On a recent trip to Lough Ree, avid pike angler Barry ‘Fitz’ Fitzpatrick from Meath had a surprise capture.
Fitz likes to get to his chosen venue early, often tackling up his rigs before first light. This time though, he had to check out a couple of different options before choosing the venue best suited to the conditions on the day.
Upon arrival at his chosen spot, he set up his dead bait rig and cast out one of Galway Bay’s finest mackerel into a likely pike holding area before kicking back and catching up with his fishing partners on the day, Daragh and Dave.
It wasn’t long before Fitz had a run, and he tightened into a fish – a hard fighting, streamlined 14lb pike landed just short of 11am. After a quick photo, the fish was carefully released and the trio carried on fishing, with another jack or two keeping them busy during the morning session before things went quiet.
In the afternoon it looked like the fish had had enough altogether but then, at nearly 3pm, Fitz had another strong run on the mackerel. Again, he tightened into the fish and again the fish fought hard but came to the net before too long. This pike had a very familiar look to it, and after careful examination of the markings along its flank, it was clear that it was the same 14lb fish that took the bait earlier in the day!
Pike can feed voraciously when they are hungry and this fish was proof of that – twice falling to a mackerel dead bait in the space of four hours! Fitz always takes great care when playing, landing and returning his pike, so this one was none the worse off after the first capture, going back on the feed in no time.