Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Rodders hits the Chilterns

Steve Rodwell's been clocking up the miles bringing his one-man show to PAC region's up and down the country this season.

Tonight - Thursday, February 1 - the big fella from the Fens is on the oche at the newly reformed Herts and Chiltern PAC branch.

Rodders will be at the Shefford Memorial Hall, Shefford, near Bedford, from 7.30pm for an 8pm start. All welcome for what promises to be a night of big pike and big laughs.

Horseshoe event is postponed

Privileged access to the Carp Society's Horseshoe Lake at Lechlade, on the Wiltshire/Gloucestershire border, has been postponed until October because we couldn't find enough people prepared to help with the teach-in at such short notice, special events organiser Mark Skinner said today.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Abberton enlargement "vital" for future

Plans to enlarge Abberton Reservoir are essential to safeguard water supplies to Essex, a top-level meeting will be told this week.

The Pike Anglers Club and conservation groups fear proposals to increase abstraction from the Great Ouse to fill the reservoir could damage historic pike fisheries in the Fens and internationally-important nature reserves on Welney Washes.

More here.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Privileged access update

Special events organiser Mark Skinner is putting the finishing touches to a couple of access events for PAC members.

One is on Horseshoe Lake, formerly Pool Lechlade, the Carp Society's celebrated HQ on the Wilts/Glos border, on Friday, March 9. The PAC is also involved in a junior teach-in on the water the following day.

The other event is on a gravel pit in Essex we'll have access to on Saturday, March 24, and Sunday, March 25.

This is an advance diary note, details of fishery rules and how to apply will follow in Pikelines.

Rookie bags 27 and 28 on first ever pike trip

James Moore celebrated his birthday in style by bagging specimens of 28lb 7oz and 27lb 12oz from an Essex stillwater - on his first-ever pike fishing trip, reports Angling Times.

Click here for more and a picture.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Bob Nudd on livebaiting in the NoW

Bob Nudd might have had a odd difference of opinion with predator anglers this season, but his response to the PAC's announcement that livebaiting is safe for now will strike a chord with many.

"I never use the method but I understand putting a live fish on the hook is often the only way to tempt pike or zander," he writes in today's News of the World. "And is it any different to putting a worm on the hook..?"

Weather forecasts on PAC website

Everyone who goes pike fishing has their own theories about the weather.

Now we're trialling real-time weather forecasts for a variety of locations on the PAC website, to see if it helps people plan their trips.

Click here to check it out - and let us know what you think.

Pikers up in arms at new video nasty

Pikers are up in arms today after another sick video shows pike being mishandled on file sharing site Youtube.

The film clip, entitled Fishing at Carnwaife, Scotland, shows a pike being beaten with a stick.

The PAC is tonight contacting Youtube to complain. A number of clips published on the site have been removed in recent weeks after anglers complained.

Broads Bill moves a step closer

New legislation which includes tougher safety measures for boaters using the Norfolk Broads has moved a step closer.

Click here for story.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Check out this Baltic lump

Check out this beautifully-marked mega-lump from The Baltic.

Dave Lumb found it online, but unfortunately Google Translator hasn't quite hit the mark when it comes to translating much information about the capture.

"08. January 2007: The season starts 2007 with 40-Pfünder!!!

"To 4.1.07 I could at the Peenestrom as well as my fishing rod partner and Guide Christian Maier of the team Bodden fishing rods my Traumhecht catch. 135 cm and 20,1kg are the mass of this exception fish.

Dentures has it in 2m depth of water on one the Grossfischspots to the Peene.

Seal was again times the XXL Tail, also “worm 2” mentioned. I would like to thank you all friends, customers and partners for the sincere congratulations! My special thanks however apply for Christian Maier! It lasted up to the sieved season, until this fish came. Chrischi, hold the Zopf in honours!!!

Everything an exciting season 2007!

It's ok to knock 'em on the head, says club

The Pike Anglers Club is writing to a Dorset angling club which has just reminded its members they're OK to kill pike - as long as they're discreet about it.

Sturminster and Hinton Angling Association's Christmas Newsletter included the folloing advice to anyone think of fishing the stretches of the Upper Stour it controls for pike:

"On the subject of pike, members are reminded that culling of pike under 10lbs in weight is allowed, should the captor so wish, but this should be carried out in a humane fashion and the carcass disposed of discretely (or, better still, eaten…)"

A PAC spokesman said: "The Dorset Stour is potentially one of the finest pike fisheries in Wessex and we are disappointed that a club trumpets its achievements in the field of conservation should encourage its members to kill pike.

"It is well-documented that pike culls achieve nothing other than upset the natural balance.

"We are also aware that there are members of the club who enjoy pike fishing and are very upset at this."

The PAC has enclosed a copy of its Pike in Your Waters booklet, which offers advice for clubs and riparian owners on the role the pike plays in a balanced fishery, with its letter to the Sturminster club's committee.

To download Pike in Your Waters for free, click here
- Requires Acrobat Reader .

North Lanarks host Scotty D

Scott Davidson will be speaking about his early years and his pike fishing experiences on Loch Awe at a North Lanarkshire PAC meeting on Tuesday, February 6 (7pm).

Venue is the Joker Bar in Calder Road, Mossend ,Bellshill. Admission £2 for RA93 members, £5.00 non-members.

There will be a light buffet and a raffle on the night, with prizes including a Prologic Bivvy.

For information on meetings and other activities in North Lanarkshire, see the RA93 Blog.

Zoota Lures reviewed on FISHINGmagic

Gary Knowles discovered Zoota lures when he came to the Fens to do a talk. Read his review on FISHINGmagic here.

ET is worth leaving girlfriend for - Chico

Pike fishing legend ET - aka Eddie Turner - will be speaking at a Lincoln PAC meeting on Monday, February 5.

The talk from the Lea Valley drift float maestro is the latest in a series of vibrant evenings' entertainment, with recent visitors including Bill Palmer, Bill Winship, Lee Norbury, Mark Barrett and Steve Rodwell.

Venue is the Turk's Head in Cecil Street, Lincoln, with the meeting getting under way at 7pm and the speaker usually taking to the floor at 8pm.

RO Chico Winterton said: "Come in your droves and make it a night to remember, Eddie is well worth a night away from the girlfriend and definitely a night away from the wife."

More on the Lincoln Blog.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Stupendous victory for pike fishing - report

Pike fishing has scored a "stupendous victory" following the recent announcement there would be no livebaiting ban in England and Wales, writes Roy Webster in the Great Yarmouth Mercury.

That was the winter, that was

Parts of the UK might be swathed in snow, but forecasters reckon we're
heading for the warmest ever January.

While temperatures fell to -4 in some places overnight, the Met Office said
average temperaturs would be back into double figures by next week.

Warmer westerly winds are set to push the cold air out and bring more wet
and windy weather.

Average temperaturs in England so far this month stands at 7.5C - double the
average for the last 30 years.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Hi-tech finally goes mad..?

The only surprising thing about Fishingcam is it's taken this long for someone to bring it out.

A firm called Sanderson Environmental are marketing an underwater camera you can place near your baits to see what's going on under the water.

No more wondering what's going on down there. Now you can watch your baits in glorious technicolour thanks to a lead with a built-in camera, that transmits CCTV pics via a special fibre optic line.

