Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Chew produces 38lbs 6oz cracker

Chew Valley Reservoir has produced a 38lbs 6oz pike to Northampton angler Andy Baldock. Click here for local paper report and a picture.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Lyn Brennig event - first reports

Three twenties topped by a 24lbs pike and numerous doubles were caught on today's PAC access event on Welsh trout water Lyn Brennig.

We'll hopefully update later...

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Events update - day one at Quays Pit

Pike to around 15lbs made for an encouraging start to the PAC's first access event on Quays Pit today.

Special events organiser Mark Skinner found another use for his binoculars as a procession of female waterskiers past his swim.

Elsewhere Russ Manning kept his mind on the job and banked a mid double and lost a better sample on the 75-acre Surrey gravel pit, which has not been pike fished for several seasons.

A number of smaller pike were caught and all were fin-perfect, short and stocky.

Thirteen members fished today, while eight are staying overnight for another bash tomorrow.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Alan Titchmarsh presents... Pikeforce

Alan Titchmarsh swops Charlie Dimmock for a diving suit in his new BBC series the Nature of Britain.

He goes underwater with award winning cameraman Dean Burman, who has filmed the private life of pike in a Leicestershire quarry.

Trailers for the programme say it feature's the pike's courtship behaviour for the first time.

It's being screened on BBC1 at 9pm on Wednesday. More here.

Nightlines catch swans too

Nightlines being put out after dark to catch pike and other fish from London's park lakes have also caught swans, reports the Camden New Journal. More here.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Should pike count in matches..?

An "explosion" in pike on the River Nene has sparked fresh calls for the species to count in matches, reports the Peterborough Evening Telegraph.

Some believe the move would help match anglers see them as less of a nuisance species. Others are less convinced.

More here.

Ken Crow entertains Thames Gateway

Former Pike Angler of the Year and manager of Kent's prolific Bough Beech Reservoir Ken Crow will be speaking at Thames Gateway Region's meeting on Tuesday, November 6.

It starts around 7.15pm at the Papermaker's Arms, Dartford, and will include the usual buffet and raffle. Copies of PAC30 will also be on sale.

Admission is £2.50 members/£3.50 non members. Click here for more details on meetings and other happenings.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Renew now to get your Pikelines

Pikelines is now in the final stages of production and membership secretary John Cahill says we are now in the last week of renewal processing before the cut off date for sending the magazine.

To ensure your copy arrives early don't forget to renew either by cheque or paypal - see the main website for details here.

"Renewals received after this week will still get Pikelines but it will be delayed as it is sent out manually," John said.

He added backlog from the recent postal strike was still delaying both renewals and our response to members in some parts of the UK.

Anglers warned over crayfish plague

Anglers fishing the River Waveney and Oulton Broad are being urged to ensure boats and tackle are dried out afterwards so they don't help a deadly crayfish disease to spread.
Thousands of dead Turkish crays have been seen in the river and broad over the weekend.
Environment Agency spokesman Amanda Elliott said tests had confirmed an outbreak of Aphanomyces astaci, commonly known as crayfish plague.
Measures are now being put in place to try to prevent any spread, particularly to rivers populated by the British white-clawed crayfish, such as the upper Waveney and the nearby Yare and Wensum.
Ms Elliott said: ``The affected animals are Turkish crayfish. What we most concerned about is preventing the disease spreading to another river system.
``Luckily, there are no British white-clawed crayfish recorded in the River Waveney.''

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Victory in fight to save Fen lodes

Pike anglers and conservationists have won the fight to save Cambridgeshire's historic lodes.

Nearly 1,000 of them signed an online petition to save the ancient waterways, when it emerged their future was under review.

Options being considered included lowering water levels, which would have destroyed important pike fisheries and rendered Bottisham, Burwell and Reach lodes un-navigable.

Today leaked documents revealed the Environment Agency’s consultation paper, due to be published next month, recommends continuing to repair the lodes and maintaining water levels.
It says the decision should be reviewed every five years.

