Withdrawal symptoms were setting in on The Barrow Piker as he hadn’t been down to the river in six days.  He tells us “Two ledgered deads were the order of the day, the usual routine,  one popped up the other hard on the bottom. Ninety minutes in and an alarm burst into life, not a screamer of a run but a take of sorts. Fish on!…Oh…. Fish off… I left the bait in for a few moments longer hoping the fish may slam it out of frustration if nothing else but no joy. I cursed myself and the fish, if the truth be known.
I brought it in to see if there were any signs of the encounter. Once again it was all proper horror show, slashed like a Romero movie.

March Pike from the BarrowThings then went decidedly quiet, I moved everything around, changed the baits but the swim still appeared to be void of fish. I moved upstream an put the coffee on. I needed to cover some ground or water as the case may be. A 30g WaterWolf Scud float was now patrolling the new swim, third trot through, it bobbed and disappeared, that was the last I saw of it for some time. Through the braid I could feel the fish chomping on the hooks and rig, this was not a good sign yet some how all remained secure. This was one angry mother! A superb hard fighting river pike.  A high octane fish, like a muscle car on a quarter mile strip… At will, she ripped line off the reel at very high tension quite a number of times.”

Barrow PikeBy the looks of this of this old girl, she has seen her fair share of action in the past. She was very lean compared with other recent fish, clearly she has not been feeding up perhaps due to previous captures. She also carried a number of small cuts and nicks on her lower flanks and back. She had a noticable lesion or bacterial infection at the neck of her caudal (tail) fin. This could be due to stress or mishandling. I also wonder due to her condition and wounds was she maybe a post spawn fish, were the jacks nipping her whilst jostling for position (could some of the Barrow pike have spawned already). Looking at my “self take” timer photos she reminds me very much of a “summer pike”. Tonight she swims, I hope she feeds up well and finds a place of refuge to make a full recovery.”

Compliments of:

Roly Byrne

Web: riverbarrowpiker.blogspot.ie