Saturday, June 30, 2007

Cold water is the key to cracking it

Cold water is the key to getting bigger fish on the feed, according to US writer Phil Rolfe. They have a totally different outlook to their pike fishing on the other side of the Atlantic, click here to read more.

Alien crays are latest threat to our rivers

Conservationists fear a foreign crayfish could devastate Britain's rivers if it is allowed to escape into the wild.

American crayfish, Chinese crabs and French fish already rub shoulders with native species in our rivers.

Now a hybrid species called a marble crayfish is becoming popular within the aquarium trade. And unlike most other species the marble - or promcambarus - does not need a mate to breed.

Adults can produce up to 270 eggs every eight weeks all year round, with maturity being reached 25-35 weeks after hatching, so only one individual animal would need to be released to establish a population.

Cefas - the Lowestoft-based Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science - said it had become aware of an increase in the numbers of alien crayfish for sale in aquatic outlets and garden centres.

It believes marbled crayfish first appeared in the aquarium trade in Germany and Austria in the mid-1990s.

“Wild populations of this species have already been confirmed in Germany and possibly Holland,” a spokesman said.

“Therefore this species would become established in British waters if released.

“It is imperative that this species is stopped from spreading into the wild.”

The Fisheries and Angling Conservation Trust (FACT) also fears it could carry the so-called crayfish plague, a disease which kills off our native white-clawed crayfish. It is meeting next month to discuss the problem.

Its director Mike Heylin said: “We still don't know what the impacts of signal crayfish are or how to manage it because the research just isn't being done.

“Another species like this would take a lot of fish eggs at spawning time and also dig up weed in lakes.”

Cefas said anyone who had bought marbled crayfish, or who may have information concerning the source of this species in the UK, should call the Fish Health Inspectorate at Cefas on 01305 206673 or e-mail .

Click here for more and a picture of one.

We'd boost flood prevention, says Tory MP

A Conservative government would refocus the Environment Agency to spend more on flood defences and less on consultants, a Tory MP said.

During a live webchat hosted by the Eastern Daily Press, South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon was asked the following:

"A shortfall in funding for coastal defences has rendered the Upper Thurne and its broads vulnerable to salt incursion. If the system becomes saline, it's diversity will be lost forever.

"Thousands of wading birds including some of our rarest species have lost their eggs or chicks on Welney Washes. What steps will you take to begin addressing the affects of climate change on our rivers and their wildlife.

Mr Bacon responded:

"Spend more of the Environment Agency's budget on actual flood defences and protecting against coastal erosion. We took evidence from the chief executive of the Environment Agency the day before yesterday and it was not a happy experience.

"They have poor information, they don't necessarily spend the most money in the areas of highest risk, and they waste millions commissioning endless studies from consultants and "developing plans" rather than delivering improved flood defences.

"On top of this, in light of climate change, there is a case for increasing the resources devoted to flood defence but it is essential to spend the existing money wisely and the Environment Agency, which has already seen a substantial increase in cash in recent years, is not doing this.

The Thurne system is arguably one of Britain's most historically-important pike fisheries. It is under real threat from rising sea levels, after the EA's announcement that a £6m budget shotfall left it unable to continue to repair flood defences on the North-east Norfolk coastline.

Privately, EA fisheries staff fear a major fish kill is imminent when flood water standing on Welney Washes is released into the neighbouring Delph - another important pike fishery under threat from climate change and siltation in the tidal Ouse.

Tip of the day for June 30, 2007

It's topwater time... Plenty of people rate the excitement of fishing with surface lures the biggest buzz in pike fishing. It's true there's little to match the buzz when three feet of angry esox hits a a lure so hard it comes right out of the water.

But it's also a frustrating method, with strikes often far outnumbering successful hook-ups.
Click here for a masterclass on the method.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Opposition growing to Roswell Pits plan

Opposition is mounting to plans to turn famous Fens predator water Roswell Pits into a marina, say local press reports today. More here.

PAC launches membership offer

The Pike Anglers Club is kicking off its 30th anniversary celebrations with a special extended membership offer for anyone joining for the first time.

The deal, which runs from July 1, means you get 15 months' membership of the PAC instead of the usual 12.

That means you get five copies of the club's acclaimed quaterly magazine Pikelines instead of four and your membership runs until 1st October 2008.

Predator anglers get much more than a quarterly magazine when they join the PAC.

Members' subscriptions help fund the work of the club which has campaigned to preserve the pike and pike fishing for the last 30 years.

The PAC also runs a rapidly-growing calender of events and fish-ins which give all members the chance to enjoy privileged access to some of the best pike waters in the UK. New member Lyn Baker landed a 39lbs 8oz pike on one of our events last season.

The club's network of regional groups run a lively programme of talks, meetings and other social events, while nationally, the club runs an annual convention which is well-established as the UK's biggest predator fishing event.

Membership secretary John Cahill said: "There's never been a better time to join the PAC.

"We have 14 members' events on offer this year, which anyone can apply to fish.

"Pike to 39lbs 8oz were caught during our events last season, as was widely reported in the media.

"We also have the PAC Convention, with an unrivalled list of speakers and all of the top names in predator fishing showing off their latest lures and other tackle.

"Our members' forums are some of the friendliest on the internet, while being a member means your subscription helps support the work of the PAC, which has defended the pike and pike fishing for the last 30 years."

Joining couldn't be easier either. All you have to do is go to our website and you can sign up with Paypal. To find out more, go to

Existing members of the club can also share in the bonus. Any member recruiting a new joiner gets entered in the draw to win a new boat if they use one of the special forms which can be downloaded from the PAC website.

