Sunday, 13 December 2015

3 days Pike Fishing on Lough Derg Ireland

Took me a while to put my toughs together of my last pike fishing trip down the south direction of Ireland. Lough be honest it's quiet hard to find the right words to describe this lake. I can not deny I fell in love with it first sight when I arrived in Killaloe. Killaoe is a a village, close downstream from where Lough Derg empties in to the Shannon  . Stunning little village and one of those few places when people see you with rod in your hands walking down on the street not give you strange looks, instead they all ask where I have been fishing , what did I caught or give you locations to go fishing as a friendly advice, even in the small grocery shop, you are not just "next please". So the local people has the famous very friendly Irish welcoming atmosphere, and it's all about the fishing there, really, like in the pubs in the B&B's has the pictures up from recent catches and "wall of fame's " of huge pikes all over. Nice to see that the angling and the tourism is all blended in to a tradition in this village.....the proper feeling of  "hunting the mystical green Irish monsters"!!!

When I planned my trip there I decided to get a guide for 3 days, plenty of reasons behind why. It's a huge body of water and shooting in the dark with fishing spots for 3 days wasn't what I was going for. Plus you need a boat as well because very limited places available from the shore. I was going for catch a big girl and without any knowledge of this water you need a big bucket of luck if not more if you wanna do this alone! So I did my research and also listen to the recommendations I get in touch with Pierre Monjarret who is a professional guide on Lough Derg. Few chat on facebook and fix the dates, very easy going. And the date arrived to get on the train with shaking legs, I'm always getting over exited when it's up to fishing but this trip I just felt that good chance for my dream girl! Arrived early afternoon to Killaloe and take a quick tour around discover everything while still daylight. Than dinner and just sit back and counting the seconds till next morning to head out, then got a txt that I would go to the pub and join them for a drink or two with the other french guy Florian who was out with him fishing earlier. Yeah why not sounded good I love Irish Pubs but alone as a girl to head out it's not my cup of tea like so I was happy with the invitation. Wasn't long to get the conversation on the pike fishing! Like connecting with people who has a similar toughs about pike fishing with lures, but pretty quickly it was clear that a hardcore pike angler sitting across to me,  which is pretty cool. Obviously the tackle talk on the topics as well and I love lure fishing tackle! As he is in a Pro Team of Strike Pro, CWC,BFT of course made me to ask some questions about they tackle and how is the proper way to use them etc, it was super to sneak peak behind the scenes and learn a lot about the company,tackle history  and other members of the team how they developing  the gear in Sweden. And one more super exiting stuff  what unfortunately I can't talk about but I'm a huge fan! So after a few drinks and checking the weather we kinda know that by the weather conditions looks like sunday will be the day, but I was go to sleep with anything could happen tomorrow until  the lure is in the water!

Finally the morning arrived and get picked up in the marina, man that boat is super cool and if its not enough 2nd Captain Guiness on the board as well, she is a super cool dog. The weather was grey and rainy as usual with a bit of roughness on the water but let taps fire up and off we go. When turn  of the marina part that was some scenery.....the huge lake is front of your eyes surrounded by the mountains, even in grey shades it as an awesome breath taking view! As we talked a night before about conditions and this time of the year we know it will be tough, not many bites but still potential for a good day fishing and the tactic for the day will be cast, cast, cast, cast and more cast to cover much water as we can. It was a super day out even with a few showers in the neck but managed to caught 2 smaller but still lovely fish between 80-90cm. Head back to heat up dinner and get ready for tomorrow, when as the forecast promised no rain with slight cloud coverage and dropping pressure ,  which means good chance that the fish will come up from the bottom and a bit sunshine will turn them on to start feeding.

