Thursday, December 17, 2009

RA13 - Devon

Newly reformed Region 13 - Devon, have announced their inaugural meeting to be held on Friday. January 29th 2010 at the Barge Inn, High St, Halberton, Tiverton, Devon, EX16 7AG.
Their first Guest Speaker will be well known pike angler Julian Chidgey. The 27 year old Devon-based Korum consultant, who took a new personal best lure-caught fish of 32lb 14oz back in late October has caught 40 pike over 20lb in his career; 10 of which have been taken this season.
The meeting starts at 7.30pm, with the talk commencing at 8.00pm. Cost of admission is £1.50 for P.A.C. members and £2.50 for non-members.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Free Sea Safety CD-Rom from the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) are issuing a Free booklet and CD-ROM on all apects of Sea Safety. This package is of especial interest to all pike anglers that boat fish the larger and wild open waters of Britain & Ireland.


"This guide covers all of the RNLI's safety messages in an easily accessible format. The booklet provides top-level safety information that is generic to everyone. Integral to the booklet is a CD-ROM that allows you to obtain customised information covering topics such as flares, sea survival and navigation."

http://www.rnli.org.uk/what_we_do/sea_and_beach_safety/sea_safety/request_a_guide

Separate cards on Life Jacket maintenance and Outboard motors are also avaliable from the above link.
If you require more than one copy of this publication, then please call 0800 328 0600.

http://www.rnli.org.uk/

Thursday, December 03, 2009

RA13 Devon to restart

RA13 is starting up again with joint RO's Ian Nadin and Dominic Garnett

http://devonpac.blogspot.com/

First meeting will be sometime in January at the Barge Inn in Halberton

Monday, November 30, 2009

Graham Slater to give talk in Yorkshire

PAC General Secretary Graham Slater is to give a talk and slide-show for the Yorkshire Regions on Friday December 11th. The talk will be held at the Redoubt Rugby Club, Broadway, Wakefield, WF2 8AA. The show starts at 8pm, and entry costs just £3 per person.
Further information from Pete Green on 01924 782705.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

RA 31 - Mark Barrett Talk

Mark Barrett will be the guest speaker at Region 31 Lancashire on Wednesday 2nd December. The venue will be the Caledonian Public House, Bolton Road, Ashton-In-Makerfield, Near Wigan. Meet in the upstairs function room from 8pm onwards. There is a Free buffet, and a Prize raffle.
Entry is £4 for non Region Members, and £2 for Members. All are welcome to attend.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

PAC Forum

Due to technical problems caused by server issues outside of our control, the PAC forum has been un-available since yesterday (25th November). It is sincerely hoped that these problems will be resolved as soon as possible, and that we will have the forum back up and running as quickly as is possible.
Thank You.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Barrie Rickards funeral

The funeral is arranged for Monday 23rd November at 2pm in the Chapel of Emmanuel College, Cambridge. The service will be followed by a reception/wake in the college.

A cremation will follow at Cambridge Crematorium for family and close friends.

Flowers and/or donations via Richard Stebbings Funeral Service, Kendall House, Cambridge Road, Impington, Cambridge CB24 9NU

Donations to St Johns Ambulance or Cancer Research UK.

There is very little parking in the centre of Cambridge and what there is, is expensive!

Those travelling from out of the city are advised to use one of the 5 park and ride sites. These are situated on Milton Rd, Madingley Road, Trumpington Rd, Newmarket Road and Babraham Road.

Buses run every 10 – 15 minutes and stop directly outside Emmanuel College.

Link to map of Emmanuel College
http://www.cam.ac.uk/map/v4/drawmap.cgi?mp=main;xx=2075;yy=910;mt=c;ms=180;tl=Em...

Park & Ride map Site Map
http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/transport/around/parkandride/

Thanks to Colin Brett for the details.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Chew Valley Lake - pike research



The PAC were made aware of the research that Bristol Water are carrying out by the use of catch and release means with regards to the diet of the pike, trout and other fish prior to the Angling Times’ limited expose of the facts.


The research will be carried out over three years and the PAC have been assured by Bristol Water staff that any decision as to the fishery’s future will be made after the scientific data and options available have been carefully analysed.


The PAC will be in further contact with fishery management to see if we can provide any information which could help.Trout fishing returns have apparently been poor this year from others of the major low land reservoirs.


Whether this is as a result of a downturn in angler numbers due to a lack of finances, the last summer’s weather conditions or other factors, remains to be seen.


