Pike Hatrick in Co. Cavan.

Some days it all just happens, there is no apparent reason but lady luck shines. An hour and a half late due to yours truly over sleeping, and a change of venue the result of an impromptu phone call, opened the door to a memorable pike fishing session on a small Co. Cavan water. January last year my fishing partner Gary Robinson landed two twenty pound+ Co. Monaghan pike in two casts, that is some feat. I didn’t reach those heights, but three pike in three casts does come close in the memory stakes.

Gary Robinson with a 15.lb 10.oz Co. Cavan, Ireland, pike.

Shercock, Co. Cavan is surrounded by productive pike and coarse fishing waters of varying size. When it comes to catching pike small waters can fare better due to the hot spots being more defined. A phone call to Peadar O’Brien elicited a very welcome piece of information which resulted in a change of venue while also proving to be extremely accurate. A well known small water indeed, but Gary and I now had some vital local information with which to unlock its secrets.

A well conditioned 12.lb 10.oz County Cavan pike.

Fishing into a deep hole Gary and I chose to dead bait with fresh rainbow trout and frozen lamprey while lure fishing the shoreline alongside.  Casting a whole rainbow (minus tail to prevent spinning on retrieve) thirty metres out I commenced working a storm roach lure sink and draw style. Letting the lure hit the bottom a lift and two winds of the reel handle, BANG, fish on. This pike was game making strong runs left and right before succumbing to the net after a five minute fight. Weighing 15. lb 10.oz a great start.

Storm Roach lure.

Deciding to check the bait rod, no sooner had the retrieve commenced then a violent tug signaled pike number two. Feisty but definitely not as strong after a short battle a well conditioned 12.lb 10.oz Cavan pike was netted and safely returned to the water. It is very important to have all the right equipment set up and to hand when practicing catch and release with pike. Gary Robinson knows the form, these fish were in good hands.

A capacious net suitable for pike and carp.

Rebaiting, recasting, and returning to lure fishing first cast in BANG, a fish of eight pounds returned. Thirty six pounds of pike in three casts, that is good fishing by any standards. After that proceedings became more leisurely, however fish were still showing interest with three more pike to the net and a couple of dropped runs for the afternoon. The tally was split 50/50 between lures and bait, a feature though was that two of the dead baits were taken on the retrieve, very interesting!

Releasing a jack pike to grow bigger.

The day had been mild and overcast, threatening to rain but not. A fresh north west breeze died out towards evening flattening the lake surface dimpled now by rising coarse fish. Close to five pm Gary and I called it a day. The lake had been good to us and there is no doubt that we will return. Word is the bream fishing is good, what better magnet.

IFI brochure detailing pike waters in Ireland's northern counties.

Regarding pike fishing information a recent publication available from Inland Fisheries Ireland details key pike waters situated in Ireland’s northern counties. A well produced brochure containing current information, pike anglers of all persuasions should obtain and carry a copy with them, a first class guide book, and furthermore its free!

Click on: Playing the Pike Percentages.

Click on: Cavan Pike.

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