Pike Anglers Club anglian liaison officer Dennis Moules said: "It's good news, it gives us a reprieve for five years at least and had this come out at the beginning a lot of cost could have been avoided."

Retired county councillor Geoffrey Woolard, who launched the petition, said: “It looks like we’ve won a five year reprieve, which vindicates our friends and supporters and shows they were right.

“The petition system has proved to be marvellous for us, we’ve been able to get the word out quickly to people about the threat.”

The EA paper says: “Many responses received from local people during the initial phase of the consultation indicated that they were averse to doing anything other than maintaining the lodes as they are at present.

“The preferred option is therefore expected to be strongly supported by the local interest groups and parish council representatives.”

Last weekend, Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s office responded to the Save Our Lodes petition in a statement on the 10 Downing Street website.

It said the National Trust’s plan to extend its Wicken Fen nature reserve, between Cambridge and Ely, would dictate the way the lodes were managed in the future.

But trust spokesman Nick Champion said: “We were extremely disappointed to see the Government’s response to the ‘Save our Lodes’ e-petition on behalf of the Environment Agency on the No 10 Downing street website.

"What they said was unhelpful at best and implied that the Wicken Fen Vision is a justification for the Agency to cease funding the maintenance of the Lodes."

Monday, October 15, 2007

New water confirmed for PAC events

A Lincolnshire gravel pit which has produced pike to 30lbs is the latest water to host a PAC mermbers' fish-in, special events organiser Mark Skinner said tonight.

There are 200acres of water to go at on the Cemex-controlled Hykeham and we have the pit over the weekend of Saturday, February 23 and Sunday, February 24.

Application slips and more details will be enclosed in the winter Pikelines, which will shortly be at the printer's.

It will also include details of return trips to Quays Pit, in Surrey, and Loch Fad, on the Isle of Bute.

Mark said we have also obtained a number of boats on Cobbinshaws Reservoir, Scotland, for Sunday, March 2.

Watch the mag for more details.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

A Christmas hint for wives and partners

The subtle Christmas hint on the right is now available to download in Word or PDF format for you to print out and leave lying around in a strategic position!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Prime Minister responds to Lodes campaign

Prime Minister Gordon Brown's Office today responded to the campaign to save Cambridgeshire's historic lodes.

"The Cambridgeshire Lodes carry water across the low lying fens into the River Cam. The Lode embankments have failed in a number of places in recent years because of seepage and the nature of the soils on which they are constructed. As a result the Environment Agency (EA) have undertaken costly emergency repairs.

"The EA is currently in the process of developing a strategy for the future maintenance of the Lodes and their embankments. This will have to take into consideration the National Trust's long term plan to extend Wicken Fen. Wicken Future Fen aims to create a huge new wetland nature reserve over much of the area through which the Lodes flow. This is going to change the land-use in the area and increase groundwater levels.

"The EA currently justifies funding for maintaining the Lodes embankments on the grounds of providing flood protection to a few properties and the surrounding fen agricultural land. However, as the National Trust changes the agricultural land to wetland the EA believes it will be increasingly difficult to justify this expenditure. In addition the higher groundwater levels are likely to increase the risk of embankment failures.

"As the Wicken Fen project is still in development, the strategy the EA is developing cannot yet set out detailed recommendations for the future maintenance of the Lodes. The EA recognises the high amenity value of these lodes and has consulted widely on a broad range of preliminary options to give interested parties the opportunity to present their views. The EA's initial study is due to be completed by the end of this year and further consultations will take place before any conclusions are reached."

Monday, October 08, 2007

Ely/Fenland winter programme

Ely/Fenland Region have announced their winter programme of speakers and meetings.

Events start at 7.30pm for an 8pm start and anglers should note they will be taking place at a new venue: The British Legion at Sutton, near Ely.