And anyone who's just joined can take advantage and stand a chance of winning the boat too, if they recruit a new member.

For further information go to

Menteith lure date announced

The PAC has secured access to the Lake of Menteith for a lure-only day on Saturday March 1, 2008, events organiser Mark Skinner said today.

As ever, this event is bound to be over-subscribed, meaning there will be a draw for places.

See the forthcoming Pikelines for more details on this and other PAC events.

Tip of the day for June 29, 2007

Depth control is one of the key techniques to master when it comes to lure fishing, says PAC webmaster Dave Lumb. Click here for an article on the subject.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Tip of the day for June 28, 2007

Mick Hastings doesn't use a marker rod when it comes to plumbing new waters.

"Instead of using normal marker float set up, an alternative is to use a lure rod & fish while you plumb," he says.

"Cast out a sinking lure, watch the line and count it down. You can get a good feel for the swim and even catch a few bonus fish."

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Angler cuts off his own fingers

A US angler cut off his fingers to escape his stricken boat - then had them re-attached... More here.

How the other half lives...

Fed up with all the rain, storms and floods..? The don't read Chris and Sue Harris's latest dispatch...

Well known among pike anglers for setting up Norfolk-based mail order lure firm Harris Angling, they left the UK to set up a fishing resort in Belize.

Click here to see what they've been up to lately.

Tip of the day for June 27, 2007

Did you know there's a way to tune a multiplier to make the dreaded over-runs impossible - well, almost..?

Dave Lumb says: "Rig up the reel on a rod ready to fish and attach a lure to the trace. Reel the trace up to the tip ring and, holding the rod horizontally, disengage the spool and allow the lure to drop unhindered. If the spool continues to revolve when the lure hits the ground (throwing loose coils of line) the casting brake is set too slack. Tighten this brake a little and repeat the process."

For much more on using multipliers and servicing them, click here.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Fears for coarse fish caught in floods

Rivers burst their banks leaving the centre of Sheffield under feet of water, while whole villages were evacuated as it was feared the dam holding back a 35-acre reservoir on the outskirts of the city was about to collapse.

People are returning home tonight after a deluge which left three dead and caused hundreds of millions of pounds in damage.

Petrol stations, factories and sewers were flooded, leaving anglers fearful for the consequences on rivers and canals which were among some of the most -improved in Britain as receding waters wash all kinds of chemicals back into waterways.

Click here for more on the flooding chaos.

Clubs play vital role in rural economy

Angling clubs play a vital rule in the rural economy, the Western Mail reports today.

But anglers need more support when it comes to addressing the affects of global warming, writes respected commentator Moc Morgan in the Welsh daily.

"People are often unaware of the vital role played by angling clubs in supporting the rural economy," he says.

"Consider what happened in 2001 when rivers in places like Llandeilo and Tregaron were closed off because of the foot and mouth disease. The tourist industry in Wales suffered disastrously as a consequence and the drop in visiting anglers and their families was cited as one of the major reasons for empty hotels and B&Bs.

"I feel that the Welsh Assembly should look to helping the many angling clubs who suffer hard times as a result of “tropical” summers. Basically this is not a problem of their doing – it is directly associated with the global warming phenomenon and the sooner we address the issue the better."

Click here for the whole article.

Ouse could be closed "for months"

Rail chiefs today warned the Ouse south of Ely could be closed to boats for months, while a derailed train is removed from a bridge across the river. Forty tonnes of ballast fell into the river when wagons on a goods train overturned on Monday.

Network Rail says it may even need to build a new bridge, to carry the line across the waterway between Ely and Soham. More here.

Tip of the day for June 26, 2007

If you want to master using a multiplier, it's vital to choose the right reel and line and ensure everything's set up for your style of lure fishing. Click here for a masterclass from Dave Lumb.

Teeside and Darlington unveil events

Teeside and Darlington PAC have lined up a couple of speakers for this autumn and also have an interesting pivileged access event they've lined up on a little-fished section of the River Wear.

See their blog for more details. Click here to visit.

Tip of the day for June 25, 2007

Use those elasticated hair bands from pound shops to keep sections together when transporting
rods tackled-up.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Thames Gateway hear of John's travels

John Synnuck will be giving a talk on some of his foreign fishing adventures, including battles with some huge tarpon and catfish, at Thames Gateway region's next meeting. It's at the Papermakers Arms, Dartford, on Tuesday, July 3 (7.30pm).

Check their blog for more details on meetings and events. Click here to visit.

Tip of the day for June 23, 2007

Adam Martin: "When roving with lures or wobbled deads tie your forceps with a lanyard onto your unhooking mat the with the mat rolled up put it through the net handle that will prevent you losing them or stabbing yourself."

Friday, June 22, 2007

PAC 30th Anniversary Badge launched

A new cloth badge has been launched to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Pike Anglers Club.

It's a limited edition and available to order for £3.50 via the PAC's online shop, click here to visit it.

Train crash closes river to boats

The River Ouse south of Ely, Cambs, has been closed to boat traffic after a freight train derailed on a bridge today.
Eleven of the 37 wagons have overturned and two are overhanging the river, said train firm EWS.

Tip of the day for June 22, 2007

Andy Nagel: "Always fish a water to establish knowledge of the prey fish. Things like type, size and abundance help no end in being on the ball pike-wise. Don't take it for granted that just because the water was a top perch water 10 years ago and has a good head of eels, that it is still the same now. A couple of short sessions each summer keeps the knowledge sound."

Thursday, June 21, 2007

PAC member nails Irish forty

PAC member Nigel Greaves nailed this 40lbs Lough Mask pike on a recent trip to Ireland.

