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After teaching at Delphi Lodge I went to fish some of "my lakes" in the Monaghan area which I used to fish about 30 years ago when I worked there. At that time they were more or less untouched as I was the only one fishing for pike at that time. The Irish preferred trout and salmon as pike were said to be "ugly fish that cannot be eaten as they eat snakes and rats". This was good for me because at that time and my several visits to this area in the following years I caught well more than a thousand pike there.

The three days of fishing last week were not bad. I caught about 6-8 fish every day, but that was less than have of the average catch about 30 years ago. The fish were significantly smaller than before with the largest shown in the picture. Smaller fish mean less big pike. So the formerly excellent lakes are obviously not a good choice any more due to overfishing. Locals told me that people from Poland and eastern EU states had killed and taken a lot of pike depite of the fact that this is against the law. The bad weather and low temperatures during the last days might have put the big pike down, but this would not explain the pike size.

So if you decide to go to Ireland for pike fishing in the future better use the large river systems of the Erne or Shannon area. These areas still produce many good pike and are less affected to overfishing and poaching.


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