Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Proper pike fishing weather's coming

Brrrrr... There's going to be a seriously Siberian feel to the weather over New Year.

So if you're one of those people who thinks pike fishing's better in the cold, you're going to be in your element.

Forecasters reckon temperatures could dip to nearly minus 10 over the next few days.

Click here for one of many weather stories.

Pike Anglers Club events update

Get out your diaries... There are still some places available on a number of PAC access events between now and the end of the season.

They include the Warping Drain (Lincs) on Saturday, February 7; Hykeham Pit (Lincs) on the weekend of February 14/15; Ecton Jigsaw Lake (Northants) on Saturday, Fenruary 21 and Saturday, March 14; and Quays Pit (Surrey) over the weekend of March 21/22.

Application slips with details of ticket prices were included in the last Pikelines.

Events organiser Mark Skinner said: "If you have lost your slips for these events, all you need to do is write your name, address on a sheet of paper include your PAC number the event you are applying for and a cheque payable to the PAC for the number of tickets required and an A5 stamped address envelope."

Scientists seek answers over eel decline

A £2.5m European study is under way in a bid to find our more about the breeding habits of the eel and why the species is in sharp decline.

Click here for more.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Membership Reminder

All September, November and December 2008 expiring memberships have received reminders.

If you have forgotten to renew please click on this link and rejoin, we need your support.


John Cahill
Membership Secretary

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

MPs to be lobbied over fish baits loophole

While plans to outlaw the killing of coarse fish for food were included in the Marine Bill set to become law next year, the use of fish as bait by anglers seeking predatory species was excluded.

Today the Eastern Daily Press reports an as-yet un-named individual or group is set to lobby MPs in the new year - presumably to prhobit the use of fish for bait.

EA by-laws currently allow anglers to use fish up to 10cm long in most regions provided they are caught from the venue on the day.

Fishing for Big Pike - the return

Barrie Rickards has re-written 70s classic Fishing for Big Pike, which he famously co-authored with the late Ray Webb.

Cambridgeshire-based Barrie, a founder member of the PAC, revolutionised the sport when he first penned his theories about hotspots on Fen drains and the effects of air pressure on pike fishing.

Medlar Press are tipped to publish the book next autumn.

Merry Christmas from all at the PAC

Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year - and may your next run be a monster if you're lucky enough to be out pike fishing over the holidays.

Looking back over a busy year for the club, 2009 already looks to be another one.

Please do all you can to help us spread the word. We've made some real strides over the last 30 years or so, but there's plenty more to be done when it comes to safeguarding the pike and pike fishing.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

EU set to impose quotas on sea anglers

Some pike anglers buy their sea deadbaits, others catch their own, while many more enjoy the odd sea fishing trip.

Today it emerged the European Union wants to impose catch quotas and ban anglers from selling their catches.

EU officials believe sea angling is now so popular that anglers could have an impact on species like cod and ling.

Defra has confirmed it plans to hold talks with angling organisations next month, today's Sunday Times reports.

Click here to read the report in full.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sign up and help the RNLI

Sea angling friends have asked us to pass this on - please spare a second or two to sign their petition.

Lifeboat crews fear being scuppered by crippling new charges for using their radios from Ofcom, the communications regulator. The RNLI could see the price of using its VHF emergency frequencies rise to £250,000 under plans to charge the full commercial rate.

The charity, which saves hundreds of lives every year, currently pays an annual £48,000 at a discounted rate of 50 per cent. It relies on donations and fears the move will have a disastrous impact on fundraising.

Peter Bradley, RNLI operations staff officer, said: "It's a lot of money when you think in terms of lifeboat days and little old ladies collecting pound coins. We could buy several inshore lifeboats for the same amount.

"The Government rely on us to provide this search-and-rescue service, at a cost of £124 million a year, but they want to charge us for doing it. Ofcom has set out plans to bring 'market forces' into maritime and civil aviation communications in a policy it calls Administered Incentive Pricing.

"£250,000 represents an awful lot of charity collections, even more so in the current economic climate so, if like me you feel strongly enough about this, please sign the petition below."

Click here to sign it.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Deesox - a different kind of pike blog

Meet Deesox - aka Dave Edwards, a thinking man's kind of fishing blogger from Cheshire, with some interesting observations on fly fishing for pike and other species.

More and more PAC members are blogging these days and you can keep in touch with all of them if you set up an RSS feed reader on your computer.

Make sure you add Dave and the some of the other bloggers we come across, or save them to your favourites for those slow Friday afternoons at work.

Click here to go to Deesox.

Pike and Predators - new issue out

January's Pike and Predators has hit the news stands. And we've been sent a sneak preview.

Simon Everett explores a new way of getting afloat for pike

Phil Blakey tackles the thorny issue of the best conditions for catching pike with lures

Mike Kelly explains some of the tactics he uses to place the odds more firmly in his favour

Neville Fickling reports on the latest happenings on the trout-water pike scene and tries to put the problems with Irish piking into perspective

George Higgins is interviewed about his long and successful pike fishing career

James Holgate suggests you throw away the rule book when it comes to catching pike on lures in the colder months

Graham Booth delves into the history books to ask why pike have exerted such a fascination on so many anglers

Plus, we ask whether your life jacket would really save your life?

Government pledges £1.56m to angling

Press Release from the Angling Development Board

Angling has received a £1.56 million boost this week as Sport England announced its plans to support the Governing Body to deliver angling opportunities for all over the next four years.

Last summer the Angling Development Board (ADB) was invited by Sport England to demonstrate how angling could contribute to government targets of increasing participation in active sport, especially through encouraging young people and retaining them as active participants as they grow older. Sport England also wanted to develop the talent pool of anglers trying to compete at international level and proposals to improve anglers’ satisfaction with the management of their sport: a process already underway with the formation of the Angling Trust.

David Moore, Chairman of the ADB explained. ‘The ADB responded to Sport England’s challenge with a package of proposals to grow and sustain the sport of angling. Our Plan is based on a vast amount of market research, much of it from the Environment Agency’s data from millions of rod licences and information held by Sport England right back to an NOP survey 40 years ago.

‘The first area identified was the problem of young people who are introduced to the sport but are not converted into long-term anglers. Other sports have much better links between schools, coaches, clubs and facilities whereas these are widely fragmented in angling. The funding package from Sport England will help start a regional development network which can access local and regional funding and bring schools, clubs, coaches and facilities together.

“After six months’ hard work by the ADB team, the timing of this announcement coincides perfectly with the transition of the ADB into the newly constituted Angling Trust during 2009. We are already making good progress in achieving Sport England’s recognition of The Angling Trust as the Governing Body for angling in England.’

The ADB plans to start recruiting Regional Development Officers and details will be available on our website during February.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Hear, hear - US site on pike lure sounds

We've all heard of buzzbaits and lures which are designed to kick out vibes to attract the pike.

Now Mepps have put some audio clips on their website, to give you an idea of how different lures make different noises.

"It's pretty easy to see the flash of a Mepps spinner blade as it's pulled through the water, but hearing just what it sounds like has been a well kept secret up until now," the site says.

"It took us a while, but we've managed to digitally capture the sound of several Mepps spinners as they are retrieved. And, what we recorded even managed to surprise us.

"Remember, what you are about to hear are the actual sounds produced by Mepps spinners as they are retrieved. These sounds have not been enhanced or altered in any way. We make no claim as to how fish interpret these sounds, but fish do hear them."

Of its Aglia "Musky Killer" spinner, it adds: "The sound of the #5 Aglia blade is steady and deep with a rapid repetitive thump. The Magnum Musky Killer blade sounds similar, but, the thump is deeper and slower.

"Both sound like a slow moving locomotive, and both are very easy to hear underwater."

Click here to go to the sound clips, then just roll you cursor over each spinner to hear what it sounds like.

PAC forums - are you missing out..?

Bite indication on the Ouse when it's pushing through, should gags be outlawed and the best kind of life jacket or flotation device for fishing afloat.

These were three of the most-debated topics on the PAC's Members Forums tonight, as membership neared the 700 mark and we checked our stats and found we'd had more than 2.6m page views.

All kinds of bait, lure and even fly fishing are covered. The forums also provide members with a quick and easy way to interact with the club's regional organisers and committee.

Members ask why we don't do more to promote the forums. They've got a point.

So if you're a member of the club and you haven't already signed up, why not join and have a look at what you're missing.

Just click on the Message Board link on the main PAC website and follow the instructions to register - NB you need to use your full name as your sign-in and include your PAC membership number, which we need to check before confirming your account.

Eel come to your meeting and do a talk

One stall that drew plenty of interest at this year's Pike Anglers Club Convention was the National Anguilla Club.

Now they're offering to bring their roadshow along to any PAC region looking for an evening's eel fishing-themed entertainment

Travel might be an issue in more far-flung areas, but the NAC's Dave Smith says get in touch to see if they can arrange attendance.