Ultimate pike fishing accessory - or has technology finally gone too far..?

If you don't believe it's happening, click here.

Treasurer was on the money for big fish

Pike Anglers Club treasurer John Synnuck popped out for some fresh air to blow away the Christmas cobwebs - and ended up blowing away his previous PB.

Kent-based John banked a 35lbs 2oz belter from a stillwater on a headless sardine. The run came just after dark, on a 3oz running rig cast 70yds to a feature.

The fish is John's third thirty of his pike fishing career and beats his previous PB by 1lb 1oz.

Corby PAC is up and running again

Corby PAC is up and running again and its first meeting for a while will be at the Green Dragon pub in Brigstock, Northants, on Wednesday, February 28 (7.30pm).

The speaker will be Alex Prouse, of Zoota Lures fame. Admission £3 to cover the room hire.

Claim your place in the history books

Work is now well in progress on a project code-named PAC30 - a book to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Pike Anglers Club.

The limited-edition book will go on sale at this year's Convention, which officially marks the club's 30th birthday.

As well as looking back at some of the major events in pike fishing since the club was formed, it will also feature contributions from around 30 of today's leading pike anglers.

Some of them are household names. Some of them less famous, but no less-successful in their own areas or at their chosen methods.

While the exact line-up is a work in progress as far as the book is concerned, we have created two special slots for chapters from PAC members.

Any member of the club can enter a piece of writing to be considered for inclusion, but please bear in mind the conditions:

Entries, which should be in the region of 2,500 words, can be on any aspect off pike fishing. It needs to illustrated with a selection of pictures which are of suitable quality for reproduction purposes.

The closing date for entries is March 30 but a brief synopsis should be sent in by February 28 so the team putting the book together have some idea what entries are on the way.

This should include your contact details so we can contact you in the event of any queries.

Entries should be sent to PAC secretary Mark Barrett via the e-mail address in the contacts section of the main PAC website.

Luremania closes down

Online lure supplier LureMania is closing down, customers learned today.

A message on the Yorkshire-based firm's website said: "It's with much regret that we have decided to close LureMania.

"A sad day indeed for us as it's been a real privilege serving our many customers new and old. Your business, loyalty, help and support over the years is much appreciated."

A closing down sale is now in progress, with some items including pike fishing lures and accessories on sale for up to 75 pc off.

Click here for more.

New Pikelines is on its way soon

Production work on Pikelines, the Pike Anglers Club's celebrated magazine, is now in full swing. Members' copies will be going in the post on February 12, if all goes to plan.

With news and views about the club, the latest on special events and other offers - not to mention the occasional ground-breaking article about pike fishing - many regard the magazi ne as one of the biggest benefits of belonging to the PAC.

You can't buy Pikelines at the newsagent's. But don't worry - if you're not a member, there's still time to join the club and make sure you don't February's magazine, or the next three issues.

Just go to our website and follow the links to join up - click here for more information.

MPs debate canoe access bid

Canoeists are trying to hitch a ride on the back of the Government's health agenda to obtain increased access to Britain's rivers.
The Public Access to Inland Waters Bill 2007, presented on behalf of the Rivers Access Campaign by Brighton MP Des Turner, has its second reading on February 23.
Paul Owen, chief executive of the the british Canoe Union said: “Opening up rivers would help the BCU achieve its sporting and recreational aims. Greater access would also enable us to assist in reaching the Government’s aims for outdoor educational, participation in physical activity and the health agenda.”
Anglers have reservations about allowing canoeists increased access to rivers - especially as many appear to expect to access the same waters as Rod Licence holding anglers for free.
Click here for more.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

We're full, says Anglian Water

Recent heavy rain in the region means Anglian Water's reservoirs - Grafham, Rutland and Pitsofrd - are now 100 pc full, the Environment Agency said today.

Take fish and you're on thin ice

Interesting US local paper report on how the pike fishing through the ice is declining in Wisconsin - see what the seasoned old hand says about people removing the larger fish, as in it doesn't take much of that to wreck a water - even over there.

Click here.

Relaunched Reading branch to meet

Reading PAC is holding its first meeting for some time on Monday, February 12, at the King's Tavern, King's Road, Reading (7.30pm).

PAC president Phil Wakeford will be giving a slide show on his varied pike fishing career.

Both members and non-members welcome.

The culls don't work - proof from LA

They've tried poisoning them, dynamite - even holding pike matches. But they kint git rid o' them pesky varmints... If this sorry tale proves one thing, it's that culls don't work.

Click here.

Lough Neagh suffers massive fish kill

One of Northern Ireland's premiser coarse fisheries has suffered a catastrophic fish kill.

"The shores of Lough Neagh were awash with the bodies of millions of small roach and bream after the chemical spillage which happened during the early hours of Friday, January 12," reports local paper the Lurgan Mail.

One witness said: "There have been millions of fish killed and that's no exaggeration."

Iron sulphate stored at a sewage works close to the lough is believed to have leaked into the lough.

For more click here.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

PAC eyes Irish by-law survey

The Pike Anglers Club is consulting its colleagues in Northern Ireland over a fisheries survey which asks anglers their views on conserving pike and other coarse fish.

For more on the survey click here.

More news as we get it.

Is Norfolk 36lbs pike the best of the season

Norfolk's grapevine has been buzzing with a 36lbs pike caught just after Christmas from a little-known still water. The fish - believed the best of the season so far - is featured in Anglers Mail today.

Cold snap set to continue

The cold snap's set to get worse, forecasters said today. Click here.

More on George Higgins talk in Ireland

More details on the Northern Ireland PAC Blog about George Higgins' forthcoming talk on february 15. George will be talking about his lifetime of pike fishing in Ireland, mainly with lures, in which he's boated fish to over 30lbs. One not to be missed for anyone over there.

More here.

Monday, January 22, 2007

PAC website back on line

The Pike Anglers Club website is now back online.

Please accept our apolgies for the outage, which was caused by our hosts changing servers.

Nigel 'The Legend' speaks at Cambridge

Leading fly angler Nigel Savage will be doing a talk and slideshow at
Cambridge PAC on Wednesday, February 7.

Nigel, known to friends as 'The Legend' has caught countless pike and zander
on the fly to specimen weight.

He'll be giving an insight into how to get started in one of the newest
forms of pike fishing, at Bottisham British Legion Club, Downing Close,

PAC members and non members welcome to the meeting, which starts at 8pm,
admission £3.

Lurefair 2007 date announced

The Lure Anglers Society is staging Lurefair 2007 on Saturday, April 28, at Brunel University in Uxbridge, Middlesex.
While many of its membership are interested in pike fishing, the society's ranks also numbers those who pursue other species with lures.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

New North Essex region set to meet

The new North Essex region will be meeting on Monday, February 5, at The Beer House, Magdalen Street, Colchester.

This will be an open meeting for everyone for everyone to discuss what they want from the region. It starts at 7.30pm, admission £2 members, £3 non-members.

Man rescued after pikers raise alarm

A man was rescued from floodwater on Sunday after pike anglers called the emergency services.

An Air Sea Rescue helicopter was scrambled after people pike fishing on the Delph at Welney, on the Norfolk/Cambridgeshire border, reported hearing cries for help.

