An Irish Anglers World

Gary and Scott’s Excellent Irish Angling Adventures


When it comes to catching large Pike, “anything you can do I can do better”, would appear to be the message when angling buddies Gary Robinson and Scott Ring get together. Three weeks ago on Lough Muckno, Co. Monaghan, Gary fishing ledgered Joey Mackerel landed his first ever twenty pound+ Pike, and then for good measure proceeded to catch another, both of which Scott had the pleasure of netting. Pleased for his mate and delighted to have witnessed the capture, a marker however had been laid down with Scott determined to emulate Gary’s feat before the winter was out.

Gary twenty pounder

A trip to Cavan a week later produced Pike of eight and eleven pounds both to moving baits. The eight pounder to a Storm Roach lure, with the eleven pounder tempted by a fresh trout worked sink and draw. A chance meeting that day with a local angler who happily showed the twenty six pounder landed a few days previously, safely returned but now proudly used as a screen saver on his phone, prompted a further trip to the Cavan water.

Early Wednesday morning the seventeenth of February after initially getting lost in a thick fog Scott and Gary set up base on the shore of the small water located between Cootehill and Shercock, Co. Cavan. Nothing was left to chance in the tackle or bait department with a range of frozen baits to include mackerel, launce, roach, and smelt, soft plastic lures, ledger, float, spinning, and jerk bait rod and reel combinations.

With two rods each out, a pair assigned to float duty with the others working popped up and hard on the bottom dead baits the morning wore on with not a touch. By midday the freezing fog had lifted somewhat and a check on the water temperature gave a reading of 3.5 degrees, cold but surely enough to get a Pike moving. Lunchtime came and a solitary angler walked by exchanging pleasantries. He had caught a small Pike on wobbled lamprey. “That does it” said Scott, “When I’ve finished this sandwich it’s over to moving baits for the afternoon”. Gary concurred and the afternoon session opened with Scott opting to fish a soft plastic Roach while Gary wobbled a Roach of the fresh frozen variety.

The boys did not have long to wait before the Pike signaled their presence, a swirl 15 meters out in the vicinity of Gary’s Roach bait and a brief tightening of the line resulted in a missed fish, but renewed the spirits. There were fish in the lake and maybe now they are coming on the feed. Recasting over the same area Gary worked the Roach just under the surface. A Pike came up and nudged the Roach along the surface with its head for about ten feet before half heartedly taking the bait and turning. About eight-ten pounds in weight, Gary felt the fish on for about 5 seconds then the line went slack. A little down hearted at the miss Gary let Scott know and proceeded on fishing. The Pike were obviously stirring and something had to give. It did and how.

Scott playing Pike

“Fish on” roared Scott working his lure in a deeper section not fifty metres from Gary, “and it’s a good one”. Reeling in his line Gary grabbed the net and followed Scott down along the bank and into the reed bed. The Pike was making strong boring runs parallel to the bank. After half a dozen of these the fish was ready for the net. Gary did the honours and knew based on his doubles of a few weeks back that this fish could be another. A quick rush to the unhooking mat and extraction of the single barbless hook (all trebles had been removed), followed by a turn on the Avon scales put the Pike at 8.oz, leaving Scott a very happy camper.

Scott's twenty

Safely returned the lads basked in the glory, three twenties in three sessions, their first each, two on bait and one on a lure, where would you get it. Then the ribbing started as Scott had upped the pairs PB by a pound. No matter, they had set a target of a twenty each for the winter 2009/2010 and had achieved the target with time to spare. “On to the Perch my boy”, said Scott. “Yes mate, on to the Perch”.

Ashley Hayden © February 2010