With marine forecasts still not ideal for kayak angling, we decided to make for Lough Corrib to try to identify a couple of areas that will be worth returning to during this winter’s predator campaign.
Lough Corrib is one of Ireland’s largest lakes and the limestone rock in the area lends itself to clear, healthy waters that fish thrive in. The pike, perch and wild brown trout here are among some of the largest in Europe, not to mention the other coarse species that inhabit the lake – roach, rudd and bream to name a few.
The last couple of winters have seen me spread myself too thinly when it came to pike fishing. I fished too many waters and none of them for any extended period of time. This winter I’d like to try far fewer areas but give them far more attention.
Last week’s foray up the River Corrib unearthed a couple of likely looking spots very close to the house, prime locations for prebaiting for pike. The venue is close to home and should lend itself very well to the method; accessible only by kayak, it would be very unlikely to be plundered by another angler.
Close to home; box ticked. Further afield; still need some venues. So this afternoon we drove towards the northern end of the lake. We traveled light and the mission was to find a couple of areas that would be worth returning to. Emma decided that once again she would like to accompany me.
We drove around for a while before ‘finding’ a small secluded bay with relatively easy kayak access. Lined with reeds, the place screamed pike but on getting out onto the water the echo sounder told a different story. With no more than a metre of water in the vast bay, this was one area that I have to strike off the list for winter fishing.
The lack of any real depth of water means that I will not find pike here in the depths of a bitter winter. Deeper water is what I’m looking for.
The day wasn’t a wasted journey though. What may not be suitable for midwinter will be suitable for early spring and this small bay had everything present for promising spawning grounds – lots of reedbeds, access for fish from three deeper areas of the lake and shallow water that will warm under the springtime sun to facilitate the spawning of pike. One to return to for sure.
With a couple of lure rods and a selection of lures with us, Emma and I decided that we may as well at least have a couple of casts. We drifted and cast, working the leadheads and plugs but for the short time we were fishing, we could not entice any of the lakes inhabitants to bite.
With the light fading we headed for the shore and then home. Slightly disappointing not to have found good areas for winter fishing, delighted with a very inviting area to return to in March.