Wednesday, October 24 - Return of Mega Pike co-author Eddie Turner.

Wednesday, November 28 - Stephen Harper on the Pike of Broadland.

Wednesday, December 12 - Quiz Night

Wednesday, January 16 - John Synnuck, the PAC's well-travelled treasurer.

Wednesday, February 20 - Midlands lure aces Lee Norbury and Phil Kirk

Migrating pike are caught on camera

Pike have been caught on camera using a fish pass built to enable them to migrate from a tidal river.

Digital CCTV technology is being used by the Environment Agency to monitor migrating fish numbers in the River Nene.

It monitors all fish which pass through Dog in a Doublet sluice, near Peterborough.

Data is then recorded and hours of footage can be downloaded from the computer on site.

EA scientists then have the laborious task of watching the footage and noting down each fish that goes past.

Some of the fish that have already been caught on candid camera include roach, eel and some large specimens of pike.

Technical specialist Chris Randall said: "This new technology helps us to get a picture of the species and number of fish using the pass, an indicator of the quality of the health of the river.

"It also makes monitoring more efficient, as our staff no longer have to spend time going to and from Dog in a Doublet to empty the fish traps. This means that we can use our limited resources to improve fisheries elsewhere in the region.

‘This is the first time the Environment Agency in Anglian Region has made use of this CCTV technology to monitor fish numbers and if successful we will consider using it where other more traditional techniques are not available."

Sunday, October 07, 2007

PAC man catches pike killers red-handed

Foreign immigrants were caught red-handed killing and removing pike from a Fenland drain today.

A PAC member fishing a land drain near Downham Market, Norfolk, saw three men arrive in a marroon Citroen Zsara Picasso as he was packing up after a morning session.

"They pulled a up a few yards from me and started fishing, as soon as they stopped one jumped out with a telescopic rod and started spinning," he said.

"I saw him hook one straight away, he had it on the bank flapping about and my first thought was does he want a hand with that.

"Then I saw him take it around the back of the car wrapped in a rag and shove it in the boot."

Almost immediately, one of the man's friends hooked another pike. It was dragged up the bank and unhooked with the aid of a boot on its head.

By now, the PAC member had called the club bailiff, who lives near the drain. When he arrived minutes later, they went up to confront the men.

"The bailiff got his card out and said this is a private water and you're trespassing and poaching. I'm going to call the police," the PAC man said.

"They said: 'We no speak English, no understand - we just fish.

"The bailiff said they had been seen putting pike in the boot of their car. They pleaded ignorant but as they were putting their gear in I could clearly see the outline of a pike in a plastic bag.

"When I pointed at it, they pushed me out of the way, shut the boot and drove off. There was nothing we could do - we couldn't physically stop them."

Police arrived soon after. One officer said he would have reported the men for trespass and poaching had they got there in time.

As is usual in rural Norfolk, there were just a few police on duty, with a large area to cover.

Police were given the number of the car and descriptions of the men. The PAC will also be passing details of the vehicle to club bailiffs in the area.

PAC chairman Colin Goodge said: "We'd urge people to phone the EA and police prior to approaching them. If you can hold a conversation with them and keep them there, the more chance there is of catching them."

A number of other incidents have been reported across the Fens this weekend, hours after ministers announced immigrants would be given welcome packs advising them on cultural differences, including a warning not to take fish for food.

Mythbuster shatters pike hoaxes

More lies are told about the pike than any other fish, someone once observed.

If it wasn't true then, it sure is today, with the internet helping all kinds of hoaxes to flourish.

Remember Ewout Blom's massive Dutch pike, which was variously claimed to have been caught in both America and Canada..?

Yet another hoax is doing the rounds about it, so we've added the story to the PAC website.

Click here for more.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Welcome to Britain - but don't eat our fish

Migrant workers arriving in Britain will be given welcome packs highlighting cultural differences, warning them not to carry knives, drink and drive or steal fish from lakes and rivers.