They're not looking to charge - though a few quid towards the fuel bill would probably be welcome.

Founded in 1962, the NAC is one of the few predator angling groups which are even older than the PAC.

If you're looking to find out more about fishing for one of this most mysterious of fish, click here to check out their website.

To invite the roadshow, e-mail Dave Smith at .

ET Roadshow rolls into King's Lynn

Eddie Turner will be bringing the ET Roadshow to King's Lynn on Saturday, for a day of demos at Steve Younger's Specialist Angling Supplies.

There'll be tackle displays, book signings and even a barbecue. Steve will also be offering a 20% discount on tackle in his shop all day.

It's being held at Unit 15, Hamburg Way, on the North Lynn Industrial Estate, Kings Lynn PE30 2ND.

Click here for map and more info.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The best pike fishery in all England..?

Bristol Water today published an end of year round-up for its trout waters, including pike catches from Chew Valley Reservoir.

"A total of 21 fish weighing over 30 pounds were captured, the biggest being a huge fish of 36.12 landed by Shaun Hoskins," it said.

"And another 127 twenty pounders were also landed perhaps confirming what many think - that Chew Valley is the best pike fishery in England."

Dates for boat and bank fishing for next year, together with booking details are included in local paper the Weston Mercury.

Click here for more details.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Pike filmed in its element

More and more video clips of pike filmed in their element are appearing on Youtube these days.

Click here to see a pike back pedal slowly as two divers approach it, before it slinks off and sulks almost motionless on the bottom as a shoal of prey swim past seemingly oblivious to its presence.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Matching the hatch lures pit 20 for Matt

Matt Hayes lands a 23lbs pike from an Oxfordshire gravel pit on a drifted rudd bait in this video clip from YouTube.

Click here to view it.

Big pike pictures on French blog

This French catch and release blog has pictures of some seriously big pike from all corners of Europe.

Check out this fish - with a claimed weight of 21.5kg (just under 47lbs 6oz...) making it higher than the current 46lbs 13oz British record. Not sure what the gnome on the end's doing.

Click here to see the blog, which today features PAC member and acclaimed UK pike hinter Mick Brown..

Former Pike Anglers Club RO slams trebles

Suffolk's former Pike Anglers Club organiser Bob Copping has come out of the closet in favour of the use of the single hook and actually encourages all predator hunters to take his advice and follow his example in order to eliminate what he regards as a serious risk of killing a pike during the unhooking process, reports the Norwich Evening News.

Click here for more.

PAC's online shop gears up for Xmas

December 18 is the last guaranteed posting day before Christmas. So don't forget to order by then if you're thinking of treating someone - or even yourself - to a little present from the Pike Anglers Club's online products shop.

We'll still be taking orders after that. We just can't promise they'll make it onto Santa's sleigh.

Click here to visit the PAC's online shop.

Friday, December 12, 2008

New pike fishing permit for Horsey Mere

A new permit system will be run on a trial basis when Norfolk's Horsey Mere opens up in March for the last two weeks of season.

Instead of buying a day ticket from the bailiff's boat, two week permits will be issued in advance at a cost of £30 per boat.

Today the Thurne Fisheries website said: "The purpose of this is to facilitate both easier access and reduce the need to visit each boat and collect permit fees, this often risking the disturbance of the areas being fished and causing friction with the anglers. The plan is to issue a 14 day period permit at a fee of £30.00 per boat.

"This will allow the preregistered boat to fish without the inconvenience of a bailiff cruising through the fishing areas disturbing the swim, to collect permit fees. To see this work effectively it would require the prior registration of the boat to be used and for the registration number/name of the boat to be clearly displayed whilst fishing. Boats using this system will immediately be recognisable and will not be subject to a visit from the bailiff.

"If all users would make use of this system it will ensure that the whole broad is allowed to settle once everyone is fishing and optimise the chance of picking up a fish."

Click here for more information and to download an application form.

Only limited access to the Horsey is permitted during the winter months to avoid disturbance to over-wintering wildfowl.

There was friction earlier this year, when anglers were accused of fishing areas set aside as wildfowl refuges by Natural England.

But shortly after threatened prosecutions made the papers, it emerged Natural England and the broads Authority - which was so quick to condemn anglers for disturbing the birds - had already discussed secret plans to abandon the Upper Thurne system to the sea, robbing the birds of their habitat forever.

As anger erupted over plans to allow the sea to flood Horsey, Hickling Broad, the Martham Broads and Heigham Sound, anglers were told no further action would be taken.

Smart tip for colouring pike spoons

Here's a tip we haven't seen before - use an indelible pen to colour up a plain silver spoon.

Or Click here.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Pike hits a lure in slow motion

Watch this fish hit a hook-less Canadian Wiggler lure - then stay tune for the action replay in slow motion.

Or Click here to see it.

Neville heads to Northern Ireland

Neville Fickling is set to share some of the ups and downs of his incredible pike fishing career with RA111 over in Northern Ireland in the new year. You can catch up with him at Armagh Community Centre on Thursday, January 8.

See flyer for more details of what promises to be a well-attended evening's entertainment.

Billy's Backbiters launch new drop-off

Billy's Backbiters are well on their way to becoming one of those cult products for what their inventor Steve Bown calls "pukka pikers".

As well as a offering a modified arm with ball clip and adjustable weight fitted to his own alarms, Steve - aka Billy Two Fish - is now offering the arms on their own, for those who still prefer a front alarm with a drop-off attached to the rear rest.

Follow this link and scroll down. Then scroll down a bit more because they're quite near the bottom, under all the other options and modifications now on offer following feedback from his growing band of customers.

Pike fly fishing - great blog

Here's a great pike fly fishing blog which turned up in a google alert the other day. It's got plenty of fly patterns, reviews and a host of links top fellow enthusiasts' online writings.

Click here for a gander.

All go for Angling Unity - press release

Angling groups due to join forces in a single unified governing body today issued the following press release:

Last Pieces of Unity Jigsaw in Place

All the organisations participating in the creation of the Angling Trust have now undertaken the necessary constitutional steps to wind up their existing operations and form the Angling Trust on 5 January 2009.

The National Federation of Anglers (NFA) held an Extraordinary General Meeting at the National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham on Saturday 6 December to approve the dissolution of the NFA and the transfer of its assets and staff to the Angling Trust. The meeting was attended both by individual and club members who voted 30 to 2 for the resolution.

The National Federation of Sea Anglers (NFSA) held an EGM at Buckfastleigh in Devon on Saturday 6th December at which the membership approved the proposals to allow the winding up of the NFSA and the transfer of its assets to Angling Trust. Including proxy votes, the membership supported the 3 proposals by a margin of 418 to1, 418 to 1 and 412 to 8 respectively.

The Anglers' Conservation Association (ACA) held its EGM in Birmingham on Monday 8 December and agreed to change its name to Fish Legal and to become a part of the Angling Trust with a proxy vote of 1,484 in favour to 67 against the change.

The National Association of Fisheries and Angling Consultatives (NAFAC) and the Specialist Anglers Alliance (SAA) had both approved the merger with their respective memberships earlier in the year and therefore there are now no constitutional reasons for the merger not to go ahead as planned at the start of 2009.

All the organisations are now writing to their existing individual, club, riparian and fishery owner members with information about the benefits on offer from the Angling Trust. These include free public liability insurance for individual members, along with the innovative Fish For Free scheme which can earn Angling Trust members more than the cost of their subscription in cashback on fishing tackle and the annual rod licence. For angling clubs and riparian and fishery owners, there is a new discounted insurance package on offer which will offer savings of hundreds of pounds on existing cover.

Terry Fell, Chairman of the NFA commented, "This is a very historic occasion both for the NFA and the sport of angling as a whole. The NFA has been in existence since 1903 and has a wealth of history; however the board believes that now is the right time to bring together all of angling's assets and create one Governing Body for the sport. There is a huge wealth of expertise and experience in the Angling Trust and we are all looking forward to working with the other parties involved. The success of the Angling Trust will rely upon the support of the angling community and I would urge anyone who has an interest in the sport to join up and support The Voice of Angling: the Angling Trust."

Richard Ferré, Chairman of the NFSA said, "The NFSA is proud to be a part of the formation of the Angling Trust. Sea anglers share an interest in many issues with their freshwater counterparts and we will be much stronger if we pool our resources. The new Angling Trust will build on the work we have undertaken for many years, lobbying for greater protection for marine fish stocks and running national and international competitions on and off shore."

Stephen Marsh-Smith, Chairman of the ACA said, "The ACA's unrivalled record of taking polluters and others to task will be continued by the Angling Trust under a new brand: Fish Legal. All clubs, fisheries and riparian owners in England should join the Angling Trust and Fish Legal to benefit from this unique legal protection. Now that we are one organisation, we will be able to link the legal work with proactive campaigns to change policy and practice and to stop damage to fisheries happening in the first place."

