An early start saw me up at stupid o’clock to meet up with my long lost cousins, the brothers O’Donovan, in some God Forsaken one horse town in the middle of nowhere. Then it was down some winding boreens that even my satnav had difficulty finding until we came to a beautiful little lake that was just across one little field. Luckily there was a gate and we didn’t have to fling our kayaks over the hedge as Dave thought we might. Thankfully we all had our trolleys so it wasn’t long until we were paddling in the hope of catching some nice pike.
Dave had done his research with the locals and apparently this little gem was holding some nice fish in it’s depths.
I don’t think I’d ever been on water this calm in the kayak. So with a dead bait under a float on one rod and a small lure on the other I trolled around the edge of the lake in search of the elusive Pike. It wasn’t long before Dave was on the VHF to tell us he was in a fish and it was a “hog” and a “monster”. He landed it into the kayak but had to head to shore to unhook it. I was at the far end of the lake so I didn’t get to see the fish but it turned out to be 13lb, a personal best for Dave from the kayak. It wasn’t long before I too was in a fish. I was turning the kayak and watching my float at the same time. Next thing it disappeared so I lifted the rod and bang, I was in a fish. It felt like a good one so i turned the camera on and started to play him. Just when I got him in near the kayak he threw the hook and was gone. There was just two words to describe how I felt……
Next it was Dave’s turn again to announce “Fish On” and this time it was a beauty. I was a bit closer to him this time and with Karol’s help the monster was landed and we all headed for shore to unhook him safely. This was a big one which weighed in at a whopping 23lbs – outstripping his previous personal best (a mere couple of hours ago) by 10lbs.
To say he was delighted was an understatement….
After all the excitement it was back out onto the water to try for more fish and it wasn’t long before my dead bait float took a dive and I was in. Once the hook was set I hit the radio with “Fish On”. Unusually I received no reply but I was too busy concentrating on my fish – this was a big one! I got him to the surface and he leapt out of the water in front of the kayak. He was HUGE! He dived again stripping line from the reel and again I radioed to the lads but again got no reply. I managed to get the camera turned on but it immediately turned itself back off again. The batteries were flat because I hadn’t charged it from the previous weeks pike outing. Up came the pike again and danced across the water. I checked my radio and it too was turned off. I’d forgotten to charge it too so I roared down the lake at Karol and he turned just in time to see my fish tail dancing. He called Dave and they both paddled back towards me. This fish was a monster and each time I got him to the surface he’d either leap out of the water of dive deep with my reel screaming. After ten minutes of fighting he started to tire and we got him into the side of the kayak. He was way too big for the net so I managed to chin him and with Dave’s help got him into the kayak.
At this point we had drifted close to shore so we landed in order to unhook the fish safely rather than try do it in the kayak. We also wanted to weigh him as Karol reckoned Dave’s was relegated to second place.
Once unhooked we quickly got him into the net and weighed him – a whopping 28lbs of beauty. Not only my personal best but a second specimen Pike in the space of an hour between us.
After a quick photo we popped the pike back into the lake and off he swam no worse for his ordeal.
After all that excitement we still had a few hours of daylight so it was a case of once more into the breach. Off we headed again in the hope that poor Karol might hit a fish but it was to no avail – he blanked!
I managed to hit another Pike, this time on the little lure rod but like the first fish of the day, I lost him at the side of the kayak when he threw the lure.
So all in all and incredible day with two specimen Pike and three personal bests. Looking forward to visiting this little gem of a lake in