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 - roregion31@blueyonder.co.uk 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 chairman@pacgb.co.uk 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 google.com and google.co.uk 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 memberships@pacgb.co.uk 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.