Mike Heylin, Secretary of SAA said, "We have finally achieved the dream of a united front for angling with Angling Trust. Now we have to do the hard work of delivering for the nation's anglers and the fisheries they enjoy. I urge all anglers to join as soon as they can. It takes money to defend angling from national as well as European policymakers."

Martin Read, Executive Chairman of NAFAC said, "It has been a long time coming, but now the talking is over its time for action."

Trevor Johnson, Chairman of Milton Keynes Angling Association, commented, "One body - speaking with one voice for England's anglers - is now the only way forward if our sport is to survive and prosper. But let no-one think that it is all done and dusted...that all we have to do now is go fishing. If this is going to work anglers have to put their hands in their pockets and give Angling Trust their support - whether they fish for bass off Cornwall, carp in Milton Keynes or trout in a northern beck. Old rivalries and narrow interests are going to have to be put aside and everyone, at all levels, must work for the common good of our sport. That will not be easy for some...but it has to done."

Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of Angling Trust commented, "the Angling Trust will not only continue the work of all these bodies, but it will also do much more. We will now be able to represent all anglers much more efficiently and effectively. All the staff of the organisations involved are working flat out to make sure that everything is in place for the launch in January. We all hope that every angler's New Year resolution will be to join the Angling Trust."

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

New bill outlaws fish theft

Powers to prohibit the taking of fish caught on line from our rivers are included in the new Marine Bill.

Angling groups including the Pike Anglers Club are still poring over the finer points of the bill, which is expected to become law next summer after its inclusion in the Queen's Speech.

Notes accompanying the bill say it will outlaw the taking of fish caught on rod and line for the pot.

Recent seasons have seen widespread anger among many anglers over the authorities' apparent unwillingness to tackle what has become a widespread problem in many areas of the country, from the River Wissey to the Wye.

Pike often bear the brunt of this because they are prized as a food fish by some cultures. They are also vulnerable to capture by roving anglers travelling light with just a lure rod and a carrier bag to carry your catch in.

Defra's website states: "Whilst the custom in England and Wales is for the catch and release of coarse fish it is not actually a legal requirement on rivers.

"We will remove the current right for fishery owners, and anyone with their permission, to remove freshwater fish by rod and line.

"This undermines any catch and release byelaws the EA may introduce to address fish theft."

Reading West MP Martin Salter, the Labour Government's spokesman on angling issues, said: “It has been a long campaign but we have finally got the chance to do something to protect our fisheries, to give the police and the Environment Agency real powers to clamp down on those who remove fish for either the pot or for private gain.

"The current hotch potch of fishery by-laws are unintelligible and unenforceable and I know for a fact that the EA are starting work on a national catch and release by-law which I want to see implemented as soon as possible.

"Catch and release must become the norm in freshwater with exceptions available in clearly defined circumstances such as put and take trout fisheries."

Many conservation groups were celebrating after the legislation was included in last Wednesday's Queen's Speech, in which the Government set out its priorities for the next parliamentary session.

The bill signals a new approach to protecting the marine environment that will include conservation zones, a new planning system, reform of fisheries and access to the coasts, along with a new agency to manage the seas around our coasts.

Defra - the Department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs - said freshwater fisheries would also benefit from the "modernised and more flexible powers" it contains.

A statement on its website adds: "These will give the Environment Agency the tools to better manage fisheries for the benefit of anglers and commercial fishers."

To date there has been one prosecution for taking fish for the pot - the widely-reported case earlier this year, when two migrant workers were ordered to forfeit boats and equipment worth thousands after they were caught catching fish and barbecuing them on the bank during the close season.

Click here to read a court report from our archives.

Click here to read Defra's summary of the Marine Bill's proposals for freshwater fisheries.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Marine Bill could see close season change

Powers to alter the dates of the traditional close season on Britain's rivers to adapt to climate change are contained in the new Marine Bill which now looks set to become law.

Explanatory notes to the bill say: "The draft Bill removes statutory close seasons and close season lengths. The current provisions impose an unnecessary restriction on the EA’s ability to determine appropriate evidence-informed close seasons.

"The draft Bill gives the EA the power to set close seasons through byelaws, and whilst initially we do not envisage signicant changes to the current close seasons, there will be more flexibility to adapt to future challenges such as different spawning times brought about by changes in water temperature due to climate change.

"This will allow the EA to protect fish stocks when they are most vulnerable."

So could we see a situation where pike in our rivers could come under the protection of an extended close season in areas of the country where they are known to begin spawning before March 14..?

Friday, December 05, 2008

FISHINGmagic closure threat

One of the most popular fishing websites faces closure unless a buyer can be found.

The future of FISHINGmagic, which has more than 53,000 members, has been uncertain since editor Graham Marsden retired two months ago.

Today he told the site's forums: "Since I retired, the management at Magicalia have been trying their very best to accommodate FishingMagic in the company’s long term plans.

"We launched the site together 10 years ago and would love dearly to carry it on but sadly we cannot find a way to continue publishing FM.

"So it is with much regret from me and all at Magicalia that I have to announce that the site will close on Friday, December 19, unless a new owner is found."

Site owner Magicalia publishes a series of leading websites covering outdoor pursuits like cycling and canoeing.

Potential buyers are being urged to contact the company to discuss the site's future under new ownership.

Marsden offered members a ray of hope, adding: "FishingMagic is one of the best, if not the best, fishing websites in the UK with over 100,000 users every month and more than 50,000 members.

"It’s a very strong site and I know there are people interested in taking it on so, fingers crossed, FishingMagic may be back."

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Winter raffle tickets are on their way

A catfish holiday to Spain and a host of other prizes are up for grabs in the Pike Anglers Club's legendary winter raffle. Tickets are now on their way to members, so make sure you get selling them when they turn up as they're a vital source of funds for the club.

LLyn Brenig pike fishing re-opens in Feb

Pike fishing re-opens in February at the enigmatic Llyn Brenig, says a local paper report which claims two scraper twenties as the best fish recorded during recent trials.

Click here for more.

Beware pike in village ponds

Is the message finally getting through when it comes to some of those shock, horror stories which sometimes make the pages of the mainstream media involving those voracious old pike..?

You might be forgiven for thinking so, if you've ever taken the time to pore over the Daily Telegraph Stylebook.

Required reading for all hacks on the quality daily, the copious online guide to the Queen's English includes the following sage advice when it comes to questioning the facts:

"Aim for common sense and question apparent nonsenses, such as pike in village ponds that swallow small dogs.

"Use your own yardstick as to what is feasible but do check. Good journalism at all levels is largely about the development of judgment."

While the small dogs of Home Counties suburbia sleep safer in their beds, pike anglers fishing village ponds can clearly rest assured that more conventional baits offer the best chance of nailing their quarry.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Save 10% on Broads boat hire

If you're looking at fishing the Norfolk Broads, you've got to go afloat.

The Pike Anglers Club is happy to announce a new partnership with Wroxham-based Broads Fishing Ltd, which gives members a 10% discount off a day's boat hire.

Broads Fishing have 12 or 14ft aluminium dinghies or moulded dories for hire, with an outboard and a tank of fuel for £35 or £40 a day which includes insurance. They can also supply your deadbait needs.

Click here to check out their website - and make sure you mention the PAC when you book and take your membership card with you when you fish.

Pitsford 39 is new venue record

Wayne Hewitt's first-ever pike fishing trip was one to remember.

The 24-year-old from Northampton landed a 39lb 2oz specimen from the margins of Pitsford Water - a new venue record - say local paper reports.

Watto speaks in Norwich

Broads legend John "Watto" Watson will be giving a talk and a Q&A session at the Angel Gardens Pub in Angel Road, Norwich, on Monday, December 1. It starts at 8pm, admission £1.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Region 31 Christmas Bash

Piking Legend Steve Ormrod will be presenting his awesome slideshow on Northern Reservoir piking to Region 31 South Lancashire on Wednesday 3RD December.

FREE Buffet & prize raffle.

All welcome.

This is not one to be missed.

Entry £3 to non Region 31 members & £2 to Region 31 members on the door.

Caledonian public house - upstairs function room 8pm onwards. Bolton Road Ashton in Makerfield, Nr Wigan Lancashire (next door to Tesco garage) .

Hope to see you ALL there.

Tight lines Jon Neafcy RO Region 31 - Wigan Piker!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Sea eagles set to return to our skies

Conservation groups are backing a bid to reintroduce sea eagles to Britain's coastline.

But they say the giant birds aren't likely to prey on coarse fisheries including the Broads if the RSPB and Natural England get the go-ahead to release them in Norfolk next summer.

Click here for more.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Chertsey event sold out....

The PAC's first access event on Chertsey Pit has now sold out.

