Competition in Ireland

With the organizer of the "European Pike Angling Challenge" – I already contacted Jim Robinson over six months ago. My proposal to donate "Salmo" lures for prizes for the winners of the competition was appreciated and accepted very willingly. After sending a small sample of baits to his address, encouraging news arrived fairly quickly, both anglers and pikes appreciated the qualities of Polish wobblers.

The final decision about my trip to Lough Derg was made literally at the last minute. Therefore, there were no longer tickets for the flight connection, which 16 On September four members of our spinning team departed for Shannon, Ireland. So I had to be content with a slightly later flight, which, moreover, did not take away his charm. I was there half a day later, around one in the morning. I found my friends over the table filled with lures in which they had made the last modifications.

We rented it the next day 2 boats and we set off for training, unfortunately, the results of the first catches were very poor. It looked like it, that all the fish from the area had gathered in the yacht and boat harbor from which we set off. They were small perches and pikes. Later it turned out, that on the enormous surface of the lake, on which we were fishing, moreover, distant from the competition site by approx. 30 km in a straight line, you had to know the pike places very precisely. Lough Derg is a large dam reservoir on the River Shannon with an area of ​​several thousand hectares. It has a very varied coastline, it abounds in bays and islands. The bottom of the lake is equally varied. Depths from 10 m do 0,5 m intertwine like in a kaleidoscope. The deepest places reach 35 m.

The coastal zone, often dotted with large boulders, is shallow and slopes gently to 3-5 m. In the evening, at the meeting of the participants, Mr Robinson presented the regulations. The competitions are held in days 18,19 i 21 September on lake. Lough Derg near the village of Killaloe. Participants fish from the boat (after 2 persons). Those are – boat owner (most often local) and a second angler "drawn" to it. These two people are to agree on the time of using a particular method of fishing. Unfortunately, in practice this turns out to be very difficult. Artificial baits and dead fish are allowed. Methods – spinning i trolling. Fishfinders and anchors are prohibited (for stopping the boat). You may only fish with one rod at a time. Caught pike (only this species matters) must be delivered as soon as possible (in suitable tanks), necessarily in a live form, to one of the five weight points located on the shores of the lake and release after weighing. The minimum dimension from last year, i.e.. Ok. 62 Cm. This year, even "Jack pikes", as they are commonly called here, counted 40-60 cm "guns". The angler wins, which will be able to boast the largest weight of fish caught in three days. It is also forbidden to catch pike "by eyes", which is considered barbaric here (I think, rightly so!). Each boatman had a landing net in his arsenal, in which he could easily fit himself with the rest of the equipment.

The first day

In the morning 18 September at. 10.00 more than 60 the boat left the harbor at Killaloe on board 122 daredevils to meet the adventure.
On the first day, I got a nice boatman named Sean. We had a lot of fun chatting, but, unfortunately, I couldn't convince him to try spinning. Bite 7 hours with a break for "lunch" we "drove" so we traveled around a small area of ​​the lake at a speed, which I could only call right at times. Sean was mainly fishing with wobblers so he immediately rushed to my box asking if he could try it, or that. I allowed eagerly. Turned out, that the "Salmo" wobblers, that got here 2 weeks earlier, he has already caught some nice esoxes. Sean's gear, and the vast majority of local "specialists" it looked similar: 4-5 m "pała", a reel with a large movable spool and a monofilament 0,5-0,7 Mm. Their favorite lure was a large light spoon loaded with an olive. Initially, I tried to fish with rigs from 16 cm pike and 12 cm perch Salmo (in floating version). These wobblers, designed for the "normal" pace of work, got a fury at this speed. It was a bit better with models specially prepared for this occasion, with approx. 50% the rudder surface. It felt, however, that's not it! In the end, I chose the "idyll."” 13 cm in the blue and silver version, which only vibrated slightly at high speed. Soon I had my first beating too. "Pike", however, was tiny approx. 1 Kg. Sean put on the same thing only in the "green mackerel" version and immediately picked out the fish approx. 1,7 Kg. After weighing and releasing the pikes, we set out to fish again. By the end of the day I had one more bite and one fish "fell" during the haul. Sean caught a slightly larger predator with the same bait and picked one off the landing net. However, these were fish of rather ridiculous sizes for these conditions.

After returning it turned out, that some have caught quite well, towards our common (Poles) satisfaction we heard, that our favorite – Jacek caught two fish - including one above 11 pounds (more than 5 Kg). However, it was not the biggest predator caught that day. (There were a few in between 5 a 7 Kg).

The feelings of all colleagues are similar. Too high "trolling" speeds and little or no opportunity to show off your spinning skills. During the whole competition it turned out, that apart from the well-known mastery of using spinning, it was Jacek who had the difficult ability to convince boatmen” to your suggestions. He was quite lucky in drawing specific people. It became clear beyond that, after the first day, that the reservoir on the other side of the Killaloe bridge is definitely better, closer to the dam. Overall, on the first day of the competition "it rained" 135 pike. Dead fish turned out to be the most effective lures, especially for large animals (herring, perch, mackerel and roach).

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