Posts Tagged ‘County Cavan’

Cavan Pike.

Friday, January 13th, 2012

A pike fishing trip to Co. Cavan with Gary and Dave bore testament to the old saying, “It’s not about catching but being there that counts”, or words to that effect. Rising at 06.00am to partake in the first of a number of planned “hopefully weekly” sessions after Esox lucius, we pointed the car northwards for the 130 mile journey to our chosen water. Equipped to both lure and bait fish the weather could not have been more clement, with the air temperature registering 10 degrees, blue sky and fluffy clouds, a marked contrast to the icy cold of January last.

Gary Robinson displays a hungry Co. Cavan jack pike.

Arriving at our chosen destination we quickly set up dead bait rigs and cast out to varying distances ranging from about 15 to 40 meters. Gary offered ledgered mackerel and a popped up roach, while Davy and I plumped for whole fresh rainbow trout.  Fishing into a hole which dropped off to 30 plus feet the venue had been good to us last year with pike into double figures. Setting up a lure rig and leaving the dead bait to fish away I walked towards a likely corner and cast a rubber Storm roach towards some reeds. The lure hit bottom after about seven seconds and I commenced to sink and draw. Fanning my casts, on about the tenth attempt my jerk rod arched over. A hungry jack skittered across the surface, how he engulfed the bait I’ll never know, but what colouring, a beautiful fish.

Storm roach lure and Shimano reel.

By 14.30pm and with no more pike forthcoming we decided on a move to an adjacent lake. Shallower but with the water temperature registering 7.2 degrees we reckoned that fish might move in close. Casting a range of dead bait rigs up to fifty meters out into about eight to ten foot of water we waited for developments. Again fishing was slow, but as dusk closed in my bait runner started giving line. Gently lifting the rod I counted to five then leaned into the fish. My ten foot rod curved into a light resistance, shortly after another jack pike hit the bank.

A Co. Cavan Jack pike, what beautiful colouration.

Perfect in every way, Gary carefully unhooked the fish before slipping it back gently into the water. By now a glorious sunset was closing off the day, windless and still it was a joy to be out, the lake reflecting its surroundings, a beautiful setting. Only two jacks punctuated this trip, but hey they could easily have been doubles and at least we caught. The sky filled with purple, pink, and blue as the sun set behind the drumlins. Ireland maybe deep in recession but days and evenings like this help relieve the gloom. Fishing, you can’t beat it…..

Winter sunset in Co. Cavan, Ireland.

For further reading click on: Pike Hatrick in Co. Cavan.

For further reading click on: Piking Afloat.

For further reading click on: Dave’s First Pike.

Piking Afloat.

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Is winter pike fishing more productive from boat or shore? I do not know, does the presence of a boat put the fish off the feed? Probably in the wrong hands, however in the company of Peadar O’Brien a pike angling guide with years of experience the term silent running comes to mind. I think Peadar was a Uboat captain in another life the way he glides his Kingfisher 19′ across the flat calm waters of a small Co. Cavan lake. The pike feel safe, they do not know we are there, and the proof is apparent as Peadar’s float slides under, fish on.

A nice eight pounder for Co. Monaghan angling guide Peadar O'Brien.

Float drifting for pike is a great way to fish. You need a fish finder/echo sounder for best results. Set up two rods with sliding floats and adjust the depth relative to the drop offs where the fodder fish lie up, the pike will not be too far away. Today Peadar and I were fishing whole fresh rainbow trout at five metres depth working a drop off that varied between 7 – 9 meters. Fish, most likely roach, were showing 4 meters below the boat. The idea is to work the baits about thirty meters behind the boat slowly rowing or using the wind (with oar adjustments) to stay in line with the drop off. Pike will spot the bait and attack it.

Playing a pike on a Co. Cavan water.

That first pike was played to the side of the boat only to open its mouth and drop the bait, that after being played for at least three minutes, pike are mighty aggressive. A short while later I got a run only to pull the bait from its mouth on the strike. Immediately letting the bait sit hoping the pike might return my luck held and shortly after a well conditioned eight pounder graced the boards. A pattern was forming, the pike were not coming full blooded to the bait more intent to mouth it.

Ten pounds+ of Co. Cavan pike for Peadar O'Brien.

Searching various holes these Co. Cavan fish were hard earned. Towards days end Peadar connected with a well conditioned ten pounder which initially pulled the float under only to lose interest before turning and absolutely nailing the bait. Shortly after on the same drift my float went under, reappeared before sliding away. I could feel the double knock as the fish drew line before striking into nothing. You win some lose some, the story of the session. No matter we had two fish to the boat, one lost at the side, and three dropped runs. It had been a fine day in Cavan, frosty and still, Peadar on his return home from sunnier climes had his first pike of the year, all is right with the world.

Pike Hatrick in Co. Cavan.

Friday, January 14th, 2011

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.