Season of the predator hunter by John Dory
THE leaves are falling and the clocks have changed. Game anglers have put away the rods for another year and the season of the predator hunter has arrived.
The specimen weight is 30lb and the Irish record for a rod caught pike stands at 42lbs 12oz. It dates from 2005 but it is only a matter of time before a new breed of monster chasers will consign this to the history books. Ireland is widely regarded as a piker’s paradise and hosted the World Predator Fishing championships this year. The real monsters are to be found in border country.
In 2009 Harry Stevens from Downpatrick landed a pike estimated at 46lbs while fishing on the river Erne just outside Enniskillen. Unfortunately the £10 set of scales that he purchased from Argos were not deemed fitting by the Irish Specimen Fish Committee or he could have claimed the Irish record. The rules state: Fish must be weighed in the presence of independent, reliable witnesses on properly certified scales, for example a shop scales or an official club scales which is covered by a certificate from the Weights and Measures Officer.
“It took 30 minutes to land and broke the wire trace. I had to get into the water to lift it,” said Harry. “I was exhausted and shaking like a leaf by the time we released it.”
But big fish can be found everywhere. I know of two waters in county Down where specimen pike of over 30lb are regularly caught and returned. A local, and reliable pike specialist, tells me he uses with 50lb braid and has been broken by fish he believes were over well 40lbs. The Irish pike has been the subject of much study in the last decade and there are still good stocks to be found in most counties and big fish by those who know where to look. One of the last unanswered questions is: how big to they grow? It is possible that fish will reach the weight of 50lb in the right conditions. In the past this has been possible in the big lakes of the west and the midlands but increasingly a number of small trout fisheries have encouraged pike. They perform the useful task of eating sick and injured fish which can spread disease.
Meanwhile sea anglers in Northern Ireland have been asked to take part in a new online survey for the UK’s Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science. A spokesman said,
“We are asking you to take part in a short survey about sea angling and invite you to take part in a sea angling diary study. We particularly need anglers from Northern Ireland to take the survey to ensure we have proper representation of Northern Ireland anglers in the study.”
To undertake the survey go to: www.seaangling.org/NI and you could win a £50 tackle vouchers for Fishing Megastore.
Pike may grow up to 50lb.
November 7, 2016 /
/ in Latest news