Pierre Monjarret – awesome french pike angler living in exile in Ireland and in general a super nice guy. Member of team CWC. That is the short introduction of the pike catching machine we have learned to know from Fly vs. Jerk fishing season 7 and 8 fishing together with Trumman. Having had a few chats with Pierre we can also confirm that Pierre is a very calm guy, great to talk to! We had the pleasure of having a chat a couple of weeks after Pierre had landed his new personal best – a stunning pike of 126 cm and 15,5kg. No wonder he was relaxed during our talks :-).
Pierre is based in Ireland and working as a guide in Lough Derg, the second largest lake in Ireland. A 35 km long pike dream famous for windy conditions and big pike. A cool area with a lot of big bait fish including roach, bream and trout providing high energy for fast growing, pelagic pike.
Lough Derg is not a lake where you fish for numbers, you fish for big fish. The water is quite murky. There is always wind and the Lough is a part of the river Shannon system so there is a lot of water moving all the time.
Can you introduce yourself Pierre?
I am 30 years old based in Ireland. I was born in France, close to Bordeaux and was living there, addicted to carp fishing and sea bass fishing, until I was 19. Then I had the opportunity to go Ireland and start guiding in Lough Derg. I was the quite fed up with carp fishing but I enjoyed lure fishing and pike was, and very much still is, my favourite species. I work here as a guide for pike and perch and I have been a part of team CWC since 2014.
And yes, I have to admit: I am addicted to big pike. I have the opportunity to go fishing quite often – over 200 days per year. I never fish for small jacks in the shallow areas. I always go for the big mamas of the deep:-)
What are you up to?
Well actually we are not fishing in Ireland at the moment – we end the season in November. From November to April the conditions are too rough, I mean the fishing is great but the wind is too much. So now I am here in Sweden now for 2 months working. It’s really nice here in Sweden – I like it. Maybe I get the opportunity to try ice fishing now. I have never tried that. Then I am off to some new adventures. I am going fishing for catfish in Spain. It is going to be really cool.
And then I will go for 1 month fishing for Pike in Italy in lake Major. It is really a great lake with low fishing pressure and huge fish. But the fish are few and spread out. I reckon I need a lot of time on the water to find them.
Talking about huge fish – you recently caught your new personal best Pike. Congratulations!!! Please tell us a bit about that!
Thank you. Yes, it was really one of those days you know. It was a really crazy day. The biggest Pike, and my new personal best was 15,5 kg pike 126 cm. But that was not the only fish caught that day. Me and a friend caught 4 fish in 1,5 hours with the top 3 weighing 12,5kg, 14,4 kg and 15,5 kg. They really had a feeding window at 11 o’clock 🙂
It was really crazy. We were fishing, as most often, pelagic at a deep of 12m with baits fishing at a depth of 2m. That’s where we caught all the fish. Then we had a few guys trolling around us with down riggers. When we met them at the shore afterwards it turned out they had not caught anything! They were probably under the fish. Fishing pelagic does not mean you have to fish deep!
Pelagic fishing is nothing we have really done before. What do you think about when fishing pelagic style?
Most of the time it is about finding the baitfish where the big ladies hang out. It means finding schools of baitfish. Once you have located the baitfish you start to fish. The depth you are fishing in is decided by where the pike food is as well as the temperature.
Normally I look for areas that looks interesting and holds baitfish. Then I start a drift through that area and fish around, on top and sometimes below the baitfish. It normally pays off to have an eye on the sonar to see if you can find any pikes there. Then you know the depth.
During the winter time, I don’t look for bait fish. Then it is more about finding the pike itself on the sonar. I fish for single fish plain and simple. I use the Side imaging, find the fish, mark it, set up a drift and work it. If it does not pay of I do the drift again. Then I move to the next fish.
We also have two very special seasons in my waters where specific patterns seem to work.
One is when the mayflies are hatching. They hatch and drift out on the lake. They are big and full of energy and the trout love them so the trout congregates around small areas, focused on feeding. And the pike know that and they love trout… Big, trout coloured baits work very good during that period.
And then in September there is another phenomenon in my waters. The pike seem to really focus on eating their relatives. So again, big baits, this time pike coloured baits normally do the trick. I really like fishing with swimbaits. It is so effective and easy to fish. Why do you not use more swimbaits in Sweden? It is so good!
Talking about baits – what baits do you like to use?
Honestly, I have found a new favourite. The Trueglide Guppies are crazy good. And I do not say that because I have to promote them. I say that because I love them. I fell in love with them the first time I saw them. They have very good action and the main trick – they stay on the depth you want them to fish on. If you let it sink to 7 m it will stay, fishing, at 7 m.
The trick in my type of fishing is about fishing at the right depth. Normally the first solution for fishing deeper water would be to go for a plastic shad. But sometimes that action does not trigger the fish. Then the Guppie’s slow jerk and crazy movement really can trigger the fish.
Regarding colours, I think sometimes it matters, for sure. But mainly it is about speed and presentation but I do love natural perch colour, pike colour, trout and sometimes purple.
Fly vs Jerk has started airing season 8. Now you and Trumman are participating for the second year. How does it feel to be back?
Well last year it was all new. Now I have one year of experience and I think it is even more fun now. The line-up is really strong and every year the teams are more prepared and everyone is taking it more seriously. It is not easy. You have to catch a lot and big, very big fish. Are you going for numbers? Well then you need more than 50 fish to be in the race.
And when all teams can start where they want in Europe, conditions and waters will play a bigger role. And tactics… It is difficult… I mean I love to fish for big fish but that means that there may only be 1 or 2 fish per day. It may be fun doing but really boring to look at in TV. So yes – we went for numbers but me and Stefan like big fish so we went for size as well. And you know numbers area is not always the same thing as size are…
It is really cool and it is going to be fun watching the competition developing 🙂
Thanks a lot for the talk and enjoy 2017. It started of well for you Pierre!
//Danne, Mange & Peter