Competition in Ireland – cz.2

Day third

Beautiful again greets us in the port, sunny weather. Everybody, and especially the locals do not hide their satisfaction. Usually, at this time of the year, the air temperature does not exceed 10 ° C, it blows and it rains almost all the time. This year is extremely dry in Ireland. They answer our questions about the possibility of catching salmon: „No rain – no salmon” – (There is no rain – no salmon).

They are all militant – Jacek, of course, most of all! Anything can happen in this water. One 20 pounder is enough and our colleague has a chance to win. This time I get a boatman, which two Poles have already had the opportunity to meet. He has no idea about spinning and is reluctant to discuss it! For formalities, I go to ask where I want to go. Of course not where I am! So I'm looking for Jim Robinson, please change company. After a while she brings another guy. The boat owner agrees to some concessions with a broad smile. At the beginning, we are supposed to fish in the "worse zone", but if "it doesn't" we will move to the dam. He'll even let me pinch a little! I am "all happy"! We're off the hoof. In the middle we slow down a bit and after a while my companion tells me to cast the fishing rod. I shyly suggest that you screw the throttle a bit. As to be expected, he claims, that he always fishes like that and takes bites! It's hard! I will not let him do these "races", yet with 2-3 hours, then change. After a while, Jim Robinson comes to us and, seeing my sour face, asks if I would like to go with him. He will be catching dead fish as usual – I can throw! I gladly agree to this proposal! You know, that Jim knows the lake like his own pocket. As expected, we sail sharply for a good half an hour. Then we slow down a bit. We paddle to the fishery! Normal fishing methods at last! We sail along 4-6 meter slope. He fishes a lot – 25 Cm. roach. I throw the ripper and the wobbler. Even here – on the boat, my companion is at work. Every several minutes he reaches for a radio under his jacket and agrees the details of the end of the competition with his colleagues on the shore. Unfortunately, there is no bite. Jim, however, tells a lot of interesting facts – about fish in Lough-Derg.

Pike is caught here all year round. The thickest, of course, is in January and February (the lake does not freeze). As a chronicler, I ask about his "Jewess" – trifle 38 pounds! This is nothing, however! I am asking for trouts. In my hotel, there are two display cases with large streamers caught here by a fly. Jim tells, and I am so impressed that I stop throwing! The largest fish are caught with a dry fly during the swarming of the mayfly. Awesome – the most beautiful period for a fly fisherman often lasts two months! From mid-May to mid-July, fly fishermen from all over Europe come to the Irish lakes. And there is something to hunt for. Jim, when asked about his record, waves his hand – just 7 and a half pound (Ok. 3,4 Kg).
Him friend – co-organizer of the competition, last year he "scored" a play here 12 lb 8 oz (Ok. 5,7 Kg)! Nay! Every year, specimens are found within the borders 15 pounds! I mean, this is the only way to get it out, adds Jim. You need to fish with a thin line, because they are "very clever" (very clever). Last year, in July, one of the local fly fishermen, near the bridge in Killaloe about an hour 22.00 jammed an amazing stream brook. It is dark, and news of the specimen being hauled quickly to the shore. From the spot, several boats with strong headlights left the port to help the lucky man. Unfortunately, around 1.00 in the night, after 3 during the hours of hauling, the fish broke the line! You may pass out from the sensation! Jim shows me the places, where at the time of the wind from the land, which "blows" the flies into the water, the dotted kings of the lake roam among the great boulders. I'd like to see it sometime! A wy?! No, ale my tu year-year, and Jim has a take! Cichy terkot „bait runner'a”, „pike!” – says my companion. Unfortunately, "Pike" unaware of the seriousness of the moment abandons the easy prey. Jim examines the teeth marks on a large roach. "Small" – he says – "does not matter". We sail to an interesting place. It is quite a hill, the peak of which is at a depth of approx. 2 m, a dozen or so meters deep around. We circle first in deeper water, later closer to the top and nothing! Jim makes no secret of his dissatisfaction. They're not having feedingtime here for an hour or so – he says for consolation. Good! You can wait an hour! After a while, a beautiful boat with two anglers approaches us. An effusive greeting. It turns out, that they are: publisher of the Belgian "Esox" – magazine "Beet" with one of the editors. The latter had a thick piece for a wobbler a moment ago, but unfortunately, she detached herself. We stand side to side for a long time. Like it or not, I listen to the conversation. The topic of "fishing" dominates – the latest drink recipes! After a good moment, we go back to the fight. Nagle, some movement on the water. – Pike "chase" the bream to the surface – says Jim! Bream are not too bad – each one over a kilo for sure! So I throw a huge ripper – imitation of brown trout, with redoubled energy. We are close to the top of the hill. There are a lot of tall knotweed here, which you can see below the surface. I have a hook in almost every throw. So I start spinning the reel right away, after the bait falls into the water, holding the stick up. Nagle, I feel a distinct tug (what an effect on the braid!). Two seconds later, more! I'm already opening my mouth, to say, that I was taking, when the next strike bends the rod into the headband! Immediately a large whirlpool on the surface! At least there is no doubt here – it's not "Jack-pike"! Initially, it escapes into the weed and then starts jumping! But how! It "flies" all over the surface shaking its head from side to side. But the view! "Good art" – says Jim. After a while we have him in the pickup! Equal 90 Cm. I rate it on 10 pounds. We are going to the weight. It turns out, that only one ounce is missing for him 11 pounds (Ok. 5 Kg)! We are coming back quickly to the previous place. When Jim starts! Unfortunately, lean! It was a really big art – he says, interlacing the monologue with words, which I will not translate. It shows a lot – 30 cm roach, which the pike caught. I feel shivers down my back! The roach is massacred! It has only three "cloves" marks, which proves it, that she was slightly scratched. Still, it is cut in two! The tripe is hanging, and the whole thing is properly held on the spine! Horror! Jim held the curses between his teeth for a long time.
It was by far the biggest fish of the competition. Detriment! Maybe it passes 10 minutes and I have another bite – identical to the first – fast and aggressive. Pike, like the previous one, he performs a cinematic somersault in the air. It is a bit smaller – on the eye of 4 Kg. After a while he is at the side, I see, that he "sits" only on one grotto "by the beard"!. He escapes under the boat, jumps, “Hair” weed. Back to the side. This time the ripper is fastened with both treble hooks. I breathe deeper! Another "departure" and a one-meter jump! Dipping the tip in the water does not help – ask Jacek or Grześ! After a while, I see him again. Horror! Fastened lightly by the nose with one point! Jim puts the landing net in the water. The pike dives and… snaps off! I sit back in awe. Detriment! It turns out later, that I would be second in our team! Unfortunately, the bans end. We change places a few more times to no avail. Jim starts the engine. – I still have a last chance fishery – he says. We're heading towards Killaloe at full speed. We are talking about next year's competition. Jim is solemnly promising to make a few changes to the regulations. Everyone will be able to use the sonar. This should level the playing field a bit. The most important change for us, however, will concern the selection of anglers on the boat. Based on the preferred method of fishing marked on the application form, on one boat next year there should be e.g.. two "trollers" or two spinningists! This will greatly increase our chances of getting better deposits. We finally reach a "secret" fishery. It is the old riverbed of the Shannon River. Depth approx. 20 m – here are real monsters! -says Jim. I believe every word of this wizard! This time, unfortunately, spells don't help. We drift slowly for about half an hour. Time is running out. We come back.

