is a short introduction. Stefan has been fishing for Pike actively and successfully since 1985. During these years he has always men in the forefront. Not only in resultswise, but also in the development of techniques and equipment we use today.
To call Trumman a Superstar is probably not too much of an exaggeration. But Stefan is not only a charismatic TV-personality but als a very generous person with serious approach to C&R. And all the years with a rod in the hand has of course made an impact. Watching Trumman fish is like watching a great guitarist play. When a great guitarist play it looks like the hands are barely moving… And the you try for yourself :-D. (Maybe thats why Eric Clapton is called ”Slowhands” ;-). When Trumman is fishing everything just look plain simple.
We think it is fair to say that Trumman started the Jerkbait-trend in Sweden. Sure, some nerds had been grinding with pieces of wood with no own movement before but we can without exaggerating say that the classic movie ”Gäddfeber” from 2004 when Trumman and Buster caught the attention of much wider audience getting everybody to buy short, thick rods, lipless pieces of wood and start looking like conductors in the reeds.
The result nothing short of phenomenal – 22 pike above 7 above 13 kg and in total 22 pikes above 10kg! !!! Additionally he is a successful tournament angler with excellent results under his belt including a victory in the last round of Fly Vs. Jerk! In short: Trumman has seen, done and developed most of our pike fishing. But he has in addition to the knowledge and experience of three characteristics that we at FiskeFürAlle really love:
- The incredible amount of positive energy he spreads everywhere and to everyone
- The will to share his knowledge
- And last but not least – the fire, the passion! The will to develop! He is wise enough to realise that there is always something more to learn. Even a pike-angling black-belt can get higher grades 🙂
With that small introduction, Trumman – the floor is yours:
Stefan Trumstedt, do you want to tell us something about your background in pike fishing?
Initially I want to say that I have been pike-fishing since 1985 and I still think it’s so darn fun. You are never perfect. There are always something new to leanr, be it techniques or waters. Up until 5 years ago I spent 100% of my time fishing in archipelagos. But in the past five years I have tried other bodies of water and and it is great fun. I have fished lakes, rivers and fishing more for the pelagic pikes.
One of the fun things in having been around for so long is that I have experienced so many ”bait-ages”. When I started fishing for pike, it was the outer archipelago for us. We were basically alone to fish there. There was a nice population of short, fast-growing pikes of 5-7 kg. It was a fun fishing. It was very off-line reefs, submerged ridges and drop-offs, and we fished 3-15 meters. We spent a lot of time jig fishing with shad-baits also pater nostet-tackled cranks like Cisco Kid. It was really fun fishing.
In the beginning there was not really that many baits to choose from. Then along came the Zalt. I was a passionate Zalt-fisherman for many years. The Zalt was completely dominating in Furusund up until the early 2000:s. Then the fishing became worse and people started talking about ”it’s over, over-fished et c”.
At the time I was working for CWC when we introduced the Pig. One store that always has been very quick in adopting or even pushing new trends is Sportfiskeboden in Täby and Micke Boettge. They were very quick and added the Pig to their assortment. People started testing the new baits. All of a sudden along came something the pikes had never seen before. A new movement pattern, fished high up in the water column and all of sudden new spots became accessible. Spots that you couldn’t fish with a sinking Zalt 19.
All of sudden the waters started came back to life again. Many big pikes where caught in a short period of time. I was most likely the combination of new spots and new movement pattern that tricked the pike. I am 100% convinced that the pike learn very quickly that some of the things they see are not food and they stop biting.
What can be considered as your home waters?
I guess it is fair to say the Northern Stockholm Archipelage: Furusund to Östhammar. Berget, my fishing buddy has a country house up there and we both live north of the city center. It has always been the obvious choice for us.
I was also a regular for a long time in the Blekinge archipelago in south of Sweden. We started testing out these waters in the beginning of the 90:s and have seen the changes happening there. It’s the same changes we have seen before in Stockholm outer archipelago.
The pikes we where catching in the outer archipelago most like ate both one and maybe two herring but I am also convinced that they were feeding on small cod especially during the summer time. One winter, the population of cod collapsed all of a sudden and when the cod disappeared so did the pike. There’s one of the main rules of pike fishing. If there is nothing to eat you will not find any pike.