A 43-year-old man from North Norfolk was plucked to safety from the flooded Welney Washes and airlifted to hospital to be treated for hypothermia, after being trapped for six hours in waist-deep water.

The man is believed to have tried to drive along the A1101 Welney Causeway, before being forced to abandon his car.

The road and the Ouse Washes it crosses have been flooded for some weeks, meaning there is no access to the village from Littleport, to the South-east.

Anglers fishing the Delph and Old Bedford are advised to only try and gain access from the North - Wisbech/Upwell/A1101.

PAC website remains offline

Apologies for the fact the PAC homepage remains off-line. We are hopeful this will be fixed shortly, so please check back later.

Members wishing to enter the forums can do so direct, without needing the homepage.

What's this..? Here's a link to Technorati - a sort of blog search engine with links to other fishing blogs:

Field and Stream's 50 greatest lures of all time

What...? Some two-bob rubber grub comes in at Number One..? And WTF's a Yamamoto Senko - or a Little Cleo..?

Field and Stream, the American outdoor bible published a list of its top 50 lures a while back.

Click here for more.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

SAA Press Release on Livebaiting

18/01/07NO ISSUES for Live-Baiting in England or Wales!
There has been some discussion recently about the right to live-bait in England and Wales, given the potential ban in Scotland that comes before their Assembly for consideration on the 24th of January 2007.

SAA have raised our concerns with the Environment Agency that Scotland's potential move could lead to restrictions in the rest of the UK.

We have discussed this in depth with Adrian Taylor, Fisheries Policy & Process Manager at the Environment Agency, and are pleased to advise that they have given us an unequivocal assurance that they have NO restrictions either planned or considered to restrict the use of live-bait in England and Wales.

Furthermore, to answer the concerns of our predator group members we would like to elaborate on the individual points that have been raised with the EA, with their replies below;

1. "Could the proposed Secondary Legislation that is being used to enable sections of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Review, be used to restrict live-baiting?"

"The EA already has the powers to bring in such bans if they were justified, but there are NO plans or thoughts to ban live-baiting. As far as EA head office is aware there are also no plans to look at any other local bans similar to the NW situation. In theory new secondary legislation could be used but the Animal Welfare Bill would have been the logical route for this-see point 3 below."

2. "If Scotland moves to a ban, surely England and Wales will follow?"

"Regarding the potential Scottish ban, geography and game fish heritage create an issue for the whole of Scotland, under the fish conservation ticket. The proposal has been driven by the translocation of unwanted species. The proposed ban is NOT based on taking a moral stance on live-baiting. It does not therefore set a precedent for the UK, and the EA have NO plans OR intention to ban or restrict live-baiting."

3. "Surely a ban is being considered "behind the scenes", it would be a logical extension of the NW ban?"

"If a ban on live-baiting had been sought on fish welfare grounds then the Animal Welfare Bill was the perfect opportunity. However fishing overall, and by definition that includes the use of live-bait, is specifically excluded from the Bill. The Act is now current legislation."

To sum up, the EA have no plans to either extend the existing local ban, or to introduce a national ban on live-baiting. SAA would urge all predator anglers to act in a responsible manner in future and abide by the PAC/SAA Codes of Practice with regard the movement of fish for live-baits. These must not in future be moved without Section 30's, which would ensure the EA do not have any reason to reconsider the matter. Individual anglers who flout the rules will place the right to live-bait at risk for all of us!

Chris Burt, SAA.
The SAA (Specialist Anglers Alliance) has been defending livebaiting for around a decade. Its efforts have played a major part in helping ensure pike anglers may still lawfully use the method.
Membership costs £10 a year - enough bait for a day's fishing, petrol to get there or a round of drinks with your mates on the way home.
Not much to pay to protect the way you fish.

For more information on the SAA click here. You can even sign up to join straight away using Paypal.

Here comes winter...

Next week is tipped to bring the first cold weather of the winter to much of the UK.

Apologies to anyone who's going to be stuck in work but conditions towards the middle of the week look like real old fashioned pike fishing weather.

Go careful out there tomorrow - see storm warnings.

Faint glimmer of hope in Scotland

There is a faint glimmer of hope that livebaiting could be saved in Scotland.

Scottish National Party MP Richard Lochead has submitted an amendment to the draft Fisheries and Aquaculture Bill stating the ban will apply "except in such circumstances as the Scottish Ministers may by regulations specify".

This theoretically opens the door for a regulation allowing the use of live fish as bait where they have been obtained from the fishery, though it would depend on whether the amendment was voted through.

It now looks unlikely the livebaiting secrion of the bill will be discussed next week, MPs are due to debate some sections next Wednesday and the remainder the following week.

More here.

PAC Members Forum link

Here's a link to the forum for anyone who can't access it via the main homepage:

PAC Forum

PAC Website and E-mail problems

The main PAC website is currently offline, and e-mail addresses have been on a go slow for a few days.

This is due to our hosting service installing new servers. The Blog and Members Message Board are unnafected by this work.

We'll let you know when normal service resumes.

Rodders to hit Brum

The Birmingham region of the P.A.C. are having a talk courtesy of Steve Rodwell AKA "Rodders", on Tuesday 13th of February at their new venue of The Hill Social Club, 33a Dugdale Crescent, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield West Midlands, B75 7EY. Car parking is available.

Steve's talk starts at 8.00pm and will be about his pike fishing exploits on a range of different venues - including trout waters, The Fens, The Broads and more.

A licensed bar is available and there will be a raffle.

Admission is £2.00 for members and £3.50 for non-members.

Plenty of pikey fun to be had by everyone!!!!!

Friday, January 19, 2007

It's been a busy year for Teeside PAC

There's plenty going on up in the North-east if you're a pike angler at the moment.

Teeside and Darlington PAC RO Brian Carragher has just posted a report on last year's activities on their blog.

He writes: "The past year has been a year of measured growth and with some good fishing and successes along the way. Many members have had their best years fishing and the best recorded fish by a member was a magnificent fish of 29lb 15oz.

"Three other twenties were caught by members, two on club trips and both setting the record for biggest fish caught on a club trip until beaten by the other. Shane Patterson being the captor of the bigger at 23lb."

Mind you, it hasn't all been a tale of big fish.

"I have to hold my hands up to being the captor of the smallest pike at 34 grammes (one and quarter ounces) on double maggot when fishing for bits," adds Brian.

They stage monthly trips to waters all over the North of England and are close to clinching their own water.

Much more on their blog, click here to check it out.

Neville Fickling talk at Glossop, Derbys

Former record holder and all round bon viveur Neville Fickling will be sharing some of the ups and downs of his pike fishing career with lads of Region 88, aka The Vassey, at the Conservative Club, Hadfield, Glossop, on Tuesday, February 6.

The meeting starts at 8pm, admission £5 , and we think this bit means that includes supper:

Cool Cool Cool Okay of dokey we throw in a supper that would in of deed sh**t satins belly Wink Cool Cool) mmmmmmm Hot of thee Trot cook pot ..... Shocked Shocked Shocked (lose 3 stone and a lung with 1 thrutch of joy ..... Wink Wink Wink) "

All go for Blithfield this weekend

Pike fishing at Blithfield is on this weekend, after water levels dropped enough to get boat ramps back out.