The move follows police warnings that migrants from Eastern Europe with "different standards" are driving while over the legal limit and taking fish such as carp, which are a delicacy in Poland.

The leaflets are part of the Government's £50million response to a damning report from the Commission on Integration and Cohesion, which said existing methods of promoting better race relations weren't working.

More than 700,000 migrants came to Britain last year, according to official figures.

More here.

Catch up with Eric at Somerset meeting

Eric Edwards will be presenting a slideshow about his piking exploits to the Somerset Levels Region on Wednesday, October 17.

It's at the Swan Inn at North Petherton, just off the M5 at Junction 24. Start time 7:30 for 8:00. This show is open to anyone, free to regional PAC members, £3 to non regional members and £2 for under 16's.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Disaster is averted on the Delph

Disaster has been averted on a Fenland drain suffering from plummeting oxygen levels, the Environment Agency said today.

Emergency measures were put into place in the Delph, on the Norfolk/Cambridgeshire border, after anglers reported fish gasping for oxygen on the surface.

Officials said the problem had been caused by stale water which had been standing on Welney Washes all summer entering the river.

“We were concerned this could impact on water quality,” said EA senior environment officer Greg Oakes. “We were getting very low oxygen levels and we have an action plan for when levels fall.”

Aerators were installed to boost oxygen levels and supplies of hydrogen peroxide – which can be added to river water in extreme emergencies to provide a rapid oxygen boost – were placed at strategic points, as anglers and scientists expected a major fish kill.

But Mr Oakes said while a few had died in isolated pockets, the measures had largely worked.
“Oxygen levels have steadily gone up over the last few weeks at all key points,” he said.

“A lot of fish are carrying fungus, which is a sign of long-term stress, but we’ve not seen any major mortality – just small pockets.

“There is always an element of luck with all these things but we have spent large amounts of resource going up there nearly every day sampling.”

In recent weeks, pike anglers have noticed the water has an unusual dark tinge in several areas. The EA does not yet know what has caused it but does not believe it to be harmful to fish stocks.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Action plan agreed for pollution-hit Wandle

Pike were among the thousands of fish and other animals killed when sewage polluted the River Wandle.

Now a meeting has agreed an ambitious plan to restock and revitalise the Thames tributary.

Thames Water admitted responsibility for the pollution, which happened on September 17. It apologised unreservedly to everyone concerned at the meeting, which was co-ordinated by the Anglers’ Conservation Association.

It was attended by the local angling clubs, the Wandle Trust, the Chief Executive of Thames Water, two of the company’s senior directors, fisheries staff from the Environment Agency and was hosted by the National Trust.

David Owens, Chief Executive of Thames Water, said: "We accept full responsibility for this incident and apologise to the many people who have been affected. We know that rehabilitation will be a long process, and that significant costs will be involved, but we want to get started as soon as possible.

"The first step is to commission an independent survey of the river to assess the damage and identify what work is required. We are committed to working openly and co-operatively with the Environment Agency, the ACA, angling clubs, the Wandle Trust and the local community on a plan that will not just restore the river but - in the longer term - improve it, for the benefit of people and wildlife."

Mark Lloyd, Executive Director of the Anglers’ Conservation Association said: “While everyone regrets that this incident ever happened, we are delighted that Thames Water has responded not only by accepting responsibility and promising to compensate those affected but they have also agreed to go the extra mile and commit to core funding the long term improvement of the river.

"This is a very welcome change from a company that the ACA has previously had to fight through the courts. We hope that this sets a precedent for any future pollution events not only by Thames Water, but by the rest of the water industry.”

Theo Pike, Trustee of the Wandle Trust and Senior Vice President of the Wandle Piscators said: ”we are delighted to have been assured of Thames Water’s commitment to working with the local community to mitigate the effects of this environmental disaster, and provide real partnership in restoring the Wandle to its rightful status as the best urban chalkstream in the world”.

