Saturday, March 31, 2007

US experts in bid to boost predator stocks

An advanced musky rearing programme is under way in Wisconsin, US. By collecting eggs from different waters with a big fish pedigree, fishery scientists hope to boost stocks and improve fishing for the future.

Food for thought as regards the future of pike fishing in lowland areas of the UK most at risk of climate change..?

While the Environment Agency makes much capital from its stocking efforts with other species, pike do not currently feature in its plans.

Click here.

Win a boat draw nears 100 entries

Nearly 100 PAC members are now entered in the draw to win a brand new pike fishing boat at Piking 2007 - and you could join them.

Anyone recruiting a new member using one of our new membership forms automatically gets entered in an exclusive raffle to win a 12ft Sea Nymph, which will be drawn at the PAC Convention at Stoneleigh, Warks, in September.

That's right, September - so there's plenty of time left between now and the closing date for all entires to be received of Saturday, September 8.

You can even download the forms from the PAC website - just don't forget to stick your name and membership number in the space provided so you get entered in the draw.

As soon as someone joins the PAC, they can enter too - as long as they recruit someone too.

Recruit two people, you get two entries. Recruit five and you get five.

Some terms and conditions apply for more details on the promotion or to download the forms, click here.

Lincoln PAC's AGM and Raffle on Monday

Lincoln PAC is holding its AGM and Raffle on Monday, April 2.

Tickets are still available for a host of prizes, including a rod to the value of £140 from specialist predator rod builder Dave Lumb.

RO Chico Winterton said: "We are looking to continue social meetings through the Summer but they will merely be socials and a chance to bond a little better, speaker nights tend to be a little too busy at times to have a good natter.

"All of Lincoln PAC's members and visitors are more than welcome to turn up, tell us what you like/don't like, have a few pints and walk away with a nice prize."

The meeting starts at 8pm at the Turk's Head in Cecil Street, Newport, Lincoln. Admission is free.

Raffle prizes include:

Dave Lumb rod to the value of £140

10 x 5 packs of super fresh Lamprey-The Lamprey Man (Graham Ford)

TFG pike sized reel and line- Castaway Tackle

3x MM Spinnerbaits-MuskieMachinery

Boat Rod rests/Mammoth Pike-The Tackle-Shop

SPRO Lures-Angling Concepts

Mixed Pike pack-Short Ferry Angling

Wynchwood aerator bag-

Diawa Infinity carryall-lots of lures-Fishing tackle Direct

Musky Armor Gloves

Fox box

Lures, pike fishing bits and bobs, PAC wear, a year's PAC membership - and a Lincoln PAC poster signed by all of this season's distinguished cast of speakers.

****STOP PRESS... Speakers confirmed for next season already include Eric Edwards, Jason Davis and Graham Slater. For more details, see the Lincoln PAC Blog, click here.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Poor pike season on the Hampshire Avon

Pike fishing's been so bad on the legendary Hampshire Avon it barely merits a couple of lines in river blogger John Levell's report on the 2006 - 07 season. Click here to read it.

More news from Chris and Sue in Belize

Chris and Sue Harris were well-known among the pike fishing fraternity as the founders of Harris Angling - the mail order company that began on a kitchen table and expanded to be one of Britain's top mail order lure suppliers.

In March 2005, they upped sticks to Belize, to run a small fishing resort along eco-friendly lines. For their latest despatch from the other side of the world, click here.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Discovery TV pulls plug on fishing

Angling Times reports what has been rumoured for some months regarding Discovery TV's future plans for fishing coverage.

The channel will not be commissioning any new angling programmes this year because it has such a strong back catalogue of shows, one of its senior commissioning editors told the paper.

But Dan Korn, vice president of commissioning for Discovery UK, said he believed the channel could continue to serve viewers from its "strong inventory" of programmes already filmed.

They include numerous programmes featuring pike fishing, including the acclaimed Predators series.

Northern Ireland meeting - corrected date

Please note the meeting at Lurgan Town Hall, trailed here, is on Thursday, April 5 - not Wednesday, as originally stated. Apologies for any confusion caused.

Mick Brown tops the bill for Piking 2007

Mick Brown will be heading the line-up of speakers at this year's Pike Anglers Club Convention, we can reveal today.

Widely-acknowleged as one of the best all-round pike anglers of his generation, Mick is a fitting speaker for the club's 30th birthday celebrations.

