Friday, April 27, 2007

Pike anglers compile dossier on Beg

Pike anglers in Northern Ireland are appealing for information as they compile a dossier on pollution problems at Lough Beg. A spill involving thousands of gallons of diesel oil is the latest incident to affect the shallow lough, in Co Londonderry.

Click here for the latest.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Pikers fear the worst for pollution-hit Beg

Pike anglers in Northern Ireland are fearing the worst tonight as the scale of a major oil spill on a prime fishery became clear.

More than 8,000 gallons of red diesel haves formed a massive slick on Lough Beg, in Co Londonderry.

Pike Anglers Club members in the area say it comes just weeks after fish have spawned in the shallow lake on the Lower Bann system.

Specialist cleaners were still trying to contain what local media were calling an environmental disaster as darkness fell.

The alarm was raised by the crew of a police helicopter who spotted the oil spill close to Bellaghy, on Tuesday morning.

The disaster is the latest in a series of pollution problems to hit Lough Beg - an SSSI which was previously acknowleged as one of the finest pike fisheries in the Lower Bann system.

Gordon Nesbitt, the PAC's organiser for Northern Ireland, said the spill came after receding levels had killed pike spawn in recent seasons, and the lake had suffered further unexplained kills of adult coarse fish of all species.

The PAC is calling for answers over this - not least why the impact of such pollution outbreaks on the pike and pike fishing never seem to be considered by the powers that be.

Late tonight one TV station called the oil spill "an environmental diaster" - click here.

Full line-up for the PAC Convention

Diesel spill hits top Irish pike fishery

Specialist cleaners are today fighting to prevent an environmental disaster in a nature reserve and pike fishery in Northern Ireland. Around 8,000 litres of diesel fuel which spilled into a tributary of Lough Beg, in Co Londonderry, has spread out into the shallow lake. A specialist clean-up company has been brought in by the Department of Environment to try to stem the flow and to clean up the lough.

The alarm was raised by the crew of a police helicopter who spotted the oil spill in the lough while on a routine flight and radioed in details. The Environment and Heritage Service (EHS) launched an investigation into the spill which is believed to have come from a nearby industrial estate. The Department of Environment said: "The EHS are currently investigating a spill of approximately 8,000 litres of red diesel into a tributary of Lough Beg.

"EHS Pollution Response Officers have identified the source and are currently trying to prevent more oil from reaching Lough Beg, an Area of Special Scientific Interest, A Special Protection Area and a Ramsar site."

Beg's shallow waters are one of the more celebrated pike fisheries on the Lower Bann system.

Pikers asked to look out for sea trout

Scientists are appealing to pike anglers in East Anglia to help them understand the mysterious migration of the sea trout.

Despite all the sluices and other barriers placed in their way, migratory trout are still occasionally seen and once or twice a season even caught by anglers in the area.

Now the Environment Agency hopes those fishing the Great Ouse and its feeder rivers will notify its fisheries team if they come across one.

Pike or zander anglers, particularly those using lures or small fish baits, are thought most likely to catch sea trout, which begin their migration up our rivers to spawn in late September or early October.

Fisheries technical officer Andy Sadler said: “We know that trout do come up and you get the odd capture by people fishing for pike and other predators.

“We’re trying to get an idea of where people are catching them and where they’re going.”

Mr Sadler said the various sluices such as those at Denver and the Relief Channel Tail Sluice offered few opportunities when flows equalised enough for trout to enter the freshwater system and begin their journey upstream.

“Are they trying to get up the Ely Ouse, or do they run up the tidal river all the way up to Earith and then carry on up the Ouse.

“We have heard of captures but it’s all anecdotal, we want more evidence of what’s going on.”

Anyone who catches a sea trout is asked to return the fish alive and submit the date and location of capture, the weight and length of the fish and remove scales – preferably from high on the fish’s flank above the lateral line – to aid identification.

Returns can be emailed to, or posted to Roger Handford at the EA at Bromholme Lane, Brampton, Huntingdon, Cambs PE28 4NE.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Calling all webmasters

We have another little graphic for members to use to promote the PAC around the web - on websites, in forum signatures and so on.

To include it in a web page so that it links to the joining page on the PAC site copy the html code below and paste it into your web page's source code.

<a href=""><img src="" border="0" height="31" width="88" /></a>

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Raffle tickets reminder as deadline nears

Don't forget the deadline for returning ticket stubs and monies for the PAC's Winter raffle, with 100 prizes topped by a catfish trip to Europe, is April 30. Winners will be drawn at the Annual Members Meeting in Nottingham next month.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Northern Ireland gets set for first PAC event

Talks are well-advanced to secure a ground-breaking privileged access event for the PAC in Northern Ireland.

Special events organiser Mark Skinner and Northern Ireland RO Gordon Nesbitt have been in discussions over arranging access to a private lough in Northern Ireland for a two-day charity fish-in next winter.