Zoe Colbeck, Property Manager for the National Trust’s Morden Hall Park, said: “The River Wandle is an incredibly import resource for the local community and for wildlife. Over a number of years we have been working with the Environment Agency and other partners to improve the water quality and associated habitat. We are delighted that Thames Water have decided to contribute to this process and we are looking forward to working in partnership with them over the coming years. We hope this experience will also help us work more closely with Thames Water across the whole of the SE region.”

Charles Rangeley-Wilson, presenter of the BBC’s Accidental Angler series, said: “Catching and releasing a two and a half pound trout from the River Wandle this August was probably the most significant moment in my fishing career.

"I'd dreamt about doing this for a decade. It meant a lot to me that this urban river was recovering from centuries of pollution. That trout was an old warhorse of a fish and to think that it had endured for so long only to die in this recent, disastrous pollution was very depressing.

"Despite my despair at that news I'm now really delighted to see that the ACA has worked so quickly with Thames Water and the local community to develop an ambitious plan to get the river back on its upward curve of recovery as soon as possible.”

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

PAC Forum - apologies for outage

The PAC Members Forums have been suffering sporadic problems all evening.

We are investigating but this appears to be down to a problem with our host.

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

PAC Events update... PAC Events update...

Tickets and info packs for this winter's PAC events on the Lake of Menteith are in the post.

Places were drawn at the PAC Convention, after a record number of applications.

Special events organiser Mark Skinner said a number of places were still available for Welsh trout water Lyn Brenig, on the weekend of October 29/30.

More details on this water and how to apply were included in recent editions of Pikelines, please note there is a closing date of October 14 for applications.

A limited number of places are also available for events on Quays Gravel Pit (Surrey) and Ecton Lakes (Northants).

Both will be closing for applications after October 19.

The club has more events than ever before this winter, including a number of new waters.

We are currently in talks with a number of other venues and details will be announced as soon as we can confirm them.

Monday, October 01, 2007

South Lancs PAC back up and running

South Lancashire Region is being re-launched, with meetings on the first Wednesday of every month (8pm) at the Caledonian pub in Bolton Road, Ashton-in-Makerfield.

They're starting off this Wednesday, October 3, with a meet and greet and details of meetings and outings planned for the coming winter.

On Wednesday, November 7, there's a talk and slide show by Kev Glover ex Region 31 R/O & international globetrotter.

Wednesday, December 5, an evening with big fish all rounder Gary Knowles.

Wednesday, January 2, Eric Edwards on big pike.

Wednesday, Febuary 6, Jon Neafcy R/O, mad keen piker - angling coach & ocassional angling author.

Wednesday, March 5, Scott Davidson, the Ayrshire pike hunter.

Outings are planned and club also has an insured boat for members' use. Pop along to the Caledonian to find out more.

Today marks our 30th birthday

Today marks the 30th birthday of the Pike Anglers Club, which was formed with a founding membership of 16 at a meeting in Bourne, Lincolnshire, on October 1, 1977.

Membership to more than 1200 full and associate members within the first 18 months.

Wither the weather - check this site

Pike anglers are nearly as bad as farmers when it comes to moaning about the weather. Ok, they're worse.

Use Metcheck and you can check out the forecast for tomorrow or any day over the next week or so when you're planning a session - just pick the nearest town to find out whether you need to take your brolly or your sun cream.

Click here to try it.

Find Phil's lures and earn a reward

Yorkshire piker Phil Heaton is offering a substantial reward to anyone who reunites him with his lost lure collection.

It's in a Wychwood lure bag containing two boxes full of ultralights and other small lures and a Fuji Finepix digital camera.

Phil thinks he mislaid it at one of two possible locations in the Doncaster area - either near the sluice behind Doncaster prison on Sunday, September 23; or in the layby on the Doncaster side of the A1 junction 37 (A635) on Monday, September 24.

***Anyone with information please e-mail