David Gray of the Irish Daily Star reports:
Big pike are getting scarcer than hens’ teeth and there’s no doubt about that. This I know from many of my piking friends who keep me up to speed on what’s going on, be it catching or poaching.
But, this week I’m delighted to bring you a superb picture of a cracking pike and its captor, Greg O’Rourke from Monasterevin, Co. Kildare.
The 39-year-old Roadstone driver was fishing with Kildare man Tommy Burke, vice-chairman of Edenderry Course Angling Club, his piking partner for the past 10 years. Tommy, an avid course angler, turns his hand to pike fishing every winter.
The pair, boat fishing last Sunday on the River Shannon found what Tommy described as “deep backwater.” Anchoring their boat they set about ledgering their mackerel dead baits under floats.
Greg opted for a “popped up” mackerel fished below his float but ledgered on the bottom. Tommy fished his mackerel bait about 15 feet under his bigger float to give it a bit more mobility.

Monasterevin's Greg O'rourke with his 19.25lb catch on the Shannon
Monasterevin's Greg O'Rourke with his 19.25lb catch on the Shannon

In the event, Greg made the right choice because his bait wasn’t in the river for ten minutes before it was taken with gusto. Following a spirited battle with lots of splashing and plunging about, the big hen fish was brought to the net and soon released in accordance with the law.
“We were both over the moon, what a start to our piking season” said Tommy. “This fish at 19.25 lbs was a new personal best for Greg, his previous best being a 13 pounder taken from a small County Longford lake about three years ago.” he added.
The pair intend to do some serious piking over the Christmas break when Tommy will try to emulate or even better his partner’s catch.
Meanwhile thirty-one anglers who turned out for the Dublin and District Salmon Anglers pike competition on Poulaphouca Reservoir had a most disappointing day. Not one fish was recorded during the six hour competition. It was “raw cold” according to chief organiser Gerry Heaslip. “And to make matters worse the lake levels had been dropped by the ESB,” he added.
Compliments of:
David Gray,
Irish Daily Star,
Web: www.goingfishing.ie
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