Home Pike fishing reports Planning ahead brings reward for Anthony on the Barrow

Planning ahead brings reward for Anthony on the Barrow


Looking at the weather for the week, they were giving it as quite cold, to say the least. But the water has dropped to fishable height over the past week and so Anthony and I decided quite late Friday evening that we were going to give the River Barrow a shot. It was one of those trips where we just went with the flow so to speak. So, Friday night for me was a mix of Senan Stanley lure fishing videos and, of course, Marcin Kantor, no complaints.

Getting up Saturday morning didn’t take too much effort as we knew where we were heading, we grabbed what we thought we would need and off we went on what was a very cold, crisp morning. On the way to the river, we discussed three possible spots on the river that we would like to try and a “strat” as Anthony calls it for each spot. When we arrived, the river had a hint of mist above it with some lovely whirls and twirls; undercurrents were there but not as angry as the last time we were here.

Planning a ‘strat’ to tackle the river

Walking along the bank we shared many a story, Anthony is beginning to gather a collection of his own little angling stories now which makes for great entertainment when walking to the fishing spot. As we turned the corner to our first location, there was an angler already there, which was fine as we had two other locations and many “strats”. The second location was free, so we began setting up. As we were setting up, there were a few sprays of minnows and small dace, which always excites. Sticking on one of his favourite lures, Anthony cast towards the sprays. We may have been a little late with the cast as the predator chasing had no interest in our lure selection due to a belly full of small minnows, I’m sure.

The angler we first saw at our initial spot beckoned Anthony over and began speaking to him. Anthony began smiling and made a cast where the angler pointed. On the second cast, Anthony lifted into his first perch. There, of course, was perch number 2,3, and 4 after that one. I spoke to the angler, whose name was Adam. I thanked him for his kindness, and we spoke of how important it was that we help the younger generation as much as we can, which he had already done and agreed to. Believe it or not I have had people stand on a lough gate and cast over Anthony before, so Adam’s kindness was very much welcome and appreciated by both of us.

After quite a few perch and a cup of tea we decided to try for a pike. Grabbing the fly rod and setting it up we began looking around for likely spots. We started at an area where the canal narrowed and then opened out a bit. It was probably 45 minutes to an hour before something Anthony won’t forget for a while. As he stripped back the fly it hadn’t gone down too far, we could still see it quite clearly with our polarised glasses. A lovely jack pike of about 4 pounds came from underneath, grabbed the fly, and came clean out of the water. It happened quite quickly but was magical to watch. It was a great experience for Anthony to witness, especially when he was holding the fly rod. A quick picture and we released the latest edition to Anthonys River pike collection, a highlight to both our weeks.

The reward: a fine jack on the fly for Anthony

Another highlight for me last week was speaking to Ceri Jones on his podcast, I had been following Ceri for quite some time so was delighted to speak to him and become ep. 166.I am quite looking forward to showing Ceri some of my local water this spring.

Casting With Ceri Jones : Ep. 166 Dan O’Neill — Casting with Ceri Jones

With the season just around the corner thankfully, I will be holding a class on getting ready for the new season. If you would like more information, contact me on messenger or the details below.

[email protected]

Dan O Neill Facebook


Please fish in a sustainable manner