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Well as the winter approaches and the year nears to an end we had the final of 6 heats part of the all Ireland championship in Lough Mucknoo Co.Monaghan.

It’s a pretty handy location for myself to reach just 1.5 hours away. I packed the van and prepared my fresh water fishing tackle….. not my strongest area this fresh water angling tho I thought I’d give it a bash as I do enjoy fishing for pike and other fresh water species!!!!

The venue is a tough one to fish so I planed to head down on the Friday for a bit of practice before the competition on Saturday, as usual these things don’t always work out as I got held up.
The morning of the comp was beautiful tho the weather rapidly deteriorated as the day went on making fishing next to impossible with most anglers retreating to the shore for safety a few hours before the competition finishing time.

I fished dead baits drifting with the suspended just above the bottom for most of the day with no luck at all. A quick change of tactics to lures and I had a small jack pike within minutes on a Westin Ricky roach lure in headlight pattern.
I spend a bit of time locating some nice drop offs around the lough on my Raymarine Dragonfly 5 pro that held good shoals of baitfish and fished lures down threw them and tight on the bottom under them.

I also spend quite some time ground baiting with, ground bait, maggots and sweat corn for some other species on a simple float set up with a size 14 hook. This resulted in one small Rudd, a welcome addition to the pike as this was a species competition also and with a lot of reports of blanks on the radios I was happy to return to shore minutes before the time was up.

Once on shore I soon realised I was on the verge on have hypothermia, it was soo cold for so long I numbed off and never noticed off how bad of shape I was in. It took quite some time sitting around the fire and many warm drinks before returning to normal.

Just in time for the prize giving too……. where my efforts seen me take first place…. quite a shock…. as I said earlier fresh water fishing is certainly not my strongest point tho I look forward to the competition again next year and as always the crack was 90!!!!