Its really hard to found the words after this 3 days. I sit in the Starbrucks waiting for my train just like roughly half year ago on the exact same chair and I even think that the lady behind the counter the same as well. However I got the same shivers as after I first visited Lough Derg. The feeling that still cant believe or its just didn't sink in yet that …..yeah I had my Irish monster pike! Not only one but 2 this time.
Pierre and Ricardo
But this trip was a little bit different then the last one. Pierre collaborated with the Black Bay Lodge so when you book your trip you don't have to look for accommodation separately which is really cool and make things a lot easier. The Lodge run by a few Italian guys and they hospitality are top class! Really friendly, funny and familiar atmosphere. Also have to mention that they are very very professional in any level beside the fun and laugh. The food was amazing, Ricardo made proper mushroom risotto at first day when I arrived, not only the risotto was lovely and properly done in Italian style, but he also hand picked the mushrooms for it from the close forest. He even manage to bring the French and the Italian style together on the boat for lunch …..home made and smoked parma ham in freshly baked baguette.....really what else you can wish for?! And of course they guiding service cover lot of guests in same time so when we pull the boats in and its time for dinner everybody sit down in the massive long table and share the storys of the day beside dinner which is awesome social experience, I met with French, Italian and Belgian clients too and it was super laugh beside the dinner table.
Ricardo's hand picked mushrooms for dinner
The gear they using: well this boats fully kitted up with all the modern stuff. They have 2x Crestliner Fish Hawk 1650 with 100hp Mercury Engines behind them also 2x Humminbird Onix10, one on the front deck and one on the back deck, connected with the Minnkota Terra's....pretty awesome set ups and they flying on the waves between the spots! They also have a few more smaller boats which kitted up the same just lighter version....all matching and lined up for the next mornings, candy for the real pike hunter when you see them like all lined up, my heart was pumping very fast when I first saw these beasts.
If you fly here from other country you dont need to bring a gear, they have BFT, St.Croix rods and many more to choose from and also high quality baits which proved well on the pictures that they works. I love my tackle and I travel on train so I had my rod with me the Illex Delivrance Deep Strike and a few big 250 Dexter Shads, I love them and they get me a huge fish!!
They do fly guiding as well and float tube fishing for pike and trout, so really its up to you what you want they have everything to provide you a great sport. But only lures or fly, no dead baiting! A challenge for any diehard lure angler!! This is like in the army when the fishing begins, Pierre will make you sweat, but if you do exactly the same what he says you pretty much guaranteed a good fish! Cast cast cast, retrieve slower, retrieve faster and cast cast cast to cover as much water as possible, you will be glad to hit the lodge at 7pm because your arms and back will be break throwing those big baits of the drifting boat!
We did shallow water fishing in a depth of 1m, with Pig Shads and Dexter Shads rigged with BFT Shalow Screw and max 7g BFT Flex Heads most of the time. I had my Costa's on Copper/Green Mirror and I could see down to the bottom on the drifts, we saw fish following the lures in crystal clear, right to the boat and some of them took the lures in last minute.....its priceless when you see a massive shoulders coming after and in last minute they flair they gills open that huge mouth and just swallow the bait, and you in! The fight is so intense because you cant give them any line to go back between the weeds, just get on your knees when they try to charge under the boat, rod half way in the water and just try muscle the fish close to the surface again.....and its not ends then because they cant go anywhere they jump and shake the heads like mad and pull everything to try to shake the bait out. Incredible close face to face combat with this monsters.....I mean like just imagine the 1.10m and 1.12m pike they between 20-30lb fish following your lure and they take it right front of your feet and you see it all.....this was just something else, I dont think I can found a world to describe it …..I have my whole body shaking after when I released all my fish. These was just the 2 biggest fish of the trip, I also had a 1.04m and lost count the 90cm+ fish which all between 12-17lb!
And thats me, sitting on the train back to Dublin and yeah when we stopped on the Limerick Junction I was in debate that what if I just get off here and go back with the next train, but im still on the train and just had a wee tear come down when the the train take off again, its not only because the fishing, well of course its the best destination for it but its reminded me how much a country girl I am and this is something I cant just deny. And the views, the mountains the forests the lake Derg itself, lots of animals on the fields, the people around and they not just put up friendly because you are a “ fish junkie tourist”.....its in they nature, small villages Scarrif and Killaloe with super atmosphere around with super people and excellent fishing!
And now back to the city where nobody give a monkey and the people hunting pokemons! One day I know I will end up around Lough Derg, I think I'm in serous love with this place.........but until that I think I will start to plan my next trip for the winter deep water monster hunt!
Cant say thanks enough for Pierre and Ricardo I'm over the moon just soooo soooo happy with my fish and everything. Hope to see you guys soon again!
And thanks guys who put up with reading my report I know its long a little ;)
Stella the donkey :P
The view of the lodge's living room