Saturday, September 30, 2006

Neville's off to deepest Somerset

Neville Fickling is venturing down to the Westcountry to give the lads of RA12, Somerset Levels, an insight into his varied pike fishing career.

It's got all the ingredients of a night to remember at the Swan Inn, North Petherton, on Wednesday, November 8.

The venue is just off the M5 (Jn 24) between Bridgwater and Taunton. Link here

Doors open 7:30 for 8pm, and both members and non-members are welcome. There will be a charge of £3 for non-members, £2 for under 16's.

PAC membership is on the up

Membership of the PAC has increased by almost 20 per cent since the new committee took the reins in May.

We officially closed the old membership year 2129-strong, an increase of around 300.

With renewals flooding in at a rate of around 20 a day, we're hopeful we've reversed the downwards trend.

We're also confident rolling membership - where a member belongs to the club for a year from when they join, as opposed to the old system where memberships ran from October 1 - will help swell our ranks.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Historic Horsey offers pikers limited access

Norfolk's historic Horsey Mere is set to offer limited access to pike anglers.

Now anyone can apply to enjoy the unique water which produced Peter Hancock's 40lbs record fish, in 1950.

One boat a day will be allowed on the water on a trial basis from November 1, after lengthy negotiations between Horsey Estate, English Nature, Broads Authority, National Trust and Broads Angling Strategy Group.

Access during 2006-07 season, the access is for 1 boat per day, with access being open for booking 7 days per week from 1st November 2006 until 28th February 2007.

The cost of a permit is £15.00 per day, and allows for 2 anglers and a maximum of 2 rods each from the one boat, fishing from 8.00 am to 4.00 pm each day. Dates will be taken on first come first served basis.

Booking must be made in advance, in writing using the application form available in writing from the Horsey Estate who are managing this access trial at the following address:Buxton Property Management (Fishing), Speedwell House, Lingwood, Norwich, NR13 4ET

The application form may also be downloaded in PDF form from the web site providing details of the access trials here.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Pikemarked baits set to hit tackle shops

The first deadbaits bearing the PAC Pikemark, which dealers can use to assure customers that their supplies come from legal and sustainable sources, will be in tackle shop freezers soon.

The logo was the PAC's response to claims coarse fish were being netted wholesale from the Norfolk Broads to supply the bait trade.

We've been working with bait firms and the tackle trade ever since the debate surfaced earlier this year.

Grimsby-based Baitbox, one of the country's biggest frozen dead suppliers, were one of the first to sign up.

Their packaging will also include advice on rigs and tackle for pike fishing, and recommend pike anglers join the PAC.

You can support us by asking for bait bearing the Pikemark next time you visit a tackle shop, and supporting the firms which endorse our scheme.

There's more on the background here

PAC rugger shirts in Mick's clear-out sale

Products manager Mick Hastings has a limited quantity of quality rugby shirts bearing the PAC logo to clear.

They're available in small, medium, large and XXL at the moment and reduced from £25 to £18.50 (postage included) to sell.

Drop Mick an e-mail at if you'd like to order one. Please state size as there aren't many left.

Stacks set to blow as ET hits Vassey

Eddie of thee Turner is landing in thee Vassey for a fine night of stack radging, says RO of the Year Andy "Kosh" Kershaw.

Translated into the Queen's English for the uninitiated, that means drifter float legend Eddie Turner, who invented so many items of tackle modern pikers take for granted, is doing a slide show for the mildly unhinged RA 88 in Glossop, Derbys, next week.

Mega Pike author ET will be taking to the mike at the Hatfield Conservative Club, in Wooley Bridge Road, Hatfield, Glossop, at 8pm on Tuesday, October 3.

Admission is £5 for a talk that can't be missed. This includes a local delicacy called a tattie pie.

One of the most inspirational and inventive anglers of his generation, Eddie's exploits are legendary.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Underwater pike footage from US site

They reckon underwater cameras could be the next big thing to hit fishing - assuming you'd rather watch your baits on screen than spend the day watching your floats or waiting for an alarm to sound.

Over in the States, they troll with CCTV attached to their downriggers. Check out some of this guy's shots of fish following lures, or his pike footage.

Techno-overkill or the way things are going to go in the future..?

Friendly fisherman Andy talks for Cambs

Andy Lush - widely known in predator circles as the boss of the Friendly Fisherman and ET Tackle - is doing a talk on his varied experiences of fishing for pike, catfish and barbel in the UK and further afield for the PAC's Cambridge Region on Wednesday, October 4.

The event kicks off at Bottisham British Legion in Downing Close, Bottisham, at 8pm.

PAC launches Angling Times column

The PAC will have a weekly column in Angling Times this winter as the club steps up efforts to spread the word.

We'll be featured in a revamped predator section alongside top piker (and PAC member...) Mick Brown.

Look out for it from next Tuesday.

Ex-president Bill lined up for Lincoln

Former PAC president Bill Winship will be doing a talk to the Lincoln Region on Monday, October 2.

Angler and author Bill will be speaking on a subject dear to his heart, pike fishing the rivers iof his native Yorkshire.

The meeting starts at the Turk's Head in Newport, Lincoln ar 7pm. RO Chico Winterton said all pikers are welcome.

For more details on what's going on in RA 48 see Lincoln Blog.

Bath joins the PAC blog roll

Bath - aka Region 101 - is the latest region to get its own blog off the ground to promote its meetings and activities.

Big water specialist Eric Edwards will be joining the Wessex lads on Thursday, October 26. for a talk and slide show.

With three over 37lbs, a PB of 41lbs 8oz and the biggest brace of pike caught in one day, Eric's a seriously inspirational speaker who's not to be missed.

He'll be appearing at the Moorfields Inn, in Third Avenue, Oldfield Park, from 8pm.

