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It’s the time of the year here in Ireland most anglers put away there salt water rods and dust the cobwebs off there fresh water gear.
The Irish Kayak Angling Muckno Competition in Castleblanney, it’s the one I dread every year and as I keep saying fresh water fishing is not my strongest area, tho I was joined first in this comp the previous 2 years in a row….. a fluke possibly.
We started the comp as usual with a safety brief and radio check as usual to make sure every angler experienced or new had an idea of the area and a means of contact to everyone else.

Once on the water I went straight to a mark that I was catching Roach and Perch on the day before……. Once I had the kayak wedged into some reeds I casted a dead bait out on my pike rod and set it to the side, took my small float setup out equipped with a size 16 hook and some maggots and started to fish for the smaller species I needed.
The comp consisted of the first person to catch 1 Pike, 1 perch and 2 other course species with the joker being a trout.
Literally as soon as I dropped a maggot over the side I caught my first species, a small Roach, followed by what sealed like hundreds more. A couple of these where hybrids so that put me on 2 species…… but there was no sign of the perch that I caught plenty of the day before. I was fairly sure I would eventually catch one so I stayed put………approximately 3 hours later my pike rod had a we tug and a nice run… I lifted into it and fish on, a short time later I had a pike on my knee, and a bloody decent one at that well up into double figures.

Three species down and one to go for the win………….Then Mike Thomson announced over the Vhf he had just completed the challenge… Well bummer to that, the pressure was now on to catch these elusive Perch.

Change of location to the other side of the venue and within 2 minutes I caught my Perch followed by a couple more.
I then realised that there was an hour or so left of the comp and that if I could catch the Joker species I could still take the win. I changed to two trawling set ups, one with a small Mepp and one with a small copper spoon and went in search of a trout with no avail……
I did catch another Pike on my way in to the bank tho with minutes to go before the deadline….

It’s a super tough water to fish at the best of times and I’m nearly sure everyone of the 30 odd anglers that attended caught something, the weather was fair most of the day but the wind did pick up from time to time making things tricky.

I was also well impressed with the new Raymarine Elements first time on fresh water, the image quality and features are literally unbelievable, I will have to do a separate write up on the unit alone soon.

I finished the day off in second place with only myself and Mike completing the challenge. The crack around the campfire and stories….. Well I’ll not go into it, but it’s certainly one of the best meets of the year…….

Until next time
Tight lines….