PAC promotions manager and convention organiser Mike Kelly said: "We're thrilled Mick has agreed to attend and speak at the anniversary convention, which is going to be a big day for the club and for pike fishing.

"It's the icing on the cake for us and another good reason to come to what's already promising to be a very excting event."

Mick said: "It's a great honour to be asked to speak, because it's quite an important occasion.

"I turned 60 just before Christmas, so I guess I'll be able to look back and give a bit of an overview on how pike fishing has changed over the years."

The Convention - Piking 2007 - is being held at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, on Saturday, September 22.

There will be a full day's entertainment in the form of speakers and slide shows, along with a wide assortment of stalls where you can browse the latest tackle and stock up for the coming winter's pike fishing.

It's also a chance to meet up with friends old and new from up and down the country, in the only event of its kind in the UK.

More details on the line-up and other attractions will be announced as they are confirmed. For more information on this and other PAC events, click here.

Massive carp caught on a lure

An angler pike fishing on a three-acre lake on the Hampshire/Wiltshire border has landed a 40lbs-plus carp on a lure, the Salisbury Journal reports. More here.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Lock up your terriers - pike on the prowl..!

An article in tonight's Sheffield Star offers a whole new insight into the role pike play in our waters.

"Arguments over blocked-in cars and overgrown hedges pale into insignificance when you consider the plight of the minnows in Dam Flask reservoir," the local paper says.

"The terrified tiddlers are living in fear of a new generation of predatory pike who are bigger, meaner and hungrier than ever before.

"The peace-loving bream, roach and tench of the beautiful lake in the Loxley Valley have never enjoyed good relations with the carnivorous beasts - considered the Mr Bigs of the waterways which very few fish dare to argue with."

Click here for more.

It later emerged the source of the story was a press release from Yorkshire Water, which was sent out to the local media to announce a restocking programme - and an increase in day ticket prices.

"The fresh-water answer to the barracuda has a voracious appetite - and mostly for smaller fish - so, when the water levels dropped, hunting suddenly became a whole lot easier," it said.

"The more they ate, the bigger the pike became and, although the water levels in Damflask are now back to normal, it's believed there are still some real monsters cruising the depths in a hunt for prey as they try to sustain the sort of life to which they have become accustomed.

"Pike eat whatever takes their fancy and there are reports of them tucking into small ducks and even legends of swimming terriers disappearing with a splash - although fishermen will tell you the latter's just an urban myth," said Yorkshire Water's catchment and recreation manager Geoff Lomas.

"In reality, it's hard to say how large the biggest pike in Damflask have become but reports suggest they're pretty impressive and could present local anglers with a real challenge."

To read it in full, click here.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Slow wasn't the word at Hook's Marsh

Words like slow don't quite do justice to the PAC's final access event of the season, fished on Cemex's Hook's Marsh fishery, near Waltham Abbey, Herts, over the weekend.

A hardy handful turned up for the two day event, with members allowed to bivvy on the bank overnight.

Just two fish were caught in the teeth of a north-easterly on Saturday, the best of them scaling 14lbs 2oz. That was two more pike than Sunday produced.

Northern Ireland hosts PAC secretary

Pike Anglers Club secretary Mark Barrett will be off to Northern Ireland next week, to meet members of the club's revitalised RA43.

Membership has been going through the roof over there and Mark's visit is aimed at strengthening links and seeing how the club can help anglers in the area protect and improve their pike fishing.

The members-only meeting is being held at Lurgan Town Hall, in Union Street, Lurgan, Craigavon, from 7.30pm on Thursday, April 5.

RO Gordon Nesbitt said: "We would like to stress at this point, how important it is that all our members attend this meeting.

"There are alot of important topics to discuss, and I'm sure the members would like to take the opportunity to meet Mark."

For a map of the venue, click here.

More Chew thirties in local paper report

Chew Valley Reservoir produced more 30lbs-plus pike towards the end of permitted pike fishing days on the water, local paper the Weston & Somerset Mercury reports. Click here.

New membership high after NEC

Membership of the Pike Anglers Club hit a new high of 2160 this week, with the stall at the NEC Go Fishing 2007 show bringing in 26 new members .

When the current committee took over in May, the club had 1830 members and the figure stood at 2129 by the end of the traditional membership year in September.

