Posts Tagged ‘Pike’

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………….

Coarse Fishing in Ireland: Exploring New Waters

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

Exploring new waters besides enabling one to progress as an angler can also be good fun. Yes for sure a lot of time, effort and money will be invested in an exercise which at first glance may not deliver much in return, however in the medium to long term the picture can become much more clear as all knowledge gained, either positive or negative, is good knowledge. On that basis one should get into the moment and appreciate that for all the planning which goes into a reconnaissance fishing session it could still be hit or miss, therefore by lowering ones expectations and just enjoying the time spent casting a line if fish materialise they become a bonus, either way you win.

The River Barrow, Co. Carlow, Ireland.

To date 2015 has been a year of exploration, generating much aesthetic satisfaction, networking opportunities and fishery information with little in the way of decent fish. That said, we only learn from adversity and to that end a lot of positive information has been gleaned which will be put to productive use in the months to come. Also, there have been some interesting encounters and observations along the way, in particular a couple of close encounters with pike, of which more later.

Coarse fishing in Ireland: Perch.

This season tench have been hard to come by, conversations with a number of experienced coarse anglers putting their scarcity down to a very cold spring epitomised by frosty mornings into late May. A session on a new water last weekend after old “tinca” resulted in another blank apart from small rudd and perch to float fished maggot/sweetcorn combinations. Tench were definitely present as both David and I observed our swim fizzing like crazy and our floats being bumped rather than pulled, however they were not taking. Conversation with a local angler confirmed that our approach was fine, it was just that the tench had not started playing ball this season for whatever reason.

Coarse fishing in Ireland: Rudd.

Were there positives from the trip, absolutely, it was a nice day out on an obviously productive water, David and I gained very useful advice from a couple of welcoming people and we know for certain that the fishery delivers specimen tench to eight pound. As Arnie would say, “I’ll be back”.

Coarse fishing in Ireland: Tackle and bait requirements.

Turning towards the River Barrow, a life span is too short a time period within which to learn all its secrets. To confuse things further this writer both coarse and game fishes so to maximise ones knowledge of the river involves a lot of disciplined thinking. Season 2015 so far has been about assessing the Barrow’s coarse fishing potential, utilising Google maps, asking questions and trialing different stretches. Returns have been predominantly small dace but that is not a bad thing, a pattern is emerging, the Barrow is a fine coarse fishery along its length but this quality is confined to certain stretches. To expand, based on my experience and observations the Barrow has untold “latent” potential as a mixed fishery, it just needs a visionary to unlock it.

Coarse fishing in Ireland: River Barrow, waiting for that bite.

With that aim in mind within the last month while coarse fishing the Barrow I’ve connected with two big pike in the process losing both due to lack of wire. The first encounter lasted about four minutes whence old esox ran up, down and across my swim before escaping, the second heaved my feeder rod over into a hoop while engulfing a hooked dace. While sitting on my seat box I’ve observed salmon jumping and tempted a few nice trout on the couple of occasions that I fly fished the streamy waters. Fishing is not just about catching big fish, it is also about putting oneself in the frame to catch big fish. One has to speculate to accumulate, the fruits of my efforts will be rewarded of that I am certain……….

 

Irish River Monster

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

For over 30 years Jeremy Wade has traveled the world in search of large river fish such as the Mahseer of India and the Arapaima, a giant air breathing denizen of south American river systems such as the Amazon. Jeremy’s exploits, documented in TV series’ such as “Jungle Hooks (2002)” and more recently “River Monsters”, while entertaining also alert the viewer to the environmental pressures which our modern world places on these awesome creatures, many of which are now endangered due to habitat encroachment and over fishing by the ultimate predator, man.

A monster 39.lb 12.oz lure caught Irish pike for Gerard Smyth.

Irish angling guide Gerard Smyth does not need to cast a line in exotic far away places, instead he trails his boat down to local rivers prospecting likely holes for the ultimate of Irish predatory fish, pike. On Friday 25th April last Gerard hit pay dirt while fishing a deep shelf he had recently discovered, an absolute leviathan of a pike weighing 39.lb 12.oz took his lure. Would that the River Monsters camera crew were there to witness the tail walking and mayhem that ensued before the great fish was eventually netted. Beating his previous PB of  36.lb 07.oz it just goes to show, fishing is about being in the right place at the right time with the correct bait, which essentially means “go pike fishing in Ireland and your dreams of a monster catch may well come true”, great stuff………

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.

Pike Surprise

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

The great pike hung motionless within the reeds concentrating, observing, twenty seconds earlier the chug, chug sound of an outboard motor invaded its space, a common enough occurance the sensory invasion presenting no fear. Next second a rhythmic pulsing grabbed the pikes attention, becoming alert its eyes darted left and right triangulating then homing in on the source of the physical sensations entering and transmitting along its lateral line. A silvery flash, target locked on, half a dozen purposeful sweeps of the hungry fishes paddle like tail and Bang!!

Pawel Augustyn displays a wonderful 110 centimeter Irish pike.

Pawel Augustyn’s reel started screaming as the now startled pike exited stage left connected to a very excited anglers small trout spinner, Pawel will continue the story;

First I thought it’s just a bottom hook so I stopped the boat and tried to roll back the line when I realised my line is actually moving to the left. I knew then it’s a fish on. I knew it’s something big until i saw it under the surface for the first time it was actually a massive pike. It was 1 p.m.when the fish hooked . The fight took me 20 min and it was really strong fish. Maciek netted the pike and the net broke under the weight of the pike. Luckily we managed to get the fish on the boat. I couldn’t believe the size of the pike especially because I’ve never caught a fish this size.

Small pike/trout/perch spinner.

The pike was hooked on a very small trout’s lure( I attach the pic) and my line was only 4.kg spinning line. We took a few pics and put him back in the water. We let him to get energy back and water to flow through his gills then after a few mins the fish swam away. He is waiting somewhere in the water for another lucky angler; This was the best fishing day of my life.

Returning the great Irish pike.

An absolutely fantastic catch, I am extremely thankful to Pawel for sending me both the story and images. Knowing the water upon which Pawel and his friend Maciek were fishing, it does not give up pike easily, so well done to both anglers and tight lines for the future…..

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.