The Mighty Pike
Some Pike have been reported to reach 30 years in age. To Look at, pike are elongated, torpedo-like predators with sharply-pointed heads and sharp teeth. Their coloration is typically grey-green with a mottled or spotted appearance with stripes along its back, perfectly camouflaged among weeds. Individual pike marking patterns are unique, like fingerprints.
- Pike feed on a wide range of food sources, predominantly smaller shoal fish.
- Pike are also cannibalistic, sometimes preying upon smaller members of their own species.
They will also prey on insects and amphibians such as newts or frogs in times when food is scarce, and occasionally on small mammals, like moles or mice when caught water-borne. Small birds such as ducklings may become a target for hungry pike. Pike angling as a key part of general coarse fishing is becoming an increasingly popular pastime in Cavan.
Effective methods for catching this hard-fighting fish include dead baits, lure and more recent and my prefered method on the fly rod. The colour of lure or fly can be influenced by water clarity and weather conditions. Since pike have numerous sharp teeth it is wise to take extreme care when unhooking them. Pike can easily be damaged when handled since they are not as robust as their reputation would suggest. The use of a wet rubber net, pike mattress, steel mitten and surgical forceps to remove hooks is highly recommended on safety grounds for both the angler and more important the fish. Care for the pike should be the pike angler’s utmost concern and barbless hooks can be removed with ease using a foreceps. The handling of pike should be as short as possible before release.
Lough fishing buddies actively encourage catch and release
The pike bye-law 809 provides for the following conservation measures:
- a bag limit of 1 pike in any one day,
- prohibits the killing of any pike greater than 50 cm in length,
- prohibits the possession by any person of more than 1 whole pike less than 50 cm or more than 0.75 kg of pike flesh, this provision does not apply to a person storing pike or pike parts subject to conditions,
- prohibits the possession by any person of more than 12 coarse fish for use as bait subject to conditions.