Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Essex and Suffolk Water (ESW) wants to increase the size of Abberton Reservoir, near Colchester, so safeguard supplies to drought-hit Essex.
But pikers face being excluded from the lake for at least five years while work is being carried out.
And conservation groups like Natural England - formerly English Nature - and the RSPB have already made it clear they would rather fishing did not resume once the scheme is completed.
ESW is meeting representatives of local anglers and PAC members on Tuesday, November 7. The firm has also said it is prepared to meet the PAC to discuss our concerns.
We are determined to keep fishing on Abberton, a historic water where drifter fishing and unhooking mats first saw the light of day.
ESW sent the following to the PAC in response to a request made under freedom of information laws:
"As set out in our previous response Essex & Suffolk Water and their advisers met with English Nature on 28 July 2006 to discuss a number of issues concerned with Abberton Raising, including fishing on the raised reservoir. Representatives from the RSPB were also at that meeting.
"As promised in the previous correspondence set out below is an extract from the agreed minutes of that meeting that concerns fishing on the raised reservoir:
“CG [Chris Gibson of English Nature] agreed that he is happy in principle with the provision of fishing ponds, and both he and RSPB would like to see the designs once ESW is happy with them. CG pointed out that shooting of cormorants would not be allowed in response to complaints from anglers.
"As agreed at the recent meeting with the fishermen at Abberton Reservoir, MD [Miranda Davis, ESW] raised the issue of fishing from Layer Breton causeway either during or after construction of the raised reservoir with CG. CG advised that EN [English Nature] would not want to see fishing either during the construction period, or during the establishment period for the new reservoir and habitat.
"CG advised that the establishment period would be that time until the bird numbers at the site have settled down at or in excess of existing levels.
"At that point, they (EN) would be prepared to consider the re-establishment of fishing at Abberton at a location to be identified having regard to the SPA citation. CG felt that would be at least 5 years post raising of the reservoir.
"CG and CT [Chris Tyas of RSPB] both advised that they would need to understand more about how the birds and fish use the raised reservoir before agreeing whether fishing could occur and, if so, where."
Sunday, October 29, 2006
But his insistance pike need "re-locating" from some rivers cuts no ice with the PAC.
"Boy, have I had some flak since suggesting pike should be thinned out on some rivers," writes the four-times World Champion match angler.
"We are writing in response to comments made by Bob Nudd recently, in an article in a Sunday newspaper, in which he called for a pike cull on a number of Midlands rivers.
As an organisation which has campaigned for pike to be conserved and acknowledged as playing a vital role in a balanced fishery for 30 years, we are calling on your club to see the bigger picture before you act on Mr Nudd's remarks.
There is considerable evidence which shows culls achieve nothing more than an imbalance and an explosion in small pike, which in turn creates a bigger problem.
We enclose a copy of our booklet Pike in Your Waters, which provides more information, for your reference.
We are calling for controlling clubs and owners to distance themselves from Mr Nudd's comments.
We would also appreciate your assurance that you will not be carrying out any cull as a result, as we are aware that Mr Nudd's remarks have caused considerable disquiet among predator anglers.
The Pike Anglers Club is always happy to advise clubs and provide additional information where this would assist them in their efforts to maintain balanced fisheries.
Please get in touch if there's any way we can help."
Goodwill messages came from all over after word got out Scott was unwell.
In a response posted on the PAC forum this weekend, Scott said: "I've got to say thanks to all the well wishers who've contacted me through various methods.
"The concern expressed by many of my pike angling friends has been outstanding and way beyond what I could ever have expected.
"It has certainly cheered me up no end as well as reminding me how many top blokes there are in this game."
A backlog of orders has built up since he's been away, but he reckons this will be cleared by the end of this week.
We've been out of stock on a few sizes of hooded sweatshirts, fleeces and wooly hats but we're expecting a delivery in the next few days and these will be posted by the end of the week.
Thanks to all the members for their help and understanding regarding the Hooded Sweatshirts which were wrongly priced.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
They've sparked a lively debate on the forums of Pike and Predators. Check them out here.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
But he stops short of the apology called for the PAC, to draw a line under the whole sorry incident.
Nudd's column in the News of the World ten days ago said: "There are too many pike in some of our rivers and they need culling."
In Angling Times, he maintains the column was "edited down" and says he would never call for fish to be killed.
"The word cull was used in the article," he admits. "But what I meant was that in some areas where there are lots of pike, they could be relocated to other waters where they could be targetted by pikers."
PAC chairman Colin Goodge said Nudd owed the pike angling world an apology.
"The partial climbdown which was posted on his website is not good enough," he told AT.