Events organiser Mark Skinner said those who had been unsuccessful for the first-come, first-served event, on February 28, would go onto a reserve list and would be offered a place if anyone drops out.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Steve Younger at Ely/Fenland PAC

All round predator angler Steve Younger will be talking about his experiences of fishing for everything from amberjack to zander at the British legion, Sutton, Ely, Cambs, on Wednesday night.

Admission is £3 for PAC members £5 for non members and the evening starts at 7.30pm

Steve will also be displaying items from his new tackle shop SAS (Specialist Angling Supplies), and copies of PAC30 and Zander A Complete Guide will also be for sale on the night.

War of the Roses 2

Firstly can I say a massive thank you to all that took part in this event. it was snowing, cold, raining and windy but you all turned up. Many, many thanks

It was a brilliant day and we handed over to Jane Furnace from the Macmillan Nurses a mind-blowing £2,800 - and when some of the outstanding sponsorship comes in it will go to over £3,000.

It just show how much all anglers feel about this charity and how much good they do. I don’t know if we can match it next year but only you lads will tell

Thanks and tight lines to all,

Pete Green

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

EXCLUSIVE: World Record 80lbs pike claim

This grainy black and white picture is claimed to be of an 80lbs pike from Eastern Europe.

It arrived at PAC HQ with a brief caption:

Gentlemen, I am enclosing a picture of what is surely the largest Pike ever caught, never mind seen. This Pike must have been around 80+ lbs if not more.

Duncan Monrom, Bansko, Bulgaria

There are no details of when, where or how the fish was caught, or the identity of its captor and his friends.

We've asked Duncan for a few more details on the fish. In the meantime, why not tell us what you think on the PAC Members Forum.

Roll up, roll up for the PAC Winter Raffle

Never mind the Arctic cold snap about to descend on us - you could be jetting off to the sunny Spain next summer on a free holiday.

A week-long trip with moggy guides Catfish Capers is the top prize in the PAC's Winter Raffle.

Other prizes so far confirmed include a trio of ET bait rods courtesy of up and coming tackle outfit Esox And More, a day's fishing with Neville Fickling, books from Mark Barrett and two Golden Menteith tickets (NB you have to be a member to use these...).

PAC advertising manager Mike Kelly : "It's a wonderful start and considering that the draw is not until next May at the AGM, I'm very confident that we will have the best Winter Raffle ever.

"I urge all our members to support the club by returning their tickets with the payment and buying as many extras as they can afford."

Tickets will be sent out soon, but you can obtain extra books by sending a SAE to Mike at 47 Yew Tree Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN4 0BG.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

EA cracks down on Cut-Off Channel

Eighteen anglers - most of them pike fishing - have been booked in an EA crackdown on fishing stretches of Norfolk's Cut-Off Channel where no fishing is allowed.

Fishing is banned between Wretton Bridge and Barton Mills because of steep banks.

Click here for a local paper report.

Jon Neafcy to talk at Selby Region

Wigan Piker Jon Neafcy will be presenting his slideshow entitled Stepping Stones covering milestones and targets in pike fishing on Thursday, November 20, for the Selby region of the PAC.

Talk starts at 8pm at The Crown Inn Public House, Main Street, Hemingbrough, Selby, North Yorkshire, Y08 6QE

Monday, November 17, 2008

Membership ducks the credit crunch

Membership of the Pike Anglers Club remains on an upward curve - despite the credit crunch.

Times is hard out there but with renewals flooding in and up to 20 or more new members a week, the PAC seems to be weathering the downturn.

Membership secretary John Cahill said members were staying loyal to the club.

"This year has seen losses at a lower level than for the last three years," he said in a report to the club's committee, as it prepares to hand over the reins next May.

"This is very encouraging as we look to maximise members for the incoming committee."

There's plenty going on behind the scenes as the club looks ahead to maintain the momentum built up over the current committee's term.

As ever, we thank everyone who supports our work to conserve the pike and pike fishing.

BRRRR - cold weather on the way

Reach for those thermal long-johns... This weekend is going to see the winter start getting its own back, after an unseasonly mild snap.

Many pike anglers are fascinated with the weather and the effect it has on their fishing.

This site gives you the overview as far as advanced forecasts are concerned, along with ways of setting up your own weather alerts.

Check us out at Donnington

The PAC will be at this weekend's Donnington Carp Show.

Our stall will be selling the full range of PAC products and PAC30 books, along with memberships and renewals.

Click here for more on the event.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

See you at Sandown

The Pike Anglers Club will be among the many stalls at this year's Sandown Carp Show.

We'll be selling PAC products, books and memberships - come along and see us if you're there on Saturday, November 29 or Sunday, November 30.

Click here for more on the event.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

PAC special events update

Applications are flooding in for a clutch of PAC members' events arranged towards the back-end of the season.

Chertsey Gravel Pit, the Warping Drain, Hykeham Gravel Pit, Ecton Lakes and Quays Pit offer a variety of waters to go at.

See Pikelines for more details.

Foreign weed invades Broads

Pennywort - a fast-growing alien species of weed which chokes waterways - is infesting parts of Rockland Broad, off Norfolk's River Yare, and the upper reaches of the River Waveney.

Efforts are under way to stem the invasion. Click here for more.

Fly casting tuition up for grabs

Fly casting instructor Peter Hartley has a few places on a teach-in for those wishing to learn to cast predator flies.
It's being held at Graffham Water on Sunday, December 7.
Peter can accommodate 6 anglers at a cost of £90 [£15 each if 6 attend]. He'll have fly rods available to use.
A couple of places have already gone. If you'd like to attend, e-mail Colin Brett at

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Relief for channel anglers after survey

Once the stamping ground of the 70s A-list, the Great Ouse Relief Channel has fallen from favour with today's generation.

Siltation of sluices and the tidal ouse have meant water from the river has been released via the Channel, causing many fish to be washed through the tail sluice into The Wash.

But Denver's sluices have now been re-opened, reducing the need for run-offs via the Channel.

And now controlling club King's Lynn AA has revealed a recent EA survey found large numbers of fry, along with predators taking advantage of the food source.

Check out the perch - not to mention trout - in these slideshow pictures.

Click here to see them.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Pikelines is on its way

Pikelines is on its way to PAC members and as usual it's packed with news and views from all four corners of the UK and beyond.

Pike Angler of the Year Graham Slater lets us in on some of the secrets of the mobile approach he adopts fishing the Lincolnshire drains.

Darren Ward povides a salutary lesson on safety afloat, with an account of the terrifying day his boat sank.

Mick Gleeson waxes lyrical about his love of river piking, while PAC stalwart Eric Edwards gives a revealing interview to PAC President Phil Wakeford.

There's a full report on the landmark court case, when two men were prosecuted for killing and eating fish on Norfolk's River Wissey.

Last but not least, there's a picture of what's claimed to be a world record pike weighing 82lbs. Is it for real..? We'll let you decide.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Wars of the Roses pike fish-in

This just in from Peter Green regarding the Wars of the Roses....

"Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears" – oh sorry, wrong script (apologies to Mr Shakespeare)!

Calling all adopted "Yorkshiremen" from the North of England and ye Lancastrians and Cheshiremen. "Sir" Peter Green has once again called on all true gentlemen or others to take up their fishing rods for the next battle in this series.

This will take place at Dam Flask reservoir, near Sheffield on Sunday 23rd November 2008 commencing at 8am ‘til 4pm. Tickets will be available from "Sir" Peter to be purchased in advance at £10 for 2 rods. Places are limited to 75 so it is "first come, first served" Please apply by post as soon as possible with a cheque payable to Peter Green along with a stamped self addressed envelope to:

17 Lincoln Street



Tel 01924 782705

Maps of the venue along with sponsorship forms will be sent out by return. All money gathered will once again be given to the MacMillan Nurses Cancer Care charity at an event at the end of the day. Full details will be announced later. Peter asks that all anglers gather as much sponsorship as possible so that we can give a huge amount to this absolutely fantastic and well deserving service. Last time we raised over £1800, let’s make that look like small beer this time!

If people prefer they can contact his serf Chas White for tickets etc. in advance on 01642 765332. We hope to see as many as possible of you there!

New EA fisheries boss is pike angler

Pictured with a pike, the Environment Agency has revealed its new head of fisheries.

Mathew Crocker is a keen angler who has worked for the Environment Agency since it was formed took over from Dafydd Evans this week.

More here.

Meanwhile, another EA official has revealed his "secret" method of catching pike - sparking a thinly-veiled attack on livebaiting from a regional press angling correspondent.

More on that one here.

James "the doc" talks in Sussex

Big fish specialist James 'The doc' Gardner, talk on his piking experiences down in Sussex on Tuesday, November 11.

From his methods of tackling the big open trout waters to his more delicate approaches to smaller waters.

James has caught pike from many venues around the country and his pike fishing exploits have accounted for pike upto 37lb.

All talks start at 8pm, although it’s advisable to be there early for to catch up with friends and fellow members in the bar beforehand and of course to grab a seat.