The brute took a spoon retrieved fast over weed - a technique Nigel, 49, and his 20-year-old son Nick have perfected on recent visits to the Emerald Isle.

"We normally just drift the boat and fish over the weed, they seem to just come up for it," said Nigel, who hails from Boston, Lincs.

"Especially on an overcast day with a bit of sunshine.

"You have to retrieve quite fast, I just saw a massive swirl, it came half way out of the water and took me by surprise."

Nigel and Nick had to take the boat to the fish to free it, after it crash-dived into a weedbed.

As soon as he saw it, he knew he had beaten his previous PB of 21lbs 9oz. The scales went round to an ounce over 40lbs when the fish was boated.

Heavy braid, an ABU 6501C and a 10-year-old Dave Lumb Raider lure rod didn't let him down.

Preston-based rod builder Lumb said Nigel's fish was the second 40lbs-plus pike to be reported on one of his rods.

"I'll have to do a stock take one of these days and work out how many big fish have been caught on them," he said.

Civil engineer Nigel said: "I'm still in shock."

Stay safe out there, says PAC's Dr Russ

Ouch... No prizes for guessing what this feels like.

No wonder fishing's classed as a dangerous sport. And pike fishing, as some of us know from bitter experience, offers more ways to inflict pain and injury on yourself than any other branch of the sport.


Dr Russell Newlove BSc MBChB

Now for the boring stuff! Quite frankly these are the sort of articles I usually skip through when reading fishing related literature, but how many of you have got a cut when fishing, or a hook embedded somewhere nasty? I know I have.

Before I get onto the meaty (sic) bit of explaining the best way of removing a barbed hook, I feel it best to mention a few simple other things that can help our health and safety on the bank.

First of all, carry a small first aid kit, they’re tiny and can be bought from somewhere like Boots for a few quid. They contain, Plasters, gauze, tape, scissors etc, all stuff to help clean and tidy up a wound. A small bottle of TCP or antiseptic at the bottom of your rucksack will also be of benefit. These little things do go a long way when you’re a long way from home, and/or during a session lasting more than 24 hours. Be sure to clean any cuts thoroughly, preferably in bottled water rather than that which your quarry swims in. Medical studies have shown that simple tap water will clean a wound as well as sterile saline, so don’t be afraid to use it.

Fingers and hands bleed like stink, pike bites appear to exacerbate the haemorrhaging (but I’m not going to enter that debate!), so what to do? Wash, wash, and wash! Using the clean water as stated, dry the wound using your gauze then apply a suitably sized dressing. If the bleeding continues, simply raise the area to rest on your shoulder (obviously not possible if its your leg affected), wounds placed above the heart will stop the claret leaking much quicker.

So you’ve got a cut, are you now covered for tetanus? More than likely you are, but its best to make sure. Lifelong immunity is usually attained after 5 tetanus boosters, and since 3 are given during childhood, a further 2 will be needed. These are needed at 10 year intervals, which generally means in your mid-twenties and then mid-thirties. If in doubt, contact your GP who should have your records, a booster needs to be given within 48 hours of getting the wound.

A quick mention of Weil’s disease, this is transmitted via rat urine, so please be careful not to leave food and drink exposed for our furry friends to paw over, particularly when bivvied up at night. Weil’s disease is potentially fatal, so its also worth boiling some freshwater in pots/Pans etc prior to use.

Hook removal. Never a nice thing, I suppose the easiest way out of this is to use barbless hooks, but if you’re like me then you may have to endure a hook that’s well and truly stuck whilst using the barbed variety. The best method is not to just pull the hook against the barb, but to push the hook and barb through the skin (see diagram 3). If you have the stomach and pain threshold for this then use your forceps, its much easier. Once the hook and barb are exposed then boltcut them off (below the barb see diagram 4), a simple trick here is to place something soft like the sleeve of a top over the exposed hook before bolt-cutting the hook, this prevents the hook point flying off in your eye! Once the barb is off, it’s a simple matter of pulling the rest of the hook out, back through the way it went in. Don’t forget to clean and dress the wound as already stated. Be careful with large deep penetrated hooks, particularly in the areas of the wrist, there are a lot of tendons, nerves, blood vessels that can cause further problems if not dealt with correctly. If in doubt, get to your local A&E, and if you happen to be in Cumbria be prepared to get interrogated about your fishing by a skin-headed doctor with a syringe full of local anaesthetic in his hand.

Tip of the Day for June 21, 2007

Rob Shallcroft, from Gloucestershire, says: "Wrap thick elastic bands just below the spreader block of the landing net pole , with your forceps tucked in tight against the spreader block they are secure, in view and never more than a couple of feet away from a netted fish."

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Tip of the day for June 20, 2007

Luke Edwards says: "Add a little glow in the dark paint or sticker to the head of your surface lures. Enables you to see them far easier in low light conditions (often the best times for topwaters) meaning you can work them much more effectively."

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Fears for fry as swollen rivers flood

There are fears flooding could threaten fish populations as swollen rivers burst their banks in the North, Midlands and East Anglia.

Heavy rains in the Fens have seen the Ouse Washes flood and heavy run-offs in the River Delph.

Yesterday, the RSPB said 1,000 pairs of birds had lost their eggs or newly-hatched chicks as levels rose over the weekend, including some of Britain’s rarest waders.

Last night Environment Agency fisheries scientist Paul Wilkanowski said: "Strong flows at this time of year are generally bad news for fish fry.

"The fry in Mid June will be extremely small and poor swimmers and be unable to maintain position instream during periods of high flows.