One of the committee's targets is to take membership over the 3000 mark by the time we hand over to our successors, in May 2009.

Don't forget, if you;re already a member, you get an entry into the draw to win a brand new Sea Nymph fishing boat every time you recruit a friend using one of our new membership forms, which you can even print out and download online.

For more details, click here.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

PAC website gets 40,000 visits a month

Traffic on the Pike Anglers Club website doubled last season. Monthly visits soared from around 20,000 to more than 40,000 throughout the winter, when most of us are pike fishing.

The PAC site, designed and maintained by webmaster Dave Lumb, has been around in one guise or another since 2001.

It contains a wealth of information about the pike, recommended rigs and tackle, fishing tips and advice on how to unhook and handle them safely. It also features details of PAC activities up and down the country, including our popular special members events.

Today it also offers forums, where members can chat online and interact with each other and the club's committee, a member's gallery to show off you new PB or share a memorable capture, and our first departures into online video clips.

Rolling news headlines bring you all the latest on pike fishing as it happens, while if you don't want to keep checking back every day, you can subscribe to our blog and we'll send you an e-mail instead.

You'll also find links to more than a dozen blogs run by different regions up and down the country, covering news of their meetings and other activities.

Check it out here if you haven't stopped by lately.

****We're trying something new with the PAC Blog this week. If you read down to the bottom of a story, you'll now see a little white envelope symbol.

Click on that and you'll get a box pop up where you can enter a mate's e-mail address and send them a link to it. Clever or what..?

Ewout's monster pike was no mystery

Pictures of the fish shown on Angling Times's front cover have been circulating on the internet ever since dutch angler Ewout Blom caught it from a stillwater in the south of the country, in March 2006.

Since then, the fish has been variously claimed to have come from a lake in America and the Baltic.

It has also been linked to a story of a large 40lbs-plus pike which was landed after it grabbed a smaller fish on the way in.

The following account of the capture surfaced on US fishing forums last summer after pike anglers in America became suspicious:

“This pike was caught on the 6th of March 2006 by Dutch fisherman Ewout Blom in a pretty big lake in the south of Holland, I know the name of the lake from where quite a number of 40 plus pikes were caught and released but promised not to mention the name to avoid too heavy fishing pressure.

"This pike had a length of 127 cm and a weight of 19,5 kilo and was caught trolling with a Rapala Super Shad Rap in perch colour and I have about 10 original digital pictures of this fish.

"For the metric-impaired (such as yours truly), 127cm and 19.4 kilos works out to right around 50 inches, and just barely shy of 43 pounds.”

50lbs-plus pike caught in Italy

Forums are buzzing with an italian pike, which bottomed out 55lbs scales according to the story doing the rounds. Click here to see a picture...

Friday, March 23, 2007

Pikers gather for final PAC event of the season

Pike anglers are gathering for the final PAC access event of the season this weekend.

They're trying their luck at Cemex-run Hook's Marsh fishery, near Waltham Abbey, Herts.

Special events organiser Mark Skinner said the event would be the first of a number of pike fishing events on Cemex waters.

"We'll be holding a few events on other Cemex waters, including some of their more high-profile ones next season, so the message is watch this space," he said.

April's Pike and Predators is out

April's issue of Pike and Predators is now in the newsagents.

And among the highlights, are:

Mark Barrett on pike fishing in floodwater;

Phil Blakey on surface lure fishing at night;

Mick Brown on pike rigs;

Jamie Groom & Alex prouse on distance fishing for pike;

James Holgate on fishing new waters without guides;

Alan McFadyen shows you how to fish what he considers the best
pike bait in the world;

Dominic Garnett gives some useful advice on fly-fishing for pike;

Neville Fickling puts the world to rights.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Deadline nears for PAC30 book

The PAC is working on a book which will be published to commemorate its 30th anniversary, which will be made available at the Convention at Stoneleigh in September.

Given the provisional working title of PAC30, it will contain a selection of articles, essays and stories from some of the most influential pike anglers of today and yesteryear.

We have set aside two chapters for contributions from PAC members, who are being invited to send us potential sections for inclusion.

There is an open brief for this, your contribution could look back over your pike fishing career, a memorable season, or give your take on a particular technique or aspect of pike fishing.

All entries will be judged by the committee and those which do not make it into the book will be considered for Pikelines.