Venue is the Kings Head 1 High St East Hoathly BN8 6DR The region asks for £2.50 for PAC members and £3.50 for non members.

As always there will be a raffle on the night with some top prizes on offer and the chance to buy a copy of the PAC book PAC 30. Further details on the blog

Monday, October 13, 2008

PAC Message Board Members

If you are a PAC Message Board user please ensure that your PAC membership is up to date as we will be removing non-paid up users from the 20th October.

Standing Order Scheme Members

Further to our announcement in the Autumn Pikelines advising that the standing order scheme had been cancelled we continue to receive a number of standing order payments.
These will be processed this week where we can identify the payment. If you have paid and do not recieve advice from the membership secretary please send an email to stating the amount sent and date it left your bank.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Membership numbers reach a new peak

Following the successful convention and a busy week at Membership Towers the club are only 6 days after the year end already seeing numbers surge.

John Cahill and Pete Green both report that the level of renewals are unprecedented and the fact that 45 new members have joined the club in the last 7 days is very encouraging.

Membership processing will be upstraight today, so any late renewal members or new applicants should receive a quick turnaround.

Within 14 days our forum will be reviewed and any members yet to renew will be deleted - so if you have forgotten please be quick and get an application in.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Win a Day with Mick Brown

We are pleased to advise that Mr Brian Green from Hampshire was the lucky winner of the Mick Brown Competition drawn at the Convention.

John Cahill Membership Secretary will now be in touch with Brian to organise the day with Mick.

The PAC Committee would like to thank Mick Brown for his ongoing support of the club and hope Brian will enjoy a fantastic day.

Membership Towers under Seige

Having recently got membership requests up-straight the club's 'Engine Room' of John Cahill and Pete Green report a superb level of New members and Renewals from yesterdays convention.

Coupled with recent levels of post there is now a slight backlog in processing which they anticipate will be up-straight in the next few weeks. We would ask members to bear with us as, at year end there are also a number of administration areas that need addressing as we start the new membership year on October 1st.

John Cahill reported at the AGM held on the 27th that Membership numbers will hold at last years figure of 2500, a final number to be advised in due course. However, the level of renewals and recent new members are showing encouraging signs for next year.

Finally John would like to formally thank Pete Green and Brian Birdsall for their fantastic help at the convention.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Region 31 South Lancashire Calender of Events - 2008-2009

Meetings recommence 1st October. Meetings are held in the upstairs function room of The Caledonian Pub, Bolton Road (next door to Tesco garage), Ashton-in-Makerfield, Wigan, Lancashire.

Meetings start at 8pm on the first Wednesday of each month, October to April inclusive.

The region has a great line up of guest speakers and fish-ins.

October 2008:
  • Meeting guest speaker Damien Wood, north-west specimen angling
  • Fish in local reservoir

  • Meeting Mad Mick Bowen river piker extrodinaire
  • Fish in to two Scottish lochs (club boat available for use) & FREE BBQ

  • Meeting Steve Ormrod Northern Reservoir piking, FREE BUFFETT
  • Fish-in Yorkshire land-drain venue

January 2009:
  • Meeting Geoff Parkinson - big fish man
  • Fish-in - Pennine Challenge - North-West reservoir
  • Fish-in - Local drain system

  • Meeting - R31 Members Paul Haughton & Martin Salisbury - specialist angling & big cats

  • Meeting - The one and only Neville Fickling
  • Fish in - Local reservoir

  • Meeting - Presentation night, Awards presented by James Holgate, compare Jon Neafcy, FREE BUFFET

For more info contact - or come along to the meetings - ALL welcome!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Pike anglers set for Stoneleigh bash

Predator anglers from all corners of the UK and even further afield will be heading for Warwickshire for the Pike Anglers Club Convention this weekend.

Piking 2008 is being held at Stoneleigh on Saturday, with a must-see line-up of speakers and a can't-miss bill of trade stands.

Click here for more info on the day's bill of fare.

Whether you're looking for fresh ideas to kick off this winter's campaign, the chance to handle all the latest gear or just to snap up a bargain on the secondhand lure stall, it's an event you can't afford to miss.

Many pike anglers see the Convention as the starting point for their winter's fishing and a chance to catch up with friends old and new.

It's also a testament to work of the PAC, which has been campaigning to safeguard both the pike and pike fishing for more than 30 years.

Tickets are £12 adult member (or member of SAA-affiliated predator club...) on the door, or £10 in advance to members. For non-members, tickets on the door are £14, £12 advance, while up to two juniors (under-16) can accompany each paying adult for free.

**Secondhand Stall News**

We are pleased to let members know that we are reducing the PAC charge for selling members items of tackle and lures on the clubs secondhand stalls at the convention on Saturday.

The charge for selling members items is reduced to 10% of the total take on items sold, which goes into the club's funds.

We will still be charging £1.00 for items put on the stall for sale, please note this is not per item.
This charge goes towards covering PAC costs in case any members items are not sold.

There is still time for logging in sheets to be emailed to you if you wish to pre-log your items before bringing them on Saturday, this will save you time filling the sheets in on the day, just PM me or Chico for logging sheets to be emailed over.

See you Saturday.

Mark Skinner

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

PAC Convention - can you help..?

Is anyone travelling up to the Convention from within or close to the M25, Docklands or central London on Friday evening..?

If you can offer a lift to a guest, please e-mail as soon as possible.

Another dour day on Rutland

Two scraper 20s and a sprinkling of smaller pike were caught on the PAC's first event of the season - a day's lure fishing on Rutland Reservoir.

While the weather did not stage a repeat of last year's gale force conditions, many found the 2,500 acre man-made lake a daunting prospect.

Of note were the fact several boats targetted zander using vertical jigging tactics in some of the deeper areas, with some being rewarded with a number of schoolies to 6lbs, showing potential for a different approach.

Little is known about how the species adapts to tout reservoirs, but Rutland is believed to have contained zander for around a decade, with a best fish of 11lbs being recorded in this time.

Anglian Water has now published its predator dates for this season:

Autumn boat fishing for pike with lures & dead sea fish over 18cm (excludes lamprey)
motor boat hire from 08.30am until dusk.

Pitsford £50 for two anglers, 1 October to 23 November, tel 01604 781350

Rutland £55 for two anglers, 6 October to 16 November, tel 01780 686441

Grafham £53 for two anglers, 13 October to 30 November, tel 01480 810531

Ravensthorpe £49 for two anglers, 27October to 23 November, tel 01604 770875

Prices change to £44 for two anglers at all fisheries in November

Fresh boost for Broads defences

Sea defences protecting parts of the Norfolk Broads are set to be strenghened with hundreds of thousands of tonnes of rock, it emerged today.

There was anger earlier this year, when plans to abandon sea walls protecting th Upper Thurne and its broads were leaked to the media.

Thousands signed a petition launched by the PAC, while concerned residents eventually won miniterial assurance the coastline would be saved for at least another 50 years.

Now the Environment Agency has revealed plans to ship in roacks by barge to bolster defences.

Click here for more.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

So long to Frank who inspired Jaws

A real-life shark hunter who inspired Jaws has sung Spanish Ladies for the last time.

Frank Mundus, who died of a heart attack at the age of 82 last week, inspired Peter Benchley's character Quint, with his capture of a 4,500lbs great white shark in 1964.

Quint, played by Robert Shaw in the 1975 big screen blockbuster, in turn inspired a novel about a Lake District beauty spot plagued not by a shark but a giant pike.

At one point filming was set to commence on The Pike, with a 12ft mechanised esox set to star alongside Joan Collins, but the project never made it onto the silver screen.

Mythical tales about giant pike pre-date Frank Mundus's exploits by centuries, as this recent round-up from The Times reports.

Hysteria about the pike's voracious appetite persists to this day, when the occasional ill-founded story about attacks on pets, livestock or even waterskiers sometimes make the headlines of news-starved local papers.

In the meantime, it's so long to Frank Mundus - whose on-screen characterisation famously observed: "We're gonna need a bigger boat..."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Convention special offers update

Two special offers for the PAC Convention were announced today by membership secretary John Cahill.

The first is a combined membership and PAC30 book offer at £40, representing a saving for an adult member of £9.50 on usual prices. John said the offer extends to both new and renewing members on the day.

PAC30 was the highly acclaimed book published last year to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Pike Anglers Club, featuring 30 chapters by some of the top names in the sport.

Click here for more on the book, which is usually priced £25 plus £5 p&p from the club's online shop.

Offer two is a special deal for members of the Lure Anglers Society, Pike Anglers Alliance for Scotland and Specialist Anglers Alliance. We're delighted all three will be in attendance with stalls at this year's event.

By way of thanks, we're offering admission to any member of the LAS, PAAS or SAA for £12 on the door - the same price as PAC members - a saving of £2 on normal ticket price on the door for non-PAC members.