The Club welcomes the fact that Bristol Water have not had a 'knee jerk' reaction to the figures and that they value the pike in their waters. The PAC looks forward to seeing the results of this long term study as it can only help to get a better understanding of our misunderstood quarry.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

NACA and an evening with Mark Barrett and Denis Moules

A bit of regional news - a great talk and well worth seeing.

The Norfolk Anglers Conservation Association (NACA) are please to present

‘An Evening With’

Mark Barrett and Denis Moules on the history of Fenland Pike Fishing

Thursday 19th November 2009
Bawburgh Village Hall
Stocks Hill
Norfolk
7:30pm start

NACA members £3.00 Non members £4.50

A bar will be available plus a fund raising raffle

Mentieth anchor rules

A quick reminder for those fishing Mentieth this year; only certain types of anchor are allowed.

Allowed
Suitable anchors are Bruce and Danforth style with a maximum weight for this type of “front” anchor of 7kg or 16lb. alternatively the use of clump or mud anchors will still be allowed however they must also conform to certain standards. The preferred option by the fishery is to use CLEAN 5 Litre containers filled with concrete. However large dense weights or buckets that are completely filled level with concrete will be allowed. There will be no weight restrictions on these and the denser and smaller the better they will work.

Not Allowed
The Fisherman, Grapnel and Plough style
Anglers must provide their own anchors, the fishery will not.

Mick Crisp becomes new events organiser

The PAC are delighted to announce that Mick Crisp has become the new events organiser.

Mick said of his appointment "I am pleased , honored and somewhat surprised to be invited to join the PAC committee and more than a little nervous!I am a 54 year old ex-Firefighter turned kitchen fitter.

I was taught the ' Art of Angling ' by my father and caught my first pike at the age of 8 from the Golden Gate Lake on Wynyard Estate , in the North East of England where I was born.I am grateful for this opportunity to put something back into the hobby, passion, call it what you will which has over the years given me so much pleasure."

Guy Micklewright steps down from the role due to work constraints. He will however continue to advise the PAC on all things legal-profession related.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

The passing of Barrie Rickards

The PAC committee were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Barrie Rickards and would like to send their condolences to family and friends.

Pike Angling and the Angling world will be a much poorer place and will be forever in his debt.

Colin Goodge, PAC chairman said of Barrie

"Barrie had been a great friend, our friendship went back to the sixties I feel very privileged to have been a friend, his inspiration to me personally and to others through his books and many talks will always live on, to have been chairman of such a great club started by such a great man has truly been an honour, thank you Barrie RIP, a true friend to all Pike Anglers."

Monday, October 26, 2009

EA Consultation results

The Environment Agency (EA) have published their consultation findings and their proposals for new national byelaws regarding the taking of fish by rod and line.



During the summer of 2009, the EA consulted with various organisations and the wider public via a questionnaire about the future of taking coarse fish by rod and line. The results of this consultation have been published online.



http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/recreation/fishing/112102.aspx



The EA have also published their proposed byelaws following this consultation.



http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/static/documents/Business/A1_Byelaw_Consultation_Feedback_-_Removals(2).pdf



The main sections within this document that affect pike anglers are:



STILLWATERS

"We propose a byelaw that prohibits the removal of coarse fish from stillwaters, except with written permission of the fishery owner/occupier. "



This effectively sets a zero limit on the taking of all coarse fish from stillwaters without permission.



RIVER FISH
"Allows a limited number of small (maximum size limit) fish for bait, possibly of listed species;"



This effectively allows livebaiting to continue.



"allows a limited number of pike up to a maximum size; "



The size limit would be put in place to protect large pike and the important fisheries these support.



There is further discussion taking place with the Angling Trust amongst others, so this is not necessary the final byelaw. The final words, including sizes and limits will be available in December this year. We will keep you informed as soon as we know more.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

PRESS OFFICER

A hard act to follow, that’s how this committee always described Chris Bishop as Press Officer. Chris was single handedly responsible for making the role his own and developing it from scratch, utilising both his journalistic experience and seemingly endless list of contacts. What a tremendous job he did too.

From publicising the conference to exposing such things as the plans for the Cambridgeshire Lodes. He dealt with them in all with equal thoroughness and tenacity. I’m not sure I’d have wanted to be a wrongdoer with Chris on my case! All good things come to an end however and, as with any committee role, at the end of the three and a half year term he opted to step down and handover the reins. I have expressed my thanks for a job well done in private but, on behalf of the committee, I do so again here in public.

Cometh the hour cometh the man as the saying goes, and that’s certainly what happened in our case with the arrival of one Andrew Stagg on the scene who very generously offered to fill the void and take on the role of Press Officer. For those of you not familiar with Andrew then a little background may help.

