Steven Manderson reports on Lurgan Esox Club their first ever open pike competition…

Firstly we would like to thank everyone who supported us on the day. Big thanks to Loughview Angling, Procast Angling, and Rab’s Repairs and Boiler Services who kindly donated prizes for the juniors, and further thanks to both tackle shops above plus Tackle Monaghan who sold the tickets for us for the competition.

22lb pike
Ryan first beat his PB and then went on to catch this 22lb 11oz pike

29 anglers turned up on the day out of an expected 35, not including Juniors. The anglers that made the trip battled extremely bad weather throughout the day but spirits remained high. 6 fish where caught on the day along with alot of dropped runs that even changes of tactics could not stop. Out of the 6 fish, 4 were into double figures. With a ‘big hen’ of 22lb 11oz falling to 1 lucky angler who had already broken his Personal Best earlier in the day.

13lb pike
A good double figure pike weighing in at 13lb 11oz

Lurgan’s Ryan McNeill was that lucky angler, Lurgan Esox Club member Trevor Johnson lead the comp with a fine fish of 13lb 11oz to beat,with only 1 jack being landed before hand at 4lb 11oz, L.E.C member Ryan McNeill hit into his first fish of the day shortly after and when it came into the net, we immediately started to guess that it may be a Personal best for him, after weighed it was confirmed and he moved into second place with a PB of 12lb 12oz, Paul Barbour then had a nice low double at 10lb 9oz to move into 3rd spot, Things really started to slow down after that feeding spell with a few hours passing and only 1 jack to show for it, It fell to Lurgan Esox Club member Jonny Dowds and weighed in at 6lb 6oz

10lb pike
Another double figure pike, 10lb 9oz

We thought that was it and the comp was drawing near its end, it was at that magical time of the late afternoon when that 1 big fish can turn on and take a bait, and a few of us where standing debating whether it was going to happen for anyone, when we heard an alarm sound, then it continued to bleep, Ryan McNeill made his way towards his rod, and the line stripped off the spool, he waited until it slowed slightly, tightened down and struck hard, the rod bent in half and the fish took off, immediately we know this could be the winning fish, the fish fought hard, but when it neared the net, noone could believe or expected its size, especially Ryan, he was speechless, fish was weighed and returned, and came in a 22lb 11oz, a second personal best on the day and a worthy fish which moved Ryan into 1st place. Magical day for the Lurgan Esox Club member.

Junior pike prizes
  • 1st Ryan McNeill (Lurgan Esox Club)
  • 2nd Trevor Johnson (Lurgan Esox Club)
  • 3rd Paul Barbour

We hope everyone enjoyed themselves and want to take this oppurtunity again to thank everyone involved.

And thanks to Lough Muckno for the use of the venue.

Steven Manderson

This 12lb 12oz fish was Ryans new PB