Monday, December 31, 2007

New challenges ahead for PAC in 2008

We're going to reach new milestones and face fresh challenges in 2008, as the Pike Anglers Club builds on its most successful ever year.

In his New Year message to members, PAC president Phil Wakeford said many would remember 2007 for the 30th anniversary convention and increased numbers of events, with the capture of a 39lbs 8oz pike on one of them.

More members than ever before beat their PBs and enjoyed the social side away from the water, as two 30lbs plus pike and more than 35 twenties were caught by members on fish-ins arranged by the club.

But catching fish is just one side of the coin, as the PAC steps up its fight to preserve the pike and pike fishing.

Phil Wakeford said: "There has also been a lot going on behind the scenes and we think we are finally making progress with regard to fish being taken from our waters in numbers for food and the minority of clubs and fishery owners who still insist they need to cull pike.

"We will shortly be announcing a new intelligence hotline which is being set up as a pilot scheme by the Environment Agency after some months of negotiation by the PAC and King's Lynn Angling Association.

"Information received will be used to target patrols more effectively. We will be urging all anglers to use it to report concerns and help to identify problem areas.

"On the culls front, we have just sent 500 fishery managers and owners a copy of Pike In Your Waters and the respected journal of the national Association of Fisheries and Angling Consultatives (NAFAC) carries an article summarising the arguments against culling. Rest assured, we will be keeping up the pressure this year."

Membership of the club looks set to smash through the 3,000 barrier by the end of the current committee's term in May 2009.

"Between 20 and 30 people are joining a week at the moment - that's a tremendous vote of confidence in the club," said Phil.

"If you've just joined welcome aboard, we hope you'll agree today's PAC has a lot to offer whether you're new to pike fishing or a seasoned hand . Please help to increase membership by spreading the word.

"The bigger we get, the stronger the voice that defends the pike and pike fishing becomes."

Last year saw a number of successes such as victory in the campaign to save Cambridgeshire's ancient Lodes from being lowered.

In Ireland, organisers of a major pike fishing tournament did not abandon the use of barrels to retain fish but the PAC has won concessions and will be looking to achieve more this year.

PAC30 - the 2007 Convention - was the club's biggest-ever, as anglers from all corners of the British Isles and further afield gathered for an unforgettable event.

Arrangements for Piking 2008 are still being finalised The PAC committee wish all the club’s members a happy and prosperous New Year with a few pike thrown in.

For more information on the work of the PAC or to join up, go online to .