Galway brothers land massive fish on first outing

Galway brothers land massive fish on first outing
Cian and Conor McGaugh

No codding – a Galway boy has scaled new fishy heights by hooking a catch almost as big as himself!

Cian McGaugh, (7), in his first time river fishing, landed this monster pike, weighing 11.5lbs or about a third of his own weight. The pike, which took an almighty effort to reel in, was nearly as tall as Cian.

And not to be outdone, his older brother, Conor (9), on the same fishing trip, reeled in a whopping trout, which weighed in at 5.5lbs.

It is believed the two young brothers from Cloonee, Headford, who are students in Headford National School, broke records with their catches – the first seven-year-old in the country to reel in a pike of this size and the first nine-year-old to land a trout so big.

Cian, who landed the ‘monster’ pike, had never before thrown a worm, and it was his first time river fishing.

The Galway brothers had planned to go lake fishing as usual near Greenfields and Ballycurrin on the Corrib on Good Friday. But the lake was rough and stormy and their father, Richard McGaugh, decided instead to go to the Black River near Headford, three miles from home.

“It was Cian’s first day on the river. I just had his line set up and he threw out the worm and float . . . I was helping Connor when Cian gave a shout,” explained Richard.

Cian added: “The rod was lashing back and forth and daddy thought it was me messing. Then we all saw this monster, a black and white monster. It took daddy ages to reel him in. Conor and I were shouting and jumping. When we led him in, the pike was jumping too and nearly fell back in.”

No sooner had the monster been reeled in and Conor’s rod began to move – he’d hooked a big catch, too, a large trout.

“I only had one hand on it and the line moved and the made the reel spin. The fish took off up into the rocks. I was not letting go. We ran with it – like in football – and he stopped. Daddy had a net that was just about big enough,” says Conor.

Their grandmother, or nanny, Mary from Shrule Road, Headford, held a party for family and friends to celebrate the haul.