Ireland, Spring 2016 part 1 (by Stefaan)

Finally I found some time to write a post. The first group has come and gone here in Ireland, and we had a great time.

I won’t bother you with our journey to get here. I know that it’s popular to show pictures of ferryboats and highways, but most people really don’t give a damn. Except maybe this, we always make a little detour trough Snowdonia National Park when we drive trough Wales. And here the holiday feeling really kicks in.

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Not to mention the ache to cast some flies at the lovely rivers that pass trough the park (with salmon and especially seatrout moving upstream this time of the year), but we’re just passing trough and just dream again of planning a fishing trip to this place somewhere in the future.

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But the destination is Ireland of course, and its fantastic lakes with loads of pike in it.

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But the fishing …that was hard work! With the shifting of the seasons we arrived at a very bad time. It has been cold for a long time (again), so some pike have spawned already, but especially the bigger ones, are still at the bottom of the lakes, not moving an inch, no matter what you try to provoke a strike. We saw loads of them on our fish finders, but it became very frustrating (and useless) to put much effort into those pike.

We met a Belgian lure fisherman, who caught 252 pike in 8 days, but only five or six were bigger than 70cm, and that says it all, doesn’t it. When you fish the reed beds on the fly, it is possible to catch up to 20 (or more) small ones (40 to 55cm) a day, but for the most of us, that’s not really why we are here.

They can be beautiful though.This is Koen with one of the small ones.

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And Edwin, our canary (you couldn’t miss him on the water).

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This is one of Fabris, he spent a lot of time fishing the reed beds, so he probably caught most of us, but all small ones.

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It appeared however that most of the lakes had a certain area where the temperature was just a bit higher and the pike were a bit looser. So it was a lot of try and effort (and paddling) to find those spots, but it was the only way to catch some slightly bigger fish.

Here are some of the pike caught.

Apparently this is the only picture we have of Patrick with a pike (take more pictures next time guys).

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Edwin with an 80cm pike. He really has a strange way of holding his pike (this is the best picture I found), but man what a cook he is. It was like going to a restaurant whole week long (don’t misinterpret this, not a single pike was killed during the whole week).

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Dimitri with a nice one.

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Two times Fabris.

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This last one convinced him to fish open water more often next time.

Hans measuring his fish with his rod

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Anthony of course

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And Koen

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And myself

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And with 102cm, the biggest pike of the week was for Hans, well done!

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I also had a 90+ pike that took off the moment I wanted to lift it out of the water and Koen had one about the same size but it jumped out of his lap before we could take a picture. Too bad, but it didn’t spoil the fun.

At the end, everybody was happy, and agreed to come again next year…

So thanks again guys, for a great time! And a warm hart to our friend Joeri who had to cancel his trip at the last moment due to some very tragic events, hang in there buddy!

Another (smaller) group has arrived already for a week of fishing, and I’m staying another week after that, so more posts (and pike) will follow…

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