Archive for the ‘Pike Fishing’ Category

Lightening Does Pike Twice

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

A slight tremor on the rod tip caught my eye, dip, dip, line peels slowly from the bobbin then stops momentarily. Tentatively commencing again dip, dip, peel, after ten seconds purpose replaces shyness as a fast spinning bobbin indicates intent. Rod now in hand the bump, bump of a swimming pikes tail transmits through the line, bait runner engaged, lean back, fish on.

A double figure pike placed carefully on the dehooking mat.

Initially the pike feels light however nearing the shoreline it gives a kick, about turns and doubles out towards deeper water the drag on my Shimano bait runner straining. Another few lesser runs and a grand mottled green double figure pike slips into the landing net. A mirror image of the pike which David caught a few days previous, two good pike in as many sessions what a start to the year.

Pike fishing reels for spinning (front) and dead baiting (rear).

Tackle used on each occasion were 10′ heavy spinning rods, Shimano Bait Runner and Spinning reels, running ledger rigs fished hard to the bottom with fresh rainbow trout the successful bait.

New Years Pike from the Barrow

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

Walking back up the tow path my gaze alighted on the now distant angler that I had passed and said hello to earlier on. Targeting pike in the slow water where a canal merged with the main channel his rod was in a noticeable hoop. Increasing my pace I reached the fisherman just in time to help him net the large jack pike. Only then exchanging greetings, there are priorities when fishing, I then offered to unhook the fish using a long nosed forceps while Pat gently held the pike within the landing net meshes. Quick photo and away.

A new years day 2017 River Barrow pike.

Watching the pike swim off we struck up a conversation about our collective fishing experiences on the river which established pike holding locations and possible reasons for their presence. Pat’s preferred methods are float ledgering and or sunk and drawn dead baits of which the fish pictured above was tempted by the latter approach. Wishing Pat well in 2017 I promised to forward him the photo, then turning I continued my walk back up the tow path…….

Festive Season Piking

Friday, December 30th, 2016

A slow staccato clicking sound prompted David to turn, peering through the steadily declining evening light he noticed a heavy lean on his rod tip. Running his gaze back towards the reel a slowly turning bobbin signaled action stations, pike on the take!! Five seconds, line peeled, rod now in hand David engaged reel while leaning back in unison, his rod arched to old Esox’s powerful first run. A second fish within an hour, the first a jack, this baby was the real deal, lunging here tail walking there, after a short scrap the well conditioned double figure fish slid into the capacious net before being transferred quickly to the unhooking mat. Wet hands, gentle use of forceps, quick photo and away amid a flurry of spray, cue handshakes and smiles.

David Murphy cradles a fine double figure Christmas pike.

Having recently returned from a five month Australian sojourn David had been itching to get out fishing. A short conversation prior to Christmas resulted in the procurement of fresh rainbow trout and a plan to ledger dead baits at a known “large pike” ambush point. Choosing last light the plan came together like a tee with firstly a good sized jack showing interest followed shortly after by the main course.

A large pike on and one happy angler.

Fishing is like that, plan well and one increases the “probability” for not only success but the opportunity to break out a “this is great craic” smile. Already a plan for the next day out is formulating and it’s not quite 2017. With very little fishing done in 2016 due to “life priorities” the new year has plenty of “opportunity gaps”. Have David and I hit the ground running? Time and good planning will tell………….

Pike Culling Protest outside Inland Fisheries Ireland HQ

Friday, March 25th, 2016

A peaceful protest against a barbaric, archaic and unnecessary trout fisheries management programme conducted by Irish Government agency Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) where pike are systematically culled from waters designated as “trout fisheries” by gill netting was held on Thursday 24/03/2016 outside IFI’s City West HQ.

Between 150 – 200 concerned stakeholders/anglers turned up to hand in a 23,000 strong online petition to IFI management voicing that the practice be discontinued and that the waters concerned should be managed as the mixed fisheries which they are.

A possible future angler voicing his concern for an enigmatic species, the Irish pike.

Given that the protest was well flagged, well organised and well attended by an extremely interested and passionate stakeholder grouping it should have been respected by IFI senior management to include CEO Ciaran Byrne and Business Development Manager Suzanne Campion. Sadly both were conspicuous by their absence which again reflects the arrogance of Irish Government, its agencies and institutions, behaviour which Ireland’s citizens have gotten so used to and tired of over the last number of years.