For more information on this and other activities lined up by new RO Jamie Dimery-Seek, check out the Bath Blog.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Deggy booked up as pikers pray for rain

All boats are now taken for the PAC's forthcoming privileged access event on Llandegfedd Reservoir.

The club has secured access to the record-holding Welsh water on Saturday, October 21, though there are fears low water levels could force us to cancel.

Water chiefs fear without rain, it could be impossible for boats to safely launch. But that hasn't stopped PAC members booking them all.

Mark Skinner is in regular touch with Welsh Water and will keep us in the picture. Meanwhile those who have secured a place will be contacted shortly.

Ooh aar - Devon blog launched

Ooh arr, me old wurzels - pikers in Devon have launched a blog.

RO Dave Knight and his partner in crime Steve Moore now have their own newsfeed you can bookmark or subscribe to, to get all the latest news from their region.

Things are kicking off down there on Monday, October 16, with a talk and slide show by Julian Chidgey at the Swan's Nest, Exminster.

Julian will be sharing his experiences in Somerset and on Scottish trout waters, as well as sharing a few secrets about pre-baiting and pike fly fishing.

For more details on this and other happenings in the South West, check out Devon Blog.

Move on and face the future, says Phil

PAC president Phil Wakeford sent out a rallying call to pike fishing, as hundreds gathered for the club's annual convention in Leeds at the weekend.

He pledged the new committee would be open and responsive to members, as he called for predator anglers to unite to face future threats to their sport.

"We've had our differences over things like Blithfield and the like," he said.

"But they're not insurmountable, there's not a gulf which can't be bridged. We need to come together to fight for our sport.

"There isn't a PAC takeover going on in Scotland and Ireland, it's a coming together of like-minded people in a common cause."

Phil said the PAC was determined to establish a more pro-active, activist approach at all levels of the sport.

"When people ask what's the PAC done for me lately, we're spending our time fighting for your sport, so the least you can do is join if you're a serious pike angler," he said.

"It's time to stop the in-fighting because there's nothing to be gained from it. We've got bigger battles to fight and we need to join together to stand any chance of winning them.

"And we need to have an open mind and agree to differ sometimes, because sometimes you have to concede a battle to win the war."

Phil said all predator anglers should follow the PAC code of conduct, after a show of hands revealed around half the audience had read it.

"We need to show that we care for the pike and we will fish for pike in a responsible way," he went on. "Holyhead has done us a lot of damage."

One of the committee's key priorities is to encourage more pike anglers to join the club and reduce the numbers who fail to renew their membership.

The committee has set a target of handing the club over to its successors with a 3,000-strong membership, and ambitious recruitment drives are in the pipeline.

Phil said the object was not to get more people to go pike fishing, but to get more of those who pike fish to join.

"What we are trying to do is get people who go pike fishing to join the PAC. The target is to unite pike anglers as soon as possible," he said.

Piking 2006 was a stunning success

Strength and unity was the rallying call, as predator anglers gathered in Leeds for the PAC's annual convention.

And the mood was upbeat and positive, as Piking 2006 got under way in the Royal Armouries Museum.

Four stunning speakers and a mouth-watering array of tackle and trade stands were waiting inside.

It was standing room only as Pete Climo, Scott Davidson, Ian Forde and Bill Palmer all did us proud on the talks front.

PAC president Phil Wakeford brought us back down to earth with a talk which set out some of the challenges which lie ahead and the way in which the new committee intends to tackle them.

Peterborough-based Rob Christen received Pike Angler of the Year Award, not only for his incredible Fenland captures but his work in promoting the club through the excellent series of articles he has written for Pikelines and his sterling work doing talks for regions.

Andy "Kosh" Kershaw was crowned RO of the year for the tireless part he has played in setting up RA88 Royston Vasey, aka Glossop, Derbys and turning it into one of the club's most vibrant regions.

Thanks to the many who pitched in to help on the day, Chico on the door with Bish and John; Graham Stead, Jon Cook and the lads from Sussex who ran the second-hand stall; and Pete Green who helped John Cahill avoid blowing a gasket on the membership stand.

The traders who put on such a fantastic show of tackle stalls and Claire and the other staff at the Armouries also deserve a mention for their tireless attention to ensuring the event went more or less to plan.

Above all thanks to everyone who came and enjoyed the day from as far afield as the Westcountry, the depths of Norfolk, Ayrshire, Sussex and even Denmark - especially the many who joined the PAC for the first time or renewed their membership.

Next year's convention will be even bigger. The event coincides with the PAC's 30th anniversary and the ideas are already flowing over how the club should mark this milestone.

We hope we'll see you there.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

All roads lead to Leeds for Piking 2006

Pikers from all four corners of the British Isles and in one or two cases even further afield are on their way to Leeds for the PAC's annual convention.

Piking 2006 is taking place at the city's Royal Armouries Museum tomorrow.

It's going to be a big day for the club, as president Phil Wakeford outlines the new committee's ambitious plans for the next three years and beyond.

There are plenty of battles on the horizon and strength through unity is the theme of the day.

We also have four excellent guest speakers lined up from Wales, Ireland, Scotland and England.

And as ever, there'll be a mouth-watering selection of tackle stalls, including the club's popular second-hand stall; a mega raffle and of course the chance to renew your membership or buy PAC products.

You'll also be able to meet the new committee and put faces to names, or tell us what you want out of the PAC, or about the direction you think the club should be going in.

The social side's just as important, as for many the convention is the chance to renew aquaintances, make new friends and set the piking world to rights over a few shandies.

Many are travelling up today and there will no doubt be one or two beers drunk, a few tall stories told and the odd wind-up played tonight.

This blog, the PAC forums and website will go a bit quiet for the next 36 hours or so.

We'd love to see you there but if you can't make it to Leeds, you'll be able to read all about it on here on Sunday - or maybe even earlier if our scribes can find an internet cafe.

