Posts Tagged ‘Dead bait’

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………….

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.

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.

Ghost Predators

Monday, January 14th, 2013

A hard frost lay on the ground as we approached the secluded lake through a foggy murk, moorhens dipped and splashed while a family of swans glided across the mirror calm water. Dank and cold, David and Robbie pointed to where they had landed five pike to 9.lbs plus and experienced numerous runs throughout the session not a fortnight previous. That day was warm and breezy from the south, today being chilly, grey, and still conditions couldn’t have been more different. Discussing the possibilities while choosing our respective swims, we set off around the frost encrusted bank to stake a claim before proceeding to tackle up.

A small lake pike for angler David Murphy.

Each fishing a ledgered popped up dead bait along with a roving sliding float set up, we cast onto a weed bed covered by ten foot of water lying about fifty meters off shore. Using frozen roach and dace for bait on this occasion runs were scarce, six for the day converted into one medium pike. That said, noticing a line straightening, a float dipping before sliding under, or the sound of a pod buzzer creates a level of excitement only anglers can identify with. Yes there is frustration when one leans into a running fish and the connection doesn’t materialise, however the electricity generated narrows the quite gaps in between while sustaining the determination to carry on. “The next one will be a lunker“. As the fog closed in and light faded around five bells three lads knew it was 5 – 1 to old Esox, but that’s OK aren’t we anglers not fishermen. “Where are we going next week?”

Pike on a Roll

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

Pike fishing and the south east of Ireland are rarely uttered in the same breath, this winter however David Murphy has bucked the trend, seeking out and connecting with old Esox in a variety of still water, canal, and river locations close to his home base of Carlow. Fishing ledgered and float presented dead baits David has landed numerous pike up to eleven pound in weight. Targeting a twenty before the spawning season gets into full swing, who wouldn’t bet on him achieving his goal.

Irish pike from a backwater tempted by ledgered roach.

On this occasion David set off early on a misty morning to a canal venue which is presently fishing very well for silvers. Ledgering a dead roach, his one and only run resulted in the fish photographed. Weighing about 6/7 pounds it won’t set the pike world on fire, but it continues Dave’s hot streak while adding further to his bank of pike lore.

See also: Pike from a Bog Lake.

Further reading: Trigger Happy Pike.

Pike from a Bog Lake

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

Success in fishing is derived through layering of experience, in essence a combination of theory and practice. To that pairing one can add the routine of regular fishing trips. Knowledge gained of fishy behaviour in tandem with natures changing cycles becomes stored in the subconscious, where at a future date and time, the angler confronted by a particular set of conditions, seemingly without thinking makes a correct tactical choice which results in a good fish.

A ten pound Irish pike from a little bog lake.

David Murphy and his fishing buddy Robbie have pike fished a local water on a number of occasions over the past twelve months building up a body of knowledge. Allowing for the time of year, it is no surprise that their last two visits have resulted in some excellent returns, with four pike to 11.lbs gracing the bank yesterday.

Playing a double figure pike on the bog lake.

Building on experience gleaned from previous trips the lads successfully employed both ledgered and float fished dead baits, roach and dace on this foray, resulting in a cracking afternoons fishing on what was a calm, bright, frosty, day.