Whenever a planned trip is getting closer, I become obsessed for tying lots of flies. I’m so thrilled that I tie so many types of flies, that some of them will not even end up at my leader.

On our last Rodtrip, I remembered that I’d tied a small popper only a couple of days before our departure. It should cast easily and had a weed guard, so my subconscience knew that I had to try it. That morning, last May, I was fishing a shallow area with Mathias in a small bay of the lake. I suddenly remembered this small popper and decided to give it a try to fish the margins.

After some 15 minutes without much action, I cast it out, and watched to check out how Mathias was doing, always keeping an eye on my motionless popper. I was just thinking by myself how crazy it would be if a pike attacked my popper, while laying motionless on the surface for two minutes.

No sooner I was thinking about this situation, a pike came out of nowhere and just crushed it in a huge boil. A very powerful fight was on and gave the new Vision Daddy Ti a good workout. After five long minutes, I finally managed to net this 80 cm fat beauty, which was in very good condition. Damn, popper fishing can be awesome !

Big Pike

When you leave for a trip to Ireland, you really hope to catch some big pike. When thinking big pike, I mean 90+ cm, and why not even bigger. But even in Ireland you still need some luck and work hard for it.

Our trip is getting into its last days, and my big fish is still to find. Shit, I won’t return to Belgium without a big one I hope ?! We decide to spent the afternoon on a lake we had fished last year with good success. Will this be the lake ? The hotspot on this lake is quickly checked by our friends, while me and Mathias are taking our time to fish out a nice shallow spot with lots of vegetation. Mathias connects with two nice fish on this spot.

We finally arrive at the hotspot where our friends were able to catch some nice pike. I decide to invest some time in analyzing how I’ll be tackling this spot and try a new fishing strategy. In fact, I change my fluoro leader, wire line, fly, colour, size, length of my leader, etc. After changing into this setup, I noticed a small zone where our friends didn’t fish yet, and no fly covered it yet.

I’m thinking to myself : this is now or never for my big fish, and I focus completely on my fishing. First cast, which is fished out without no obvious signs, and I lengthen the line for my second cast, which I decide to start it straight away with a slow rolly polly. A couple of seconds later, I get a take. Not that kind of violent take but you strike anyway.

The fish swims in my direction, and I think to myself it must be another jack pike! Once it gets almost to the belly boat, it turns and the head shakes that follow make me realize that it is a nice fish after all ! When it surfaces after a short but hard fight, Mathias shouts to me : ‘Fuck, it’s a meter plus pike Jeremy, it’s just enormous !’ … Thanks for adding some stress Mathias ! After some more runs, I manage to grap it, and prepare to measure its size : 92 cm ! A really fat and super strong fish that is. Wonder how I felt that moment ? Just look at the pic, and guess !

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