You may also be able to view highlights on video - well, a DVD - as Kosh TV from RA 88 (Royston Vasey, aka Glossop, Derbys...) are going to be filming the event.

Convention last minute update....

Doors open approx 8.30am. Tickets £7.50 (non members) £6.50 (members).

10.00 Opening Address - Phil Wakeford

10.15 Menteith Draw - Mark Skinner

10.30 Llandegfedd/Chew Fishing - Pete Climo

11.30 The Irish Angle - Ian Forde

12.30 Pac Vision the way forward - Phil Wakeford

13.00 Break

13 .30 Fishing the Scottish Lochs - Scot Davidson

14.30 My Golden Season - Bill Palmer

15.30 Neville Fickling’s Pike Panel

16.30 Presentations and Speeches - Colin Goodge

16.45 Raffle- Mike Kelly (NB there are lots of prizes, this is not a raffle to win Mike...).

17.00 Close


Broads National Park plan shelved

Plans to have the Norfolk Broads declared a National Park have been shelved, it emerged today.

Broads Authority chief executive John Packman had been pushing for the change to give the area the same status as other national parks like the New Forest and the Peak District.

But the proposal drew fierce opposition from the powerful boating lobby, because the move would have meant conservation taking precedence over navigation, under a legal precedent called the Sandford principle.
Pike anglers also feared the move would lead to increased restrictions being placed on their sport.

Environment minister Barry Gardiner refused to back the plan at a meeting in London earlier this week.
The disclosure came after local media reported a leaked letter from a senior civil servant, warning the Broads could not qualify for national park status because navigation would have been given equal importance as conservation.

A private member's bill on the Broads, which seeks to tighten curbs on water skiiers and hire boat licensing, is set to go before MPs next year.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Weather blog offers stacks of info

Pikers are almost as obsessed with the weather before they go fishing as finding excuses for why they didn't catch after the event.

This weather blog offers loads of search options and while it won't come up with reasons for why you didn't get your string pulled, it offers an unrivaled amount of advance info.

Deggy could be doubtful say water bosses

Water levels at Llandegfedd could be too low for safe launching of boats for the PAC's privileged access event on the water, on October 21.

Special events organiser Mark Skinner is liaising with water officials in the run-up to the event.

"They say the reservoir is really low and the problem is launching boats from the pontoon," Mark said.

"If there's enough rain to get the boats off the pontoon we'll be fine. It all depends how much rain they get in South Wales."

Mark added if the event is cancelled applicants will be given the option of fishing a different day - subject to this being arranged - or having their money returned.

PAC and ACA strike new accord

The Anglers Conservation Association will be among stall-holders at Saturday's PAC Convention, at Leeds Royal Amouries.

The two groups have agreed to put their differences behind them and work together for the greater good of conservation not only of pike but the environment they live in.

One of the first things to develop from this new working relationship is a code of conduct for pike matches, which will become included in the rules for future ACA Pike Championships, which are run in association with Angling Times, and its nationwide series of qualifiers.

While some PAC members are opposed to all-comers pike matches, the club is neither endorsing or promoting the ACA event.

After lengthy discussions, the committee has taken the view that since we cannot stop pike matches being held, we have a responsibility as a pike conservation group to lobby organisers to ensure matches are fished under rules with regard to basic standards of tackle, unhooking gear, stewarding and weighing.

The ACA for its part will promote the PAC to those taking part in its event, which again helps us spread the conservation message.

Pike anglers with longer memories may also remember comments made by ACA officials in the past concerning livebaiting.

The ACA has now clarified its stance on this and after lengthy discussions spanning both the current committee and its predecessors, it is time to put the past behind us and move on.

Mark Lloyd, the ACA's executive director, has this message for pike anglers:

"I am writing to thank the PAC for providing its code of conduct for use at the ACA British Pike Championship finals.

"The ACA is extremely keen that this competition - which raises nearly £20,000 a year for the Association -should be carried out to have the minimum impact on the environment, fish welfare and the fisheries which host the finals.

"Although in 30 years of the competition only one fish has died while being handled, we are keen to adopt the PAC's code as we recognise that it represents best practice in predator angling and would like to raise awareness of it amongst the thousands of competitors in the Championships.

"I am delighted that the ACA has rebuilt links with the PAC recently.

"I understand that previous employees of the Association made comments about livebaiting in the past which led to a breakdown of relations between the two organisations.

"I can confirm that the new management at the ACA is focused solely on fighting pollution and other damage to our members' fisheries, and we will not get involved in commenting on the techniques anglers use to catch fish.

"Other organisations in angling have this remit and our members support us to fight polluters and not to criticise anglers.

"I hope very much that the ACA and PAC can work closely together for a better water environment, healthier fish and better angling for all throughout the UK.

"I believe our respective programmes of work complement each other to this end and look forward to welcoming PAC members as subscribers to the ACA.

"Similarly, I hope that anglers fishing in the British Pike Championships will feel encouraged to support the PAC."

Mark Lloyd
Executive Director, ACA

For more information on the work of the ACA, see here

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Piking 2006 Programme

The running order for the PAC Convention, this coming Saturday at the Royal Armouries in Leeds, has now been confirmed. You can read it on the PAC website.

If you haven't booked in advance, make sure you get there early so as not to miss a moment of the day's entertainment.

ACA adopts PAC code for pike matches

Clean rivers watchdog the Anglers Conservation Association (ACA) has adopted a code of conduct drawn up by the PAC for its annual British Pike Championships.

The agreement, which comes after talks between officials from both organisations, could be a watershed in the way pike matches are conducted and more importantly, their impact on pike stocks.

For the first time, the code sets out the correct tackle and unhooking tools, together with tougher safeguards concerning the retention of fish for weighing - which include a keepnet ban -and the stewarding of events.