Sadness in the harbor! Jacek is back "at zero"! Zbyszek scored the fish. Including two minutes before the end of the competition, the 7-pounder with the "Salmo" wobbler. Grzesiu has one play – for a 10 pound. Overall on the third day only caught 75 pike. He was, however, the biggest one in this year's competition -19 lb 04 oz (Ok. 8,8 Kg). An Englishman caught it – John Bedford. After the competition, I have an invitation to a dinner for sponsors. Unfortunately, far to the hotel, so I do not have time to change the "uniform" to a more formal one. I feel a bit silly in rubber boots in the company of "a tie". The four course dinner is wonderful. So do the fellow diners. They are keenly interested in the organization of fishing in Poland, fees, regulations. I am trying to explain the intricacies of the recent changes in our backyard. With them it is all humanly simple. Licenses and fees are for salmon only. The exceptions are the few club and private waters. Everything works perfectly thanks to the good organization of the flow of some funds obtained from tourism. Unfortunately, I cannot explain why trout fishing with the worm is not allowed in Poland. For them, it is at best a matter of increasing license prices. The problem of poaching practically disappeared many years ago, when the local people understood, that you can live well and stress-free from fishing tourism. Now the "watchman" is every inhabitant of coastal towns. Only envy!

Official ending after lunch. Jim Robinson solemnly reads out the names of the winners. This year's champion – Paul Smith – receives a beautiful cup from the hands of the founder – Jean'a Mainil'a. As "attachments" to the cup - a huge fishing boat with a trailer, a lot of fishing equipment (including "Salmo" wobblers) and a "modest" check. About 20 participants are awarded. There are checks for the first 15 (from 500 into 50 pounds). The same for the biggest fish in the following days. Jim also causes the most unlucky man – an Englishman, who has finished the "stick" competition for the third time! Everyone receives, in addition to checks, fishing equipment and various souvenirs. There are many sponsors. The most important is: German Fishing Tourism Bureau "Kingfisher Reisen", regional authorities and tourism companies (including 2 bars and 2 hotel) and a boatbuilding company from the Netherlands "Tomos" – the producer of the boat in question. The atmosphere of the event is wonderful and the generously stocked buffet is working at full speed. After the official part – artistic part – performances by a local folk group. We are already studying the large table of results calmly. 122 participants from Ireland, England, Wales, the Netherlands, Belgium, India, German, Switzerland and Poland within 3 days of competition caught 319 pike with a total weight 653 Kg. Average weight – 2 Kg. 11 people were caught by nothing, 40 ended the competition with the result below 10 pounds. From "our", after Jack, of course, Grzegorz Zarębski is the best – 22 lb 13 oz 20th place. And, with the result 19 lb 04 oz is in the 26th place. The rest of the classmates in the middle of the table. Winner – Paul Smith – he was fishing with a small spoon pulled slowly behind the boat. Excellent knowledge of the fishery paid off here. On his 54 the pounds "folded" up 13 pike! There are 8 Irish in the top ten, Jacek and the Englishman Andy Brown – last year's runner-up. A nice touch for me are the words of appreciation for Polish wobblers from his mouth. He tells, just like on the third day, after 3 hours of fruitless spinning with "rapala" he set up a perch "salmo" 12 cm and at the first throw he took out the pike over 10 lb!

We meet John Prescotf – wholesaler of fishing tackle. It is likely to be a distributor of Salmo in Ireland. He asks, would I like to go fishing for really big pikes tomorrow! He introduces his friend to me – Tim, a famous local angler, which 5 he spends the days of the week by the water. He will be my guide in tomorrow's trip.

We leave the amused company with slight regret. We still have our "artistic part". Besides, the last day of fishing in Ireland is ahead of us.

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