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Red letter day for pike anglers with incredible catches

February 1st, 2018 | by

Pat Foran reports on a recent Pike session that is sure to be hard to beat…

The weather leading up to my days fishing has been quite mild with an average temperature of 12c and a reading of 14c on my car as I drove to the venue on Sunday morning 28th Jan.

I had a feeling that the pike would be shoaling up and getting ready for spawning, so I targeted an area of water that in the past has proved to be a hotspot for fish at this time of the year.

I started out by picking an area of water and fishing 60 yards out in 18ft of water. I used a smelt dead bait loaded with one lead shot and fished the bait in a sink and draw fashion. I counted the bait down and worked various layers of water in my swim leaving no area uncovered. My first fish came on the 5th cast, this pike hit my dead bait hard and fast 11ft under the surface. I struck instantly and was into a wonderful fighting pike which tested my new Jaxon 12ft 3tc rod nicely. The fish was quickly landed, weighed to be 18lb 8oz had a quick photo and swam away as strongly as she fought.

Pat's 18lb 8oz Pike

Pat’s 18lb 8oz Pike

The next pike was caught on the same method was a nice jack 2lb 5oz. This fish took the deadbeat at the last second before I lifted it clear of the water.

I then changed baits and started fishing a roach dead bait. Again, on the sink and draw method, I got a solid thump with the bait approximately 8ft under the surface. This fish was a lovely 12lb 11oz as this fish was safely netted, I unsnapped my trace and replaced it with a small sardine deadbeat that I had set up and ready and fired it back out to the same spot. I then reached for my forceps to unhook my 12lb pike in the landing net when in the corner of my eye I saw the line on my rod move swiftly across the surface. I picked up the rod and tightened up the line and felt the fish and struck, it was a wonderful pike of 22lb 12oz which fought every ounce of its size and jumped clear of the water 3 times. I now had two pike in the same landing net, caught only seconds apart. I was in shock and thought that it couldn’t get better than this. But I was unaware of what was to follow.

pike 22lb 12oz

Pat Foran’s 22lb 12oz pike – understandably Pat wants to keep the exact location a well guarded secret and he cropped the next few photos

After both fish were weighed and photographed, I decided to fish a dart float and I used a perch dead bait on this setup. I now had a promising idea at what level the fish were feeding at.  So, I set my sliding float and stop knot to just under 11ft. I cast out the bait and watched on excited to see what would happen next.

The wind was predicted to increase as the day would go on, starting at an easy 18mph by 10 am and going to over 26mph my 2 pm. I wanted to have the wind on my back for the session and use the wind to carry my float out across the water.

My float was now fishing about 10 minutes when I got the first sign on a pike being interested.

The float gave a quick bob and nothing else happened. To be honest I was starting to think that I had imagined it as the line felt slack the float sat on the surface like normal. I wound down and felt the slightest little knock. I struck and couldn’t believe what came in. It was a pike of 5oz. This was incredible, As the dead bait was not much smaller that the pike.

I used the same perch and out went the rig again. Another bob on the float but this time the float disappeared completely. This turned out to be a much larger pike, perhaps the little jack’s big sister. A lovely pike weighing 19lb 8oz was quickly landed and admired. I decided to try a herring as bait next. I had seen them in a supermarket and thought I would have to get one for the fun of it.

Pat and his 19lb 8oz catch

Pat and his 19lb 8oz catch

I rigged up the interesting looking fish and fired it out on the float rig set at the same depth. It wasn’t out 7 minutes when the float vanished from the surface and I struck into an incredibly hard fighting pike. It made the reel clutch sing loudly and tail walked twice. The 3lb Tc rod is a great tool for taming such specimens and I soon had her on the scales and she weighed a lovely 21lb 10oz.

Pat and his 21lb 10oz catch

Pat and his 21lb 10oz catch

I had one more pike before the strong wind really picked up. It was another double. this time 10lb 03oz.

So overall in the space of 6hrs I had a jaw-dropping combined weighed of 107lb 14oz for 8 pike. A session never to be forgotten.

Special Thanks to my fishing buddy Ciaran Sullivan who had the patience of a saint watching me bring in all those fish. Ciaran is well-known angler on the Irish pike scene, with recent wins including the Newbridge Cullen Cup and the notoriously difficult Annual Blessington Lake event where Scully out fished 126 other anglers on the day.  Scully did very well himself on Sunday and beat his own PB twice that day. First with a big over 20lb 02oz and secondly with the heaviest Pike of the day weighing exactly 25lb.  Well done Pal.

Upcoming event for your diary:

Tullamore and District Angling Club will be hosting a Pike competition this Sunday 4th Feb.

New members are welcome. Meeting at Kilbride plaza Tullamore @9am. Contact Pat for further info.


This post is in: Catch of the Week, Pike fishing reports