"This can result in a downstream deplacement and potentially fry can be flushed out into the tidal river where they are likely to perish."

Some predator anglers fear rivers in the Fens already exhibit missing year classes of pike, meaning there are seasons when they fail to spawn successfully in some areas due to fluctuating levels and run-offs.

Elsewhere rivers burst their banks in North Yorkshire and the Midlands, as up to month's rain fell in 12 hours in some areas.

Tip of the day

Pete Austin from Somerset sent us this tip for anyone looking to preserve their deadbaits:

"To avoid freezer burn on frozen deadbaits,put two or three baits into a resealable freezer bag and zip up ,leaving a small gap at one end,then sink them into a bucket of water. The water pressure will push out any trapped air,then zip up completely while still underwater.
the end result is as good as vac packing."

Monday, June 18, 2007

The next big thing..?

Top US muskie guide Jon Bondy has perfected a different technique which could be the next big thing for pike fishing too - deep jigging with big swimbaits.

"I use 8-foot rods with 80-pound braided line, and when you get a strike, it just about pulls your arms out of their sockets. I think it's the most exciting kind of fishing I've ever tried," said Bondy.

"I got the idea about six years ago. I used to catch muskies on small jigs when I was fishing for walleyes, and I started wondering what would happen if I tried deep jigging with a bigger bait, something the size of the suckers that muskies like to eat," he said. "I couldn't find anything that fit the bill, so I decided to make my own."

For more on Bondy's technique and the hybrid rubber lures he has developed, click here.

Tip of the Day

John Warrener, from Derbyshire, says:

"When rigging up a rod with a leger rig, thread a bead and a snap swivel onto the line first, then if you want to change to a float-leger rig at any stage, you can do it in seconds by adding a stop knot and clipping on a float.

"Home-made pencil floats - mine are orange one end and black the other with an eye at both ends, using said snap swivel can be quickly and easily reversed to suit light conditions."

Pike fishing tip of the day

PAC members are sharing some of their best pike fishing tips on our members' forums.

And we're going to send one out every day, to give you yet another reason to subscribe to our daily e-mails.

Steve Moore, from Devon is our first tipster, with one of those simple, why didn't I think of that ideas:

When lure fishing, place a 8mm rubber bead above your trace. This prevents winding the swivel through the top eye of your rod and breaking it, he says.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Tip of the Day

From tomorrow, we'll be including a daily pike fishing tip on this blog.

PAC members will be sharing some of those little wrinkles which help them put more fish on the bank and we're hopeful we'll quickly build up a library of top tips.

They'll all be tagged tips, so just enter this in a search of this blog to access them.

Subscribers will get them in their daily e-mail, along with all the latest news about pike fishing.

So why not sign up if you haven't already..?

PAC30 convention programme

The programme for PAC30, the club's 30th anniversary convention, has now been finalised.

This year's top pike fishing event is being held at Stoneleigh, Warks, on Saturday, September 22.

Your MC for the day will be Professor Barrie Rickards, Founding Fellow of the club.
  1. 10.30 Sharp! Opening Address Barrie Rickards

  2. 10.40 to 11.20 ‘One Week In Paradise’ Jason Davis reveals his fantastic catches made in recent years and as reported in his joint book with ET.

  3. 11.20 to 11.30 PAC Committee Update Phil Wakeford talks about the highs and lows of the committee’s first year in office.

  4. 11.30 to 11.45 The Menteith Draw Mark Skinner. Who will the lucky winners be to fish the Lake Of Dreams?

  5. 11.45 to 12. 35 ‘Watto Returns’. John Watson on his exploits over the years in Broadland, catching pike by traditional methods.

  6. 12.35 to 12.55 PAC 2007 Awards Presentations by Mark Barrett

Pike Angler- Bill Palmer

Regional Organiser - Gordon Nesbitt

Angling Development Shield - Peter Green

Colin Dyson Memorial – David Overy (posthumously)

12.55 to 13.30 Lunch Break

  1. 13.30 to 14.30 ‘The Modern Approach to Catching Pike’ – Mick Brown takes up the story started by Watto and brings us right up to date on the modern piking scene..

  2. 14.30 to 15.10 ‘30 Years of the PAC of GB’. Chairman Colin Goodge recalls where the club came from and what it has achieved to date.

  3. 15.10 to 15.50 ‘Water, Water Everywhere!’ Eddie Turner talks about piking fun from boats.

  4. 15.50 to 16.35 ‘Nev’s Panel’. Neville and all of the days speakers take questions from the floor on topical events.

  5. 16.35 to 17.20 Mega Raffle Mike Kelly. Will you be lucky?

  6. 17.20 to 17.30 Closing Remarks from Barrie Rickards

Friday, June 15, 2007

Otters are making a comeback, says EA

Otter populations are the healthiest they've been in nearly a century and the animals are continuing to expand across England and Wales, a new study says.

Scientists from the Environment Agency carried out post mortems on almost 1000 otters between 1992 and 2003.

Results show that the banning of pesticides like dieldrin and aldrin have played a major role in their recovery.

Conservation Officer Lyn Jenkins, who managed the study, said: "This was a very potent insecticide, used extensively by farmers, as it remained active for a long time after they applied it. But we now know it can take up to 25 years for 95% of dieldrin in soil to disappear.

"This persistence, and the fact that it passes from animal to animal through the food chain, was the reason it was eventually banned. It had a devastating impact on animals.

"By interfering with vitamin A levels, it caused reproductive abnormalities and other conditions. Previous research has strongly linked its use to declines in predators such as peregrine falcon, kestrel, sparrowhawk and heron.