Gary Knowles told P&P Forum: "Start will be 8.00am due to that fact that this is what time it gets light. see you all there tomorrow and good luck everyone !"

Are you in the draw for the Golden Ticket..?

You are if you've bought a ticket for the PAC's Winter Mega Raffle, which has a week's catfish holiday in Spain as first prize and a host of other goodies.

One we haven't mentioned - until now - is the Golden Ticket. This gives you and a partner guaranteed access to a PAC Privileged Access Event next season.

That means you can bypass the draw and get a VIP place on the mighty Menteith, or any of the PAC's other fish-ins next year.

The motto of this story's easy. If you aren't in, you can't win. So make sure you buy a ticket. Or two...

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Livebaiting is safe in England and Wales

Livebaiting is safe in England and Wales, the Pike Anglers Club can reveal tonight.

A senior Environment Agency policy chief has gone on record to state the agency will not be seeking either a blanket ban - like that proposed in Scotland - or further regional by-laws, such as the Cumbrian coarse bait ban.

PAC president Phil Wakeford said: "We are extremely pleased, however it will never go away completely. The eyes of the public and the authorities are now upon anglers and pike anglers in particular.

"We urge all predator anglers to stay within the law and follow our code of conduct."

Senior officials in the Environment Agency were lobbied on behalf of the PAC and other predator groups by the Specialist Anglers Alliance.

The SAA put our concerns to Adrian Taylor, the EA's fisheries policy manager.

SAA vice-president Chris Burt said: "We have discussed this in depth with Adrian Taylor and are pleased to advise that they have given us an unequivocal assurance that they have no restrictions being planned or considered to restrict the use of live-bait in England and Wales.

"Furthermore, to answer the concerns of our predator group members we would like to elaborate on the individual points that have been raised with the EA."

The PAC's biggest fear was that the proposed Secondary Legislation that being used to make sections of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Review law could be used to ban livebaiting by the back door.

But at the meeting with the SAA, Mr Taylor said: "The EA already has the powers to bring in such bans if they were justified, but there are no plans or thoughts to ban live-baiting.

"As far as the EA head office is aware there are also no plans to look at any other local bans similar to the North-west situation. In theory new secondary legislation could be used but the Animal Welfare Bill would have been the logical route for this."

Many feared the blanket ban which looks almost certain to be imposed by the Scottish Parliament makes a similar ban inevitable in the remainder of the UK.

But Mr Taylor said: "Regarding the potential Scottish ban, geography and game fish heritage create an issue for the whole of Scotland, under the fish conservation ticket. The proposal has been driven by the translocation of unwanted species.

"The proposed ban is not based on taking a moral stance on live-baiting. It does not therefore set a precedent for the UK and the EA has no plans or intention to ban or restrict livebaiting."

Chris Burt said: "To sum up, the EA have no plans to either extend the existing
local ban, or to introduce a national ban on live-baiting.

"The SAA would urge all predator anglers to act in a responsible manner in future and abide by the PAC/SAA Code of Practice with regard to the movement of fish for bait."

Watch out for aliens in the Fens

No, not half the population of Littleport...

Anglers fishing the Great Ouse and other Fenland rivers and drains are being urged to report sightings of two invasive alien species.

The red signal crayfish and chinese mitten crab have both colonised the area and both are a threat to native species.

The crayfish kill the native white-clawed crayfish, while the crabs burrow into banks and eat fish.

Both species will also pick up deadbaits, which accounts for twitchy missed takes where the bait is decapitated or has its guts neatly scooped out.

Anyone spotting one of these delightful creatures is asked to call Dan Horsley, at the Environment Agency, on 07917 173067, or e-mail

Now pike aren't native to Scotland either...

Yet more ignorance about pike fishing appears today in The Guardian of all places.

Never mind all these anglers using minnows, loach and even lamprey to catch them - now the pike aren't indigenous either.

Why not sign up to the site so you can post a comment while you're at it..?

Click here.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Sick video removed from Youtube

A video of a so-called pike angler dragging a fish up a rocky bank and putting his foot on it to keep it still has been taken down from file sharing site

Anger erupted after the PAC posted a link to the footage, believed to have been shot on Loch Oich, near Inverness, on its blog and forums.

A message on the Youtube site tonight said: "This video has been removed by the user."

Some clips of the captor of the fish and friends indulging in other harmless country pursuits can still be viewed.

It's the Muppet Show

Latest P&P hits the shelves Thursday

February's Pike and Predators hits the newsagent's shelves on Thursday. And
we've had a sneak preview of what's in next month's edition.

Phil Blakey sheds some fascinating light on lure fishing at night;

Jon Neafcy argues the case for single hooks in pike fishing;

Darren Carter discusses getting the best out of your swim;

Peter Foster shows how even the most mundane item of pike tackle can be
improved and adapted to make you piking more efficient;

Geoff Parkinson discusses presentations options for leger rigs;

Mark Barrett wonders what the connection is between bream and big zander;

And Miguel Sanz explores the surprisingly productive field of Spanish pike

Plus, there are the regular features by Neville Fickling, James Holgate and
reviews letters and news.

Pike club makes its position clear

The following letter appeared in today's Eastern Daily Press, in response to various comments concerning pike fishing and the Pike Anglers Club which appeared in its Angling Section last Wednesday.

Letter from The Pike Anglers Club of Great Britain

It is unfortunate Roy Webster did not contact us for a comment before writing last week's column, as this may have helped avoid some of inaccuracies it contained.

Firstly, a ban on livebaiting has not moved any closer as far as England and Wales are concerned. We are now given to understand from senior sources there is no ban currently on the agenda, because it has not been included in the areas of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Review which are to be enacted by so-called Secondary legislation.

The recent convictions Mr Webster refers to did not tip the balance in Scotland and were not referred to during the debate in the Scottish Parliament, which is freely available on its website.

It is wrong to suggest “just about every other body” believes the current Section 30 of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act to be ineffective and “subjected to such abuse it has become nothing more than an endorsement of a two-finger salute to anarchy”.

The EA has just streamlined the procedure to make it more effective.

The Angling Trades Association – whose 50 members include such household names as Daiwa, Shakespeare, Sundridge, Mustad, Masterline and Middy, along with with some of the country’s major retailers – last week came out strongly in support of livebaiting and the Pike Anglers Club.

In a statement, they said: “Bans impose unwarranted restrictions on the freedom of predator anglers to use livebait as a traditional, productive and legal method of capturing fish in fresh water and, indeed, in the sea.

“Unauthorised fishery-to-fishery movements of fish are already illegal, be it for angling or any other purpose, and they can only be prevented by effective enforcement of the existing laws.

“The association endorses the codes of conduct issued by the Pike Anglers Club and others, specifically by encouraging all anglers to act responsibly and use livebait caught on the day from the water being fished.”

You might think having the main trade body in a £500m industry which employs 18,000 people on our side lends a certain amount of credibility. To suggest that we are publicly in denial, accuse us of turning a blind eye to our members’ wrongdoings and state we have a tarnished image is simply laughable.

Where is this secret plant where some sinister criminal network is smuggling fish from the Broads to Ireland? If there’s irrefutable proof why hasn’t it been published?

We’ve been vetting supplies of coarse fish since last May, when we launched a kitemark firms could display on their packaging.

