Posts Tagged ‘Ledgering’

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.

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.

Tench from a New Water

Saturday, June 1st, 2013

Gary’s quiver tip jumped ever so slightly, a single knock, could this be the moment. A minute passed, two pairs of eyes glued to the tension induced curve of the rod, mainline taught between tip and feeder. A double knock spurs Gary into action, rod in hand he leans back reeling hard to connect with the in swimming fish. Veering left his rod heels over hard, “that’s a tench Gary”. “Certainly feels like it Ash”, and so it proved to be. Three and a half hours into our exploratory session on a new water we hit pay dirt, a plump tench running close to four pound.

A four pound Irish tench for Gary Robinson.

Homework to include web research, Google maps, visiting a few potential sites, plus asking locals the right questions resulted in Gary and I preparing coarse fishing tackle for an 03.30am wake up call. Struggling out of bed, half an hour later car packed and fortified by strong coffee we set off. At 05.30am just as the sun was rising, mist wafting off the water, our first casts broke the surface thirty meters out. Utilising a 15 gram feeder every 60 seconds a bed of particle mix was laid down. After fifteen minutes the frequency was lengthened. Combining red maggot and sweetcorn on a size twelve hook to a one meter tail, perseverence and belief eventually paid off, a great moment.

Landing a fat Irish tench.

Affectionately called “tinca” the tench has a reputation for being a hard fighting fish, a lover of still waters and weed beds. They supposedly feed best at first and last light during summer time especially if it is warm and muggy, hence our early start. Although dry and bright a brisk west wind added a chill to proceedings. An hour after Gary’s success my rod gave a double knock, lifting, a thump thump transferred through the rod as tinca number two swam up through the gears, these fish are powerful scrapping all the way to the net.

A first tench for Ashley Hayden.

My first tench, becoming two an hour later, mission accomplished. Not a red letter session but highly successful nonetheless. Gary and I had set out to fish a strange water with a view to catching a tench and netted three. Part one of my planned June bank holiday double is in the bag, now for that beach caught tope………

See also: Royal Tench.

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.

Pike From a New Water.

Monday, February 13th, 2012

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.

Waiting for a run, pike fishing in Ireland.

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.

Playing a small pike from an Irish lake.

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.

David with a well conditioned Irish jack pike.

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.

Perfect winter conditions for pike dead baiting.

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….