"Otter numbers dropped significantly during the late 1950s when dieldrin and aldrin first came into use, especially in the south and east, and it seems otters in this country are only just recovering from the effects."

Jenkins said although post mortems revealed a decline in levels of dieldrin in otters over time, this was the first time a link had been made between OC levels in otters and the effects of these chemicals on their physiology.

The study also found that road accidents are the biggest killer of otters. While the animals can live for up to 12 years, the average lifespan is four.

"Otters lived on all rivers in the UK in the 1920s," Jenkins added. "Now otter populations have begun to grow and expand again following the decline in numbers between the 1950s and 1980s.

"It's also promising that a otter was found on the River Thames last year - not far from Tower Bridge - and it was the first wild otter to be seen in central London for more than a 100 years.

"We rely on volunteers to help us collate this information. Without the volunteers who report dead otters to us, we wouldn't be able to undertake this work to increase our knowledge about otter populations in England and Wales."

Anyone who finds a dead otter it should be reported to the Environment Agency on 08708 506506.

Edible lures - what will they think of next..?

Feel peckish and you could eat the latest lures to hit the US market - NB remove hooks first... But there's method in their madness because the new soft plastic-like creations are also biodegradable. Click here for more.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

EU warns anglers face total ban on lead

Lead could be banned from altogether from angling, it emerged today.

The European Union has voted to beef up water quality rules and phase out all lead from fishing equipment by the year 2015.

Jan Kappel, lobbyist with the European Fishing Tackle Trade Association said: “The European Commission is fully aware that lead disposal from angling is very, very small compared to the total of lead waste.

"And the Commission is fully aware that the relatively small amount of lost lead sinkers don't present much of a 'hazardous' to the environment. But this is politics.”

He added members of the EU Committee on Fisheries had already declared they were in favour of a ban, meaning anglers will almost certainly be forced to find alternatives.
Some sizes of lead shot were banned decades ago to protect waterfowl. Shooters have also been forced to load up with non-lead alternatives when shooting in some coastal areas.

But large leads such as bombs and other leger weights remain part and parcel of fishing for many anglers, while lead is also used in weighting lures both internally and to make jig heads.

Click here for more on this story.

Lure giant adds video clips to website

Lure giant Rapala has added underwater video clips of its lures to its website , so you can check out their action. Click here.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Membership added to PAC's online shop

Membership of the Pike Anglers Club is now available via our online shop, as well as the main website. Click here.

UN votes to save the world's eels

Conservationists and anglers are celebrating tonight after delegates at a meeting of the United Nations' international wildlife convention CITES voted to include the eel on its endangered species list.

The move will tighten controls on international trade in the threatened fish. Experts say numbers have plummetted to just one per cebt of populations 30 years ago.

Once a species is listed on CITES, its trade can be banned completely in extreme cases, or only allowed if exporters can prove it was legally harvested and that trading it will not be detrimental to its survival in the wild.

Over fishing and demand from Japan, where the eel is a delicacy, have helped speed up their decline. Japanese diners eat up to 97,000 tonnes of eels a year.

These are netted live as glass eels or elvers in countries around the world, including British river estuaries, before being grown on to adult size.

More here .

Fishing ban on Welsh lake looks set to stay

A fishing ban at a lake in South Wales looks set to continue after councillors ignored a petition signed by more than 1,000 anglers.

Just 100 signed a petition opposing fishing at Tredegar House Lake at Newport, Gwent. The water contains pike along with other coarse species.

But a working party of councillors have recommended anglers are not allowed back on the water, after a swan rescue group claimed fishing and wildlife did not mix.

A final decision will be taken next month. More here.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Boat patrol nets close season anglers

Environment Agency enforcement officers carried out a boat patrol along the River Tees in a bid to catch anglers illegally fishing during the coarse fish close season.

The River Tees has become a highly valued coarse fishery since the Tees barrage was erected 12 years ago, but the Environment Agency had received complaints that anglers were fishing illegally on the river, between the Tees Barrage and Yarm.

Officers found eight of the eleven people checked on this stretch of river were fishing illegally on Tuesday June 5th and they will now be reported for prosecution. This included people fishing without rod licences and those using maggots in the close season for coarse fish.

One suspected offender tried to escape from enforcement officers and was captured and arrested until his identity could be verified.

Environment Agency fisheries officer David Bamford said: "It is important to enforce the coarse fish closed season as fish need to be allowed to spawn successfully without being targeted by anglers.

"Fish become vulnerable to handling damage at spawning time and can fall victim to disease if handled."

A first glimpse of PAC30

This is a first glimpse of PAC30, a limited-edition hardback book commemorating 30 years of the Pike Anglers Club.

Copies can be ordered in advance from the PAC's new online shop here.

Pete's our man in the South West

Pete Austin has been named as the PAC's new liaison officer for the South West.

Announcing his appointment, PAC secretary mark Barrett said: "Pete has been a PAC member for many years and has been a former RO and great champion of pike fishing in the area.

"The committee wish Pete all the best in his new role and hope that we will be working with him for a long time to come."

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Public meeting over Roswell Pits marina

Plans to turn Roswell Pits into a marina will be discussed at a public meeting on Tuesday.

The famed predator water on the outskirts of Ely, Cambs, has been bought by businessman Jeremy Tyrrell, who wants to re-open disused moorings to create a haven for narrowboats.

But anglers and conservationists are fearful of the impact the plan could have on the lakes, which are connected to the Great Ouse at Foremill Wash.

Now a group called Local Campaigners for the Protection of Rural Ely (LCPRE) is holding a public meeting to discuss the future of the venue.