Piking 2008 is being held at Stoneleigh, Warks, on Saturday, September 27.

Click here for all the latest news on the pike fishing's don't miss event of the year.

Monday, September 15, 2008

PAC membership team on top of renewals

Following a phenomenal response from the recent edition of Pikelines magazine, the Pike Anglers Club's membership team of John Cahill and Peter Green have been snowed under with renewals.

The backlog has now been cleared and both new member's applications and renewals are being turned around within 24 hours of receipt.

"It's been a great start to the traditional renewal period and we thank everyone who's renewed early and helped us spread the workload," said John.

"We're now at manageable levels again so for those yet to renew please do so and we'll get back to you by return."

Membership benefits include PAC events, like privileged access events on the Lake of menteith and other waters. Please note you must have a current PAC membership card to take part in an event.

John and Pete will be running a PAC Membership stall at the Convention on Saturday, September 27, where members will be able to renew on the day.

There will also be a Convention special membership offer for new members. announced a little nearer the time.

Mick Brown on single hooks for pike fishing

Mick Brown has a thought-provoking piece on why he's incresingly turning to using single hooks for his pike fishing on his website.

Click here for the first installment.

PAC tops Google rankings

Companies spend thousands getting their names and products on the first page of rankings on the search engine Google.

The PAC now occupies the two top spots on and when you tap pike into the search box - thanks to all the other sites who've linked to us and the growing number of people looking for information about pike fishing, who've clicked to find out more about the club.

Click here to google us and see.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Piking 2008 - special advance report

With just two weeks to go, it looks like Piking 2008 might turn out to be even bigger than last year's convention - which many attendees rated as one of the best in the 30 year history of the Pike Anglers Club.

We've got some speakers who are really going to get the pike world talking travelling from as far afield as Holland and Sweden sharing the stage with two of the most successful pikers on the current UK scene.

Piking 2008 is being held on Saturday, September 27 at the National Agricultural Showground, Stoneleigh Park, Coventry.

Tickets are £12 adult member on the door, or £10 in advance to members. For non-members, tickets on the door are £14, £12 advance, while up to two juniors (under-16) can accompany each paying adult for free.

For advance tickets, send cheque (with SAE...), payable to PACGB, to Mike Kelly, PAC Promotions Manager, 47 Yew Tree Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 0BG.

Click here for more on the speakers.

Scroll down for the day's agenda and details of this year's record number of trade stalls.

Piking 2008 - the batting order

Doors open 9am sharp.

9 - 9.45am Annual Members Meeting of PAC Membership and Financial Reports plus Q and A to the Committee.

9.45am Opening Address by Phil Wakeford, PAC President and MC.

10am Graham Slater PAC ‘Pike Angler of the Year’ with ‘The Way I Fish’

11am Presentation of PAC Awards 2008 Mark Barrett... Swiftly followed by the draw for places on Menteith and the draw to win a day's fishing with Mick Brown...

11.30am Coffee Break

11.45am Michel Huigevoort ‘River Pike Fishing The Dutch Style’

12.45pm Lunch Break

2pm Derek MacDonald presents ‘Planet Pike’

3pm P.A. Hogberg ‘Catching Pike the Swedish Way’

4pm Neville Fickling's Pike Panel... your chance to question the day's speakers...

5pm Auction of PAC30 signed leather-bound number 1

5.15pm Mega Raffle

6pm (approx) CLOSE

Convention trade stalls sell out

Piking 2008 won't just have a record number of trade and tackle stalls for you to shop, haggle and give your bank manager nightmares...

For what's believed to be the first time ever, the event has now sold out to the trade, with just about every inch of space booked by stall-holders of all kinds.

You can get your hands on all the latest gear. Pick up a bargain on one of the lively second-hand stalls, pick up a signed copy of brand news books from Neville Fickling and Mark Barrett. Or even splash out on everything from a few lures, all the end tackle you need for the winter, or even a new boat.

So far, the line-up looks like this: Friendly Fisherman...Sovereign Superbaits...Zoota Lures...The Pike Shop...Pike Brittany...Esox & More...Pike & Predators...DIY Lures and Flies...Coch Y Bonddhu Books...Portabote...Bob Buteaux...Catmaster Tackle...Fishing Pool...Fishing Matters...Seastrike Boats...O2 Boats...The Tackle Shop (Gainsborough)...Catfish Pro...Eddie Turner...Dave Lumb Specialist Tackle...ACA...Pike Anglers Alliance for Scotland...Lure Anglers Society...Specialist Anglers Alliance...NAC Zandervan...

There will also be a fly tying/fly fishing demo featuring a top fly fisherman, a casting competition, at least two book launches and all the usual PAC stalls, including membership, products, second-hand tackle and second-hand lures. Last but not least, the popular mega-raffle makes its return.

Click here for more on the event, including speakers, ticket prices etc.

PAC AGM to be held at Stoneleigh

Following a number of years when attendance has dwindled, this year's PAC AGM will be held before the Convention at Stoneleigh, on Saturday , September 27.

President Phil wakeford said: "The AGM will run from 09.00 to 09.45 as we will need to "get on with the show". There will be BRIEF updates of what is going on in the club, our financial position etc.

"As we hold ourselves answerable to the members we are asking for any Questions that members and/or officers of the club may want to put forward. If any member (attending or not) has a question to put to the committee it would help a lot to know in advance so that we can prepare for it before the day and give a thorough reply.

"Lastly let's try and make the PAC Convention 2008 even more successful than our 30th Bash last year. Bring a friend or hijack people if you like it is going to be a great day out."

BBC reports on Norfolk fish theft case

The BBC reports on Friday's landmark fish theft case at King's Lynn magistrates, when two men were ordered to surrender boats and equipment after admitting a string of fishery offences.

Click here for more.

***If you missed our report on the hearing, click here...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Landmark ruling in fish theft case

Two migrant workers caught netting fish and barbecuing them on the bank in the close season have been ordered to forfeit boats and equipment worth thousands of pounds in a landmark court ruling.

The Environment Agency's national head of enforcement said the case sent out a clear message that stealing fish from Britain's rivers would not be tolerated and pledged it would take "strong action" to bring offenders to justice.

Last night the Pike Anglers Club of Great Britain said: "We're pleased this test case has come to court and magistrates have sent out a strong message that they will not tolerate the wholesale removal of specimen fish from our rivers for food."

Gunars Kaspers, 39, and Oleg Stepin, 43, had admitted fishing in the close season, fishing without rod licences and the theft of perch, tench and eels from Norfolk's River Wissey at an earlier hearing.

Stepin also admitted using a gill net and an unlicensed boat, on a remote stretch of the Fenland river.

As they entered the dock at King's Lynn magistrates court today Joe Ghiradelo, prosecuting, said: “Mr Stepin and Mr Kaspers were found by officers on May 24 this year. They were seen on the River Wissey between Hilgay and West Dereham.

“They were seen to be engaged in angling, there were two other people with them and all four were arrested.”

One of those arrested did not face charges, the court was told. Another man who jumped bail is now wanted by police and believed to have fled the country.

Mr Ghiradelo said anyone who fished in England and Wales had to be in possession of an Environment Agency Rod Licence and there was a close season between March 15 and June 15, when no fishing was allowed on rivers.

He said by-laws required anglers to return fish alive. The court heard there were signs at access points along the River Wissey explaining this rule.

“When police attended they found rods set up and evidence that the persons involved intended to stay there for some period of time,” said Mr Ghiradelo.

“Fish were found in the water with a wire through their mouths, perch and tench. There were efforts to return them but most did not survive."

STRINGER: Tench and perch retained on a washing line.

Tench to 7lbs were among fish found by police retained on a clothes line tethered to the bank. Mr Ghiradelo said when officers arrived at the river, they saw a net being placed from a boat.

“As they approached, officers saw two people in a dinghy and believe they saw a net being cast from the dinghy," he told the court.

“That net was a gill net, it was not only unlicensed but you wouldn’t get a license for something like that – it was 60m long and 2m deep.”
GILL NET: An EA officer shows the net confiscated on the Wissey

Finding such a large gill net convinced investigators that the men arrested were trying to catch more fish than they could eat during a camping trip, the court was told.

”There’s a concern this was more than for their own use, but might have been to take the fish and sell them on for commercial use,” said Mr Ghiradelo, before he reminded the magistrates that they had powers to make an order for the forfeiture of boats and equipment seized in the swoop.

CAMPSITE: The men's makeshift camp

Pictures shown in court featured the men’s makeshift camp on the banks of the Wissey. They also showed eels, bream and pike being barbecued, while tench to 7lbs were being kept alive on a stringer made from a washing line, which had been threaded through their gills.

“Mr Stepin and Mr Kaspers are both from Eastern Europe where it is customary to catch fish and deal with them in this way,” said Mr Ghiradelo.

“But there has been publicity about this sort of thing in the angling community, killing so many fish can have a serious affect on the fish and the environment.”

