Sunday, 15 January 2012

Pike Fish-In On The Old River Irlam - Top Hat Optional

Today was our Pike fish-in on the Old River Irwell in Irlam. The Old River is an old bend of the river which was cut off when the Manchester Ship Canal was built, and is now a still water of about 3 acres. Long and broad, an ideal match fishery. Well it was until a horrific pollution incident back in 2008 devastated the water. Thousands of gallons of raw sewage entered the water course over a time period of a couple of months and no authority seemed to take responsibility.

Not really the place for a pike match you might think?? but the local kids have been banging out jacks for fun the last few years, there are a few shoals of small roach coming back through - but the clincher was the recent report by a reliable source of a 15lb pike coming out a couple of weeks ago.

Salford Friendly are in the process of taking over the lease on this water which we will add to our portfolio of free fishing waters in Greater Manchester, and last year we held two matches to see what sort of fish stocks were left in the lake ( pretty disappointing but not surprising considering the circumstances).
So as a bit of a social, and also to determine the levels of pike stocks in the venue, we organised a Salford Friendly members, and (my favourite fishing forum) fish in.

Paul and I arrived before dawn as we both think that the hour before and hour after dawn can be the most productive of the day. We nabbed the swims behind the pub and set up float fished roach dead baits.
Paul had 5 pike between 1lb and 5lbs before 9.30am plus a couple of dropped runs. I sadly didn't get a touch. All of his fish coming from the top corner of the lake.

Throughout the day - we were joined by various pals (new and old) Graham, Conrad, Barry, Scott, Adam, Nick & Tom plus non fishing visits by many others who came down to see how things were progressing.

Adam set up midway down the lake and had two nice Pike to about 5lbs on float fished dead bait.

Tom caught his FIRST EVER PIKE on a silver rapala - as secretary of the world oldest angling club he does a nice line in 19th century head gear.

And Conrad had a nice brace of fish the best bringing the scales round to 12 and a half pounds. The best and last  fish of the day - on ledgered sardine - well done.

Barry was best of the rest with a small perch early on - but sadly a couple of us had a long day with little interest in our baits. As we all know - its not all about the catching - the company was great, the knowledge passed around was invaluable - and we've decided were going to do it all again on the Irwell in the Centre of Manchester late on in February - I'll email you all the details when we've sorted out the date.


  1. sounds like a great day was had by all

  2. It was really nice to see the photo's of so many great Pike coming out of the old Irwell. Its been years since I've fished it due to the pollution that killed hundreds of fish. Although I saw many Carp and Bream floating belly up I didn't actualy see any dead Pike and they seem to be thriving. While walking round the River/Lake I spoke to some kids fishing for silvers who informed me that Eels were coming out in numbers and this perhaps is contributing to the happy Pike population. Work permitting I want' to get down to your next Pike event in the city.