The closing date for this is Saturday, March 31. Contributions should be sent to Mark Barrett at - please note, not .com...

We'll also be announcing a way that members can reserve their copy of what is going to be the pike fishing book everyone's going to be talking about this year.

***Contributors who have been commissioned to write pieces for the book should also have these with us by March 31.

PAC takes Mail to task over Andy Little

The Pike Anglers Club has today complained to Angler's Mail over an article on predator fishing by Andy Little, in which he talks about fishing a water containing pike to 25lbs-plus with 1.5tc rods and 6lbs line.

In a letter to the weekly's editor, PAC secretary Mark Barrett writes: "As a club that has fought for thirty years for the protection of pike and pike fishing we were somewhat shocked to see Andy Little going into great detail of how he was fishing at Old Bury Hill lakes for zander, using sea dead baits using a 1.5 test curve rod and 6lbs line.

"The PAC is appalled that a well respected and influental angling writer such as Andy would advocate using such inadequate tackle on a water where there is a very good chance of hooking into a large pike, let alone a big zander.

"There is no reason that the PAC can see for advocating the use of such inadequate tackle, as the potential for breakage on a large pike or zander would be very high indeed, with potentially fatal consequences for either species.

"The PAC would urge all anglers contemplating targeting zander to use tackle suitable for the safe landing of both pike and zander, that is 2lbs + test curve rods and a minimum of twelve pounds (but preferrably 15lbs) mono."

More information about suitable tackle for pike fishing can be found on the PAC website -

Cold water is the key for big pike

Cold water habitat is the key to growing big pike, so they reckon in the US of A, where they also have some interesting ideas on locating, er, wallhangers. Click here.

£2bn Thames tunnel will cut pollution

A £2bn tunnel will be built to prevent untreated sewage killing fish and polluting the River Thames, Environment Minister Ian Pearson said today.

The 18-mile pipeline will intercept sewage and rainwater run-off and carry it to be treated in East London.

The scheme, which will add around £37 a year to Thames Water customers' bills, is expected to be completed by 2020.

The tunnel is intended to catch the 52 million cubic metres of waste water which currently pollutes the rivers Thames and Lee each year.

London's 19th Century sewer network, which collects sewage and rainwater, is coming under increasing pressure from population growth and climate change.

Mr Pearson said: "Most Londoners would be shocked to hear that,because of an historic but increasingly outdated sewer network, a huge amount ofuntreated sewage and rainwater is spilling into the Thames at least once a week.

"This tunnel is the right solution for London and for the environment. Itwill give us a 21st century River Thames that we can all be proud of."

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Our Lyn scoops Anglers Mail Fox award

There's been no keeping Lyn Baker out of the news since she landed a fantastic 39lbs 8oz pike at a PAC event on Menteith.

The 32-year-old Geordie lass joined the PAC three months before catching the biggest pike ever caught by a female angler.

National newspapers, regional TV and the BBC all featured the story, bringing unprecedented media interest in the club.

This week's Angler's Mail features the story and she's earned herself its weekly Fox Award for the fish of the week.

Storm tide surge spares Yare

Pike anglers in Norfolk are breathing a sigh of relief today when it emerged the River Yare had been spared a repeat of last October's salt surges, which killed pike and other coarse fish in the river and its broads.

The EA, which monitors salinity in the river, said the salt water had not travelled far above Cantley and the northerly gales had not caused the salt water to hold up in the river between tides.

Legal bid to overturn lakes speed limit

Pike anglers could soon be sharing Britain's longest lake with power boaters and jet skiers again.

High-speed craft were effectively banned from Windermere in 2005, when the Lake District National Park Authority imposed a 10mph speed limit on the 12-mile-long lake.

Now campaigners from the Keep Windermere Alive group are threatening a high court challenge after the LDNPA refused to join talks over a compromise.

More here. And for some great pictures, click here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Storm tides fear for Norfolk's River Yare

There were fears salt tides would bring fresh fish kills one of East Anglia's finest pike fisheries tonight as storms lashed the East Coast.

Flood warnings have been issued for most of the Norfolk coastline tonight and many coastal homes evacuated, after prolonged northerly gales caused North Sea tides to build.

Similar weather patterns coupled with spring tides last October decimated coarse fish stocks along parts of the River Yare and its broads.