Based in Bristol Andrew currently runs a photography business as well as owning half of a PR company, although he comes from a background in sales and marketing in both the UK Australia and Russia. As well as fishing Andrew is a passionate wildlife enthusiast and is fortunate that the area he currently resides in affords the opportunity to combine both.

Andrew tells me he is looking forward to getting his teeth into not just strengthening the voice of the PAC in our crowded media but also promoting the aims, aspirations and above all enjoyment that we gain from the sport.

The committee are delighted to welcome Andrew on board and are confident that we have succeeded beyond our wildest hopes in finding the right man for the job, please join us in welcoming him to the post.

Graham Slater
General Secretary

Thursday, October 15, 2009

18th International Pike Championships

The 18th International Pike Championship’s between Great Britain and Ireland took place recently on the fish rich waters of the Somerset Levels.

The two day event saw Ireland come out as victors after a superior effort on day 1 left the British some 70 lbs behind. A great deal of effort on the Sunday saw the British start to strongly pull back on the Irish lead, but after the initial first few hours of hectic action, the bites dried up and Ireland hung on for the victory with a winning margin of 44 lbs 11 ozs.

A total of 191 pike with an average weight of just over 4 ½ lbs were caught during this two day 1-rod roving event, with the largest pike of 13 lbs 07 ozs falling to the rod of Mike Skipper (PAC Webmaster and British Team Manager). Two Bream of between 5 & 6 lbs in weight were also caught, one on wobbled smelt and the other taking a Mepps Ondex spinner.

Next years International will take place in October 2010, possibly on the Rivers Suck and Shannon around the Ballinasloe area. Anyone interested in taking part in the next British Pike Selection Final, then please contact the Team Manager Mike Skipper on 07525 828296 or via email at britpikeskip@googlemail.com

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Exclusive new leatherbound PAC30


For a limited period, the PAC are pleased to announce that a small run of leather bound copies of PAC 30 will shortly be made available. On a strictly first come first served basis these books will be available at just £190.00 Email products@pacgb.com to reserve your copy.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Menteith draw results...

Here is a link to the Menteith draw results drawn at the convention.
Apologies it is only in PDF format at the moment. It will be formatted and posted here for all to see as soon as possible.

Menteith Draw

Friday, September 18, 2009

FINAL REMINDER



Just a short note to remind you that if you want advance tickets to PIKING 2009, please get your cheques (payable to PACGB) in the post to:

Ben Thomas
23 Metford Grove
Redland
Bristol
BS6 7LG

Monday (21st) is the cut off date so get them in the post today or tomorrow.
Don't forget to include a 1st class stamped self-addressed envelope with your cheque!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Membership competitions

Membership competitions for ’09-‘10
There will be two competitions revolving around memberships running through ’09 and into ’10.
The first will be based upon the special 3 year deal that is being offered until it’s conclusion on 31st April ’10.
ALL members taking up the scheme will be entered into a draw for a chance to win 2 prizes, both prizes consist of a PAIR of FREE SPIRIT pike rods picked from their range.
FREE SPIRIT rods are superb bits of kit and very much at the top of the tree.
The FREE SPIRIT competition shall be drawn in MAY 2010
(All those who have already taken up the scheme will be entered)
The second is our “Win a day with” competition, which is always a firm favourite (this years with Dave Kelbrick was a huge success).
This year we have the one and only Eddie Turner stepping up to show the lucky winner a good time and hopefully a few fish.To enter this competition you simply have to recommend a new member to join the PAC and ensure that your details (memb. No. and name are also on the form)
The list will then be drawn in MAY/JUNE ’10 but fished at a time to suit Eddie.
For those recommending a new member, you can be entered into the draw up to a maximum of three times but please recommend as many people as you can to join.
THIS COMPETITION IS FOR A SINGLE WINNER.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Piking 2009


Convention time
It is that time again, the piking masses will once again descend on Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire for a one-day bonanza comprising all that makes piking great.
Speakers this year are:

Graham Booth, one of Norfolk’s finest giving his first ever talk, over 30 years of experience and Graham’s wit are sure to make this one memorable session.

Mike Green, from deadbait to lure and on into fly fishing, the gentleman of the sport brings his humour and knowledge to an exciting talk.

Ian Weatherall, the quiet man at the PAC, Ian will entertain and impart skills and secrets best known only to him and his close friends – one not to miss.

Mark Barrett & Denis Moules, definitely not the quiet type, ex PAC secretary and all round superstar Mark combined with truly accomplished fenland piker Denis reveal a comprehensive look at fenland piking.