To date three of Britain’s biggest bait suppliers, who between them account for more than 70 per cent of the market, have signed up for it.

We know they mainly obtain their baits from a sustainable source, a large stillwater which is not coarse fished, where coarse fish are regularly netted and sold.

All three companies concerned would be happy to talk about the scheme and why they have signed up to it. I’m sure Neville Fickling would have been more than happy to do so, had anyone contacted him to give the bait industry’s side of the story.

He’d probably also have pointed out the former record pike he landed from the Thurne was caught on a deadbait – not, as Mr Webster reports, a livebait.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Severe weather warnings update

The Met Office has revised its severe weather warnings issued for much of England and Wales for Thursday. Click here for latest.

Forecasters now reckon the start of next week will see the long-awaited cold snap arrive, as winds veer round to the North bringing Arctic air with them.

Many pike anglers have blamed the incredibly mild and unsettled spell of weather we've enjoyed since Christmas for lack of runs of late.
Gusts of up to 70mph are expected to batter parts of England, Northern Ireland and Wales for several days from tomorrow (Thursday...) morning.
The storms will be followed by a cold snap which could last five days and is expected to bring bring snow to Scotland, northern England and parts of the Midlands next week.
Snow fell last night and early today in central Scotland but had almost all melted by the morning rush hour.
While winds are expected to hit 60mph at times today in Scotland, stronger gusts are expected across parts of the UK tomorrow. Worst hit are expected to be the coastlines of Kent and Sussex.
Temperatures are tipped to begin dropping by the weekend, with sleet and snow expected in the north by the beginning of next week.

RA 43 welcome Irish pike fishing legend

George Higgins, truly one of Ireland's pike fishing legends, will be speaking at Portadown Town Hall, in Co Armagh on Thursday, February 15.

This is a members-only evening, for more information contact Gordon Nesbitt at

For more information on meetings and other events in Northern Ireland, click here.

Nationalists could amend livebait ban

Scottish Nationalists could favour exemptions in a livebait ban, one of their MPs hinted tonight.

Pike anglers on both sies of the border have been lobbying hard since proposals for a blanket ban on live baiting were included in new fisheries legislation.

While the Scottish parliament has provisionally backed the ban, MPs now have the chance to debate the bill line by line, meaning amendments could be introduced.

Responding to an e-mail sent to MSPs, Scottish Nationalist Maureen Watt said: "The SNP supports measures that will prevent alien species invading Scotland's rivers given the associated dangers to fish health and biodiversity.

"We therefore support bans on the use of live bait. However, we believe there may be a case for exemptions, for instance for the use of certain live bait that poses none of the above mentioned threats.

"Once we have had sight of the Minister's proposed amendment that will introduce the ban, if need be, SNP members on the committee will introduce amendments allowing exemptions to be introduced through secondary legislation.

"The SNP is keen to prevent any disproportionate impact on coarse angling."

Scottish Conservatives have already said they will back amendments to the bill to prevent a blanket ban.

STOP PRESS... There's still time to e-mail... Click here to see how...

Downloadable membership form online

You can now download membership leaflets for the Pike Anglers Club online. Why not print a few off and take them next time you go out, to hand out to anyone you see pike fishing who isn't already a member.

Remember, if you're already a member write your details in the box provided so if someone joins we know who recruited them. Every time someone joins using one of your leaflets, you get entered in the draw to win a brand new pike fishing boat from our friends at CP Boats.

To download a leaflet, click here.

For more on the boat promotion, click here.

Nene seal enjoying a feast

A seal which has made its way up the Nene to Peterborough is enjoying a feast, reports the local Evening Telegraph.

But at least the paper's columnist is on-side as far as livebaiting goes.

Dead roach snaffles rare river brownie

Unusual captures seem the flavour of the month. Rod Atkin from Cambridge was fishing the River Cam on the outskirts of the city for pike when a 5lbs 10oz trout picked up his dead roach. Story here.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Severe weather warnings issued

Severe weather warnings are being issued by the Met Office for later this week, in what is rapidly becoming a familiar story.

Gales of 60mph or more are forecast for most parts of the British Isles on Wednesday and Thursday.

A change to north-easterly winds next week is expected to bring the much-awaited cold snap and a spell of dry, frosty weather.
Click here.

Climate change stalls salmon season

Further evidence climate change is having a profound affect on our rivers from the BBC website. Click here.

Changes to Section 30 announced

A fisheries watchdog today welcomed moves to streamline the Section 30 procedure for those applying for permission to move live fish.

NAFAC - the National Association of Fisheries and Angling Consultatives - said the move made it easier to apply.

From April 2007, Angling Clubs will be able to apply on-line 24 hours a day for Section 30 consents to introduce fish and Section 25 Consents to use an unlicenced instrument to catch fish.

As well as being able to track the progress of consents, clubs will be also able to access former applications and overtype them with simple changes like dates and numbers of fish saving much time and administration.

Repeat consents will also be much quicker with request being turned around within one day, direct from the central Fish Movement Authorisation Team, rather than Regional Offices as at present.

The current system is generally acknowledged to be somewhat discredited and evaded, with some suppliers moving fish illegally, because of the delays and bureaucracy often involved. It is anticipated that on-line applications will reduce this.

The new system is being implemented after discussion with the Fish Welfare Group under the auspices of FACT (Fisheries and Angling Conservation Trust) on which NAFAC is represented along with the fish supply trade and other angling and fisheries bodies.

Chairman of NAFAC, Martin Read commented, “This result demonstrates what can be achieved by Fisheries and Angling organisations working together on behalf of anglers, angling, and fisheries throughout the country. I hope the improved system will reduce current bureaucracy and subsequent illegal movements so that the benefits of the consent system can start to truly protect our fish and fisheries”.

Protect our big pike call in the US

American anglers are being called on to conserve large fish, as the message about the damage their removal does to fisheries begins to hit home on the other side of the 'pond..

Click here for story.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Thames Gateway region launches blog

Pike anglers in South Essex/North Kent/that funny bit of East London have launched a new region for the Thames Gateway.

Steve Gould and John Synnuck would love to see you at their first meeting on Tuesday, February 6, when Essex boy Bill "Dimples to Wrinkles" Palmer's going to be on the oche.

They've also launched a blog, which - between you and us - features what we think might be one of the biggest pike caught this season.

Click here for more.

Matt shells out for bizarre capture

Thames Valley lure man Matt Jahans hooked what will probably go down as one of the more unusual captures of the season today - a terrapin the size of a dinner plate.

Matt nailed the critter on a perch-patterned jerkbait on one of his local gravel pits.

"I didn't weigh it but estimated it at about 3lb," he told the PAC forum. "I did catch a jack a little later but the turtle probably beat it by a few ounces."

The creature - which was later identified as a terrapin - was returned unharmed to the water. It was not hooked, a point caught under the edge of its shell.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Keeping the PAC in the family for a fiver

Any PAC member who wishes to upgrade to family membership can do so at any time by paying another £5 and letting us know the names of any additional member or members who'd like to join the club.

Thanks to the Irish members who suggested this.

Entries rolling in to win a boat

Nearly 50 people are already entered in the running to win a brand new boat, PAC membership secretary John Cahill said today.

And your name could be in the hat for the draw to win a brand new Sea Nymph if you recruit a new member to the club.