Tonight's high tide was expected to be almost 30ft in places on the coast, carrying salt water far further inland than normal.

Fish which have entered Rockland and Surlingham Broads to spawn could become trapped as the water turns saline.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Pike Angler of the Year heads west

Pike Angler of the Year Rob Christen will be presenting a thought-provoking talk on his take on pike fishing at a Somerset Levels Region meeting tomorrow night (Wednesday, March 21).

It's all happening at the Swan Inn, North Petherton, which is just off Junction 24 of the M5. All welcome, non regional members £3, under 16's £2. Start time 7:30 for 8pm.

There will also be a bring and buy sale where you can flog your unwanted kit!

Thanks to everyone who helped at the NEC

Pike Anglers Club chairman Colin Goodge has expressed the club's thanks to all who helped out on the PAC stall at last weekend's Go Fishing show at Birmingham NEC.

Our presence at the three-day fair was a storming success with 25 new members recruited and a host of PAC products sold.

Tonight sales goods manager Mick Hastings added: "I'd like to echo what Colin has said.

"Thanks to Mad Mick Bowen, Bob Tonks and the guys from RA1 - I'm sorry, I don't know all the names - Pete Green, Mick Culpan, Steve Bown, Rob Shallcroft, & Murph.

"Thanks to all the members old and new who stopped in to say hello. And a special thanks to Rik Wesley and some of his colleagues, who helped make the stall look so good with all the blow up pictures."

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Warmest winter ever, US boffins say

Scientists in America say the winter of 2006/07 was the warmest-ever and 2007 could be the hottest year since records began.

But put away the lawnmower, because we're heading for a cold snap with blizzards possible by Sunday night in some northern areas.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Membership surging to record levels

Membership of the Pike Anglers Club is still on the increase and about to pass a significant milestone.

Last September, the club had 2129 members at the end of its then membership year.

Membership traditionally ran from October 1, but we have seen a considerable upsurge since the current committee announced subscriptions would be frozen throughout its three-year term and brought in rolling membership, lasting a year from the date someone joins.

This week, we had 2122 members, with numbers recruited at the Go Fishing show at the Birmingham NEC, we have now beaten the September 2006 total.

This can only bode well for the club. And don't forget anyone recruiting a new member between now and the convention can enter the draw to win a brand new Sea Nymph, in a joint promotion with long-term supporter
CP Boats.

See our website for more details of this exciting promotion. Please note terms and conditions apply. Click here.

Fens are most at risk from climate change

Low-lying areas of the Fens are among the most vulnerable areas of the country to the effects of climate change. More here.

Broads boaters face MOT-style tests

Broads boaters face MOT-style tests on their vessels under new navigation laws, says the Eastern Daily Press. More here.

BBC reports on cased pike

The BBC is the latest to report on the cased pike coming up for auction, which is expected to make £6,000. More here.

PAC wins support at Go Fishing show

The PAC stall has been doing a brisk trade at this weekend's Go Fishing show, at the NEC in Birmingham.

Numbers attending so far look set to equal last year's 28,000 visitors. And the PAC has been busy signing up members and doing a roaring trade in merchandise.

Why not come and say hello if you're visiting the event..?

Go Fishing 2007.

Don't miss ET at Dartford meeting

Eddie Turner, widely regarded as one of the most influential pike anglers of modern times, is doing a talk at the Papermakers Arms in Dartford, Kent, on Tuesday, April 3.

For dirctions and more information click here.

Friday, March 16, 2007

The future of angling?

Will robotic fish ever become affordable to use as pike lures? Or is it more likely that they will be programmed to pick up anglers baits?

See more robotic fish on YouTube

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Dog eating pike was "urban myth"

Rumours of a massive pike devouring birds and chewing three legs off a terrier in a lake in Wearside were a red herring, says the Northern Echo, which trots out the story of the so called Fatfield monster in a report on Lyn Baker's 39lbs 8oz Menteith capture. More here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Catch Derek MacDonald at Cambs PAC meet

Derek MacDonald doesn't do many slide shows. He's largely kept his catches and his pike fishing to himself, until now.

But as Angling Times reports he's just caught his twentieth 30lbs-plus pike, we can reveal Derek will be on the oche at the next Cambridge PAC meeting on Wednesday, April 4.