More details of the event, which will be held under the banner of children's leukaemia charity CLIC Sargent, will be announced shortly.

Mark said: "It is great to be able to raise funds for CLIC whilst doing something we love, which is pike fishing, hopefully members will attend these events and together we can raise some much needed funds for a worthy cause."

The event will be a landmark for the PAC, which now has a thriving region and rapidly-growing membership in Northern Ireland.

RO Gordon Nesbitt said: "It means an awful lot to us."

Friday, April 20, 2007

Secondhand lure stall first for Convention

We've normally had secondhand lures for sale along with other items of members' unwanted tackle at the PAC Convention.

Lures will have their own secondhand stall at this year's event, presided over by Chico and the Lincoln Region.

Piking 2007 is being held at Stoneleigh, Warks, on Saturday, September 22.

Click here for more information on pike fishing's number one event.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

ET to land at PAC Convention

Mega Pike author Eddie Turner today confirmed he will be on the bill for the Piking 2007.

He'll be speaking about some of the stories in the long-awaited sequel to his celebrated book Mega Pike at the PAC's 30th Convention - along with co-author Jason Davis.

The pair have been coy about their captures until now. All we know is they are seriously special and their two-man talk is going to kick off a day not to be missed for any pike angler.

PAC promotions manager Mike Kelly said: "We're delighted they've chosen the PAC convention to reveal all for the first time."

The event is being held at Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, on Saturday, September 22.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Blog subscribers set to top 300

We're on 299 tonight - most of whom get a daily e-mail from the club with all the latest news. If you want to subscribe, look out for the confirmation e-mail, which usually gets swept into junk mail.

You need to respond to this to activate your account. If clicking on it doesn't work, you need to copy and paste it into your brower window and hit return (Enter) to make it happen.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

PAC contacts Argos over selling lures

The PAC has written to high street retailer Argos after members flagged up concerns over lures included in its catalogue.

"Pike fishing is a highly-specialised branch of angling, which carries with it the potential of causing harm both to fish and angler if not carried out correctly," our letter says.

"Our fear is that in selling such items to all-comers without any advice on either fish handling or health and safety, you stand the risk of either damaging pike stocks or even injuring your customers."

The club is willing to work with any retailer in the interests of pike conservation.

"We have worked to preserve the pike and pike fishing for the last 30 years," our letter goes on.

"We are widely-acknowleged as both a leading conservation body and an organisation which promotes health and safety and best practice."

Info sought on big US pike

Our friends across the pond on are chasing a story on an impressive looking pike which isn't one of the hoaxes currently doing the rounds. Click here to see it.

Ad's book reviewed on FISHINGmagic

Ad Swier's new pike fishing book is also reviewed on FISHINGmagic - click here to read it.

PAC website tops Google rankings

Well almost - we now come up in the top three if you do a search for pike fishing.

Increased traffic on the PAC website and the club's members forums have helped to hike us up the ratings.

One of the current committee's ambitions is to make the PAC website the definitive source of news and information about pike fishing.

US forum offers interesting debates

Interesting debates and a different slant on pike fishing are on offer on Esoxhunter - an American predator forum. Click here to have a gander.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

New bid to attract 50,000 Scots to start fishing

An ambitious campaign has been launched in Scotland to attract 50,000 young people into fishing. More here.

Ad's new book charts his passion for pike

PAC stalwart Colin Brett waxes lyrical about Ad Swier's new book A Passion for Pike, in a review on Anglersnet. Click here to read it.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Pikelines out soon - are you up to date..?

With Pikelines imminent, members are being reminded to make sure we have their current address - if you've moved, you need to let us know. Otherwise the people living in your old house will be enjoying the most interesting read in pike fishing instead.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Monster river predators at Bristol meet

Nile perch topping 150lbs are the subject of a talk by Westcountry-based globe-trotter Andy Cowley, at a Bristol PAC meeting next week.

He'll be speaking about his predator fishing experiences and some of the dangers encountered along the way in Uganda.

The meeting is being held at the Ratepayer's Arms in Elm Park, Filton, Bristol, from 7.30pm on Wednesday, April 25.

Bristol RO Martyn Cattermole said: "Andy has been catching big predators, carp and barbel since the 1970s and has travelled extensively abroad catching big catfish, mahseer and nile perch.

"This talk and video presentation on Wed 25 April will be about some very challenging and dangerous fishing he has been doing over the last 2 years in Uganda catching Nile Perch to 158lb on lures, livebaits and deadbaits.

"And coping with hazards like elephants, hippos and crocs sharing the river alongside the anglers! An unforgettable, ultimate, angling experience for anyone who wants to catch fish with sharp teeth!"

For more details of meetings and activities in Bristol, click here.