There are major problems in how Ireland’s fisheries resources both marine and freshwater are managed, the evidence of decline all too apparent especially if you are my age of 55 and have rod and line fished Ireland’s waters for forty years. Does the management of Inland Fisheries Ireland know best? Their apparent refusal to meet with concerned stakeholders including a potential future angler, my grandson pictured above and receive in person the signatures of 23,000 more equally concerned stakeholders tells its own story.

It is encumbent on IFI management to understand that they hold a privileged position which many Irish people with a passion for fisheries would give their eye teeth for and also that they serve the concerned citizenry they ignored so visibly. Next time and there will be a next time they should show their mettle and step up to the plate, as Bill Clinton might have said, it’s about the resource stupid!………..

See also: Misconceptions on a Cull.

Irish River Monster

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

For over 30 years Jeremy Wade has traveled the world in search of large river fish such as the Mahseer of India and the Arapaima, a giant air breathing denizen of south American river systems such as the Amazon. Jeremy’s exploits, documented in TV series’ such as “Jungle Hooks (2002)” and more recently “River Monsters”, while entertaining also alert the viewer to the environmental pressures which our modern world places on these awesome creatures, many of which are now endangered due to habitat encroachment and over fishing by the ultimate predator, man.

A monster 39.lb 12.oz lure caught Irish pike for Gerard Smyth.

Irish angling guide Gerard Smyth does not need to cast a line in exotic far away places, instead he trails his boat down to local rivers prospecting likely holes for the ultimate of Irish predatory fish, pike. On Friday 25th April last Gerard hit pay dirt while fishing a deep shelf he had recently discovered, an absolute leviathan of a pike weighing 39.lb 12.oz took his lure. Would that the River Monsters camera crew were there to witness the tail walking and mayhem that ensued before the great fish was eventually netted. Beating his previous PB of  36.lb 07.oz it just goes to show, fishing is about being in the right place at the right time with the correct bait, which essentially means “go pike fishing in Ireland and your dreams of a monster catch may well come true”, great stuff………

Shannon Pike

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

Well that lad Murphy is at it again, everywhere the bold Smurf as he is affectionately called targets pike they succumb to his charms, by that I mean ledgered mackerel, hard on the bottom in this case. With the spawning season beckoning David made plans to fish a backwater off the main channel of the River Shannon which he had successfully fished before Christmas.

A 15.lb River Shannon pike for angler David Murphy.

Within 10 minutes of casting out David’s rod signaled a run which after a short fight resulted in the 15.lb fish pictured above. Immediately upon recasting his line tore off again as a second pike subsequently weighing 14. lb 2 oz showed interest in his mackerel offering. Three more dropped runs occurred before David finally upped sticks. Without question David’s 2014/2015 winter pike fishing season has been fruitful, then again the man puts the time in…….

Barrow Pike

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

Winter fishing on the River Barrow invariably means targeting the quieter backwaters due to increased flow and subsequent higher water levels within the main river channel. Locks, canals and marinas are fair game and it was the former that David Murphy and his friend Robbie chose for an afternoon session targeting coarse fish, predominantly roach, perch and dace which had migrated into their swim, a fifty meter long narrow tail water below a lock which registered about ten foot deep. Ever the predator angler David also set up a pike rod to float ledger mackerel in a likely hole on the premise that concentrations of silver fish within a confined area tend to attract pike.

Predator angler David Murphy cradles a fine River Barrow pike.

David’s hunch paid off when a mid weight Barrow torpedo made off with what it thought was a free lunch only to find that it carried a sting in the tail. Startled into life the pike gave a good account of itself before sliding over the net. In great condition and beautifully coloured, his friend Robbie later banked another to cap what had been a fine session on a river that rewards those who put the time in and get to know its vagaries.

 

Pike on a Foggy Morning

Friday, November 21st, 2014

An evening phone call from David needed no second thoughts in the response, “Are you interested in going pike fishing tomorrow on a new water that I have become aware of? “Yes of course, thanks for asking”. “Be outside the gaff for 08.00 am then and we will go in my car”. Up and about at six bells, why is it so easy to get up when the motivation is fishing? Breakfasted, gear stowed and I was on the road by seven. Dark, damp and seriously foggy, visibility down to about twenty meters on occasions, conditions which persisted all day, the one saving grace was a constant temperature of about 9 – 10 degrees and no wind, in terms of piking it does not get any better.

