Angling Notes: K Club welcomes students for memorable day of pike fishing

Some huge fish landed as students revel in their visit to splendid Straffan facility

James’s St CBS student, Michael Williams with his est. 27lb pike. From left, Ciarán Ward and K Club fishery manager, John O’Neill

James’s St CBS student, Michael Williams with his est. 27lb pike. From left, Ciarán Ward and K Club fishery manager, John O’Neill

 

It’s not every day a group of teenagers converge on one of the finest golf courses in Europe.

Well, that’s what happened last Tuesday as 15 Transition-Year students from James’s Street CBS, Dublin 8, spent a most enjoyable day fishing for pike within the Palmer Course complex of the five-star K Club in Straffan, Co Kildare.

Fishery manager John O’Neill invited the students to a day’s fishing, a day which, I doubt, they will never forget. The event was touch and go as the lakes had frozen over during the night, however, this quickly cleared to give a glorious day of sunshine and a fishing experience ‘out of this world’.

The sink-and-draw method with frozen pollen proved the winning tactic although the float had its moments too. Six huge pike, all double figures from 18lb to 27lb were brought it, quickly photographed and returned. As John pointed out: “These fish were put in as jack pike and I’m convinced there are even bigger fish in there.”

James’s St CBS transition year student, Jason Brophy with his 18lb pike, ably assisted by IFI’s Des Chew at K Club
James’s St CBS transition year student, Jason Brophy with his 18lb pike, ably assisted by IFI’s Des Chew at K Club

Louise Shelvin (16) from Basin Street was first off the mark with a 20-pounder. “This is the biggest fish I have ever caught. We were fishing Lough Ramor recently and I caught about 20 coarse fish, but nothing of this size,” she said.

Next up was Jason Brophy from Tallaght with an 18lb recently-spawned pike. But the day belonged to Michael Williams from Basin Lane who had the magic touch with three fish including one lost in the reeds. His biggest pike was estimated to weigh a staggering 27lb (almost as big as himself).

Louise Shelvin (16) from James’s St CBS with a 20lb pike alongside K Club fishery manager John O’Neill (left) and Ciarán Ward
Louise Shelvin (16) from James’s St CBS with a 20lb pike alongside K Club fishery manager John O’Neill (left) and Ciarán Ward

The day was part of a 12-week project which includes outings to coarse and trout fisheries, fly-tying and casting instruction.

“Basically, the course is an introduction to angling made possible by the generous sponsorship of Eir,” said Olive Crowe, a schoolteacher at James’s CBS.

The project is the brainchild of former Eir employee, Ciarán Ward.

“This is our second year working with the transition students and we’re off to Annamoe fishery in two weeks’ time for some trout fishing,” he said.

Special mention is extended to fisheries stalwarts Josie Mahon and Des Chew who provided hands-on assistance on the day. Their help and advice was invaluable to the students.

John O’Neill pointed out that the entire complex has 26 lakes, all stocked with various species including bream, carp, pike, brown and rainbow trout.

James’s St CBS transition year students at the Club with IFI’s Josie Mahon (left) and teacher Olive Crowe (right)
James’s St CBS transition year students at the Club with IFI’s Josie Mahon (left) and teacher Olive Crowe (right)

“Our trout are huge, starting at about 5lb and can provide fantastic sport,” he said.

Fishing rates are €65 per person plus €50 ghillie (two additional anglers €65 each). About three hours’ duration. For booking, call +353 (1) 601 7200.

Irish Water fined for River Dee pollution

At a recent sitting of Ardee District Court, Irish Water pleaded guilty to the discharge of deleterious matter to the River Dee in May of last year. The offence related to a poor quality discharge from a wastewater treatment plant at Ardee, Co Louth.

Irish Water co-operated fully with investigations and remediation works were carried out. Upgrade works are currently underway to increase capacity at the wastewater treatment plant. Irish Water was fined €4,500 with costs and expenses awarded to IFI amounting to €4,381.61.

Burke’s bar hosts Whelan’s lecture

Don’t forget Prof Ken Whelan’s talk on ‘Managing Wild Brown Trout Stocks in Western Lakes – Challenges and Opportunities’ in Burkes Bar & Restaurant (Coolin Lounge), Clonbur, Co Galway tonight (Monday) at 8pm. Admission is free and all are welcome.

River Tolka season up and running

The season opening on the River Tolka on St Patrick’s Day went ahead in bitterly cold blizzard conditions but this not deter the big turnout of juniors, some ready for the off from 7am!

This year, the Blanchardstown section was entirely catch and release which proved a great success. The competition was organised by the Tolka River Environmental Alliance. 

The winning group (with dads) at the opening day on the River Tolka.
The winning group (with dads) at the opening day on the River Tolka.

At the Finglas section, the Tolka Trout Anglers’ Association attracted a large attendance and prizes at both events were sponsored by IFI, ably assisted by officers Josie Mahon and Des Chew.

Results: 1, Callum Dwyer; 2, Christof Crerocki; Joint 3rd, Adam Wade and Declan Thomas.

Lough Sheelin hosts Kilroy Cup

The Lough Sheelin Trout Protection Association will kick-start the fishing season with their annual early season competition, the Kilroy Cup on Saturday, March 31st.

This is a members-only competition but membership is available on the day. Starting time from Kilnahard Pier is 11am to 5pm with a 16in two-fish bag limit. For further details, contact Thomas Lynch at 087-913 2033.

angling@irishtimes.com

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