Finally we hitched the boat and headed for our first Piking trips of the 2013
The First Day
Yes you read the title correctly it was not until February 17th that we hitched the boat and headed out for our first Pike fishing trip of 2013. We started off with one of your favourite Longford lakes that it capable of producing some of the hardest fighting pike around. Trolling on this lake has always produced the goods so we had our plans and tactics set out and were really up for it. The morning troll proved challenging with strong winds blowing us of course in to the shallow reed beds that we kept getting caught up in so I decided to head to a different part of the lake that wouldn’t be as affected by the wind.
What a move that turned out to be as twenty minutes after we were into a good solid lump of Longford Pike. Trolling along a big drop off the pike hit my lure and seemed to have dropped it, I said to Noel did you see that and just as he replied the pike struck it again, this time she didn’t drop it and the fight was on. This pike was as stubborn as a mule and wouldn’t move at all, I worked the pike out eventually and we netted her. The pike was 90cm and a belly full of spawn brought her to 14lb 3oz. After a quick swim in the tank and a few snaps we slipped her back and she kicked off away, we set back up and when the wind eventually died down we headed back into the main part of the lake. The lake was calmer now and we were able to get into much better positions, trolling lures just out from the reed beds proved to be success full as Noel struck into a lively pike which made several darts in and out of the reeds. Noel tired her out and got her in the net after what proved to be a few very tricky minutes. Another pike with a belly full of spawn that certainly appeared to be well fed tipping her at just over 9lbs. Again the protocol was a quick rest in the tank a couple of photos and she kicked her way back into the reeds. So that was the first day and first two pike of 2013, we had got the ball rolling and the addiction was still strong as we had already planned for a second day out for two days’ time.
The Second Day
It was a sunny, frosty spring morning and there was only one thing on our minds, Big Mama Pike full of Spawn. We arrived to a popular Cavan lake that had on occasion produced some cracking fish for us. A light mist was just burning off the lake when we headed out on our first troll, for a while it seemed to be slow but as we came closer to an island we were into our first pike of the day. A jack to start off the day, we popped it back and minutes later we were into a better fish full of spawn which brought it to just below the 10lb mark. The fish had some growths which just on the bottom of its chin most likely a bad foul hooking in the past so we quickly released the fish and headed on.
We had geared up for a busy morning after the two quick takes but after that nothing so we kept the head up and trolled on, sticking to our tactics hoping they would prove to fruitful. Over the next few hours it became frustrating, we had plenty of takes but anytime we went to connect the fish dropped the bait or trashed their heads and spat it out. As time went on and we only had a small amount of daylight remaining we decided to go on one last big troll in hope to tempt a Big Mama from the depths. Then, cha ching we hit the Jackpot, while turning the boat one of the rods hammered away in the rest and maintained a heavy bend as well. This surely was it the one we had been waiting for, Noel immediately jumped on the rod and started off the battle while I started to get the other rods in. Minutes later one rod became trapped on another and tangled and the pressure was on Noel was closest to the rod that was caught and tangled so he then passed me the rod with the fish so he could work on it. The fish took off and went on a powerful steady fast run that even Usain Bolt would have been proud of, I was ever so careful in every turn I made of the reel not to anger the fish to the point where she would shake the lure. I glanced at Noel and confirmed to him that this was the one we have been waiting for, while he quickly tried to free the other rod and bring the last bait in so it wouldn’t get caught on the fish. This now wasn’t a matter of personal bests or bragging rights, it was a matter of catching this fish for the team. Finally a break through Noel released the line and quickly reeled in the lure and it was at that point that the fish was ready to come in, Noel set up the net in a panic and we boated the huge fish just on time. As soon as it went into the net the fish shook its head in anger and out slipped the Reaction Strike Bass Harasser from its mouth and we both knew how lucky we were. We turned on the water tank and let the fish rest until she had recovered and could give a kick or two. We then took a few snaps for memories and sent her back to lurk in the depths and to hopefully be caught again someday by another lucky angler who will do the same. This was a new team best at 109cm in length, weighing in at 27lbs in old money. A true Big Mama for this time of year and what made it all the sweeter was getting to catch it as a team with your fishing pal.