PAC secretary Mark Barrett said: "I am sure that there will be more than a few anglers that will be critical of the PAC for involving itself with pike matches.

"But in the long term we feel at the club that by operating one of the biggest pike matches to these guidelines will undoubtedly influence all pike matches to the benefit of the pike, something that all pike anglers should be in agreement with."

PAC forums hit another high

The PAC forums have just notched up another record, after page views soared through the 7,000 mark in a single day for the first time.

If you're a PAC member, it's time you checked out the hottest forums in predator fishing.

You can access them via the PAC website .

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Fisheries review "delayed", says SAA

The Specialist Anglers Alliance (SAA) has met with DEFRA officials, who have told them legislation following on from the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Review - which included proposals for tighter controls on livebaiting - has been delayed.

More on the SAA Blog. The PAC remains vigilant.

Membership renewals are flooding in

Around a third of PAC members have already renewed for 2007, membership secretary John Cahill reports.

Another 45 new members have also signed up this week, bringing membership to almost 2100.

John is currently snowed under, as you can imagine so please be patient as turn-around times might not be quite as quick as we'd normally hope.

Walton makes a date with Mark Barrett

PAC secretary and well-known Fenland predator angler Mark Barrett is giving a talk to the club's Walton-on-Thames branch on Monday, October 9.

He'll be appearing at the Bagster House CIU Club in Walton Lane, Shepperton, just off Walton Bridge, from 8pm.

PAC forums top 200 members

The 200th member signed up for the PAC's forums today. Calum McRoberts, from Edinburgh, pushed us through the double century barrier when he joined up this afternoon.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Menteith deadline extended

The deadline for applications for both of the PAC's privileged access days on the Lake of Menteith - November 11 and March 10, 2007 - has been extended until Thursday, September 21, because of unforseen production problems delaying Pikelines.

Places will be drawn at the Convention next Saturday in Leeds.

Web giant FM highlights Scottish Bill

FISHINGmagic is running a full report on the PAC's response to the draft Scottish Fisheries Bill tonight, see here.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Club appeals for information on pike killers

The biggest angling club in the Fens today appealed for information over anglers who have been removing pike and zander into double figures from its waters.

Mike Grief, secretary of the 800-strong King's Lynn Angling Association (KLAA), said both pike and zander from 8 to 15lbs had been taken.

"If pike or zander are removed they must be less than 5lbs in weight, of which two are allowed at any one time," he said.

Writing in his weekly column in local paper the King's Lynn News and Advertiser, Grief added: "Members' help to enforce this rule would be appreciated, so that good fishing is available to all."

Sources close to the club have told the PAC that moves to expel a member who killed a double figure zander on the Middle Level Drain were halted when witnesses who reported the fish's removal decided not to pursue the matter.

KLAA controls the fishing on household-name drains such as the Middle Level, Relief Channel and parts of the Cut-Off, along with the Ten Mile Bank stretch of the Great Ouse, and stretches of the Wissey, Little Ouse and Old Bedford.

Its committee are well aware of the importance of predators in a balanced water and the numbers of visiting anglers they attract to West Norfolk, boosting day ticket revenues.

Pikers cleared over latest alien species find

A freshwater jellyfish usually found in the Amazon has been discovered in a flooded clay pit in land-locked Leicestershire.

But pike anglers are not being linked to the find at present, as scientists puzzle over how the 2cm-dia creature could have been translocated thousands of miles across the Atlantic.

Being small, transparent and made of um, err, jelly; they lack visual appeal and would not, in any case survive a decent cast. So pike fishing for once appears to be in the clear for now.

Experts think the species (craspedacusta sowerbii) was imported to Britain on plants brought to Kew Gardens from Brazil in the 1830s.

There have been other sightings of the jellyfish - the most recent was in Wigan, Lancs last month.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Roll up, roll up - for the Fenland Flyer

Pike fly fishing fans are set to gather in the depths of the Fens for the fourth Fenland Flyer.

The charity match, with all proceeds going to the Anthony Nolan bone marrow charity, is being staged again on the Delph at Welney, on the Norfolk/Cambs border, on Sunday, November 5.

The draw takes place at the Lamb & Flag pub in the village, under the glassy gaze of the famed Colonel's Pike, a cased 39lbs fish which gazes down on the bar of one of the best-known pikers' pubs in the Fens.

Once the bacon rolls are out of the way, competitors line up for the walk-off as the event begins in earnest.

To reserve your place, just send a cheque for £15 payable to the Anthony Nolan Trust to the PFFA, c/o 28 Crown Ave, Holbeach St Marks, Spalding, Lincs PE12 8EU.

Sponsors put a lot of kit into supporting the event and this year's is no different.

For More info call Peter Jones on 07776 207426 or have a look here

War on the banks as gangs steal fish, claim

Today's Cambridge Evening News claims war declared on riverbanks as gangs steal fish.
The local paper was following up a story which appeared in several places yesterday, including this blog, about the EA hinting new laws were needed to combat fish being taken wholesale for food.

PAC 'hoodies' pitched at wrong price

Gremlins in the production process have led to the wrong price appearing in Pikelines for our "hoodies" - the PAC's popular hooded sweatshirts.

The £9.50 price advertised in Pikelines should have read £22 for adults and £19 for junior sizes.

We apologise for any confusion caused.

Don't miss the boat at Deggy, says Mark

Boats for the PAC's privileged access at event at Llandegfedd Reservoir are going fast, special events organiser Mark Skinner said tonight.

Seven of the 10 reserved boats, at £23 a person, have been booked within days of Pikelines hitting members' doormats.

Mark is currently investigating whether extra boats can be booked or the event on Saturday, October 21.

Details of how to apply to fish the legendary reservoir near Newport, Gwent, are contained in your Pikelines mailing.

Mark said members need to make sure they have renewed their membershiop to be eligible to fish events.