You can download membership forms from our website. Why not print a couple off and take them next time you go fishing. Don't forget to put your name and details in the space provided, so when someone joins we know who recruited them.

For more details of our exciting new promotion, click here.

Cash cuts threaten Upper Thurne

Cuts in flood defence budgets could leave some of Britain's most historic pike fisheries under threat from the sea.

The Environment Agency Anglian (Eastern) Regional Flood Defence Committee has just been told its budget for next year will be £33m - £5.2m less than last year.

The shortfall means work on building up beaches between Eccles and Winterton, on the north-east Norfolk coast, will not go ahead.

Just low cliff or a narrow strip of sand and shingle is all that prevents the sea from encroaching into Horsey Mere and the Upper Thurne.

The Thurne system occupies a unique place in predator fishing history, having produced three record pike, all of them over 40lbs.

North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb said: "The Environment Agency has told me that not recharging the beaches would cause a significant threat to the Broads.

"To hear that this is happening is just unbelievable, absolutely scandalous. You can draw comparison to New Orleans, where the scandal came after the event when it emerged the US government hadn't done what they should have done to protect the defences."

Malcolm Kerby, from the Norfolk-based Coastal Concern Action Group, added: "This decision will put villages like Hickling, Waxham and Sea Palling under huge threat, not to ­ mention 6,000 hectares of the Broads.

"It is another example of Defra's total inability to manage the coastline. By massively underfunding flood defence works they are putting thousands of homes at risk."

Defra said: "There is not a limitless pot of money for funding flood risk management."

Friday, January 12, 2007

Scottish Tories rally behind pikers

Conservative MPs in Scotland are rallying behind pike fishing as the Scottish Parliament gets set to debate a ban on livebaiting.

In a reply to an e-mail from a PAC member Dave Petrie, Scottish Conservative Spokesman for Communities, and the MSP for Highlands & Island, said: "I refer to your recent e-mail regarding the above matter which is currently being discussed at the Scottish Parliament and thank you for taking the time to write.

"The Scottish Conservative spokesman responsible for this area is my colleague Ted Brocklebank, Rural Affairs Spokesman.

"He has always maintained a high level of interest into matters concerning fishing and I know it is a Bill he is working very hard on to ensure that only the best possible legislation is introduced.

"I have accordingly discussed the particular matter of a ban on live bait with him for you.

"We both very much share your concerns on Executive proposals to ban live bait and its consequences to the future of pike fishing in Scotland.

"The Scottish Conservative Party is united in its opposition to these measures and we will be doing all we can to oppose such attempts. We are currently looking into ways of amending the Bill to achieve these aims."

Scottish MPs are expected to debate the Aquaculture and Fisheries Bill, which includes proposals to ban all live vertebrates for bait, on January 24.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Thames Gateway kicks off with Bill

Bill Palmer is the speaker when the new Thames Gateway Region holds its first meeting on Tuesday, February 6.

Venue is the Papermakers Arms in Hawley Road, Dartford, and the evening gets under way at 7.30pm.

Steve Gould, who's organised the meeting with PAC treasurer John Synnuck, said: "The man who's caught more big pike in one season than most of us mere mortals will see in a lifetime, is to regale us with tales of fishing exploits past, and battles with leviathans of the esoxy kind.

"I saw Bill's talk at the conference and it was inspiring, to say the least. All members and non-members alike are more than welcome, there will also be sarnies laid on and of course as much ale as you want to buy!"

Admission is £2.50 for PAC members, £3.50 non-members.

Greens show how much they care

Pike anglers writing to Green members of the Scottish Parliament have been impressed by their obvious attention to the issues they have raised.
Whoever you write to in the beards and sandals party, you get the same e-mail in response.

Scottish livebait ban 'not needed'

A livebaiting ban in Scotland is uneccessary and won't achieve what it sets
out to do.

That was the message from the Scottish Federation for Coarse Angling today,
as it stepped up its campaign to overturn amended fisheries legislation
which would ban the method.

"Banning the use of live fish as bait is entirely unnecessary, and will
contribute absolutely nothing to meeting the goals the Executive says they
want to achieve from it," said SFCA policy officer Ron Woods.

"They claim a ban is needed to prevent non-native fish speces spreading
through Scotland. The use of live fish as bait and the movement of fish
between waters are entirely separate issues, but even there was a connection
in some cases it could only account for a tiny fraction of the non-native
introductions in Scotland.

"Most of these come from deliberate stocking by clubs or fishery
proprietors, escapes from aquaculture facilities, or discards from garden
ponds; yet the Bill does not seek to ban any of those activities. Instead -
quite rightly - it aims to prevent inappropriate introductions and transfers
by introducing legislation regulating fish movements.

"This is all that is needed, but if the Executive feels they have to go
further they could bring in provisions similar to those in Denmark which
restrict the use of livebaits to fish caught on the same day from the same
water where they are being used. SFCA would be happy to work with the
Executive and others to formulate Regulations along those lines, and to
promote compliance."

Scottish MPs will discuss the Fisheries and Aquaculture Bill later this

iViva Espana if your number comes up

Imagine jetting off to sunny Spain for a week's all expenses-paid catfishing with top guide Martin Walker.
Beats staring at a river the colour of chocolate or watching the waves breaking over your rod tops on a loch or gravel pit any day.
Well that's exactly what's up for grabs as the first prize in the Pike Anglers Club's winter mega raffle.
All you've got to do is get there and all accommodation, food, tackle and bait are provided free of charge.
To whet your appetite, click here to have a gander at their website.
With a prize like that it's no wonder tickets are selling like hot cakes. But there's still time to order more if you've sold out - or fancy a few extra goes yourself.
Drop Mike an e-mail at to order more books (NB PAC members only...).
The draw will be held live at the AGM in May. And if you don't win the catfish holiday, there are dozens of other prizes you can win, including:
A Guided Trip for Two with Fen Mark Barrett
Brawler Jerkbait Rod, Ted Carter Tackle
Brute Jerkbait Rod, Ted Carter Tackle
Boat Rod Holders, The Tackle Shop
Model Pike, Ben Thomas
Fox Guide to Modern Pike Fishing (four copies), Fox
Daiwa Emblem 12 Bait Rod, Harris
Daiwa Emblem Boat Rod, Harris
Rapalla Legendary Fishing Lures Ltd Edition Book, Harris
Berkley Eel Lures, Mark II Angling
Abu Cardinal 301 FR Reel, Mark II Angling
P & P Subscriptions, Pike & Predator Publications
Big Pike (Bob Church), Bob Church
Pike Fishing in the UK and Ireland, Steve Rogowski
Modern Day Pike Anglers, Barrie Rickards
Cormoran Bullitt Lures, Cormoran
ACE Searcher Lures, Fishing Pool
Week's Holiday in Log Cabin, Steve French
2 X Driftmaster Boat Rod Rests, Chris Parry
2 X Driftmaster Boat Rod Rests, Chris Parry
John Roberts Goody Bag, John Roberts
5 X Rivertherm Thermometers, Rivertherm
7 X Lures, Lureshack
Bazooka rod case, Sovereign Superbaits
Abu Ambassadeur Reel, The Pike Shop
6 X Lures, The Pike Shop

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

£500m tackle trade backs livebaiting

A ringing endorsement for livebaiting has come from a powerful lobby group representing some of the biggest names in fishing.