He'll be doing a show entitled I did it my way at their normal venue, Bottisham British Legion.

For more info, check the Cambridge PAC website.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Media interest in club "unprecedented"

Media interest in the Pike Anglers Club has been unprecedented since Lyn Baker's capture of a superb 39lbs 8oz specimen during a PAC event on Saturday.

As well as enquiries from the angling press and websites, we have fielded calls from the regional and national newspapers, the Press Association and other news agencies, and the broadcast media.

Lady of the Lake - Newcastle Journal

Today's Newcastle Journal reports Lyn Baker's 39lbs 8oz Menteith Pike.

Click here.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Government rejects canoeists' calls

Canoeists' calls for the right to paddle along any river were rejected when the Government threw out a Ten Minute Rule Bill on access to inland waterways.

Anglersnet has the story, click here for more.

Lyn Baker's 39lbs 8oz fish - picture

Here's new PAC member Lyn Baker with the superb 39lbs 8oz pike she caught during a club event on Lake of Menteith on Saturday.

Also out on the day were 41 fish of 6lbs or under, 22 between 6lbs and 10lbs, 23 between 10 and 15lbs, 10 between 15lbs and 20lbs, eight 20s up to 28lbs.

The pike Fishing on Loch Fitty, where a PAC fish-in was held today, failed to live up to quite the same standards. Just three jacks were caught, special events organiser Mark Skinner said tonight.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

James's Lines on Pike in print

James Holgate charts more than 25 years of writing about pike and pike fishing in his new book Lines on Pike.

First appointed as Pikelines editor in 1985, James went on to found Pike & Predators - the first and only newstand magazine about fishing for pike and other predatory fish.

A keen boat angler based in Lancaster, James admits he is drawn to fishing afloat and the more technical side of things.

"The book's mostly about boat fishing and fishing big waters, with a bit of lure fishing thrown in," he said.

"It's mainly to get people thinking about their pike fishing, the tackle they use and what the pike are actually doing."

The 177-page book covers most methods of modern pike fishing.

You can get it from Predator Publications for £9.95 (plus £1.50 postage) from Predator Publications Ltd, Newport, East Yorkshire, HU15 2QG.

You can also buy it online from

New member Lyn lands 39 on Menteith

They call it the Lake of Dreams. And dreams came true for one of the Pike Anglers Club's newest members today, when she landed a 39lbs 8oz (pic) brute during a PAC event on Menteith.

Lyn Baker's fish is believed to be one of the biggest pike ever to be caught by a female angler in the UK.

Lyn, 32, from Newcastle, said tonight: "I'm still shaking now, I was so excited.

"It fought really hard, it was really fit. We didn't see it for five minutes after I hooked it, and when I did, I just thought oh my god."

Lyn, who joined the PAC a few months back, was on a boat with her husband Neil when the monster picked up her sardine deadbait.

"I've been pike fishing for around three years," she said. "Neil got me into it, he fishes all the time. We used to do a lot of fly fishing for trout, then he got into pike fishing and got me to try that."

Neil convinced Lyn it was worth entering the draw for a place on a fish-in on the lake of Menteith organised by the Pike Anglers Club, which she joined a few months earlier.

"Her previous best pike was 10lbs 8oz and I said if we go to Menteith you've got a great chance of beating it," he said.

"Her first fish after half an hour was 21lbs 5oz and she was absolutely over the moon, she'd have happily gone home then.

"I said it'll take you a while to beat that, then she struck into this thing, it came out of the water and I've never seen anything like it."

The PAC obtains a limited number of days' fishing for its members on Menteith each season. The events are always over-subscribed and members enter a draw for places.

PAC special events organiser Mark Skinner said: "I spoke to Lyn in the pub the night before and said wouldn't it be great if a woman member caught the biggest fish.

"It's truly a great achievement for any pike angler but to see one of our female members come on here and upstage all the household names shows what the club's about.

"It shows anyone can join up, get in the draw for places and stand a chance of catching a fish like this if their number comes up."

Details of other fish caught on the day are still coming in. Sussex RO jon Cook equalled his PB with a 27lbs 2oz pike. And Lyn's husband Neil also boated a 20lbs 6oz fish.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Wide ranging debate at Cambridge meeting

PAC members from across the Fens joined committee members for a wide-ranging debate at the Cambridge Region's meeting last night.