A cracking double figure Irish pike for David Murphy.

Opting to float ledger into a very reedy swim we set up three rods baited respectively with frozen smelt, mackerel and roach, fanning out the offerings across three separate locations within thirty meters of our fishing station. Setting our bait runners and bite alarms David poured both of us a welcome cup of coffee and the vigil commenced. An hour in line started peeling off one of David’s reels, without further ado rod in hand David leaned into the fast disappearing pike as it bolted further into the reeds. Having turned the fish a degree of bullying ensued to get old esox into open water, from that point after a couple of short runs the well conditioned pike slipped easily into the net.

Nearly there, a double figure Irish pike is ready for the net.

Beautifully conditioned and running 11 or 12 pound, laid carefully on the de-hooking mat, forceps a couple of photos and back in the water to kick strongly away. David’s second double figure pike within a week from that swim and the only fish of yesterdays session, three more dropped runs confirming a healthy population of bottle green predators. Evidence for a revisit? Most definitely……..

Further posts on pike fishing: Pike Hatrick in Co. Cavan.

Pike Surprise

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

The great pike hung motionless within the reeds concentrating, observing, twenty seconds earlier the chug, chug sound of an outboard motor invaded its space, a common enough occurance the sensory invasion presenting no fear. Next second a rhythmic pulsing grabbed the pikes attention, becoming alert its eyes darted left and right triangulating then homing in on the source of the physical sensations entering and transmitting along its lateral line. A silvery flash, target locked on, half a dozen purposeful sweeps of the hungry fishes paddle like tail and Bang!!

Pawel Augustyn displays a wonderful 110 centimeter Irish pike.

Pawel Augustyn’s reel started screaming as the now startled pike exited stage left connected to a very excited anglers small trout spinner, Pawel will continue the story;

First I thought it’s just a bottom hook so I stopped the boat and tried to roll back the line when I realised my line is actually moving to the left. I knew then it’s a fish on. I knew it’s something big until i saw it under the surface for the first time it was actually a massive pike. It was 1 p.m.when the fish hooked . The fight took me 20 min and it was really strong fish. Maciek netted the pike and the net broke under the weight of the pike. Luckily we managed to get the fish on the boat. I couldn’t believe the size of the pike especially because I’ve never caught a fish this size.

Small pike/trout/perch spinner.

The pike was hooked on a very small trout’s lure( I attach the pic) and my line was only 4.kg spinning line. We took a few pics and put him back in the water. We let him to get energy back and water to flow through his gills then after a few mins the fish swam away. He is waiting somewhere in the water for another lucky angler; This was the best fishing day of my life.

Returning the great Irish pike.

An absolutely fantastic catch, I am extremely thankful to Pawel for sending me both the story and images. Knowing the water upon which Pawel and his friend Maciek were fishing, it does not give up pike easily, so well done to both anglers and tight lines for the future…..

Small Water Pike

Saturday, November 2nd, 2013

The popped up roach floating just above the weed bed caught the predators attention, weak or injured a handy breakfast. The mottled green zeppelin double flicked its tail turning sharply while in the same movement opening its shovel like mouth. Seizing the roach broadside old esox turned and made a beeline for its layer, meanwhile hidden behind a clump of bullrushes on the shoreline not twenty meters away David Murphy crouched ready, line peeling off his baitrunner reel.

15.lb pike for angler David Murphy,, caught while fishing a small water.

Leaning into the pike Davids rod took on a healthy curve and the fish turned. Swimming in easy, as the pike entered the shallows it kicked hard and shot clear of the water gill rakers flared and fins erect. Hanging motionless for a split second, body slightly arched, the vision became real in a welter of spray and a lunge transmitted through Davids rod as the now very angry pike headed post haste for the centre of the lake.

15.lb Irish pike caught and released.

With Davids baitrunner reluctantly feeding line old esox turned under the pressure, now swimming left then right parallel with the bank, after a short fight David eased the great fish into his cavernous net. Weighed on a certified scales at just over 15.lb then released back gently to the water, a good start to the winter season.