BARBIE TIME: Bream and eels being barbecued on the bank.

Tim Bartlam, defending, said Kaspers and Stepin were fishing on the Wissey with friends, as they had done on previous occasions.

He said: “This was not a commercial enterprise and I ask you to bear that in mind. They have no previous convictions, they have been in this country for a number of years and they’re hard working.”

He said Kaspers worked for Ross Foods, while Stepin ran a shop selling Eastern European food. Speaking through an interpreter, both men gave addresses in Aberdeen.

Sentencing the men, chair of the bench Charlotte Paton said: “Mr Stepin you were charged with five offences to which you have pled guilty and Mr Kaspers you have pled guilty to three offences.

“We have taken into account – particularly in the theft offence – that neither of you has been charged with theft previously and you are both of good character.”

Stepin was ordered to pay costs of £60 and to surrender his boat, outboard motor and petrol pump, said in court to be worth around £4000. Kaspars was also ordered to pay costs of £60 and to surrender his dinghy, worth up to £1000.

After the hearing Neil Sampson, national fisheries enforcement officer for the Environment Agency, said: “Although we were disappointed that these men were not given a more severe sentence, the forfeiture of their boats will leave a large hole in both their pockets.

“The result sends out a clear message that illegal fishing practices will not be tolerated - the Environment Agency will take strong action to ensure offenders are brought to face justice. It also highlights the importance of vigilance from the public and how by working together with the Norfolk Constabulary, we were able to bring this case to court.

“Illegal fishing can not only cause environmental damage, but fishing without a valid rod licence disadvantages those anglers who have paid their contribution towards helping maintain fisheries work that benefits all anglers in England and Wales.”

Det Con Ian Young, of Downham Market CID, said: “Following the tip off, our officers attended the scene found fish on a barbeque and several live fish threaded on a washing line and kept alive in the river.

"The live fish, including several tench between four and seven pounds and a two and a half pound perch, all had scale damage. The perch died on its release.

“Police officers seized several items including a boat with an outboard motor, a small dinghy and fishing equip-ment. All four men were arrested. Of the two other men arrested, one was released without charge.

"The other man failed to re-appear and is now wanted by the police. It is believed that he has left the country.

“During the course of our investigation it became clear that the four men were an organised group who had travelled from Scotland to a remote part of Norfolk with the intention of stealing a large quantity of fish.”

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Can you help with promoting the PAC

The club are currently carrying a considerable stock of old pikelines which we'd like to put to good use promoting the club.

Membership secretary John Cahill said: "Following a number of good initiatives by regions in using the magazines to promote the club in terms of membership and even given to schools we would like to use this stock for a better purpose.

"Postage costs are prohibitive at present and thus we would like to distribute these at the convention to anyone who will help us. In addition we need to get stocks of membership applications 'out there' pending a reprint of the form next year.

"Can you help us?

"If you are not attending the convention but know someone who is then please ask them to pick up a bundle."

Bulk requests from any member / RO can be made to John Cahill at who will have them prepacked for collection.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Last chance to win a day with Mick

The clock's ticking... Just a few days left to win a day's pike fishing with Mick Brown in the PAC's special membership promotion, which closes on Monday, September 8.

Click here
for more.

Guilty pleas after fish theft swoop

Two men have admitted a string of offences in what will be seen as a test case in the fight to stop fish being taken for food from Britain's rivers.

Gunars Kaspers and Oleg Stepin were arrested after police swooped on Norfolk's River Wissey.

The alarm was raised after a group of men were seen using boats to set nets across a remote stretch of the Fenland river in May.

Detectives and Environment Agency fishery officers found them barbecuing pike and bream on the bank at Roxham Fen, between Hilgay and Wissington.

Live tench and perch were found on a crude stringer made from a clothes line and gill nets and a pair of boats were confiscated.

Kaspers, 39, and Stepin, 43, have entered guilty pleas to stealing fish, fishing during the close season, fishing with an unlicensed instrument and the use of an unregistered vessel.

Both are due to be sentenced by magistrates next week. Another man arrested at the scene has failed to answer bail, while a 35-year-old man has been told no further action will be taken.

The arrests came after high-profile campaigns to highlight the problem of fish theft by King's Lynn Angling Association and the Pike Anglers Club.

A Crimestoppers-style hotline was set up after both groups met with EA officials to discuss their concerns.

Lynn AA changed its bylaws to outlaw the taking of fish from its waters, which include stretches of the Wissey, Great Ouse and Little Ouse, along with drains and stillwaters.

The PAC set up a kitemark scheme for bait dealers, following claims fish were being stolen wholesale for the bait trade.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

River Quoile fish kill - latest

The BBC tonight reports on the fish kill in Ireland's River Quoile, as officials blamed heavy rain for washing what was described as plant material into the waterway, near Downpatrick, Co Down.

The deluge was described as a once in 100 year event.

Trevor Love, chairman of Down District Angling, said: "We're talking tens of thousands of fish killed in this river."

Click here for more.

Blogs - check out five of the best

As the early onset of Autumn turns many people's thoughts to another winter's pike fishing campaign, what better than a good fishing blog to get you fired up ready to get out there and at 'em again..?

They're not all about pike fishing, but then some pike anglers fish for other species (apparently...).

Just click on the links to explore a few...

You've guessed it, Lumbland is the blog of one Dave Lumb, the PAC's webmaster as well as acclaimed rod builder and Abu Ambassadeur anorak. A boatload of barbel, where Dave's dour wit and passion for collecting interesting slugs shines through.

Eric Edwards's pikefishingUK blog charts his trips in pursuit of our number on predator throughout the winter, along with forays after other species. Click here to read about Eric's capture of a river 30 last season.

Matt Jahans never looked back after buying a Portabote. "Fishing afloat is a very enjoyable way to fish that allows better access to stretches of river and opens up previously un-fishable swims to the angler," he says. Go to HECHTJÄGER (that's foreign for Pike Hunter...) to find out more.

Fishing is Great features Mike Hastings's trips to the Fens in search of pike and zander, often accompanied by his youngsters. One to savour if you're looking to start your nippers fishing.

Mike's Waterlog charts the angling adventures of Mike Kelly. Among Mike's claims to fame are organising the annual PAC Convention.

If you're looking to attend a meeting or two this winter, check out the links down the right hand side of the PAC's blog. Many regions now post details of speaker nights and other activities online.

Another zander claimed from Dee

Five years since a zander was caught from the River Dee, another capture is claimed on FISHINGmagic's forums.

More here.

Pike lost in three NI fish kills

Environment Agency scientists in Northern Ireland are investigating three major fish kills in the space of a week.

Hundreds of dead pike, perch and eels were found in the Quoile River, near Downpatrick, in Co Down, on Friday morning.

It came after "significant numbers" of dead pike and other coarse fish were found in numbers in two separate incidents in the Portadown area on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Water quality inspectors and officers from the Fisheries Conservancy Board are investigating all three incidents.

The Northern Ireland Environment Agency said the kill on the Quoile was caused by "an increase of natural organic matter" reducing oxygen levels.

Heavy rainfall can stir up the bottom of shallow waters, releasing rotting plant matter which chokes fish.

Aerators gave been deployed to boost oxygen levels in affected stretches.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Dave Pugh kicks off at Cambridge

Dave Pugh kicks off Cambridge PAC's programme of winter meeting with a talk on lure fishing for zander.

It's at Bottisham British Legion on Wednesday, September 3 (7.30pm).

Meetings are on the first Wednesday of every month.

Click here for more details.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

PAC Events update...

All members who have so far applied to fish events on Rutland Water, Llyn Brenig and Quays Gravel Pit have got places, events organiser Mark Skinner said.

There are still some boats left for Rutland and Brenig and places on Quays.

As ever the Lake of Menteith is over-subscribed and places will be drawn at the PAC Convention at Stoneleigh, on September 27.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Broadland Pike guru heads for Lincoln

Pike of Broadland author Stephen Harper is acknowleged both as an authority on the Norfolk Broads and no slouch when it comes to fishing them.

Linclon PAC have signed him up for their first talk of the winter at their new venue the Stag's Head in Newport, Lincoln, on Monday, September 1 (7.30pm). Admission is £2.50 members/£3.50 non-members, all welcome.

The Stag's Head is on the B1226 next to the St Nicholas Church, postcode LN1 3DP.

Click here for this winter's programme of meetings in Lincoln.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Membership renewal information

PAC membership secretary, John Cahill advises that renewing member levels are currently exceeding those received at the same time during the previous two years.

''We have had over 300 renewals in during the first two weeks following Pikelines release and they don't actually expire until 30th September said John''

This is helping to spread the membership workload and is appreciated, but currently there is a backlog. Priority will be given to new member requests, then renewals with an SAE and then renewals sent in without an SAE. We anticipate the backlog to be cleared within 1-2 weeks.

