Matt Dean is a serious pike angler living in Fermanagh. Addicted to fishing, he is one of Irelands top pikers. Before I got into piking I was introduced to that particular branch of Irelands fishing by Matts wonderful articles in Irish Angler. so here is Matts interview
Me: What was your earliest memory of fishing?
MD: Some of my earliest memories are when I was around 10 years old and my father took me stick float fishing on the beautiful river Stour in Dorset and catching good roach trotting a float through a steady swim, the Stour is a lovely clear river with great banks of ranuculus weeds and lovely gravelly clear swims and you can see your fish but learning a stealthy approach paid off and I really miss this style of fishing as it was so visual. I was fishing from 5 years old but I can’t really remember the early days, I think the day my father took me to the R.Stour was the day I fell in love with coarse fishing…
Me: How did it become more serious?
MD: My Father was a keen fly fisherman and had good stretches of fishing through his club on the river Test and Itchen two very beautiful rivers and as I grew older he taught me to fly fish but I can remember only being able to get a fly out to the grayling as my techniques wasn’t so good back then, but the want to be able to catch trout slowly made you a better caster. I didn’t realize how lucky I was back then to have this on my doorstep.
Me: Whats the fishing like where you live?
MD: Well… living in Fermanagh again has its benefits and to say the fishing isn’t outstanding would be a lie
Me: What was your favorite pike catches?
MD: I have had many memorable catches but my Erne 31lber was my favourite, This really answers the question above, I used to walk around the match pegs on the erne and ask the matchmen if they had any pike bother when the fishing classic was on. I used to do this after work around 4.30 and then I would go home and get my tea and then go out in the evenings and fish the spots the matchmen had said they had bother from. I seldom blanked around this time with the positive info I had learned earlier and I suppose I taught me to be mobile and keep working the swims. Well after 10 mins on this particular evening I was working a roach through the swim sink and draw style when I got a tremendous take and had the battle of my life lasting around 10 minutes I guess. Before I slipped the net under a beautiful plump fish at that point in my pike fishing my best was 19.12oz so I skipped the 20’s and my first specimen pike was from the river section of the Erne, yes very memorable evening – It still is hard to sit in and 12 years later I was out fishing tonight from the jetties as soon as the clocks give us a bit more time to fish, two jacks under 5lbs was my reward for 2 hours roving about but you never know when another specimen will strike.
Me: What are the first dead baits you will reach for?
MD: I mainly lure fish these days but having had so many good fish on mackerel Its hard to go past them, they are usually out on one of my rods
Me: What lost fish hurt the most?
MD: I was fishing castle Leslie for two days and I had a great fish on from the bank just as I was about to pack away on the second evening – I had it on for around 4 minutes when it slipped the hooks – I never saw it and I never really had it under control, with the history of that place and the swim I was in it still is hard to write about it, I am over it though…
Me: Whats your advice to someone starting piking?
MD: Go with an experienced pike fisher, and learn the ways of how to catch, unhook and hold them and then you will enjoy your pike fishing more. Take it step by step and read up there is plenty of information and good books available these days
Me: You also love your tope fishing, how did that begin?
MD: Some other time I will answer this one!
Me: Where in the world would you most like to fish and for what species?
MD: Many choices but I would really love to catch a peackock bass from the amazon
Me: What are your fishing plans for 2014?
MD: To get a thirty pounds pike on a lure – if it doesn’t happen I will have fun catching all the fish that come my way – Oh yes and I am going to do a bit more coarse fishing this year for Tench and Bream – watch my blog updates on www.pikemania.co.uk