Living in Wexford I do not have access to great pike fishing and invariably have to travel. Yes, Blessington isn’t a million miles away and does reward experienced regulars with large fish, but for consistent sport Cork, the north east counties, and Longford/Roscommon/Leitrim are the places to visit. Long range piking is hit and miss in terms of catches, keeping an ear close to the ground helps, invariably though it’s a question of using the noodle, trying out new venues, and keeping a record of conditions and returns.
Sunday the 12th of February dawned foggy and still, conditions that would persist throughout the day, and with air temperatures hovering around 7 degrees David and I felt confident of a result from our planned trip to the north east. Choosing a water that had intrigued me for a number of years we did our homework, collected fresh rainbow trout for bait, and headed off. Two and a half hours later we pulled in at the venue chose our swim and set up.
Depth increased gradually from the forested shoreline to a drop off approximately ten meters out which quickly fell away and bottomed out at I believe ten meters. Ledgering fresh rainbow with the tail cut off to reduce spinning and release blood David cast to just beyond the lip, while I placed a bait well into the deep. Tightening up and setting the bait runners we waited. Within a half hour my line dramatically dropped, a slack liner I lifted the rod and carefully wound in to connect, the line kept dropping. Reeling harder I struck into nothing, so continued on to inspect the bait, teeth marks said it all.
Twenty seconds later line began peeling off Davy’s reel, the same fish it had to be, counting to ten he struck into nothing, “that’s one lucky fish”. From then on David’s rod was charmed, suffering another dropped run David eventually connected with number three. Not big it gave a good scrap though and was in perfect condition, beautifully mottled. Shortly afterwards line began peeling again, after another lively tussle a similar sized jack was landed, and that was it for the day.
On another occasion they could have been doubles or bigger, that’s fishing though. Five runs, two fish, a nice day out, and further knowledge gained. Talking to local people out walking, the water is known for medium sized pike, but fish to 28 lb have been recorded. David and I witnessed the potential and most definitely will be back, an abiding memory being a heavy swirl amongst a shoal of roach fry as light closed in….