Now the same thing seem to be happening in Blekinge, primarily in the western areas where there is not really an archipelago. In Karlskrona where there is a true archipelago the pike population is still healthy. It’s probably connected to the fact that there is other food sources available, coarse fish and perch. The areas without archipelago are hit harder when the population of sea living species like cod are disappearing
Whats your thoughts on fall fishing for pike?
Well… One thing is for sure… If there is baitfish, there is pike close by. That also applies to the autumn
Fishing normally normally in September and the first half of October tend to be more stable. However this year, everything is strange because it the water temperature has remained high for so long … Then you can get fish of all sizes. During that period usually a good deep reed where the has pushed baitfish work really well.
If your are after the big mamas then the second half of October and November usually is the best period. It is unfortunately also that period when the weather is the most difficult. The conditions can really have a big impact on the fishing during this period. We’ve all been there. Hot Spots that delivered like hell the week before now feels completely sterile. No bites at all. Cold periods make the pikes frozen and inactive. Optimal conditions would be stable conditions for several days, minimum 3 days before. The icing on the cake would be if there could be a mild wind from the south heating the water slightly. If conditions are windy, it is always a good idea to try out the first sheltered area away from the wind. Maybe a small garage in the reed or around the corner. In november when it really starts to cool down you should start looking for calmer areas.
One good thing to keep in mind while fishing in the archipelago is to know how the salt level in the water is developing. The Pike is a fresh-water species that has migrated to brackish water but it does not feel comfortable in water with too high level of salt. That applies especially when the water temperature is below 5 degrees. If there is a storm that pushes sea water with high level of salt into the archipelago, the Pike will try and ”escape”. During conditions like this we have found monsters lurking in really shallow water in secluded bays. Probably the are waiting for the conditions outside to return back to normal.
What is your starting tactics when it comes to fall fishing for Pike?
- Let’s start with the type of water I have spent the most time on: the Inner archipelagos like Furusund and the fishing during the later autumn. I would go for a bay with a lot of baitfish. Preferably with an area with atleast 3-4 meters of depth. I would start fishing around the weeds. It is really worthwile spending some time mapping the area first, understanding where the weedlines are, before starting fishing. Start fishing in and around the weeds. I prefer that to fishing the reeds since i tends to be sterile bottoms outside of the reeds. Weed-areas both have cover for the Pikes and food. The baitfish love moving around here. Both in and around these spots
- In the first period of the fall I have had really good fishing in deep reeds exposed to the wind
- In the outer archipelago I would spend my time in secluded bays (mar). There weeds are not as important. It can be sandy, rocky bottom or covered in seaweed. The Pike like to hang there getting rested and avoid water with high salt level. In the archipelago I do not think the secluded bays works as well.
One thing I would like to discuss is the ”bite”. Many talk about specifik times when ”the bite is on”. Of course change in conditions can trigger bites. It can be the wind picking up, snow creating a different light et c. BUT 99% of the time YOU are creating the ”bite”. You know – you are in the mouth of the bay and you finally trick a pike into biting. All of a sudden also you buddy has a bend in his rod. I am fully convinced that your first fight with the pike has created movement in the water waking up the other Pikes. ”What’s going on?” and the the Pike start biting. But it is YOU that created this.
Another favorite topic when it comes to autumn fishing is the importance of the Bream. That the pike love feeding on Bream. But a Bream weighing 1,5-2 kg is a big piece of meat. Not many pike can swallow a fish that size and height. I do not thing the Bream is the main food source for pike. But, again, a school of Bream enters the bay causing a commotion, movement and maybe forcing pikes to move around. In other words: action. Action that wake the Pike up and get them started. Activity in the water gets the Pike started. Thats why the Bream is important. Not as a food source…
What’s your top 5 baits for autumn fishing?
Well honestly I only need 3 baits because that is really the baits I am using. When it comes to bait colors I am a natural guy. Of course there are occasions when colorful baits is the way to go but in general I have experienced better fishing on natural colors.