Day two morning woke up and straight up to look out in the window, yes perfect pike weather as it says in the big pike book. Get some coffee and breakfast and off to the marina again. It was something in the air that we gonna have a good day today and my theory was proofed by Pierre as well when I get into the boat so everything looked bright. Pick the first spot and start drifting and casting, not quiet end of the drift we saw that the sun will be out in the next few minutes for a while so quickly drive back wait until the sun out and start drift again, it was one of those moment when you know, I don't know how but you feel now or never! or just simply because something changed but its just a weird thing what you can feel when you fishing and make you so exited the tough that in any second your rod can slam over because everything is just perfect! And yes it was not even half way of the drift the lure stopped like stuck in something, strike and yeah fish on and the rock and roll started, the fish did a few really good runs to the deep but after the anglers worst nightmare happens when the fish start head to the surface and jump! Can feel in the deep of the head shakes that she wasn't small but that heart stopping moment when they jump and you just start pray that don't shake out the hooks and also see her in full size how big she was and concentrate the rod tip down to keep the tension on the line plus all this happens in a quarter of the second......such as Pierre shouted it's a big fish Gina and he runs to grab the net......few more runs and she was in the net. I couldn't believe we did it....she was in the net with all her beauty, i know its not nice to say for a lady but she was fat.....beautiful fat 107cm green irish monster....i was over the moon and back really just stand front of the net and kept looking her in the water in the net. One of the best moments of this year! Get her out of the net and get some photos of her.....I have to admit I struggling to hold her for the camera. Then put her back to the water.....just still looking her and don't want to let her go, I was lucky she was so peaceful between my hands and use the old trick to pet it on the side a little bit  so she didn't move but eventually she had enough and slowly slip out from between my hands and headed back to the deep where she belong to. IT WAS AWESOME!! I just sit in the boat at least 10 min it was super awesome feeling really!! Than back to casting again and not long after the rod bends again and Pierre has a super condition pike as well in the 95cm mark. Which situation is put me back behind the camera what I love as much fishing and I shoot one of my best picture ever, it's hard to get the light the background and the angle all click together to shoot a photo like that but hell when its all in right order. Still fishing away all day but in winter days like this you know it's not many shot and feeding windows opening up and specially that we had the big fish what we where after bite one shot.....can't be greedy and that wasn't even on the cards. I couldn't even sleep that night, I think I can say the dose of happiness of that fish is take over beyond any tiredness.

Third day, well the weather is just became pure rough, we head out on the morning but called lunch time 2 o'clock. It was more like a rainy chatting day, pressure is off with that fish a day before and some point you need to know when to call it. I was the last of his clients for 2015 and his boat closed the season with my beauty 115th pike over 1m mark landed on the mad is that??!!!!! Hardcore cast machine!!!

I decided to move to Ireland in next year but I didn't know where.....well with this trip I secretly half decided where to now, I had an absolutely super time and be back definitely soon if not for permanent.......Thanks for read, enjoy the pictures and tight lines ;)

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Large vs Small lure spinning

Last weekend managed to sneak out on saturday with the kayaks. We wasn't really in our usual "lets explore the world" mode just wanted to catch some fish, so made the call to fish one of the well known lake. It has been paid off well but was a tricky and slow day,  the air pressure was high, it was too calm and mainly sunny , but had those little windows when the wind finally picked up and bring some cloud coverage for a few minutes. When you visit a lake again what you did fished before and had a successful day on it, what you probably gonna do is, exactly the same what you did on that day. Well it shows off pretty quickly that this isn't the same situation today at all. We was far from the mad pike attacks, when the jacks hits the big lures without any hesitation and you have to battle through on them to find a bigger fish.

When i'm not after the big mammas and specially when fishing out of kayak I always choose my Illex Element Rider S 250 XH, the rod is 14-80g so this beauty lauds me to fish from small 5" lures up to 34cm shads, and one of the main reason that the handle is shorter than normal jerkbait rods, much more comfier to fish from the  kayak with a short handle. Steve decided to gear up with the big baits and big rod, as if I remember well was his motto of the day before " Go Big or Go Home"! Anchor down on the first honey spot and start throwing the big boys  mmmm 10 minutes not a single contact. Well I love catching pike in any size so i changed my lure to the smaller version 150 dexter shad in rudd colour , my favorite lure all the time  plus had a sneaky chat with a match angler who just arrived that, what he gonna fishing for today and he said roach, spot on I have that pattern in my inventory, because then is high chance that pike might feeding on the roach around that area. Clip it on and had a quick bite which wasn't aggressive at all. Next cast boom had a decent jack on. I was really happy to nail a good few up to 8lb, but suddenly they switch off or moved away from the area.
Check the wind direction and its blowing right to the other weed bank mmmm as it says in the pike fishing bible, the wind blows the bait fish away, so let's get the anchor up and go to the far side. On the way paddling up all ready saw some movement of the pikes to hammering the baitfish. Lure in the middle quickly and then realized that its super shallow might 2ft with weed all over on it. Change over to a 5g jighead what i found the lightest in my bag, cast out and reel quick as i can just under the surface then boom she is back and take my lure as it suppose to be. Very intense fight because I couldn't give a line  for her to go back between the weed, lovely and strong girl in top condition.