Mr Tyrrell is already in a stand-off with Ely Sailing Club over access to Roswell, which is also boat fished by pike and zander anglers.

Dr Andrew Balmford, a member of LCPRE, told the Cambridge Evening News: "We have not had a public debate on the future of the site, so we are creating a forum to begin initiating that."

Campaigners are meeting at the City of Ely Community College at 8pm. For further details, call Dr Sarah Hall on 07791 512296.

***How the controversy unfolded - click here. For coverage in local paper the Ely Standard click here.

Get the vibes right to catch on lures

Vibration is perhaps the most overlooked factor in fishing for pike with lures, writes Doug Strange on the US In-Fisherman website.

"The best lures often don't exactly duplicate what a fish eats so much as they create an aura of duplication, an illusion of life," he says.

"Lying there in your hand, a spoon doesn't look like a hapless little walleye, but just the right style, size, and color spoon moving at about the right speed creates an aura of moving color, flash, size, and vibration."

Doug's got an interesting theory on why bigger lures sometimes mean bigger pike too. To read it all, click here.

Friday, June 08, 2007

We can work together, say FOE

Pike anglers and environmental campaigners can work together to combat pollution and threats to our fisheries.

That was the message from Friends of the Earth campaigner Niall Bakewell, when he addressed a meeting of the PAC's Northern Ireland Region.

Regional Organiser Gordon Nesbitt said: "He gave an interesting talk on the common goals that the PAC and Friends of the Earth can hope to achieve when working together."

FOE has already woked in partnership with Antrim Angling Club to deliver a damning dossier on polluters. Click here.

PAC members are compiling similar evidence concerning incidents on Lough Beg, in Co Londonderry. The evidence will be passed the relevant authorities. Click here.

Gordon told the meeting, at Portadown Town Hall, that it was vital for pike anglers to remain vigilant.

He said incidents should be passed to the EHS/DOE Pollution Hotline 0800 807060, and the following details noted down for future record:

1. Where, when, what, whom.
2. Record suspected cause, if a polluter, try to record or retain evidence eg photos, film, registration numbers/ descriptions, log of activities noted.
3. Record time, date and to whom took your call from the pollution hotline.
4. Record when where, whom you were referred to in the EHS/DOE.
5. Record any follow-up contact, results of investigations, repeat incidents (in the same fashion), or record if initial report has NOT been followed up.

For more information see the RA43 Blog.

BBC highlights canal pike tagging mystery

PAC members' concerns over a mystery tagger, who has been leaving pike festooned with cable ties, is highlighted by the BBC. More here.

Thieves are spearing fish for food - claim

Carp worth thousands have been speared on a club water in the North East.

Anglers have found their filleted remains in the margins at Middleton St George Water Park, near Darlington.

They believe the fish have been stalked and shot with a spear gun.

More here.

Eels could be added to endangered list

A powerful international conservation group looks set to add the eel to its list of threatened species.

European eel numbers are feared to be as low as one per cent of their population 30 years ago.

But European Union efforts to control fishing were foiled this year by French politicians, fearful of alienating eel fishermen before parliamentary elections.

Next week the signatories to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora will meet in The Hague to vote on a proposal to add the European eel to Appendix Two of its list of species.

It covers creatures which are not necessarily threatened with immediate extinction but may become so if further action is not taken.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Take care of summer pike, urges PAC

Anglers targeting pike are being urged to take extra care of them during warmer weather, as the coarse fishing season gets under way.

The Pike Anglers Club says anglers should make sure they use strong enough tackle to land fish without tiring them and ensure they are unhooked and returned to the water quickly.

The 2,500-strong club, which was founded nearly 30 years ago to protect our number one predator, says pike are vulnerable to rough handling.

Its secretary Mark Barrett said: “We're calling on all anglers to protect pike and recognise the important role they play in balanced fisheries.

“Our club was founded in the Fens 30 years ago by people who recognised this. We've come a long way since then, but it's vital that all anglers protect pike because they play a vital part in the ecology of our waters.”

June 16 marks the start of the fishing season on our rivers and drains. But it also coincides with warmer weather, when pike can easily be damaged if anglers don't take extra care.

Guidelines published in the PAC's magazine Pikelines remind anglers to play pike quickly and not keep them out of the water any longer than is necessary to unhook them.

"Unhook them in the water if you can and retain them briefly in the landing net, in the water, before weighing and photographing them," the article says.

"Time out of the water is the real killer of pike in the summer time, take as few photographs as possible and return them straight away."

The PAC is also urging anglers to go properly equipped and be prepared to cut hooks to speed up unhhoking, and ensure fish are held upright and fully-recovered before allowing them to swim off.

“We'd ask anyone thing of fishing for predators to visit out website,” said Mark Barrett. “We want them to enjoy their fishing, but think of the fish and their welfare too.”

Anglers seeking more information about pike fishing can go to

Piking 2007 - tackle giant Fox confirmed

Tackle giant Fox is among traders already confirmed for the PAC's 30th anniversary convention, which already looks set to be the pike fishing event of the year.

Other exhibitors attending the event ar Stoneleigh, Warks, on September 22, include ET, the Friendly Fisherman, The Tackle Shop (Gainsborough), DLST, Zoota Lures, The Pike Shop, Sovereign Superbaits, the launch of Mega Pike - The Return; by Eddie Turner and Jason Davis, CP Boats.

Last but not least, the PAC will be running a full products stand which will include copies of PAC30 - the book being brought out by the club to commemorate its 30th year.