President Phil Wakeford, chairman Colin Goodge, secretary Mark Barrett, products manager Mick Hastings and press officer Chris Bishop all gave an insight into their roles in the running of the club.

The floor was then thrown open and and the questions came thick and fast. Topics touched on included the role of communication, boosting the club's work with junior anglers, conservation issues affecting pike, starting up new regions and the book the PAC is publishing to promote its 30th anniversary.

Cambridge Region meets on the first Wednesday of every month at the British Legion, Bottisham. Next month's speaker is Derek MacDonald.

Monday, March 05, 2007


The PAC's YouTube Channel has had its 1,000th viewer less than a month after going live.

If you haven't visited it yet please do. It has original PAC material plus links to other interesting pike related videos we have found - like the one below!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Livebaiting is banned in Scotland

Pike fishing in Scotland has taken a body blow, after last ditch attempts to stave off a ban on livebaiting failed.

A ban on the use of live vertebrates for bait was included in the final draft of the Aquaculture and Fisheries Bill which was debated by Scottish MPs on Thursday, March 1.

Amendments calling for the ban to be replaced with a restriction on the use of livebaits to fish caught from the same water on the same day were defeated during the final debate.

It came after a long and well-argued campaign by the Scottish Federation for Coarse Angling and the Pike Anglers Alliance for Scotland, which was supported by the Pike Anglers Club of Great Britain.

During the debate, Tory MSP Jamie McGrigor told the Edinburgh Parliament: "I totally understand that the minister's primary concern is to prevent the contamination of waters with alien species that are used as live bait, but I am far from convinced that such practices are responsible for any more than a small percentage of the alien species that appear in our lochs and rivers.

"I would support the minister if she were to introduce a Danish-style ban on live bait by banning the use of live bait that had not been caught on the same day and in the same waterway that is being fished.

"However, I worry that, in outlawing completely the use of live bait, we may be using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

"The fact remains that the use of live bait is a thoroughly well-established practice among pike fishermen, who travel from far and wide to Scotland's lochs to enjoy some of the best pike fishing anywhere in the British isles or the world.

"In my view, the Parliament should do all that it can to further the growth of coarse angling generally and pike fishing specifically.

"Therefore, I worry that including the provision on the face of the bill will send out all the wrong signals to the coarse fishermen who currently come to Scotland and to those who are considering coming here in the future."

But Green MSP Ealeanor Scott said: "For me, two issues are involved. The first, which motivated the Executive, is biodiversity and the risk of fish used as bait becoming established in an area where they did not belong and posing a threat to the native species. The second issue is fish welfare. It is acknowledged that fish are sentient beings and I do not think that it is right that live vertebrates be used as bait.

"I not believe that using live fish as bait is acceptable nowadays. I accept that that puts me at odds with the Pike Anglers Club of Great Britain, with which I have corresponded.

"The first thing that one sees on its website is instructions for fishing for pike with dead bait, so it is not inevitable that one must fish for pike with live bait—although I accept that the club says that using live bait provides better sport at a certain time of year. In this day and age, we should not be using live fish as bait."

Deputy Environment Minister Sarah Boyack, who steered the bill through the Scottish Parliament, said: "I acknowledge that the strongly held views for and against the use of live vertebrates as bait tend to split along the lines that are associated with different branches of the sport.

"Those who wish to fish for predatory fish such as pike want no ban, whereas those who fish for other fish want a ban.

"It has been argued that introducing the ban simply supports the views of the latter group, but those on both sides of the argument share the same environment, and the fact remains that the use of live vertebrates by one group could compromise the environment and the fishing of another group.

"The use of live vertebrates as bait has resulted in the translocation of live fish from one body of water to another. We need only look at Loch Lomond to see what has happened.

"The loch now supports a number of fish species that are new to the loch. One of those species, the ruffe, is now the most numerous fish in the loch and it is thought to pose a major threat to the loch's indigenous powan, which is an internationally important species of freshwater fish found in Loch Lomond and Lock Eck and which is listed in the habitats directive.

"The use of lures and dead fish—often marine species such as sprat or mackerel—gives anglers an ample range of methods and there is no need to put biodiversity at risk.

"We do not want to suggest that pike anglers should not come to Scotland, they will still be very welcome."

In the end, just 11 Tory MPs backed the amendment. Eighty, from all other parties, voted against.