As the day was going on i had a few more fish on the small lures, which I was chuffed with , great day to be out and great sport . The wind turns just before lunch so we decided to move on with it , give another hour on the new spot then get out for lunch . Spinning away had a few contact but more likely looked they switched off again as it was brighten up. Wind picked up a little bit from out of nowhere and the clouds covered the sun , made a big cast out my lure just landed front of the  reeds as I was chatting away that the guys doesn't had many luck so far then boom after the about 3 turns on the reel this big mamma just hammered my lure for lunch! And off she go on my screaming
 reel, I managed to bring her up to the boat about 10 times at least but she just didn't wanna give up  and wend pretty bonkers every time when dives down in the deeper parts, but finally after a long fight she slipped in the net.....victory! Paddle out to the land quickly and take some snaps in the water and give enough time to her to recover. I basically don't use very light tackle for pike  but like keep it finesse as possible and the reason is that fight the fish quickly and let it go quickly without stressing out the fish too much , so i give a good stick for her as much as I could but I couldn't break her mind and she was really strong, one hell of a fight that's for sure. Then she just slipped out of my hands and swims away......she had some attitude, as a good girls has.

So this day was definitely a small lure day, because the boys didn't finish the day very well to stick on with the big baits all day. Well my theory is even when out for chasing the big fish with big lures, never can go wrong to put a few smaller ones in the box, because if you don't change with  the conditions you didn't tried everything and if you didn't tried everything , you didn't cover all the options what can get you fish at the end of your line. Its paid of for me on that day ;)

Some Big and the Small brothers

Hope you guys have a good season and lots of fish , Tight lines! ;)

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

James Smyth Memorial Pike Competition- Anglers together for the good cause

What was the event all about:

Organiser Gerard Smyth put this annual pike competition together raising money for  Suicide Awareness. The competition is dedicated to his brother James Smyth who might be gone but
never forgotten. For those who don't know the money was raised and donated to PIPS 
Programmes ( Preventing Suicide  Through Education ). It's very important to support the 
professional helping hands. Suicide takes 3 life's  every day. POPS helps thousands  of people 
and saving many lifes!

The presentation of the check to the PIPS Charity

4th October 2015, the day what we all fish for  raised successfully 950EUR which covering 
the running costs for 3 months for the Suicide Awareness . Personally I was amazed in front 
of the Spar on the morning after the registration where 50 anglers showed up with all the 

And of course there is a competitive side as well , You have to be in it to win it!

Gerard, Gerry and Tony with the fish of the day 20lb 14oz

Had a beautiful weather to start with , which some point was lovely warm and sunny. Great
day to spend outdoors anyway but this conditions makes the pike fishing very tough for
everybody. In the middle of the afternoon finally some clouds started to arrive and a little breeze
pick up as well. You could feel in the air this could be the turning point of the game for all of us .
I was spinning away not far from Gerard  when I heard his reels started to scream. 
He shouted Big Fish!! Big Fish!! Tony grab the net!!
He managed to get it close to the bank 6x times but the reel screams off every time she headed back
to the middle, then she finally gave up and slides in to the net. She was a really strong fish in top 
condition. His dad Gerry comes over to see her from the other side of the lake as well. 
Unhooking ceremony  then off she went on the scales, boom baby 20lb14oz, what a beauty she was.
I took a few quick snap of the fish first then I saw  on the screen that Tony and Gerry are half
way in the picture and i said " hey everybody closer and get on the picture now"! and I press the button again . I think with this picture above I captured a very memorable moment, the light was perfect, everybody smiles, the green monster beauty shows off all her size, patterns and 50 shades of green colours on her.