Speakers include Eddie Turner and Jason Davis, Colin Goodge, John Watson and Mick Brown.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Scientists study muskie spawning habitats

Environmental bodies in some states of America are streets ahead of us when it comes to fish conservation.

They've realised climate change could be impacting on spawning success of muskie and pike, so studies are being launched now to find out where fish spawn and how these areas can be best protected.

Should we be campaigning for similar research to be carried out in areas of the UK where pike populations appear in decline, or exhibit missing year classes..?

Click here for story.

US anglers' fury over speared muskie

The spearing of a giant muskie has divided predator anglers in America.

Click here for story.

Ennell fish is 'biggest Irish pike this year'

A 35lbs 4oz pike caught on a lure by Damian Grifferty, on Lough Ennell has been declared the biggest pike caught so far this year in Ireland.

Click here for Westmeath Examiner story and picture...

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Rutland Water event update

Tickets and event packs for the PAC's event on Rutland Water, on September 24, are on their way.

Special events organiser Mark Skinner said all those who have applied so far had been allotted places and there were still boats available for the event.

"Single applicants have been paired up and members have been paired in such a way that you live as close as possible to your prospective boat partner," Mark said. "This will enable you to may be contact each other and travel to the event together.

"As members now know our events are not just about catching fish, they are about meeting other members and forging friendships."
Unfortunately, we cannot give out phone numbers without your permission as regards to contacting your prospective boat partner,

Mark in this case will be the go between and will get consent from each person before passing on contact numbers.

A raffle will be organised on the day with tackle prizes up for grabs, all proceeds will be going towards our adopted charity CLIC.

Anglers sink canoeists' right to roam bid

An anglers' petition has sunk a bid by canoeists for a blanket right to roam on Britain's rivers, it emerged today.

More than 2,700 signed the e-petition, on the 10 Downing Street website.

It said: "Canoeists and un-powered craft users are seeking the right to roam on English and Welsh rivers. This is without consultation with landowners.

"This, in our view, will be detrimental to river systems and will spoil the enjoyment of the rivers for anglers. Angling clubs already pay rent to landowners for using the rivers as well as anglers paying national rod license fees. The canoeists want the right to spoil our enjoyment for free."

Today those who signed up online, who included members of the Pike Anglers Club of Great Britain, were told the campaign had succeeded.

In a statement posted on the 10 Downing Street website, Tony Blair's office said: "Research we have undertaken has shown that there is not a demand for access to all inland water, and it is therefore impossible to justify legislation to deliver this, which would undoubtedly be complex, controversial and costly.

"Our conclusion from the evidence is that demand for access would more effectively be met by a targeted approach, which involves identifying where access is needed, and then creating access agreements with the landowner and other interested parties.

"Another benefit of this approach is that it results in access arrangements that are clear and can be codified so that everyone knows what can, and cannot, be done under the agreement. We believe that this sort of arrangement would be welcomed by landowners and by most water users.

"To help identify the demand for water access we have asked the Environment Agency to work with other stakeholders to draw up strategic plans. Draft plans for two of their regions - the South-West and East of England - should be published for consultation by the end of the year. The Agency is also prepared to work with user groups to help identify specific sites where an access agreement might be put in place.

"Creating access via agreements will undoubtedly require goodwill and hard work on all sides and nothing will be achieved overnight. But we firmly believe that this is the right approach. Given the commitment of all interested parties, particularly water users and landowners, this managed and targeted approach should, over time, result in a significant increase in the amount of inland water accessible to all water users."

Click here for more on this story.

PAC's online shop goes live

A new online shop has been launched by the Pike Anglers Club, so members and supporters can buy our products online.

You'll find the full range of PAC merchandise at - including an advance order form for PAC30, the book being published to commemorate the club's 30th anniversary.

Click here to check it out.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Convention second-hand stall changes

As members are aware the secondhand stall at our coming convention in Stoneleigh is going to be split into two, special events organiser Mark Skinner said tonight.
One stall will be for every day tackle items, run with the aid of volunteer helpers, while our new lure stall will be run by Lincoln RO Chico Winterton, run also with the aid of volunteer helpers.
To make things run smoothly we are asking those members out there that want to sell items on our secondhand stalls to log items for sale in advance.

"This will save time on the day and will ensure you will not have to stand there filling these sheets in and putting stickers on your items," Mark said.

"So if members are selling items at the convention please send me an SAE to the address in Pikelines, or if you're not a member please e-mail for more details to help us run things smoothly on what is certain to be a very busy day."

Mark's e-mail address is markregion70 (at) aol (dot) com

Sunday, June 03, 2007

NI Pikers step up Lough Beg campaign

Pike anglers in Northern Ireland are stepping up their campaign to highlight the pollution of Lough Beg and get the authorities over there to take action over the damage sewage run-off and diesel spills are doing to this prime fishery.

PAC members met with Friends of the Earth's Niall Bakewell last week to discuss a dossier they have been compiling.

RO Gordon Nesbitt said: "We contacted Niall as FOE have extensive experience in this field, with their "Adopt a Polluter" pack. Their strategy serves to highlight the failures of the systems set in place which should be protecting the environment from pollution.

"Niall was very interested in our perspective, as previous experience had shown him that anglers only concern was with the fish. We not only demonstrated the importance of Pike in maintaining a balanced and healthy fishery, but we also left him in no doubt that we are as concerned with the whole ecosystem, as we are in our chosen quarry."

Friends of the Earth will be attending the regions meeting on Thursday, June 7, at Portadown Town Hall.

"Niall feels as we do, that we can both benefit immensely from each others help," Gordon said.

"He was very encouraged by the evidence that has been gathered by us so far, but we need more and that's where our members come in."