Elsewhere, the paper's leader column said: "“To call the column Bob Nudd wrote in last week's NoW regrettable would be a huge understatement.
"Years of scientific research have proved that removing pike from any water is an ecological disaster and that any balanced fishery requires a population of predators.
“After decades of campaigning from the Pike Anglers Club of Great Britain, pike are now considered a fair sporting fish. The days when they were considered vermin are behind us. Or so we'd hoped.
"Last week's NoW column showed the responsibility our top anglers have. It should never be taken for granted - or misused."
The 30ft fyke net was found by PAC members in the Sixteen Foot near March, Cambs, on Saturday.
After releasing the 50 or so eels and other coarse fish it contained, they removed it from the river.
Angling Times, which launched a high-profile campaign against fish theft earlier this year, has photographed the find and is now making its own enquiries on the story.
Two weeks ago, the EA's head of fisheries told the paper fish stealing from Britain's waterways was not a problem.
The PAC has been in talks this week with a third major bait supplier over adopting the club's Pikemark.
Firms can use the logo to assure customers that their baits come from legal and sustainable sources.
The club is calling on all anglers to remain vigilant and use the EA's hotline number to report suspicious activities 0800 807060.
Monday, October 23, 2006
Please renew your membership if you're an October - October member who hasn't already to avoid delays in receiving your copy.
The next issue contains an exciting membership promotion which we know you won't want to miss.
We can't say more for a week or two, but you've got to be in it to win it.
This annual fundraising event, in its seventh year, is growing in popularity with last year seeing a record number of anglers taking part and raising much needed funds for local people with terminal cancer.
The one-day match is held on the Ouse between Ely and Littleport, a stretch of water famous for its Pike and Zander.
It is held in association with local PAC regions, who provide stewards and insist the match is fished to the PAC's code of conduct for such events.
There are trophies for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places as well as Best Pike and Best Zander. Last year’s winning trophy went to Ian Stimpson who caught a total weight of 31lbs 5oz, with overall best Pike weighing in at 19lb and the best Zander at 11lb.
Karen Chesney, Fundraising Manager for Marie Curie Cancer Care said: “This is a fantastic tournament and attracts anglers from all over the country. We have regular participants but also see new faces each year. Every angler always has a great day, with most getting a catch.
"We are extremely grateful to the Ely Sugar Beet Sports and Social Club who very kindly donate the water and their club house and the Pike Anglers of Great Britain who provide experienced marshalls."
Pegs cost £15.00 and all proceeds go to Marie Curie Cancer Care.
If you would like to take part send a SAE enclosing a cheque/postal order made payable to Marie Curie Cancer Care to Karen Chesney, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Unit U, The Paddocks, 347 Cherry Hinton Road, Cambridge, CB1 8DH. For further information call 01223 416405 or e-mail email@example.com.
Mark will be marshalling our event on Butterstone Loch on Sunday, November 5.
Colin Goodge will be marshalling our lure event on Mentieth on Saturday, November 11 and he will also be Marshalling our event on Loch Venacher the following day.
Mark reminds those fishing Venacher that only marine sea baits may be used, which means smelt, lamprey and eels are on the forbidden list as, of course, are trout and coarse fish.
Other events in the pipeline will be advertised when all details have been finalised.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Levels were still around 20ft below normal, though some reckon it was raining so hard by the afternoon you could see it going up.
Less than 10 fish were caught, Mick Neate from Bristol had the best of it with a couple of doubles from out in the middle.
Anglers report seeing a lot of fish on finders, so they were down there but not in the mood.
If you're an October - October member who hasn't renewed, membership secretary John Cahill asks you to do so now in to ensure prompt delivery of the magazine.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Somerset Levels PAC have lined up former pike record holder Neville Fickling to do a talk on Wednesday, November 8.
Start time is 7.30 for 8pm, all welcome. Admission is £3 for non-members, £2 for under 16s.
Friday, October 20, 2006
It contained a considerable number of eels, bream, tench and roach which they released before removing the net.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Anger erupted across the predator world when the News of the World quoted Nudd calling for a pike cull on three Midlands rivers.
The article said pike needed thinning out in the Warwickshire Avon, Soar and Nene.
The PAC reacted with horror to the piece, saying it undermined three decades of campaigning for conservation and for the role pike play in balanced fisheries to be acknowleged.
A statement posted on his website tonight says:
"There has been a considerable discussion on websites across the internet relating to an article that appeared last Sunday in the News of the World.
"Bob did not suggest killing any fish – pike or otherwise. Bob suggested that thinning out the pike may be an answer.
"Having discussed the article with Bob it is clear that his intention was to open discussion on the problem he has seen for himself for the first time in his fishing career, the problem is that nearly every fish he caught on those venues recently was chased or snatched by a pike.