Reading region meets on Monday night

Pike anglers from Berkshire and the Thames Valley are warmly invited to a meeting of the newly-revamped Reading region on Monday, April 16.

It's at the King's Tavern in King's Road, Reading, from 8pm. Ample parking at rear - ask for a permit at the bar.

Jason set to reveal a piker's paradise

Norfolk-based pike hunter Jason Davis is the latest addition to the bill for Piking 2007.

He'll be telling the convention about the discovery of his own piker's paradise and an incredible week's pike fishing which rewrote the history books.

We'd love to tell you more but we can't just now. Jason has also collaborated with Eddie Turner on a new book which picks up the threads from the celebrated Mega Pike - regarded by many as the best book of its era - and helped to bring it bang up to date.

Both the book and its authors will also be at the convention, which is being held on September 22 at Stoneleigh, Warks.

Click here for more on the event.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Swan song for river close season

Britain's National Federation of Anglers today went on record to call for a
review of the scientific evidence supporting the close season on rivers.

It is appealing to all anglers to complete a questionnaire included in its
Angling Lines news sheet, available from tackle shops.

All rivers and drains are closed by law for 93 days, between March 14 and
June 16. But the NFA believes there is now no evidence that the statutory
break protects fish stocks.

The picture is complicated yet further by the close season being abolished
on canals which are run by British Waterways and anglers being allowed to
fish some stillwaters which are connected to rivers.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

PAC Realtree T-shirt picture

Here's one of our long-awaited new line in Realtree shirts complete with the PAC logo, which are available in both short and long-sleeved patterns, in sizes from small to XXL.

They're priced at £25 (long-sleeved...) or £21 (short-sleeved...), which includes postage.

For more information on this and other pike fishing clothing and related products, e-mail Mick Hastings at

Dave Horton on the UK Piking scene

PAC member and Ultimate Pike author Dave Horton has just penned a piece on the UK pike fishing scene for US website Esoxhunter. Click here to read it - NB you may have to scroll down a bit to find Dave's article.

More ice fishing tales from Sweden

Christer Sjaunja details the capture of an impressive brace of pike caught ice fishing in his native Sweden over on FISHINGmagic. Click here to read all about it.

Watto signed up for PAC Convention

John Watson is signed up to speak at Piking 2007 - the PAC's eagerly-awaited 30th birthday bash.

Barrie Rickards will be master of ceremonies at pike fishing's premier event, which is being held at Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, on Saturday, September 22.

Ticket prices have been set at £10 members/£12 non-members - which includes parking. While admission charges were cheaper for last year's convention at Leeds Royal Armouries, many faced parking charges of £10 or more and a queue to release their cars after the event.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Mark Barrett talks in North Lanarks

PAC secretary Mark Barrett will be speaking at a meeting of the club's North Lanarkshire region on Tuesday, April 10.

Mark will be talking about his pike and zander fishing career at the Joker Bar in Calder Road, Mossend, Bellshill.

Doors open at 7pm, admission £2 members/£5 non-members, includes light buffet.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

PAC events are on the increase

PAC privileged access events are on the increase, events organiser Mark Skinner told the club's committee at a meeting on Sunday.

Events on Lynn Brenig, Loch Fadd, Rutland Water and a number of as-yet undisclosed venues will feature on the club's callender of privileged or reserved access fish-ins this year.

The number of events has almost doubled, as the club looks to offer pike anglers new and interesting waters to fish.

But event prices are set to increase by around 15 per cent, after the committee heard the PAC currently makes a small loss on running them.

Full details - including how to apply - will appear in Pikelines.

PAC goes Realtree with new T-shirts

Realtree-patterned T-shirts are now on sale, complete with embroidered PAC logo, for £25 (long-sleeved...) or £21 (short-sleeved...) in all sizes from small to XXL inc postage.

Samples were passed around at today's committee meeting and they look the business.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Mad Mick set to speak in Brum

New flood defence scheme for Bure

A new flood defence scheme to protect parts of Norfolk's River Bure from salt incursion is nearing completion. More here.

PAC TV chalks up 2000 views

PAC TV - the Pike Anglers Club Channel on Youtube - has clocked up its 2,000th hit. That's an average of 1,000 views a month for what started out as an experiment, to find out whether we could edit and scan in old videos.

Now there are instructional video clips on the basics of pike fishing and even a commercial about the club.

Check it out here.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Rutland's ospreys return home

Rutland Water's magnificent ospreys have began to arrive home at the reservoir for the summer breeding season. Click here for more.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Big Mac packs 'em in at Cambs PAC

Eighty people packed into a Cambridge PAC meeting last night to hear Derek
MacDonald's off the wall take on pike fishing.

Derek, who recently celebrated his 20th pike over the 30lbs bracket, brought
along a fish tank to demonstrate how he uses precision weighting to balance
lures, before going onto his live and deadbaiting techniques and over how
fish handling has changed since the glory days at Llandegfedd almost 20
years ago.

