Saturday, 11 October 2008

Ireland October 2008

Well, I am exhausted as i write this but also exhilerated after just returning from a super week in Ireland organised by Chester Preds Top Ireland guide Steve 'Gulper' Lewis. It was a crazy last minute phone call from Steve that persuaded me to make the trip after someone had dropped out. I managed to get cover at work after a serious amount of begging and then Steve booked me a flight because he was taking the boats over on the friday and i didn't finish work until saturday morning at 6.15am and had to be at the airport for 10.30am. Mrs Gulper; the charismatic Dawn picked me up on the other side and i was in Ireland at long last. The birth place of my mother and the place of many piking dreams; especially after the stories and photos i have had from Steve over recent years.
Above are some of the photos from this memorable week. Lots of fun and some super fish in some horrible weather which didn't help the fishing but it didn't deter us and with Steve's experience of the locality we manged to land some big lumps. Fishing isn't all about catching fish and in Ireland the social side is second to none. A few pints of Guiness were enjoyed of course and some great food eating out, but also sampling some of Steve's kitchen skills; which are equal to his boating/fishing. A big thankyou for Steve's friend from Coventry; Baz Stokes who skippered the Predator 3 boat. I shared some laughter, great conversation and a remarkable brace of 20's with this genuine gentleman. It was a priviledge to fish with him. I must give a special mention too to Steve's dad Geoff because he has taken to piking like the preverbial duck to water and has again caught some great pike. He produced the highlight of the trip whilst we all were bait fishing by managing to land an awesome Esox of 17lb 12oz on waggler gear; 4lb line and a size 14 hook. 25mins of heart-thumping action which we all enjoyed tremendously. Geoff You are a star! You made me laugh constantly and well done for some super fish.
I was lucky enough to land my 3rd biggest Pike on my first trip to Ireland (29lb 2oz) and out of the blue in awful conditions a couple of days later added a 21lb 12oz fish at the end of a difficult day where Steve had to use all his knowledge and skill to find us some fish. Baz and Geoff got new PB's 27lb and 18lb 5oz respectively and although Steve didn't get amongst the big lumps he had quantity with a best of over 15lb. He worked hard for his fish whipping the water into a froth with a classic copper spoon and it paid dividends; putting fish after fish on board his boat. The 2 skippers have a little competition between boats and the trophy was hard fought and saw the fight go in to the last day with just a point between them. On the final day it was testing conditions again; more rain than i have seen in a while and Steve and Geoff managed one last push and managed to take a few fish and lift the trophy whilst i blanked for the 1st day of the trip and Baz managed just a single figure predator.
Great memories...........Can't wait to do it all again.....especially the Guiness.


David Edwards said...

Tough trip then Mike??? Glad you had a ball!

Mike Ashcroft said...

Thanks Dave! Super trip mate. Some great fish in splendid company in a beautiful country. Perfect!

Anonymous said...

Awesome Mike Simply Awesome
You Summed up what was Obviously a wonder Trip in Wonderous Company Very Well !!

The Fury was Obviously Unleashed to its full Potential

Super Fishing !! Well Done All

buzz said...

worth putting up with the weather for poundage like that eh mike ? great looking water too.