"There is clearly an issue here and it needs investigating, why are there so many small pike? Is there an imbalance? Angling bodies need to investigate, once we have the answers, then we can determine if there is a significant issue that requires attention.
"Regarding his suggestion of “thinning out” Bob was suggesting that some of the smaller pike, say up to 4lb be selectively collected and removed to other venues, perhaps specialist predator lakes, where an increase in the number of pike would be appreciated.
"Conservation is important to Bob; the senseless destruction of any species of fish is abhorrent to him."
Roy caught the fish from the South Wales reservoir on a Creek Chub Pikie lure, in October 1992.
The question of whether it will ever be beaten - either at Llandegfedd or elsewhere - remains one of those topics which crop up wherever pikers gather and the beer's flowing.
The PAC has arranged 10 boats on 'Deggy on Saturday, so who knows.
In the meantime, the picture of the record pike has now been added to the PAC website, which is the only place it can be seen online. Check it out on the Pike Records page of the PAC website.
Roy can't pike fish at the moment, because there aren't any in New Zealand.
In an e-mail to the PAC, he wrote: "I was just looking at your excellent PAC website and though you might like a photo of my record pike, as none seem to exist in public domain. I currently reside in New Zealand were there are no pike whatsoever!
"Although Lake Rotorua is full of fat trout and a few other waters just scream of wanting old esox lurking in their murky depths.
"I was once a senior member of the PAC and used to hold fish-ins etc with our Kestrel Specimen Group in the 1980's
"All great fun and I really miss my pike fishing living over here, hope to return to fish my old haunts on the Hant's Avon one day, wobbling a dead bait in a slack."
Thanks to Angling Times, which owns the copyright, for allowing us to use the picture.
Monday, October 16, 2006
The call came after Nudd, who was made an MBE for his services to fishing, had roach snatched off his line by pike during a match.
But the PAC, which has campaigned for pike conservation for 30 years, slammed Nudd's comments as "selfish and misguided".
Chairman Colin Goodge said the three rivers Nudd named in his column in the News of the World did not need a cull.
"If they want scientific evidence we can produce it," he said. "By calling for a cull what does he expect to achieve, there's plenty of proof they're a waste of time and money and achieve nothing."
Evidence shows culls upset the natural balance and lead to an explosion in small pike.
That's the message from the Pike Anglers Club, whose members fear pike and other coarse fish being taken in numbers for food.
Diversity Minister Barry Gardner is set to launch the National Wildlife Crime Unit at a press conference at Edinburgh Zoo tomorrow
It is being billed as "a multi-agency police-led unit set up to target and disrupt serious wildlife crime on a regional, national and international level".
"Coarse fish being taken from our waterways for food is a forgotten wildlife crime, being swept under the carpet by the Environment Agency, as Angling Times has revealed," PAC president Phil Wakeford said.
"We hope the new Wildlife Crime Unit will start making inroads into the problem.
"While we accept the odd fish may be taken for the table, it is clear that our rivers are being abused by people fishing solely for food."
It's proposing to increase the costs of licenses by an inflation-busting 12 per cent for the next three years, meaning the cost or registering a boat will increase by more than a third by 2009.
In a letter to licence holders Stuart Taylor, the agency's navigation manager, said the increase was needed to stave off a £12m cut in government funding and pay for improvement works.
"We recognise that as a result of rising boating costs some boaters may move their craft from out waterways and some may leave boating," he said.
"Some may share boats and some may downsize to reduce costs. We do regret forcing these difficult decisions on owners."
He added a survey would be carried out to find out what improvements boaters wished to see.
The increases will take affect from January 1, 2007, on the Thames and from April 1 on other waterways.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Writing in the News of the World today, the former World Champion matchman said:
"There are too many pike in our rivers and they need culling.
"On my last visit to the Warwickshire Avon, the moment I started catching a few roach every other one was snatched as I brought it to the landing net.
But PAC Midlands liaison officer Mick Bowen, who fishes the river with many other PAC members said: "West Midlands PAC members are shocked by Bob Nudd's comments based on his occasional visits to the Avon.
"Those who regularly fish the river have seen a change from attitude that all predators need culling and an anti-pike stance amongst the local match and pleasure angling fraternity to one where a degree of common sense and co-operation exists.
"At a time when Angling needs harmony between its various factions we find Bob Nudd's remarks very disappointing and call on all match anglers to see the bigger picture where predator and prey will find a natural balance if left to nature.
"Local predator anglers do not wish to see a return to a time when predators are thrown up the bank."
The PAC was tonight trying to contact Nudd to request a meeting. The club is urging him to think again and retract his comments.