Anglers from as far afield as Lincoln and the Thames Gateway attended the
meeting at Bottisham British Legion.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Five legged frogs found in the Fens

Scientists were investigating today after five-legged frogs were found in a river.

The Environment Agency said the frogs were found recently in the Peterborough area by a member of the public.

"We are not aware that frogs with this kind of deformity have been seen in this country before - it would be interesting to hear from anyone who has seen them," a spokesman said.

"We not sure what the reason is. A parasite, pollution - they are possibilities. But we've reached no conclusions."

Research in America, where similar frogs have been found, suggests their deformity is caused by a parasite which attacks frog spawn.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Derek MacDonald in Cambs on Wednesday

Derek MacDonald will be making a rare appearence at Cambridge PAC's meeting tonight (Weds, April 4).

Derek, who doesn't usually do slide shows, will be offering an insight into a pike fishing career which has just seen the capture of his 20th fish over 30lbs.

The show, entitled I Did It My Way, will be at Bottisham British Legion, with doors open around 7.30pm.

ROs Rik Wesley and Andy Blazey are expecting a large turnout.

For more info, directions to venue, maps etc check the Cambridge PAC website here.

Petition launched against canoe access

Anglers have launched a petition against canoeists campaigning for unrestricted year-round access to Britain's waterways. Click here or more info or to sign it.

Thousands of rod licences delayed - EA

Tens of thousands who pay for their rod licence by direct debit have not received the documents because of a mix-up by the Environment Agency.

The EA said delays at the printers meant the £24.50 replacement licences for the 2007 - 08 season were not sent out before last season's licences expired, on march 31.

A recorded message at the EA's HQ said they were posted on Monday and customers should receive them by tomorrow.

"If you want to fish now, you can, as long as you have your rod licence number and proof of ID with you," it added.

Monday, April 02, 2007

ET at Thames Gateway on Tuesday night

Eddie Turner will be speaking at the Thames Gateway Region's final meeting of the season on Tuesday night (April 3...).

It's hard to think of a more innovative angler, or one who's done more to influence modern pike fishing and fish handling.

The meeting starts at 7.30pm at the Papermakers Arms in Hawley Road, Dartford, Kent.

For more info on Thames Gateway meetings and activities, click here.

North Lanarkshire hosts Mark Barrett

RA93 are pleased to host Mark Barrett on Tuesday, April 10.

Mark's talk show will be on his pike and zander fishing exploits and is guaranteed to be a great evening.

The venue is the Joker Bar, Calder Road, Mossend, Bellshill.

Entrance is £5.00 pp for non RA93 members. £2.00 for RA93 members.

Doors open 7.00pm with talk starting 7.30 approx.

A light Buffet will be served on the night.

Raffles will be on sale with good prizes up for grabs.

New Broads safety checks come into force

New safety laws concerning larger craft using the Norfolk Broads have come into force. More here.

They became law on the day a man was taken to hospital suffering smoke inhalation, after being resuced from a cruiser which caught fire and sank on the Yare at Bramerton, near Norwich.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

More on pike conservation, US style

More interesting thoughts on pike conservation through protecting and enhancing their spawning areas comes from the Minesota Department of Natural Resources, in the US.

"Many northern pike spawning areas have been lost to drainage, dredging and shoreline development," an article on its website headed Pike Management says.

"They are destroyed by the farmer who drains a seasonally flooded wetland adjoining a stream or lake, and by the cabin owner who kills the cattails along the shore of a shallow bay.

"These areas must be protected through shore land regulations that prevent draining, filling and other destruction of shoreline wetlands. Also important are regulations that prevent wholesale removal of the shallow-water aquatic weeds that provide cover to young northern pike and their prey."

Notwithstanding the ongoing affects of climate change on our lowland rivers and the way they'renow managed to minimise flood risk, how many waters is the above true of..?

But the Minesota DNR is streets ahead of the Environment Agency when it comes to the solution: "Where northern pike spawning areas are lacking, a fish manager can create habitat by building a low dam to flood low-lying land near a lake.

The area fills with spring runoff, the northern pike spawn and the fry grow to fingerlings.

They then escape or, if there is a barrier between the lake and spawning area, are released to the main body of water."

To read the full article, click here.

Lurefair 2007 is just weeks away

Into lures..? Then why not check out this year's Lure Anglers Society convention at Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middx, on Saturday, April 28.

Speakers covering different aspects of lure fishing for predatory fish include Andy Lush, Mike Green and Mike Ladle.

There will also be lure making demonstrations/workshops, a multiplier clinic, a host of trade stands offering the latest lures and tackle and a secondhand stall.

Doors open 9am. Admission is £10 for non-LAS members, £8 members; accompanied juniors free.

For more details on the event, click here.