Following a member enquiry can we point out that we are currently using cards stating 2008 but the expiry is in 2009. This is because we are using existing stocks of membership cards whilst we consider a design change for next year. Your membership is still valid when received.

Any queries please email

Monday, August 18, 2008

Spectre looms over the Broads again

A dose of realism - or the first signs of a U-turn over ministerial assurances that sea defences protecting the Norfolk Broads would not be abandoned to the sea..?

That was the question today after the new head of the Environment Agency warned stretches of our coastline are doomed and plans will soon need to be drawn up to evacuate people from threatened areas.

In his first interview since taking office, in today's Independent, Lord Smith of Finsbury warned Britain faced some hard choices over which areas of our coast to defend and which to surrender to the sea.

The stark warning comes just weeks after flooding minister Phil Woolas promised sea defences protecting historically-important pike fisheries in Norfolk's River Thurne and its broads would be maintained.

Six villages, more than 1,000 homes and thousands of acres of farmland would be wiped off the map, if proposals from Natural England to allow the sea to breach defences got the go-ahead.

Hickling Broad, Horsey Mere, Heigham Sound and the Martham Broads would be lost forever as the system became saline.

Ministerial assurance - click here.

Today's Independent Interview - click here.

More than 2,000 people signed an online petition on Prime Minister Gordon Brown's 10 Downing Street website, before Phil Woolas pledged to maintain defences. If you haven't signed up already, click here to make your voice heard.

Friday, August 15, 2008

International flavour for Piking 2008

This year's PAC Convention takes on an international flavour, with two of Europe's top predator anglers joining a brace of British pikers on stage.

As well as the speakers you can browse all the latest tackle on the trade stands, pick up a bargain on the second hand-stalls, and catch up with old friends and new on what's always an unmissable day out.

So why not kick start your winter campaign with a trip to Piking 2008, which is being staged on Saturday, September 27 at the National Agricultural Showground, Stoneleigh Park, Coventry.

PAC promotions manager Mike Kelly said: "We started planning this year's convention almost straight away after Piking 2007, which was a record-breaking event for the club in more ways than one.

"We knew it was going to be hard to beat it, so this year we've gone for a varied line-up of speakers who share one thing in common - they're all extremely successful pike anglers you'll rarely get the chance to see.

"They all go about their fishing fish very differently, but one thing's for sure - they'll all knock you out with their talks and their catches."

Michel Huigevoort will be travelling from Holland to share the Dutch style of fishing rivers.

He said: “I grew up close to the river Maas in the south of Holland. And after my very first pike the call of the river and the hunt for the biggest predator never went away.

"Apart from pike fishing I like fishing for zander as well. Challenging the biggest bodies of water is what I like most, both in Holland and abroad."

PA Högberg, from Stockholm, will be outlining his approach to both the increasingly popular Baltic and other Scandinavian waters.

"My talk outline will be the Swedish pike of different types like lake pike, river pike, Baltic pike and sub-groups like stationary pike.

"I'll be covering techniques to catch them. How to pick the right lure. Fishing technique with different types of baits. Rods and reels and how to chose the proper gear."

Derek Macdonald may be one of the country's best-known lure anglers but he rarely shares the secrets of his success.

"On my travels I have fished in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales even as far afield as Eastern Germany," he said.

"After a long and winding road, I have managed to reach my Everest and fulfil my dream, catching a monstrous fish weighing over 40lbs."

Graham Slater is another one of pike fishing's quieter exponents, who has enjoyed some phenomenal catches.

“Thirty years of fishing waters in England, Ireland and Scotland have shaped both the way I think about my fishing and the way I go about it," he said.

"My presentation will details some of my experiences and things I've learned from them, along with last season’s results and how I achieved my most successful season ever."

Piking 2008 is being held on Saturday, September 27 at the National Agricultural Showground, Stoneleigh Park, Coventry.

Tickets are £12 adult member on the door, or £10 in advance to members. For non-members, tickets on the door are £14, £12 advance, while up to two juniors (under-16) can accompany each paying adult for free.

For advance tickets, send cheque (with SAE...), payable to PACGB, to Mike Kelly, PAC Promotions Manager, 47 Yew Tree Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 0BG.

Parking is free, doors open 9am.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Traders flock to PAC Convention

A record number of traders have signed up for this year's PAC Convention.

Some of the top names in predator fishing will be setting up shop for the event at Stoneleigh, Warks, on Saturday, September 27.

They'll be rubbing shoulders with everything from independent lure makers to boat builders - not to mention the lively second-hand tackle and lure stands.

Those confirmed so far include The Tackle Shop, Gainsborough; The Friendly Fisherman; Dave Lumb Specialist Tackle; Sovereign; Zoota Lures; The Pike Shop; Piking Brittany; Esox & More; Pike and Predators; DIY Lure & Fly; Bob Buteaux; Catmaster; Fishing Pool; Sea Strike; Portabote; Catfish Pro and Eddie Turner.

PAC promotions manager Mike Kelly said: "Traders have been keen to attend this year's Convention after the huge success of 2008.

"We have more interest and, therefore, more variety. It's going to be a job to pack them all in, so we've extended the hall into the annex room adjoining the Speakers Hall which is also much larger than last year. It's going to be another good year."

This year's bill of speakers takes on an international flavour, with anglers from Holland and Sweden featuring alongside two home-grown talents who rarely share the secrets of their success.

Michel Huigevoort and PA Hogberg will be sharing the stage with Graham Slater and Derek MacDonald at Stoneleigh, Warks, on Saturday, September 27.

Click here for more info.

Tickets are £12 members/£14 non-members on the door. Advance tickets are £10 from Mike Kelly, 47 Yew Tree Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 0BG. Please enclose a cheque payable to PACGB and an SAE.

New Selby Blog launched

The relaunched Selby Region now has a blog, which will have details of forthcoming meetings and other events. Click here for a gander, why not bookmark it if you're from that part of the world.

Keep in touch with the PAC Forums

Whether you're a member who hasn't joined yet or you haven't visited in a while why not check out the PAC Forums.

More than 600 pike anglers have already signed up for the club's message boards, which give members the chance to interact with each other and the PAC Committee in our own secure bit of cyberspace.

You can check out our new fly fishing section, whether you're wondering about giving the method a go or you're a confirmed fluff-chucker looking for inspiration on tackle and fly patterns.

There are also sections for all aspects of bait and lure fishing and up to date news from our network of regions. You can also find out more about PAC events and other aspects of the club's work straight from the horse's mouth.

Just follow the link from the main PAC website here. Why not pop in for a look today..?

Monday, August 11, 2008

North Wales tope trip

Tope Fishing Trip, Barmouth (North Wales)

8 hour charter boat trip on the first Saturday in September

ALL welcome - contact Region 31 R/O Jon Neafcy - if interested

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Selby region set for relaunch

Selby Region is being relaunched with a meeting on Tuesday, September 16.

It's at the clubhouse at Oakland Waters, in Gowdall Road, Gowdall, Goole DN14 0AP, at 8pm.

All pike anglers from the East Yorks area are invited to come along and meet your new RO Mark Green.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

New online fishing channel

PAC secretary Mark Barrett is one of a number of top-notch presenters involved in the launch of a new online angling channel.

If the trailer's anything to go by, it's going to bring some seriously watchable fishing straight to your PC.

Click here to see a trailer.

Llyn Brenig dates - correction

Event application slips sent out with the current Pikelines advertise this event for Monday, October 3, and Tuesday, October 4.

This should read Monday, November 3, and Tuesday, November 4.

We apologise for any confusion caused.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Convention advance tickets now on sale

Advance tickets for Piking 2008 are now on sale. This year's bill takes on an international flavour, with anglers from Holland and Sweden featuring alongside two home-grown talents who rarely share the secrets of their success.

Michel Huigevoort and PA Hogberg will be sharing the stage with Graham Slater and Derek MacDonald at Stoneleigh, Warks, on Saturday, September 27.

Click here for more info.

Tickets are £12 members/£14 non-members on the door. Advance tickets are £10 from Mike Kelly, 47 Yew Tree Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 0BG. Please enclose a cheque payable to PACGB and an SAE.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Nene salmon caught on camera

A salmon has been caught on camera in the River Nene. EA scientists caught a fleeting glimpse of the fish - believed to be the first to enter the river in decades - on a camera monitoring the Dog in Doublet Sluice, upstream of Wisbech.

Click here to see it.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Renew early!

Renewals for 30th September membership expiry are now being taken by our membership secretary in order to spread the workload at our busy renewal season.

Fees are again frozen until 2009 and members can renew by downloading a form here, using the renewal form in the imminent Pikelines, or on-line via PayPal

If you are planning to enter the Mick Brown Competition by recruiting a new member please find details here - the competition closes on 8th September.

Don't forget. Piking 2008 will be upon us sooner than you think. See you all at Stoneleigh on Saturday September 27th!