Karl Bohan, Leixlip reports on two recent pike trips to two small loughs in Co. Leitrim through emails along with photos
I was out on a new lake Sunday morning to check for possible bream/tench swims and access, I decided to bring the pike gear with me to try winkle one out. I fished two rods on alarms with static deadbaits. After 30 mins I had two fish in quick sucession. I then had all four seasons in the next hour or two including high winds and hailstones which had me questioning my sanity as I was travelling very light and didn’t have a brolly or chair with me! I had two dropped runs and then at around 11 o clock the right hand rods screeched away. Once I set the hooks I knew it was a decent fish and after a spirited fight I had her in the net, a nice upper double. I took a quick snap and let her back. I packed it in shortly after with 3 fish for 31 lb. Although the weathers been poor I am probably having the best run with the pike I ever had having caught 7 fish over 15 lb. in my last two sessions not to mention many smaller fish. I am thinking of putting away the pike gear on a positive note and now I am looking forward to tackling the bream who are just waking up.
On the second trip last weekend, I was heading back to a venue in leitrim which had thrown up some good fish for me in the past but I hadn’t landed a fish in the last six trips there. So it was an all or nothing trip for me and luckily it was all! I approached the fishing with in a different approach, after 3 hours mapping with the boat I was confident I had found an area that was holding fish, I anchored up in about 28ft of water and had three pike to 16 lb. in maybe 90 mins. I then set upon setting up my bivvy on the bank as it was coming upon five o clock. It was dark by the time I set up camp so I cooked some dinner and put out two baits on the alarms overnight. No touches during the night. At roughly first light I had my first run, a dropped bait I checked the bait and recasted just as I was setting the rod down the other rod went off. A nice mid double, as I was unhooking it the other rod went off, In what turned out to be a hectic 3 hours I had no less than seven pike ranging between 12-20 lb. including two double hook-ups and four being over 15.
I think the highlight of the trip was when one of the fish became snagged up and I had take the boat out to free it, It turned out to be the 20 and what a sight it was, not a ripple on the water and not a noise to be heard apart from the crashing around of this fish tailwalking and cartwheeling in the mist that was still rising from the lake at one stage as she shook her head the pollan which was used to deceive her flew from her mouth 20 feet in the air, I chinned her out after giving her a breather she tipped the scales to just over the 20 mark. In what has been a tough time piking this year this trip has certainly made up for it.