See the Northern Ireland PAC blog for more on this story - click here.

Angling's answer to Youtube is launched

The release of a pike caught by a Scandinavian ice fisherman is one of the first videos on a new website tipped to become angling's answer to Youtube.

Max Gylling and Mathias Larsson claim Youfish is currently the only angling film sharing site on the web.

To check out the pike, click here.

To check out Youfish, click here.

PAC30 - a preview by Mark Barrett

If the orders that are streaming through my door are anything to go by, it seems like a lot of anglers are now aware of PAC30 - the Pike Anglers Club’s commemorative book to celebrate its 30th anniversary.

However for those of you that may be undecided about whether or not to be 100% certain of getting a copy here’s just a taster of what you could be getting.

“…..I made contact as the pike headed fortunately away from the overhanging trees and snags beneath, into open water. I soon had it under control and drew it towards the waiting net and in the half-light could make out only the silhouetted head and shoulders of what was obviously a very large pike. Once in the boat the single size 6 treble was removed with the aid of a torch, so quickly had the light gone. In to the weighing sling she went and with the Avon’s supported on the blade of an oar I read the weight at 23 ¼ lbs. Now I knew it was bigger than that so I reweighed it, with the same result. It then dawned on me; I was one revolution of the needle short of lowering the sling with contents onto the bottom of the boat I counted as the needle went round. Once, twice, thrice, almost four times to give me a weight of 31 ¼ lbs! I double checked, repeating the procedure to confirm I was right, hardly able to comprehend that I’d caught a fish so big….”

Taken from My Broads Records, by John Watson


“…What is it about that very first cast of the day? The thrill of the unknown quarry that may be waiting for your bait? The knowledge that pre-dawn is one of the key times to be on the bank? Or simply the relief that you are actually out fishing instead of doing all the other things that life throws at us in a seemingly endless stream? I’m sure we all have very personal reasons. Quickly baiting up, I cast the first morsel….”

Taken from Natures Finest, by Steve Ormrod.

These are just a sneak preview of some of the exciting and diverse chapters that make PAC30 the ‘must have’ book of the year.

To pre-order your copy then simply send a cheque for £25 (+ £5 for Postage and packing) for a hardback edition, or why not treat yourself to a leather-bound collectors edition for £185 (+£5 p+p).

Even better why not save yourself the postage and pick your copy up at the PAC convention on the 22nd September at Stoneleigh Park, Warks and get your book signed by many of the contributors.

Full details of the convention can be found at

Cheques or postal orders for PAC30 should be made out to “The Pike Anglers Club” and sent to:

Mark Barrett
32 Berristead Close

or order on-line at

Cover picture here.

Zander Anglers Club launches new website

The ZAC has gone online with its own website dedicated to zander fishing in the Fens and further afield.

Click here to check it out.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

New weedless lure has retractable hooks

A new lure from America offers retractable hooks which spring out when a fish takes.

US-based Adventure Technology claims the hand-made Slickfish is the first lure with a built-in trigger mechanism, which solves the problem of catching weeds and debris.

More here.

Thames Gateway meets on Tuesday

Our Thames Gateway Region will be holding an informal social meeting at the Papermaker's Arms, Dartford, on Tuesday night (June 5...).

RO Steve Gould said: "As well as the standard beer, food and chatting, I thought a bring and buy sale might be a good idea, so if you've got any tackle that is surplus to requirements, bring it along and someone may take it of your hands."

The meeting starts at 8pm.

For more details on this and other PAC activities in the area, plus directions to the venue, check out their blog here.

Pike moved to make way for Olympics

Fish of several species, including pike, are being removed from a small river near the proposed Olympic stadium in East London.

Experts will electro fish the Pudding Mill River, in Stratford, to remove pike, eels, bream and other species which inhabit it.

The fish will be released into the nearby River Lea. The work marks the start of the Olympic Authority's project to protect wildlife living around the site of the Olympic park which will form the focal point of the 2012 London Olympics.

EA steps up patrols on Midlands rivers

EA bailiffs are stepping up patrols on rivers in the Midlands to catch anglers who are fishing illegally in the close season or setting nightlines.

"We use boat patrols to get to out of the way places where access is difficult, or where illegal anglers would get advance warning of our arrival on foot," a spokesman said.

"As well as anglers catching fish that the close season is intended to protect, we are also seeking evidence of people using ‘set lines’ – lines tied to the bank and left overnight. The lines kill fish indiscriminately and damage fish stocks."

Team leader Al Watson added: "It is illegal to fish for coarse fish during the close season. It is designed to protect coarse fish and give them the best possible chance to breed. This is vitally important if we are to have fish for anglers to catch in future.

"We will be stepping up our boat patrols, looking for anglers who have no regard for the future of the sport or the fish they catch and no respect for their fellow anglers or the law.

"It may be close season for coarse fish, but it’s open season for illegal anglers as far as we are concerned. We will not hesitate to prosecute anyone we find fishing illegally."

Anger erupted last season after it was revealed large pike and zander caught from the middle reaches of the Severn were being killed for food.

Last week, the agency named and shamed seven anglers it had caught fishing without licences. See press release.

Snot rockets, torpedoes and Red Octobers

Nice piece from one of the US papers, on a pike fishing guide who calls 'em snot rockets, torpedoes and Red Octobers. Click here.

EA seeks anglers' views on River Severn

EA officials are seeking anglers views over the future management of the River Severn, FISHINGmagic reports. Pike anglers believe fishing in this once-great Midlands river has declined dramatically over the last generation.

More here.

An event not to be missed...