2015 my year

Mon 04 January 16


Happy New Year readers, & what a piking year 2015 has been, I’m glad to report that catches are well up on the last few years, however 25Ib+ fish are still very thin on the ground according to my results anyway, which was a grand total of 3 out of 22 × 20’s landed. The 27.02 was the heaviest pike of the year for me, and caught at the beginning of an awesome October she would definitely make a 30lb+ before spring easily. Personally I do believe things are improving/recovering still in the bigger pike department here, it’s definitely taking its time however. Of course to grow 30’s you first need good 20’s, there’s plenty of 20’s around, and the waters are stuffed full of food fish here, however are the pike growing?

Head of 25lb'er, lots of potential there I reckon come February

It’s obvious a pike needs a lot more than just a good food supply to grow big, The weather and water conditions and temperatures play a huge roll in this area here in Ireland for sure. If the weather and conditions are not right enough, 20lb+ pike will not feed as often slowing or even stunting their growth, or so it seems?

I do believe nowadays that we have lost our normal winters of yesteryear! Winters are meant to be cold, icy, snowy, and these are the best conditions that grow big pike I do believe. Not just the odd cold year either that;s not enough, I mean every winter should have a good cold spell, or several good cold spells between milder periods. This really makes them feed up, and if this happens all through their life time then there will be a lot more bigger pike around.

My pike year really came together when October started, the year beforehand I had chosen a new water to concentrate my efforts on, to get to know and hopefully uncover some of its piking secretes. I rigged myself up again with suitable gear for the job as I had sold my big boat a couple of years before with the proper GPS chart plotter and echo sounders needed for big water fishing/exploring. That first year was mainly spent finding potentially good areas, and contour mapping them on the chart plotter. Long trolling runs were mapped out, and anything of any importance was noted and logged down. To give you some idea of the information I have gathered so far, I have over 3’500 way points logged with about 50% of the water covered so far, all of which is saved on a SD card along with all the other waters I’ve mapped over the years. It really is a great way to do it.

2015 was a ‘reap the rewards’ of my seed sowing, along with great water conditions and very low water levels for October, I took advantage of this weather and feed up period, as I just knew it wouldn’t last too long before the rains start! There were two big areas in general noted and mapped and I just knew they would fish their heads off if water condition were favorable in the autumn time, and they did just that. One day out there trolling lures I got over 60 takes, and landed 53 pike of all sizes up to 20lb odd, lots of good sporting doubles, it was crazy fast fishing with a lot of double takers lol.

In October alone I caught 13 × 20’s, and a huge amount of doubles? Water conditions were so good visibility wise it was all lure fishing, this lasted just into November where on the 3rd I caught a further two 20’s, just before the heavens opened and we have been in floods ever since! A trip to the UK to fish some small pits was taken, but the timing wasn’t great, slow fishing and managing fish to 19 was the best of the trip.

Best fish of 2015 was this 27.02

I always like to get out piking on the last day of the year, and this time I got lucky with one take off a scraggly old looking pike of 22.04, caught from very high flood conditions in a back water off the Shannon system. All in all, 22 × 20’s were landed in 2015, giving me a life total now of 484, 137 over 25lb, 11 of 30lb, caught from 58 different venues. 500 is around the corner now, 16 to go, and that’s definitely doable this spring with the waters and areas I’m on nowadays. Just need it to stop raining first !

Tight lines for 2016

Al Rawlings


Visit the Website: http://www.jackpyke.co.uk/