Buster Jerk of course. It goes without saying and the favorite color is Golden olive. Golden Olive is color that works well both in clear and murky conditions. It’s not always that jerk-fishing is working, but when it does it is the most fun technique. It’s you that creates the movement, you trigger the bit. And you can as a fisherman really influence the movment and the way the bait acts. I would say Jerkbaits works best when the temperature is below 10 degrees. Now when the temperature is still around 12-14 degrees, baits with a straighter movement are superior.
Pig Shad – 23:cm There you have a big-fish magnet. I think the Pig Shad works best with a slower retreive. You know. when the head moves back and forth like a shark. The favorite color is without a doubt Arkansas Shiner
Big Bandit – it is such a damn good search/wake-up bait for shallow fishing. There is no bait with a sound below the surface as Big Bandit. Big size rattelse and a large profile that will wake up even the heavy sleepers. If you experience a lot of followers and not bites. Try a Big Bandit and fish it hard. That normally wakes the ladies up. Regarding color I think I would choose Tånglake II only because I have had such good fishing with that color
Ok maybe I need to add a fourth bait 🙂
Pig Shad Jr – Such an awesome bait for competitions. Man, does that bait catch fish! I may not be the best bait for the really big ladies but you get that back in numbers instead. Of course there are many big Pike caught on Pig Shad Jr as well. That’s not my point. If a bait is used, it will catch fish. We developed the bait with competitions in mind. I felt that there were many spots I could not reach with my normal arsenal of baits, for example inside the reeds. Thats we developed the bait with the hookslot in the back, to allow weedless rigging. My favorit color is Baby brown.
A small tip when fishing weedless. Yes, you will miss more fish but the discussion that is so difficult to set the hook is wildly exaggerated. If you do it right you can decrease the number of missed fishes substatinally. If you feel a bite – keep cool. Wait a 10th of of a second. Let the pike turn before you set the hook and set the hook with an upwards stroke. Then normally the hook will lock nicely into the upper jaw. I normally fish weedless where it is quice shallow so I tend to use un-weighted weedless hooks. I only use the Owner Beast 10/0. Thats the only hook high enough for a good hook set. Then you can fish really slow and suspending
Do you have anything else you would like to mention to our readers?
Well yes! ”Rules” are good as starting points, but only as starting points. If the ”rule” says ”retreive slowly” and that is not triggering bites, change to speedy retreive et c. But some general guidelines:
- Fish where the fish are… A good fisherman know where to fish and how to fish. And develop a feeling for knowing what technique to use. And if you are looking for really big fish – spend your time in waters where the population is big enough to also hold big fish
- Fish the right way – choose your technique based on the conditions. Do not become a ”one-trick-pony” using only one technique and change color
- Learn five TYPES of baits. Not five baits. Build confidence and skill. If you know the bait then you can adjust the movement slightly depending on the conditions. Sometimes there is not much change in the rod needed for changing the movement out there.
As a closing comment I really want to mention how important my buddy Berget has been to my fishing. I would not be where I am today without Berget. He’s my brother in arms and we have been fishing together since 1985. His impact on my fishing is tremendous. He’s No 1. We inspire and motivate each other. We win and we loose together and maybe that’s why we both have endured for so long. We’re like an old couple. We can scream and shout at each other and people around wonder whats going on. Then we can be completely silent for 3 hours. And he still has his passion for Pike fishing, like me.
And there, right there we at FiskeFürAlle believe Trumman delivered the best recommendation of all – find the right fishing buddis that you really like spending time with. Buddys with the same mind-set that does not whine but digs in an fight when the conditions and fishing is hard. Good fishing buddies are hard to find. Choose your buddies carefully and your fishing will be soooo fun for a long period of time!
We here at FiskeFürAlle have had the opportunity to meet several of profiles in the world of pike fishing. Stefan is one of the really passionate, generous enthusiasts our hobby (or is it a lifestyle) need. In short: a true ambassador passionate about sharing his knowledge. When we did the interview this tuesday in the CWC office and we had to stop because our jobs needed attention, both me and Stefan both felt we could go on for hours. We hope that we will have more of these sessions in the future :-). Thank you for a very inspirational interview!!!
Should you want to read more about Micke Boettge and Sportfiskeboden you can read it hit . Additionally we have hade the opportunity to talk to other awesom pike angless before and their ideas regarding fishing in the fall for pike.
NB for now these interviews are in Swedish but they will be translated in the near future