New reservoir planned for Oxfordshire

Pike anglers could have another trout ressie to go at in few decades' time...

Thames Water wants to build Britain's second-biggest reservoir on farmland near Abingdon, Oxon, where it has already begun buying up properties.

The firm claims the scheme is needed to safeguard supplies to London, whose population is projected to soar by another 800,000 over the next decade.

If it gets the go-ahead the £1bn lake will hold 150m cubic metres of water – half the volume of Lake Windermere - and will supply an additional 350 million litres a day for the Thames Water network.

There was controversy as details of the scheme were announced, as consumer groups highlighted the fact the amount of water the reservoir would supply is around a third of the amount Thames water loses to leaks each day under London's streets.

The scheme could take up to 15 years to complete.

Record numbers log on to PAC Forums

Traffic on the PAC Forums broke all records today, as more members than ever before logged on to discuss the latest news from the world of pike fishing.
Page views were running at nearly 700 an hour at one point, as the club's news feed carried the latest developments from the Scottish Fisheries Bill and the Environment Agency's warning new laws could be needed to stop foreign immigrants taking coarse fish for food.
The PAC is at the centre of the news whenever it impacts on predator fishing.
You can subscribe to our live news feed whether you're a member or not. But make sure you reply to the confirmation e-mail to activate your account.
Members can join our forums and be at the heart of the debate, as well as enjoying all the other benefits of belonging to the club for all pike anglers.
If you're not already a member, there's never been a better time to join the club.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

BBC reports on migrants eating fish row

More from the BBC on this story, which appeared on the PAC newsblog earlier today here

PAC enters fray over Scottish Fisheries Bill

Plans to poison river systems are set to go before Scottish MPs, in a bill officials claim will safeguard the country's fisheries against a deadly salmon parasite.
Proposed legislation also seeks to ban the use of livebaits, claiming this will prevent the spread of so-called alien species, and give ministers powers to ban any other baits or lures.
The Pike Anglers Club of Great Britain (PAC) tonight came out strongly in support of the Scottish Federation for Coarse Angling and the Pike Anglers Alliance for Scotland.
Both have expressed severe reservations about provisions in the Draft Aqualculture and Fisheries Bill which could have profound implications for both coarse and pike anglers.
"We endorse representations already made by our colleagues in the SFCA and PAAS," a spokesman said.
"We share their view that while it would be so simple to get things right and produce legislation which safeguards fisheries for the future, along with the important tourist industry which has grown up around them, this bill appears to get some things profoundly wrong."
Scientists claim a deadly salmon parasite called Gyrodactylus Salaris, which has infected salmon in Scandinanvia, could spread to the country's rivers.

The new Draft Aquaculture and Fisheries Bill contains powers both to erect barriers to prevent fish movements and then use "chemical agents" on affected stretches.

The PAC claims this is a "shoot first, ask questions later approach", which could wipe out stocks of coarse fish which can neither carry or become infected by GS.

In its submission to Scotland's Environment and Rural Development Committee, it warns eradication could have "unknown environmental consequences and cause unknown damage to the genetics of fish strains which have evolved in a catchment".

"Fish eating birds obviously depend on fish, as do otters. Wiping out stocks in a catchment obviously deprives both of their main food source, again with unforseen consequences," it adds.

"It should also be noted that so far, GS has not occurred anywhere in the British Isles and has so far been confined to Scandinavian salmon populations.

"We fully support and endorse the responses already tabled by the Pike Anglers Alliance or Scotland and Scottish Federation for Coarse Angling.

"We are extremely concerned at provisions which allow the eradication of all species in rivers or catchments where an infestation of GS is detected.

"While selectively culling an infected species may be necessary in the event of an infection, there can be no justification for eradicating fish which are not susceptible to or capable of carrying GS.

"We endorse the Scottish Federation for Coarse Angling's view that eradication should not be the "default approach".

Fish eating birds obviously depend on fish, as do otters. Wiping out stocks in a catchment obviously deprives both of their main food source, again with unforseen consequences.

The PAC believes bans on baits and lures should be left to fishery owners and controlling clubs, in consultation with interested and informed bodies such as the Scottish Federation for Coarse Angling, the Pike Anglers Alliance for Scotland and itself.

"While we welcome the provision of added protection for freshwater fish species against removal or activities that adversely affect their environment," its submission goes on.

"We are aware that indiscriminate culling of coarse fish, generally by the use of nets, takes place on many waters in Scotland, yet at present the law exercises little control over the removal of freshwater fish by means other than rod and line.

The PAC rejects the claim that anglers translocating livebaits have been responsible for the wholesale introduction of species such as roach to waters where they were not previously indiginous.
More likely sources are deliberate stockings made by clubs, proprietors or individual anglers, and escapes or discards from fish farms and even garden ponds.

"Pike anglers were blamed for this to justify blanket bans on coarse fish in Cumbria," a spokesman said.
"Yet three years down the line, the Environment Agency said that an increasing roach population in lakes such as Windermere was down to climate change and an increase in mean winter temperatures."
The PAC believes the appropriate way to prevent inappropriate introductions and transfers is by legislation directly regulating fish movements, such as exists in England under Section 30 of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act.

There are some crumbs of comfort in the bill, such as rod rests becoming legal for the first time.

"Using rod rests to support multiple rods is legal just about everywhere else in the world and an integral part of prompt bite indication, which is essential if damage to pike stocks is to be minimised," the PAC's submission says.

The club also welcomes restrictions on the use of gaffs and pike gags.

"Pike gags are unnecessary and both ourselves and the Pike Anglers Alliance for Scotland devote considerable energies to promoting safe fish-handling techniques and the use of unhooking mats and the correct tools," it says.

The bill and responses received during a public consultation exercise, which ends on Friday (September 15) will now be considered by the Scottish Environment Committee.

It will then make recommendations about the draft, before Scotish MPs vore on the bill later this year or in early 2007.

