There was no plans to participate in Predator Battle Ireland. I have no idea about fishing Irish lakes. I fish for pike only in the cold months. I don’t even have pike gear in the UK. Everything is in Poland but …

Yes, we decided to go anyway 🙂 Many of our friends participate in this competition and one of my London’s fishing buddies had bought Tangiri Boat 420 which is big enough to fish at Lough Derg. So why not? New experience is always welcome. I’d been thinking about sending all the equipment from Poland but at the end I just borrowed rods and lures from my friends. So again – thank you guys !

To win such big competition you need 3 things:

  • knowledge of the water
  • skills
  • luck

We didn’t have the first one at all, some skills but not in summer pike fishing (the water was still very warm – 18 degrees). So we could only count on our luck. We could improve the first two factors by practicing but unfortunately we had only two days.

Surprisingly these two days went very well. We caught good numbers of pike including multiple fish between 80 and 108. We caught them mostly shallow but we also had a few from the deep water. We were easily catching perch. We decided to skip the trout and give it a go only during the competition. Now I think this good practice sessions were very misleading. I thought we will catch the full card very quickly and afterwards we will just look for upgrades. That was not the case …

The first day was a huge disappointment. We started from the area were we caught the 108 fish and after an hour I had only one bite. The fish was big but I didn’t land it so we were still blanking … We decided to move to the next spot that was occupied by a few boats including our friends. Really busy area but people were catching good pike. Unfortunately we didn’t know the water and we were drifting to underwater rocks all the time. It took a lot of time until we learnt which parts are fishable. We had some bites but we still had ZERO landed. So to relax and improve morale we decided to try with trout. That was a good decision. We spent around 40 minutes to get it. Small one – 32 cm – but good enough. During that time we had 5 bites and landed only one. I still don’t know what we were doing wrong that we were so ineffective.

We came back to the crowded bay and there was almost no boats left. We managed to catch one 70+ pike and we had a few more strikes and that was it. The end of the very disappointing day.

The strategy for the second day was different – give up on shallows because they were hammered for so many days and focus on the deep water. Was it good idea? Not so much. You need to know the lake to chose the right deep spots. Like 90% of the water is empty and we learnt that the hard way. Only fish we found were in a spot were we saw other boats fishing. We tried it when the others left and we managed to get one small pike and I lost a bigger one.
In the meantime we decided to fill perch quota – 3 over 20 cm – and it took us maybe 10 minutes. We caught a few around 30 cm and we went back to pike fishing.

We decided to finish the day on shallows again and finally we had a proper number of strikes. We caught a few fish between 60 and 65 cm that filled our paper. So after the second day we were at 16th place. Huge improvement after the terrible day one.

Day 3 – we decided to go after big mommas. Were we successful? Not so much. We had only two fish during the whole day. One – 74 – we landed, the second – over 90 – we didn’t. So, the improvement was very small and we fell to 29th position at the end.

We didn’t expect to be amongst the top teams but secretly we dreamed about getting into top 10. Now I know it was almost impossible. All the top positions were taken by local teams. They know the water and they know how to catch these crazy Irish pike. We are completely amateurs comparing to them. But still we enjoyed these days and I’m very happy we had an opportunity to have so much fun and additionally we’ve learnt a lot. Are we going to do it again? Definitely ! 🙂