The Angling Trades Association - whose members include tackle giants Daiwa, Leeda, Masterline, Middy, Mustad, Shakespeare, Sundridge, the angling media and major retailers - is supporting the Pike Anglers Club and its allies in their campaign to retain the method.

Scottish MPs meet to discuss new fisheries legislation which includes a livebait ban later this month.

Ministers believe banning the method will prevent illegal fish transfers between waters, though an increasing number of Scottish MPs are indicating their opposition.

Pike anglers on both sides of the border maintain all that is needed is a similar system to that already in place in England and Wales, coupled with effective enforcement.

ATA chairman Sean O'Driscoll said: "'The Angling Trades Association appreciates the need to protect rare, isolated populations of whitefish from threats caused by the release of non-native fish species.

"However, it does not agree that moves to achieve this through livebait bans are justified or that they will prove effective.

"Bans impose unwarranted restrictions on the freedom of predator anglers to use livebait as a traditional, productive and legal method of capturing fish in fresh water and, indeed, in the sea.

"Unauthorised fishery-to-fishery movements of fish are already illegal, be it for angling or any other purpose, and they can only be prevented by effective enforcement of the existing laws.

"The association endorses the codes of conduct issued by the Pike Anglers Club and others, specifically by encouraging all anglers to act responsibly and use livebait caught on the day from the water being fished."

A recent survey revealed the tackle trade contributes more than £500m to the UK economy and supports 18,000 jobs. Insiders see a livebaiting ban as the thin end of a wedge which threatens a sport enjoyed by 4m people of all ages, from all walks of life, across the UK.

PAC chairman Colin Goodge said: "We are grateful that main trade association in the tackle industry, which supports thousands of jobs and contributes millions to the economy is willing to back us.

"This shows the importance of this issue for the whole of angling, which we have been stressing from the outset. It's a powerful endorsement for what we and a lot of other people have been saying all along."

Scottish MPs meet to discuss new fisheries legislation later this month. Members of the PAC, the Pike Anglers Alliance for Scotland and Scottish Federation for Coarse Angling have been lobbying hard against a last-minute amendment to the Fisheries and Aquaculture Bill, proposing a blanket livebait ban.

Digger live and direct at Fenland PAC

Dennis "Digger" Moules has been fishing the Fens since Black Shuck* was a puppy.

He'll be sharing some of the ups and downs of more than four decades spent fishing the drains and rivers at the Sportsman Social Club, Chatteris, next Thursday night (January 18...).

Dennis has an unrivalled knowledge of how waters have fished over the years, as compiler of the Fenland Thirties - a booklet charting the aqrea's biggest captures.

The meeting starts at 8pm, the place is slightly off the beaten track, click here for directions.

*Black Shuck

Ban was always on the cards, says MSP

Green MSP Chris Balance has given an insight into his party's perspective on fishing and the Scottish Parliament's view on livebaiting, in this e-mail to a PAC member:

As you know the proposal to which you refer is contained in the Aquaculture and Fisheries Bill which is currently progressing through the Scottish Parliament.

The Bill was introduced by ministers and includes measures to improve regulation of aquaculture, measures to deal with an outbreak of Gyrodactylus Salaris should this parasite ever reach Scottish waters, and various provisions related to salmon and freshwater fisheries.

The Bill has broad cross party support. It should be noted that one policy intention of the section on freshwater fisheries is to increase access to angling opportunities.

The Bill as originally introduced does not contain the provision to ban the use of live vertebrates as bait, but the Minister made it clear that the intention was always to introduce such a ban, through regulations which would follow from the passage of the Bill.

In a letter to the Committee the Ministers noted that they had an open mind as to whether this issue should be explicitly in the Bill or should follow in regulations, and that if the committee felt that this should be on the face of the Bill the Minister would bring forward an amendment to that effect at Stage 2 (which we expect to start on 24th January).

The committee in its Stage 1 report made a recommendation that this should be explicitly included in the Bill, so we expect the Minister to introduce such an amendment.

In considering this issue the committee heard evidence on the two aspects of this issue namely the possible introduction of alien species used as bait into a body of water, and the fish welfare issue of using live fish as bait. Both were felt to be valid concerns.

While I accept that the use of only fish caught on the same day from the same body of water would avoid the first problem, the welfare issue remains.

I realise that this would stop a practice that has been the norm among pike fishermen.

I do however note that on the Pike Anglers' Club of Great Britain website there is advice about pike angling with dead bait so I hope that the effect of a ban would not be as great as you suggest.

Please be assured that Green MSPs recognise the value of angling and that there is no "hidden agenda" to stop it, quite the reverse as I indicated in my first paragraph.

Chris Balance, MSP

Blithfield pike fishing off this weekend

Pike fishing on Blithfield Reservoir has been postponed again this weekend due to adverse conditions.

Ressie regular Gary Knowles reports: "Although the weather forecast has improved greatly the recent heavy and incessant rainfall means reservoir is now 100% full, with water flowing over the dam wall.

"Although this in itself is not a problem to the fishing the water is within a couple of feet of the underside of the causeway bridge which gives access into the Blythe end of the reservoir and with any kind of a 'chop' on the water passage through here would not be allowed, or indeed possible.

"Obviously this means if the pike had all moved to this side of the reservoir, then our fishing would be useless."

More on Pike & Predators, click here.

More gales on the way, warns Met Office

Severe weather warnings are being issued by the Met Office, with gales and heavy rain forecast acrosss the UK on Thursday.

It came after a day when heavy rain made rivers burst their banks in Cambridgeshire, Shropshire and the Cotswolds.

Pike anglers thinking of venturing out on boats are warned to check local forecasts before setting out.

Click here for Met Office warnings

New region in Southport, Lancs

A new PAC region in Southport, West Lancs, is holding its first meeting on Tuesday, February 13.

It's at the Mount Pleasant Hotel in Manchester Road, Southport, from 8pm.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Welcome Kev - our 400th forum member

Hat tip to Kev Taylor, from Lincolnshire - the 400th PAC member to sign up to our forums.

Words just fail you sometimes

If you ever wondered why we need groups like the Pike Anglers Club and Pike Anglers Alliance for Scotland to push home the message about fish handling and conservation, click here.

If anyone knows these guys, a word might be in order.

Scottish bait ban is "ruffe justice"

Ministers want to ban livebaiting in Scotland to stem the spread of alien species - especially the ruffe which have allegedly been released into Loch Lomond, The Scotsman reports today.

Click here for full report.

Police appeal after woman dies in Ouse

Anglers fishing the Great Ouse in Cambridgeshire yesterday (Monday, January 8) may have witnessed an accident in which a woman died.

The woman was driving her Ford Ka close to Queen Adelaide Bridge, on the outskirts of Ely, when it veered off the road and plunged into the river. Her body was still inside the vehicle when emergency services recovered it from the river.

The spot is popular with predator anglers, and police investigating the crash are appealing for anyone who saw a blue Ford Ka in the area around the time of the accident, which happened just before 3.30pm, to contact them.

PC Paul Symonds, who is investigating the crash, said: “I'd like to hear from anyone who was in the Queen Adelaide area yesterday afternoon, who may have seen the Ford Ka in the moments leading up to the collision.”

