During the summer of 2012, I had the opportunity to spend a trolling session on Lough Corrib. Famous for its superb trout fishing on the fly, it also produces some of Europe’s largest brown trout in the form of the wonderfully marked Ferox. On this particular day, I had the company of Inland Fisheries officer and good friend, Mark Corps. It has to be said that trolling on Lough Corrib was a new experience for both of us, and a tall order to find a Ferox on our first trip. This was more of a fact-finding mission to be honest. We had also left it a little late in the year, with March-April being a better bet.
First stop was a call into Corrib Tackle, Galway, and the well equipped tackle shop owned and run by Derek Walsh. He provided us with the correct trolling mounts, great advice and a few locations to try out. Launching from the slipway on the Oughterard side of Lough Corrib, we were only minutes away from possible trout heaven. With half-pound roach attached as per instructions, we were now angling on the “holy grail” of Irish trout waters. Just being here was almost enough; but not quite! I still wanted my specimen.
Mark opted to troll lures, and as I had chosen large dead-baits, hopefully this would offer a variety of temptations for maximum results. During the day, the sounder showed some interesting marks and fish signals, but unfortunately, the trout did not want to know. Travelling up and over a steep under-water incline, Mark took a powerful hit on the lure, but it soon became obvious that we had found Esox rather than Ferox!
Still, it was nice to find something to put a decent bend in the rod. She wasn’t a massive fish by Corrib standards, but put up a valiant scrap on balanced gear. It put a smile on Mark’s face!
Our first Corrib pike, a touch over twelve pounds, and it turned out to be a pug-nose into the bargain! We failed to find our Ferox Trout on this occasion, but we learnt a great deal about Lough Corrib, its terrain and the methods required to find fish on this huge water. The Ferox run big here, and for most anglers, they are a fish of a lifetime, and we all know that a fish of a lifetime is exactly that!
My initial exploration of this fabulous water, amidst some of the most stunning scenery in Europe has simply wet my appetite for more. If God spares me, I will be back again in 2013 to “dip my toes” deeper into this magical, famous and extremely addictive part of West Ireland.