Gary Robinson of Kayak Fisherman Ireland proves that necessity is the mother of invention, as he forgets his lures and makes do. Read about his day:
Getting afloat on a Wednesday seems to be becoming a bit of a habit for me. Conditions looked good and the weather was fine so why not? That was all the encouragement I needed!
I tried launching from a different place today and this meant that I had to go against my normal plan of paddling upstream from the launch. The water I wanted to get at was downstream but with the flow as sluggish as it was getting back to the car later wouldn’t be an issue. I picked my way downstream casting a lure as I went. This session was a bit of a mix up, on arriving at the river I realised that I had forgotten my lures. The only one I had was the one still attached to the rod from the previous session. Luckily enough it happened to slay pike on the last three outings – the Swim Pike by Biwaa.
The first half an hour of exploratory casts yielded nothing. Onwards I pressed in the hopes of finding fish. On reaching deeper water I started trolling, the extra depth allowing me to paddle on without snagging up. Within seconds the rod arched over into a decent fish but, as happens to us all at some time, after a spirited tussle the line went slack. Pike 1 – Gary 0. Undeterred, I pressed on to an area where the river opened up and widened. Here I started to target weedbeds that have started to die back for the winter. Second cast saw a lively pike that hit the lure hard. After a quick photo he was off again.
Having forgotten my lures it was a case of making do with what I had. Today I also had some deadbaits with me which I decided to fish into deeper pockets of the river as I cast the lure to other areas. I picked up a few small pike this way but they all hit the lure. The bait was a slow worker today but towards the end of the session something did pick it up. On the heavier rod I knew that this was a good fish, certainly well into double figures. It stayed deep though and after a minute or so the line inexplicably went slack. I retrieved the bait and everything was intact. My only conclusion is that the pike managed to pick up the bait without hitting a hook. I was devastated!
I finished up the day with a handful of jacks and a couple of fish lost. This is going to sound like a ‘fisherman’s tale’ but one of them was quite a decent fish. I’ll rest her for a couple of weeks before going back to try again. As I paddled back to the car I tried to work out why this particular lure has been doing so well. Small pike make up a high percentage of a large pike’s diet so there is a natural hunger response to a lure that resembles a smaller pike. When the bigger pike are not hungry I like to think that a strike occurs out of territorial aggression. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it! I leave you with a video scene that is familiar to fishermen the world over – the moment that one gets away!
Kayak angling in Ireland
Gary discovered the thrill, freedom and pure joy of kayak fishing almost by accident. After purchasing kayaks with the intention of paddling trips with his long-suffering partner, he started to assess the suitability of such a craft as a fishing platform. Some internet searches showed him that he was not alone in his thoughts. America and Australia already had blossoming populations of kayak anglers. Needing no more encouragement, he set about rigging his first sit on top kayak and transforming it into a fishing platform to gain access to some of the more inaccessible waters. Now into his fifth year of kayak fishing he shows no sign of slowing down.
Find out more about Gary and his adventures at www.kayakfishermanireland.com
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