Anyone with information should call PC Symonds, at road policing, on 0845 456 4564.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Is the Relief Channel set for rebirth..?

Could a £19m package of flood defence works restore the Great Ouse Relief Channel to its former glories..?

That's the question predator anglers are asking tonight with the news Denver Sluice, on the Great Ouse near Downham Market, is set to be refurbished.

For many years, water from the Ouse has been run off via the Relief Channel and many fear harsh flows through the almost ruler-straight 11 mile channel have swept whole year classes of fish out to sea.

EA surveys have shown dwindling populations of pike and zander in the channel, which was a mecca for both species in the 1970s.

Repairing the sluice would mean water could be allowed down the tidal river again, leaving the Relief Channel to recover and only be run off in extreme conditions to alleviate flooding.

Officials plan to dam off the sluice gates so they can check whether they need replacing and whether modifications can be carried out to scour silt around the doors when they are open.

Livebaiting latest: 'We'll listen,' says MSP

Pike anglers have been e-mailing Scottish MPs, asking them to think again over the livebaiting ban which was added at the eleventh hour to new Scottish fisheries legislation.

One has received the following reply from one MSP, who promises they'll take all views into account.

"Thank you for your e-mail.

"A number of people with an interest in this issue have written to me in similar terms, and as a member of the Committee doing the detailed work on the Bill, I will take these views into account when we consider amendments to the proposed legislation.

"I hope that by working with all the various interest groups and listening to those people with practical experience and most directly affected we will end up with a sensible and effective piece of legislation.

"I appreciate your taking the time and trouble to make your views known.

Yours sincerely

Nora Radcliffe"


Submissions from the Pike Anglers Club, Pike Anglers Alliance for Scotland and Scottish Federation for Coarse Angling on the livebaiting issues were ignored.

For more on the ongoing campaign in Scotland and a list of addresses you can e-mail, click here.

Fifty boats fish in PAC charity bash

Fifty boats have been reserved for a major PAC charity event this autumn.

Special events organiser Mark Skinner has arranged accesss to Rutland Water Reservoir two weeks before it officially opens for pike fishing.

The idea of the event – two days after the PAC’s 30th birthday convention – is to raise cash for a chidren’s cancer charity.

More details of the event on Monday, September 24, will appear on the PAC’s website and in Pikelines shortly.

Mild spell is swan song for winter

A clutch of cygnets have been born on a lake in Norfolk, as the mild, wet
weather is predicted to continue until well into this month.

The swans were hatched at Heckingham hall, near Norwich over year.

Today forecasters reckoned wet weather and gales at times would continue
until around January 20, with only the occasional frost.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Mild weather hits US ice fishing

So mild there isn't enough ice over there for the first time in living memory. You do wonder how climate change is ultimately going to affect our pike fishing.

Anyone remember the last frost..?

Click here for story.

Don't miss Rodders in Lincoln

Steve Rodwell's in the spotlight in Lincoln on Monday night (January 8), for a talk on the theme of big fish and big laughs.

Rodders and his mates specialise in both, a rag-tag bag of gents who live for their pike fishing.

Monday's meeting's at the Turk's Head in Newport, Lincoln, from 7.30pm.

More details on their blog.

Sunday newspaper report - a clarification

Today's Sunday Telegraph reports the Scottish Parliament's banned livebaiting because MPs think it's cruel.

As we've reported at some length on this blog and elsewhere, the objective of the proposed ban - which is still a proposed ban - was to stop people moving fish from water to water.

For the most recent news on the issue click here.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Devon PAC see out the year in style

Exeter-based all-rounder Pete Gregory is doing the honours at a Devon PAC meeting on Monday night (Jan 8).

He'll be talking about a year in the life of someone who fishes for coarse, sea and game fish,

Venue is the Swan's Nest, Exminster. The meeting starts at 7.30pm, admission £2.

For more info on events in Devon, click here.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Reading PAC region set for re-launch

Pikers are meeting up to re-launch the Reading region of the PAC next week. They'll be at the Black Boy pub at Shinfield, near Reading, from 7.30pm on Wednesday, January 10.

New Thames Gateway region launched

A new PAC region has been launched in the South Essex/North Kent area.

Thames Gateway PAC has its first meeting on Tuesday, February 6 at the Papermaker's Arms in Hawley Road, Dartford.

PAC treasurer John Synnuck, who's organised the meeting with Steve Gould, said: "I hope all local PAC Members will attend.

"Steve and I are very keen to kick start a local region up again as we both benefited form being members of the old Dartford region."

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Teeside call for two conventions

Why have one convention a year - why not two in different parts of the country..?

That's the question pike anglers in the North-east are asking. As ever, the club's interested in your views.

Click here to see the Teeside campaign. Why not add your comments to their blog..?

New PAC Badge

pac badgeThe club now has its new logo in production for the start of 2007, the year the club celebrates its 30th anniversary, as an ever popular sew-on cloth badge.

Visit the products page of the website for ordering details of this and the rest of the range of PAC products

E-mail now to stave off livebait ban

Pike anglers are being urged to bombard Scottish MPs with e-mails in a last-ditch bid to stave off a livebaiting ban north of the border.

The Pike Anglers Alliance for Scotland and Scottish Federation for Coarse Angling hope to persuade MPs to bring in tighter controls on fish movements instead, claiming a livebaiting ban will not protect Scotland's fisheries.

A draft Fisheries and Aquaculture Bill was amended at the eleventh hour to include a blanket ban. The proposed legislation previously gave officials powers to ban livebaiting in environmentally-sensitive areas.

Ron Woods, policy officer from the SFCA said: "It's important to stress that there are some very positive things in the Bill, not least that this is the first piece of Scottish fisheries legislation ever to recognise the existence of coarse angling, and there's a lot more to play for than just the livebait issue.

"We may go down fighting on that one in the end, but I'm very keen that this should not blind us to the opportunity - and indeed the need - to campaign more widely for constructive measures as well, especially with regard to protecting coarse fish stocks against culling."

The SFCA livebait policy is endorsed by both the PAAS and PAC. There's further information on the SFCA's website here.

A list of all MSP's e-mail addresses is below. You should be able to cut and paste these into the address window of an e-mail.

If the full Parliament endorses the Bill after it reconvenes next week, it will become law.

Pike bloggers of the world unite

Well, three of them sort of have, in the new links section of this newsblog we now have personal online diaries from Eric Edwards, Mark Barrett and Dave Lumb. If you're a PAC member and a blogger, drop us an e-mail.

Reservoir levels recovering, says EA

Reservoir levels in south east England are in a better position than this time last year, says the Environment Agency. Bewl Water, which was at barely a third capacity last summer, is now 84 per cent full. Full story here.

Livebaiting laws - a very different approach

Over in the States, they have licensed bait dealers, who are allowed to move health-checked fish from state to state - even in the face of a major disease outbreak.

Because people moving baits around aren't the most likely cuplrit for the spread of the virus. It's more likely down to ballast water, says the South Bend Tribune.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Ireland - the killing goes on

News is breaking tonight that pike killing matches have been allowed to continue in Ireland, despite bylaws giving the pike legal protection which became law earlier this year.

A well-sourced story in Angling Times says a fisheries board authorised the slaughter. The PAC is tonight looking into these claims.