After months of organising the Llangorse species hunt comp, the weekend had finally arrived and it was time for me to take the annual trip up to this stunning part of the world in the Brecon Beacons.
I had packed the car and was ready for the journey for eleven-ish and with only and hour and half’s journey ahead of me it was a nice leisurely stroll up to the lake, the weather was quite glorious giving us some lovely well deserved and long over due sunshine and the car reading a nice warm fourteen degrees , looks like I was in for a pleasant weekend!
My kayak of choice for the weekend was the new Wilderness Ride 115X, a nice compact kayak that was sent down to me to put through its paces and review, this will not be the full review but a little insight of my findings on the superb little yak.
I arrived on the campsite at just after 1:30 pm to be greeted by the usual faces on these meets and immediately pitched in with the setting up of the big tent as this was to house a few of the South Wales Kayak Angler lads over the next two nights.
It was nearing 5:00 pm on completion of the camping arrangements and I had already arranged to meet the lads for a few beers and some food down the village pub so off I went and was met by a few already intoxicated kayakers!
The morning of the competition had arrived and i was up at 6 feeling quite excited at the thought of chasing the pike again, this is one species that that has avoided capture every time I fish for it and has become a bit of a joke within the club and quite frustrating for me as an angler.
The booking in was for 9:30 am and I had got there early to get a breakfast and get a good seat, this was needed as i was the organiser and needed to have a good position within the cafe to cope with all the entrants.
All the entrants had gone down to the lake and it was my turn to get ready, i ventured down with the Ride 115X all kited out and ready to fish for 10:30 and was surprised to see that there was a good few anglers there still getting ready, this was a speedy getting ready for me and it didn’t go unnoticed by a few of the SWKA lads with some leg pulling and friendly banter but hey I've got broad shoulders and used to them now.
The weather wasn’t the best, blowing quite a stiff breeze not to cold but we were having the odd squally shower that chucked a mixture of stuff at us from snow to rain, you name it we had it but it was worth it when the sun came out and basked in a nice spring heat overlooking a stunning view of snow capped mountains.
Time for the launch, i was in a bit of a dilemma as the Ride 115X hadn’t had an anchor trolley fitted at the time so I had agreed to tie off to one of my fishing buddies Steve Maver, we chatted about areas and decided to head up to the top of the lake and tuck in by the reeds which would give us some protection from the squally showers and wind.
Launched the 115X and mounted it side saddle to which a load of people and myself witnessed how stable the boat was with very little movement on entry, so I started to paddle and got into the middle of the lake where the wind was really blowing, this was a concern for me as on the Ride 115X you are seated quite high and my initial thoughts were that the wind would catch me and make the paddle a struggle, How wrong was I, it managed the weather perfectly, in fact it was a pleasure to paddle with one of the most comfortable seats I have sat on, not as quick as the trident that i was following but I knew that anyway due to its size of 11 ft but it kept up with it and I was impressed with the capabilities of this little gem.
On arriving at our anchor point I tied off to Steve as i hadn’t had the time to rig an anchor trolley, and immediately baited up with some dead bait on a float rig with a depth of 4ft and cast out near the reeds, within five minutes the float was under and I was into my first pike, not big but it will do as this species as evaded capture for some.
Around lunchtime the sun was beating down and adding some warmth to the day but on occasions the weather would turn and chuck some nasty stuff at us, These were the times i was really glad i had the Aleutian drysuit on where i could chuck the hood over my head and snuggle into the warmth of the collar, a godsend on days like these.
Shortly after Lunch i was into my second pike, this time on a home made lure kindly lent to me by a good friend, although small again this one was a fighter and turned out to be a bit of sport on the retrieval to the yak.
I think you can tell the excitement in the video of my first pike.
Time was now getting on and things had gone quiet, sadly that second pike was to be my last for the day so I decided to head back and and get showered and ready for the prize giving in the pub in the evening.
I managed to wangle a small price for the capture of a pike and was glad to see that two of my club members had taken first and second place.
Just a quick look back on the Wilderness Systems Ride 115X, the kayak handle the windy conditions perfectly, it paddled with ease and tracked really well, I found it a really nice well made and well laid out kayak with plenty of room, I am not one of these that will put a review up after a look or a quick launch, I like to put things through its paces and then get the review up, so keep your eyes peeled on the blog as the review will be up in the coming months. – Ed