For full details of the proposed bill, see here

Scottish Fisheries Bill - the PAC's response


From the Pike Anglers Club of Great Britain

1/ General

We fully support and endorse the responses already tabled by the Pike Anglers Alliance or Scotland and Scottish Federation for Coarse Angling.

Part 2 GYRODACTYLUS SALARIS: Containment and Treatment

We are extremely concerned at provisions which allow the eradication of all species in rivers or catchments where an infestation of GS is detected.

While selectively culling an infected species may be necessary in the event of an infection, there can be no justification for eradicating fish which are not susceptible to or capable of carrying GS.

We endorse the Scottish Federation for Coarse Angling's view that eradication should not be the "default approach".

To do so effectively creates the power to poison whole river catchments.
We view this as a shoot first, ask questions later approach, with unknown environmental consequences and damage to the genetics of fish strains which have evolved in a catchment.

Fish eating birds obviously depend on fish, as do otters. Wiping out stocks in a catchment obviously deprives both of their main food source, again with unforseen consequences.

It should also be noted that so far, GS has not occurred anywhere in the British Isles and has so far been confined to Scandinavian salmon populations.


Para 20: Use of gaff, tailer or landing net

We welcome the measures proposed.

Para 21: Rod and line

We welcome the definition and measures proposed. Using rod rests to support multiple rods is legal just about everywhere else in the world and an integral part of prompt bite indication, which is essential if damage to pike stocks is to be minimised.

Para 22: Prohibition against using pike gags and certain keepnets

We welcome the measures proposed. Pike gags are unnecessary and both ourselves and the Pike Anglers Alliance for Scotland devote considerable energies to promoting safe fish-handling techniques and the use of unhooking mats and the correct tools.

Para 25: Freshwater fish conservation regulations

We strongly disagree with the statement in Para 50 of the Policy Memorandum that suggests Ministers should be allowed to specify particular baits and lures that may be used for freshwater fishing in the same way as they can for salmon under Section 33 of the 2003 Act.
We believe any bans should be the province of individual fishery owners and controlling clubs, in consultation with interested and informed bodies such as the Scottish Federation for Coarse Angling, the Pike Anglers Alliance for Scotland and ourselves.

We welcome the provision of added protection for freshwater fish species against removal or activities that adversely affect their environment.
We are aqware that indiscriminate culling of coarse fish, generally by the use of nets, takes place on many waters in Scotland, yet at present the law exercises little control over the removal of freshwater fish by means other than rod and line.

Section 2 of the 2003 Act should be repealed and replaced by appropriate regulations controlling all removals other than via rod and line.

We fully endorse the Scottish Federation for Coarse Angling's comments on measures such as lowering water levels or the installation of gabions.

We reject the claim that anglers translocating livebaits have been responsible for the wholesale introduction of species such as roach to waters where they were not previously indiginous.
More likely sources are deliberate stockings made by clubs, proprietors or individual anglers, and escapes or discards from fish farms and even garden ponds.

We believe that the appropriate way to prevent inappropriate introductions and transfers is by legislation directly regulating fish movements, such as exists in England under Section 30 of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act.

In view of the remote nature of many Scottish fisheries, we would argue a livebaiting ban would in any case be unenforceable in some areas.


These are our comments in reply to the ERDC's request for responses from interested groups.

We would be happy to provide a representative to appear before the committee to be examined or provide further supporting information should this be required.

The Pike Anglers Club of Great Britain, September 11, 2006

New laws could combat fish theft, says EA

The Environment Agency could call for new laws to prevent the influx of eastern European workers plundering UK lakes and streams of their fish stocks, a spokesman said today.

Angling clubs across the country are becoming concerned that workers from Poland and other new European Union countries do not understand the angling culture of this country.
And they fear that the immigrants will over-fish lakes and rivers, taking their catches home to eat rather than return species such as carp and other coarse fish back to the water.
The concerns have led the Test Valley Angling Club to put up signs in five eastern European languages, including Polish and Latvian, at the Little Testwood Lake near Southampton, Hants.
The signs state that the lake is privately owned and fishing for consumption is prohibited. Andy Thomas, fishing technical specialist for the Environment Agency Hampshire, said the problems had arisen because of a cultural misunderstanding.
He said: "It is a nationwide issue where these people are from a different culture and have a different way of fishing.
"They are used to fishing to bring something home for their dinner while local anglers will weigh their catch, photograph it and put them back in.
"It is a case of lost in translation and I think there is a need for education and tolerance on both sides so we can overcome this problem.
"At the moment it appears to be more of a perceived problem than an actual problem, there aren't hoards of people plundering our inland waters.
"We are hoping that through raising awareness we can overcome this, but the Environment Agency is considering new legislation, but we hope it won't come to this.''
+++++++++++++ More on this story from the BBC here

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Pikelines highlights new beginnings

Restoring the PAC to its rightful place as the voice of pike fishing and building a club which will fight to conserve Britain's number one sport fish and your right to pursue it in sustainable fisheries.

That's the unanimous message from the new committee, in their first addresses aimed straight at the membership in the latest Pikelines.

Success and just how you define it is the question asked by PAC President Phil Wakeford.

"The committee that I head up is comprised of experienced pike anglers and they are all capable people in a variety of complimentary ways," he writes. "We are all determined to work hard to make the PAC more successful - but what does that mean, I hear you ask.

"Success to me means protecting pike stocks, promoting pike fishing and safeguarding our right to pursue our sport in our preferred way.

"It matters not to me how many members we have or how good our magazine is if we are not impacting on the outside world for the good of pike and pike anglers."

Learning from the mistakes of the past is high on the agenda, adds Phil.

"The committee needs to listen to the membership and respond to their messages and the membership needs to engage with the committee."

Secretary Mark Barrett said the membership were the life and soul of the club.