Writing in the News of the World, former World Champion Nudd said: "There are too many pike in our rivers and they need culling.
"On my last visit to the Warwickshire Avon, the moment I started catching a few roach every other one was snatched as I brought it to the landing net."
His comments have provoked outrage among predator anglers, particularly in the West Midlands, where pikers have fought long and hard against the sling 'em up the bank attitude.
"We don't make comments about match anglers cramming 60lbs of fish in keepnets," said Colin Goodge.
"While some of us are trying to unite angling, what's he trying to do. What scientific evidence has he got..?
"We want to sit down with Bob and talk about this. We think it's selfish and divisive for someone in his position to make comments like this."
Writing in his News of the World column, Nudd went on: "At a time when sport on so many of our rivers is starting to return big time, the last thing we need is shoals of pike depleting the stocks.
"Some will disagree but it makes sense to thin them out."
Evidence from culls conducted over the years shows all they achieve is a population explosion in smaller predators.
This upsets the natural balance - and causes more harm to fisheries in the longer-term.
The PAC campaigns for the pike to be recognised as playing a vital part in any balanced, sustainable fishery.
Club officials were tonight
There are too many pike in our rivers and they need culling.
At a time when sport on so many of our rivers is starting to return big time, the last thing we need is shoals of pike depleting the stocks.
We have fought against ignorance, prejudice and the let's thin 'em out a bit lobby for 30 years.
It can only harm the cause of conservation when a top match angler who sets himself up as a role model for the sport makes such unfounded remarks.
"There are too many pike in our rivers and they need culling," Nudd says. "At a time when sport on so many of our rivers is starting to return big time, the last thing we need is shoals of pike depleting the stocks.
"Some will disagree, but it makes sense to thin them out."
Healthy populations of silver fish and pike exist alongside each other in rivers like the Avon, Soar and Nene. It's called the balance of nature.
We'll be issuing a fuller response later today.
Friday, October 13, 2006
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
There were fears low water levels could force the event, on Saturday, Octiober 21, to be cancelled.
But special events officer Mark Skinner has today been told the reservoir is high enough for boats to launch.
As the 20 or so anglers drawn to fish get set to travel to South Wales, there will be some sleepness nights as the big day nears.
For six of the seven documented 40lbs-plus pike the reservoir produced in its heydays, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, came out in October.
You can see pictures of some of these truly incredible fish and see the stats on this page of the PAC website.
Since the early 90s, things have gone a bit quiet Deggy-wise. To date Roy Lewis's 46lbs 13oz fish, which has held the record since it came out in October 1992, has not been beaten.
But history has a habit of repeating itself, as far as waters which produce big pike are concerned.
So there'll be a few people dreaming of a lump from a lake in Wales for the next 10 days or so.
For more pictures from Llandegfedd's heyday, click here.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
But some might say PAC member Craig Lewis is taking that to extremes.
For the dad-to-be from Clitheroe, Lancs, has already joined his son or daughter - before they're even born.
"My missus says I'm sad but I've made our baby, which is due in May 2007, a P.A.C. member," he told the PAC members forum.
"It's got it's own membership card with "Baby Lewis", which I hope to update in due course. Can anyone beat that."
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Friday, October 06, 2006
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Pike angler Michael Watmuff caught the fish from a Leicestershire weirpool on a legered mackerel tail, the paper reports.
The brief article, accompanied by a picture definitely shows a zander which is golden in colouration.
We'll make sure ROs get them as quickly as possible to start recruiting people from this winter's programme of meetings.
We're also finalising details of an exciting new membership promotion, which will ne announced in Pikelines.
Check it out here.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
All meetings to be held at The Sportsman Social Club, Fairway, Chatteris, Cambs.
7-30 for 8pm start £3 entry includes raffle ticket & sandwiches, bar in the room.
All Pikers are welcome.
Thursday Oct 19th - Chris Turnbul.
Thursday Nov 16th - Bill Palmer.
Wednesday 20th Dec - Raffle Night.
Thursday 18th January - Mark Phillips.
Thursday 15th February - TBA.
Wednesday 7th March - Joint Meeting with Cambridge Region.
If you get lost ring the Sportsman 01353 692201.
Monday, October 02, 2006
Pike fishing's under attack from several fronts both on and off the water. But the PAC is enjoying fresh growth in terms of people joining our ranks for the first time, as well as a healthy number of membership renewals.
It's never been more important to be a part of the club, whether you're a newcomer or a seasoned hand.
Every extra member helps make the voice which defends the pike and pike fishing stronger. So if you're not already carrying the card, it's time you did.
You can join, renew, or find out more about the PAC here.