St Patrick’s weekend gave Gary Robinson of Kayak Fisherman Ireland a great opportunity to get out and get fishing. Together with little son in tow at first and then his friend Alex he headed out and reports:
20/03/2016 St. Patrick’s Day used to be a three day session but for quite a good few years I have made the point of foregoing the nonsense and getting afloat instead.
On the day itself I did go fishing but not from a kayak. I cast from the shore as I walked with the little man, him occasionally grabbing the butt of the rod as if to show me that I was doing it wrong! No fish were forthcoming from the shore which didn’t particularly surprise me. As the weather and temperatures pick up so will the fishing.
Pike were on the agenda for the following day and I headed off to meet fellow kayaker Alex on a midland river with the hopes of hitting a couple of pike before they started spawning. Hopes were high and after a winter of practically no pike fishing due in part to the little man’s arrival, in part to horrendous weather, it was fantastic to be on the water again and fighting my first pike after paddling only a few hundred metres.
The Biwaa Swimpike caused the downfall of this particular fish and after a spirited tussle I released her to go and terrorise the roach in the river. I paddled further upstream, the intention was to meet Alex on the water but before long the rod pulled over again and I was soon fighting the second fish of the day. This fish took a Rapala and fought well. I noticed the the tail on this fish was particularly ragged and as I released it I wondered what may have caused it.
I kept on paddling and before long I had met up with Alex, he already had four fish, one of which he said was in the 15lb region. Good fish and I look forward to seeing the images. We kept picking our way upstream, marveling at the amount of bait fish in the river and working lures over any likely looking spots. The tactic paid off another couple of fish coming our way, Alex with a smaller fish and my rod bending over into my best of the day. The Swimpike struck again and I was delighted with myself.
With the light fading it was time to consider calling it a day – I had a paddle of at least 4km back to the car and I didn’t fancy doing it in the dark! Alex decided to camp it out and I do hope he managed another fish or two for his troubles….
After having such fun the previous day I decided to go back for more. The fish had not yet spawned and I knew there was a chance of a real monster over the next couple of days.
I headed for a different stretch of water and set about getting afloat. The tactics were to be similar to the previous day; troll lures behind the kayak and see what hits them. Paddling upstream I was fishing my lures very close to the marginal reeds in the hopes that pre-spawning pike would be lying there. There were plenty of jacks and in the afternoon sun I had great craic catching them one after the other on a variety of lures.
The first jack hit one of the Sakura Speed Minnows. It was running at about one metre deep and I managed to pick out a few fish using it on the day.
The jointed Sakura Shiner Minnow in the perch pattern picked off a few fish also.
The ever popular Biwaa Swimpike proved irresistible once again. It is becoming very well chewed at this stage.
Sport all afternoon was hectic and I honestly have no idea how many fish I ended up with; I stopped counting on ten. The only unpleasant part of the afternoon was landing a pike that had a few leeches on her belly and a growth the size of a tennis ball on her flank. The wound didn’t look comfortable and I slipped it back into the water, aware of a condition that creates growth on pike like this but the details of it escaped me at the time.
I subsequently found out that the pike is suffering from Esocid Lymphosarcoma and can produce tumors in pike and muskies and is most likely of viral origin. Lovely!
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
DISCLAIMER NOTE: Inland Fisheries Ireland do not support any brand over another.