"The membership set the tone of the club, they portray the image of the club; they are the club. We are merely the guys entrusted to steer the ship."

The new committee has many battles on the horizon during its three-year tenure at the helm.

"Some battles we will win, some we will lose but we will at every opportunity be there fighting for you," added Mark.

Chairman Colin Goodge ended his address with a rallying call.

"Please give your full support to the new committee, with your help dreams can become a reality," he said.

"Just think if each member could persuade one person to join, the voice of pike fishing would instantly be twice as powerful."

Sussex announces winter meetings

Sussex RO Jon Cook has just announced this winter's programme of talks and meetings.

They're being held on the third Wednesday of every month from October, at the Black Lion Inn in Lewes Road, Halland, East Sussex, just off the A22.

Doors open 7.30pm, meetings get under way at 8.

On Wednesday, October 18, they're hosting well known Fenland predator hunter and PAC Secretary Mark Barrett.

November 15 - Meeting.

December 20, Mega Pike author and Lea Valley legend Eddie Turner will be on the oche.

January 17 - Meeting.

February 21 - Speaker to be confirmed.

March 21 - Meeting + bring and Buy sale

April 18 - AGM & the year ahead.

Posters and flyers will be going out in tackle shops around Sussex soon.

To cover costs there will be a £2.50 on the door for PAC members, £3.00 for non-members.

For more information check out the Sussex (Region 70) blog

Lakes' new owner revealed

Roswell Pits, a popular predator venue on the outskirts of Ely, Cambs, has been bought by two brothers who run a marina in the city.

Jeremy and Michael Tyrrell, who run Jalsea Marine, are believed to have had to bid considerably higher than the £225,000 asking price set by former owners the Thomas Parsons Charity.

In a joint statement the charity and Jalsea Marine announced that an agreement had been reached and the company expected to develop the pits facility with "a strong boating/community orientation".

It went on: "We are very pleased with this acquisition which will complete and start operations in September.

"Development plans are all subject to planning permission, commercial constraints and market trends but we believe there will be room for existing and new uses of benefit to the community as a whole."

The brothers, who bought the nine-acre Ely Marina for £2.5 million earlier this year, have refused to comment further on their plans for the lakes or whether fishing features in them.

The former clay pits, which were dug during the late 19th and early 20th Century to provide clay to build up the banks of the nearby River Ouse, are popular with predator anglers and over the years have produced pike nudging 30lbs and a string of large zander.

Friday, September 08, 2006

SAA joins the Blogging set

Britain's leading group for specialist anglers has become the latest to employ cutting-edge online technology to boost awareness of its work.

The Specialist Anglers’ Alliance (SAA) hopes its blog will improve communications across all branches of specialist angling.

SAA secretary Michael Heylin said: "We hope that our new blog will become required reading for thinking anglers throughout the land.

"It will be the place they can keep up with the latest news and campaigns led not only by SAA, but by all our colleagues in angling and fisheries.

"The SAA has had a few problems communicating with members and non-members alike recently, because of lack of funds.

"We have concentrated on doing the work and not been very good at telling others what we have been doing for them.

"We hope the new blog will help all anglers see just how much we are doing every day, to support them and to promote our sport."

SAA chairman David Bird said: "The SAA is not an organisation of just big fish anglers, anyone who intentionally goes searching for a specific species is a specialist and we would welcome them into our membership.

"All anglers can join SAA on-line at our website and help support the work we do with our colleagues in other angling organisations.
"The SAA needs those anglers’ contributions to continue the work which is getting more and more demanding."

Membership of the SAA is currently £10 a year. You can subscribe to the blog in a number of ways, just like the PAC blog, to receive the news from specialist angling as it happens.

You can also join the SAA online, using Paypal.

Check it out here

New-look Pikelines is on its way

Pikelines is now in the post, our printers have confirmed tonight.

The new-look mag contains final details for Piking 2006, the PAC's annual convention being staged in Leeds later this month.

You'll also find your renewal form and application forms for this winter's programme of PAC Privileged Access events, along with news and views, features on technique and tactics, and group news and the members' gallery.

Let us know what you think when it arrives.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Apologies for forum outage

Sorry to anyone trying to access the PAC's message boards this evening.

Our hosts tell us their forums were down for routine maintenance.

Eric launches new Bath region

Pikers' piker Eric Edwards is the first speaker lined up by the new Bath region.

You can join him at 8pm on Thursday, October 26, at the Moorfields Inn, in Oldfield Park.

St Helens, Lancs-based Eric's claims to fame include three fish over 37lbs including a 41lbs 8oz lump landed in 2001.

There's more details on the Bath blog which also includes contact details for newly-appointed RO Jamie Dimery-seek

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

New Bath region launched

Wessex pikers have a new PAC region where they can meet up for a social and a slide show.

Jamie Dimery-Seek has been appointed RO for the club's new Region 101.

He's organising a program of meetings and talks, see their blog for more details as speakers and venues are confirmed.

Pikelines back copies up for sale

We've got a pile of back copies of Pikelines up for grabs, packed with interesting stories, tactical advice and more.

Single copies of issues 102 (November 2003) to 109 (August 205) are available at £1.25 each, uncluding postage, or six for a fiver.

For more details and an order form, see the PAC website.

Monday, September 04, 2006

PAC announces Convention stalls list

One good reason for attending the PAC convention is always the unique assortment of stalls under one roof.

Those attending this year's event can check out some of the latest tackle and lures, pick up a bargain on our second-hand stall or even raise some cash for the forthcoming winter campaign by selling any surplus items gathering dust.

Event organiser Mike Kelly, the PAC's advertising and promotions manager, tonight released the list of those who have so far confirmed they'll be attending the event, which is being held at Leeds Royal Armouries on Saturday, September 23.