Gerry with his 18lber

The next turn was Gerry's! He has a float out and just spinning around with a lure rod to make sure 
cover all the options, then boom a huge explosion just right front off his feet. Another big lady
knock the bulldog down in the last minute. Gerry had his net right beside him in the water
and he just give a stick to the hard pulling fish that make sure she don't take any line off and run out again, "now or never" and he managed too slide the net under her. The game started to get tight 
after we saw the fish , we knew she was big ...but how big exactly she is ?! On the scale her weight was 18lb. What a beautiful fish! This is going to be a tight match between father and son  and 
probably a few jacks could make all the difference. So they did for me as well.

Little greedy jacks,they great fun too on light tackle

After i saw that two big fish just had been caught front of my nose I knew my chance to nail a 
decent size is shrinks to very slim . Few updating phone calls  shows that not many fish caught
all over on the other lakes either, so decided  to check out the pond which was just a few steps away. 
I asked what is the lake looks like he answer was " I wouldn't fish it , might be none or just jacks there, has been hammered badly for years".  Checked my watch 1 and half an hour lef of the competition , so packed the lures and went off with a blank on my shoulder....what I can loose?!
As I was in jack hunting mode put a soma small lure then on the second cast the magic happened, i got hit by a small jack , I was really happy with this small fish , made my day really . Then went quiet again, stop for a smoke and a quick think what else I have in my box. I had a few flys left from my last trip in there jacks like flashy stuff! Clicked on with a little weight and boom I was in again, managed to catch 4 more and finish the day with 5 half decent jacks. Then it was time to head back to the presentation held in the village Inn on the Miam Street.
The local butcher and the Inn sponsored the event with some lovely sandwiches and hot food for all of us which was super nice of them because it was a long day .

Here is the final results of the event :

1st place: Gerry Smyth

2nd place: Gerard Smyth also the winner for the biggest fish category

3rd place: Ian Church

4th place: Emmet Kelly

5th place: Gina Tanczos 

6th place: Jay Cooke

7th place: Dave Moody

8th place: John Molloy

9th place: Darren Walsh

The smallest fish: Will Carney

Also special thanks for Dave Moody who helped to organise the event. For the members of the Leinster Pike Angling Club showed up in force with support. For all the tackle shops who sponsored the event with cracking prizes to win. All together it was a super social event, met with lots of anglers all around of the country......hope to see you guys next year ....tight lines;)

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Pike addiction

As i mentioned in last posts i moved from Ireland's pike paradise to Alderney's salt water heaven.
Of course I bring my beloved lures over and the selection is growing bigger and  bigger as I start knowing the ground and the fish here. But mann the pike fishing is so missing for me, its an addiction in my head , like hunt one specific fish. Everybody is different and like catch fish different ways but for me pike on lures is the nirvana, seriously, my "cabin fever" is just drives me mad.....I need to go back to Ireland to do a good 5 days intensive nonstop pike fishing. Looks like the days coming together slowly to make the final booking and then  start shopping for the new tackle. last time i was there i had my lighter set up with me , witch is super fun but i plan to hunt my fish of the life time so i need put together the big guns this time for big river pike fishing.

Will put my hands on one of the Illex rod from the Delivrance series, such a lovely rod with a power to turn any size of predator around in a current. Combined with some Illex Dexter Shads 24cm, Flat Bone Clicker, Gunki Sweepgun, 200 Fiiish BlackMinnows for the deeper areas and 160 BlackMinnows with 15g shore head for the shallow bays, looking forward to try the new Molix Pike Jerks as well..... and many many more good lures to do the best job as they smaller versions proved they does.  And i just had my new 3000 Daiwa X-Fire reel a few weeks ago, well if the green lady's decided to pull hard this reel has a 7kg/15lb drag on it so i will be totally up for the game! But this is just the rough draft of the set up , exiting times to put everything together to try to cover all the possibility's what i will face.....its like McDonald's...I'm Lovin It!!!

I have been hosted/guided on my last trip by Gerard Smyth, who runs a family owned business with a  lovely traditional Irish B&B with breakfast and dinner, it was absolutely super time to stay after a long fishing day, but check out yourself his website  i  had a super time over and i just could recommend and my plan to go back for this trip in September.