Top tackle dealers the Friendly Fisherman, The Tackle Shop (Gainsborough), The Fishing Pool, Anglewise, Dave Lumb Specialist Tackle, Harris Sportsmail, Sovereign Superbaits, Zoota Lures , Eric's Angling, The Pike Shop, DIY Lures and Flies and Catmaster Tackle will all be there.

Organisations which represent all facets of the sport will be strongly represented with the Pike Flyfishing Association, Lure Anglers Society, Specialist Anglers Alliance, and Catfish Conservation Group all in attendance.

CP Boats, who import the Sea Nymph range of aluminium craft, Coch-y-Bonddhu Books and acclaimed wildlife artist David Miller will also be there with stalls to browse.

Predator Publications, better known as publishers of Pike and Predators - Britain's only newstand magazine devoted to predator angling - will be on hand, with editor James Holgate looking forward to meeting readers and finding out what they think about P&P and its sister title Coarse Angling Today.

Last but not least, the PAC will be running a second-hand stall, along with a stalls where you can buy the latest lines in members products, and either join the club or renew your membership on the day.

Many regulars traditionally see the Convention as the start of their winter's piking, with plenty of opportunities to top up your tackle for the rigours ahead.

Whether you need to replenish your lure collection, buy a bulk spool of braid or even handle the latest rods before you splash out in that department, there's something for just about everyone from the newcomer or occasional piker, to the seasoned hand.

We hope to see you there in Leeds, on September 23.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Menteith - apply early, warns events man Mark

Apply early if you want to the chance to fish the Lake of Dreams.

That was the message from PAC special events organiser Mark Skinner tonight as he issued a reminder that places for the privlieged access dates on November 11 and March 10, 2007, would be drawn at the PAC Convention, which is being held in Leeds on Saturday, September 23.

Application forms for both events, which are only open to PAC members, will be included in Pikelines, which is due to be posted out in the next few days.

Forthcoming PAC access dates to other waters are on the PAC website.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Scots back livebaiting in response to Bill

Livebaiting has been staunchly defended by the Scottish Federation for Coarse Angling, in its response to the country's proposed new fisheries laws.

The draft Aqualculture and Fisheries Bill will shortly be considered by the Scottish Environment and Rural Development Committee, before MPs get the final vote.

There is a limited consultation period, and writtein evidence must be submitted by September 15.

The PAC is currently formulating its response, in support of the SFCA and all predator anglers north or the border.

While much of the Bill concerns the regulation of shellfish farms and game fisheries, it also proposes a ban on livebaiting to prevent unauthorised fish transfers.

The SFCA has come out strongly against the move. In its response, it says: "We totally oppose such a ban. It would be both superfluous and disproportionate to the risks it purports to address.

"It is claimed by some that discarded or escaped livebaits have been responsible for the introduction of certain species to a number of waters in Scotland.

"There is no hard evidence for this, but even if it is true it could only account for a tiny fraction of the spread of locally non-native species and the dilution of genetic identity among established species in Scotland.

"There are several far more significant sources for inappropriate introductions. Most important among these are deliberate stocking by clubs, proprietors or individual anglers, and escapes or discards from aquaculture facilities and garden ponds.

"There is no necessary connection or causal link between the use of live fish as bait and the movement of fish between waters. These are two entirely separate issues."

The SFCA says tighter controls on fish transfers are the answer. It goes on: "The appropriate way to prevent inappropriate introductions and transfers is by legislation directly regulating fish movements.

"Such legislation is proposed Part 4 of the Bill, and has the support of SFCA. No additional Regulation is required.

"If the Executive believes it is essential to strengthen this by regulating the use of live fish as bait, the appropriate step would be to bring in provisions analogous to those in Denmark which directly restrict the use of livebaits to fish caught on the same day from the same water where they are being used.

"This is workable and would reinforce the message the Executive seeks to convey without alienating the angling community it aims to regulate. SFCA would be happy to work with the Executive and other stakeholders to formulate the details of a Regulation along those lines, and to promote compliance."

There are also concerns at proposals to allow all fish to be eradicated from river catchments infected with Gyrodactylus salaris - a salmon parasite found in Norway and the Baltic.

While it has not yet been found in Scottish rivers, officials are seeking powers to cull all fish in river systems where an outbreak occurs, despite the fact the disease affects only salmon and trout.

In its response, the SFCA said: "We appreciate that the power to apply selective eradication of affected species may have to exist as a last resort.

"However, that power should not extend to the eradication of stocks of species that are neither affected by nor capable of hosting Gyrodactylus salaris.

"Nor should it apply to waters within a catchment that are not connected to the river in which the affected salmonid population lives.

Stakeholders – including coarse angling interests – must be fully consulted when deciding the measures to be applied in the event of a particular outbreak, and such decisions must start from a presumption that eradication will not be the default approach."

It adds containment measures are preferable and damage to unaffected species should be kept to an absolute minimum.


There is a limited consultation period, during which interested parties can make representations about the proposed new fisheries laws.

Written evidence should be submitted no later than September 15, by either e-mail or post to:


Jenny Goldsmith, Assistant Clerk, Environment and Rural Development Committee, Room T1.01, The Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh EH99 1SP.

More details of the proposed bill here

Friday, September 01, 2006

PAC freezes membership fees until 2009

PAC subscriptions are being frozen for three years, membership secretary John Cahill said tonight. The announement came as members were offered the chance to renew online via Paypal for the first time.

"The committee has taken the decision to freeze membership fees because we want to provide value for money and drive the club forward in membership numbers, which we see as a key issue," John explained.

You can now renew online using your credit card, via Paypal. You can also print off a standing order or renewal form to send in.

More details here.

Current Membership Fees

Adult £19.50

Family (max 2 adults/2 children) £24.50

Overseas £26.50

Concessions £14 - Student, unemployed, OAP (over 65) and disabled.
Please not these are not available online as proof of status must be supplied.