Cant wait to go back with a proper gear to discover this stunning part of Ireland, just breath taking when racing all over on the boat and see the old ancient castles, this place is full of history , sitting in silence far away from the city, perfect get away!  And on the plus side Gerard offer guided belly boat tour as well (of course on lakes:) witch im really looking forward to as well for a day or two, sounds super fun. I will take my lighter set up for that Illex Element Rider S230M 5-25g and the smaller brothers of those lures above 10-15cm 4"-5" and maybe fly rod  too .

This is a pure addiction for this fish for me, beautiful, so aggressive proper fresh water hunter. I clearly remember when i caught my first one when i was 8yr old, wast big maybe 2lb and i put my hand in the mouth when i landed but that was the moment when i fall in total love with this fish .....cant delete the feeling when they attack the lure and strike and the fight starts, head shakes jumps and specially when the big ladys start go and reach the point when you need to give them a bit line because she dont gonna stop until your line get to the breaking point......mind game filled with adrenaline just mad.....hope will have a good weather in september for us but until that get some lures to get ready  and the most important thing .....Tight Lines ! ;)

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Lure fishing for wrasse on Alderney with Molix lures

Molix S-Stick 4" Savetta

Where should I start ? I think if I said I moved to the salt water lure heaven 2 weeks ago, I dont think these words is describe it properly the wrasse fishing over here. Had a good few takes and my biggest one is so far over 5lb fall for the 3.8" Molix RA Shad in Smoke Sunrise colour. The ground here is a little bit different then the usual deep gullies in   Donegal, I fish over the same rocky ground but its very shallow compare to home , the wrasse come and feed on the rocks with a tide and move back with the next one, but the methods is exactly the same , slowly bump on the rocks with the lure.

Molix 3.8" RA Shad Smoke Sunrise (texas style rigged)

For this style of lure fishing I would suggest to stuck up as many as you can variety of weighs to your tackle box and more finesse are they the less chance to stuck with. And I also like to use a lot of different set-ups, the 3 most important for me and they always in my box: jikka, texas and weighted weedless hooks. Im using the Illex Element Rider S230M 5-28g rod for wrasse the reason is its sensitive enough to feel the lure even on 5g weight but also have a serious power from the back bone to fight with the 5lb wish. I using the Daiwa 20lb SW. Tripple gamma Leader, surprise surprise not fluorocarbon, this leader designed to be super tough for salt water lure fishing no rock will break it. I have my weights from 3g up to 14g max (in all type texas bullet leds, jikka leds and belly weighted hooks) because I think the wrasse fishing on lures is a game of senses, you need to get your rod and your terminal tackle in harmony with the swells, thats why I carry a lot of different weights, the wrasse are not a predatory fish so they dont gonna hunt your lures, they are more curious and can be spooky at the same time. Dont need big heavy weights to touch the bottom need a little movement only witch if you have the right weight on the swell will do it for you and its simple and more natural then twitch it all around the place. And I leaved my favourite part at the end the lure choice!!! If you say wrasse I would say Molix! ;)

 Molix Sligozzo 4" Pumpkin Seed

Wrasse love paddle tails, the Molix Ra Shad series comes in lots of colours to chose from but my favourite wrasse colours is :green pumpkin, pumpkin orange, mx june bug, smoke sunrise, water melon gold chart. Im not using bigger than 4.5" lures for wrasse this size cover the medium to huge size of them so most the time either way I will have fun.
The Molix 4.5" S-Stick is a real player with the swell, the lure has an interesting shape like nearly a triangle and because of that falling in the water slower that other lures, sticks against the swell and the main body slow it down the movement. At the same time the thiny tail with the air bobble in it moves to different way and always pointing up , brilliant lure i love them in savetta colour, blue notte, ghost gill,marron glace.
And the Sligozzo....4" perfect chunky monkey, savage for wrasse! Like rag worm on steroids with annoying thin flapping tail, of course wrasse want it to bite it and they coming in awesome colours too: cinnamon pepper, watermelon red black flake,bloody pumpkin, natural shad, motor oil.......the sky is the limit.

I have my lures from and here is a few more snaps because i also love photographing them as well....hope the few info was helpful and see you on the rocks....tight lines ;)