There are some great new products on show, from the likes of Chico’s lures, Greys Prowla launch as well as Waterwolf, together with the usual crowd, Neville Fickling, the Friendly Fisherman, ET and others.

So make sure that date – Saturday 26th September is in your diary, and remember those of you that drink Guinness in the bar (and you know who you are), it is Guinness’ 250th birthday too!
Bring a friend, neighbour, fishing colleague and let’s make the 2009 PAC convention better than ever.

Tickets are available on the door £12.00 for members, £14.00 for non-members and under 14’s go free.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Norfolk's Nar spared marina plan

SPARED: A view of Norfolk's River Nar

It might not be in the Premier League of rivers, where pike fishing's concerned.

But Norfolk's humble River Nar could be spared plans for a marina which would see it diverted through the middle of a nature reserve.

West Norfolk council wanted to change the course of the river so a marina could be built on the outskirts of King's Lynn.

Now officials want to mothball the scheme because of the credit crunch.

That means the Nar, which holds a head of pike and also supports a dwindling run of sea trout, will be left in peace for now.

Friday, July 03, 2009

New pumps to protect the Fens

This picture shows the incredible size of the biggest pumping station ever built in Britain - that's a skip in the bottom left of the image.

It's being built on the Middle Level Drain at St Germans, near King's Lynn, to protect half the Fens from rising sea levels and increasingly-frequent storm surges.

When it becomes operational next February, it will be able to shift 1000 tonnes of water a minute.

The Middle Level Drain is fed by a system of drains stretching miles inland, including the Sixteen Foot, Forty Foot, Old Nene and Popham's Eau.

It protects tens of thousands of homes and thousands of hectares of low-lying farmland, much of it below sea level, from flooding.

When the drainers reclaimed the Fens, they created mile upon mile of waterways which centuries later have become a Mecca for pike anglers.

But they didn't realise the peaty soil would shrink as it dried out. And parts of the area are now 20ft below mean high tide levels.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Pike baits exempt from new ban on taking river fish

Killing coarse fish caught from Britain's rivers could soon become illegal.

But exemptions look set to be put in place to ensure pike anglers can continue using limited numbers below a certain size for bait.

Environment Agency officials will next week launch a major public consultation exercise over proposed byelaw changes.

Anglers and other interested parties have until September 14 to make their views known.

"Within the angling community there is a wide range of opinion about whether anglers should be allowed to take the coarse fish they catch," an EA source said.

"There has been mounting concern that coarse fish removal by rod and line is damaging stocks and fisheries.

"We know that some coarse fish are taken to eat and there is evidence that specimen fish are taken for illegal stocking in other waters."

While there have been calls for a ban on the use of coarse baits - frequently following allegations fish are being taken wholesale to supply the bait trade - the EA is on record stating it does not take the claims seriously.

A section of the report accompanying the consultation paper has this to say on the issue of using coarse fish for bait:

"Anglers fishing for pike and other predators have traditionally used small fish
for live or dead bait. It is a legitimate and effective method of fishing and
there is a strong argument that is should be allowed to continue. There is an
equally strong case that the number and size of fish taken for bait should be
limited so it does not damage fisheries. Note that we are not considering the
ethics of live-baiting in this consultation."

PAC president Tim Kelly said: "Everyone wants the problem of fish theft dealt with. On the face of it they're going about it in a reasonable way by acknowleging the ownership of fish stocks and making an obvious exemption for using fish for live and dead bait.

"I see it as an opportunity for us to go in there and state our case. It's also an opportunity to move forward and look at making certified fish available for use as bait, like triploid trout."

EA fisheries policy manager Adrian Taylor added: “We have some existing local byelaws that limit the removal of coarse fish, but these are inconsistent. We are proposing to introduce new byelaws that will apply across England and Wales to limit fish removal, protecting coarse fish and the fisheries they support.

"With a change to our byelaw-making powers expected in the autumn, we are consulting with the angling world now, so we can introduce the new measures as soon as possible in 2010.
“In developing our proposals, we need to balance the need to protect fish stocks with the rights of fisheries owners and managers to decide how their fisheries should be managed. In particular, we need to consider the differences between river and stillwater fisheries.

“We need the views of the angling community to help us strike the right balance.“

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Click here to read the report on proposed byelaw changes. It includes a section you can print off and post to the EA.

From Monday, June 29, you will be able to take part in the consultation online. Click here for a link to the page where you can do that.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

If you've received this via e-mail, please forward it on to any other pike anglers you're in touch with, to give them the opportunity to respond.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Commercial eel fishing could be banned

Commercial eel fishing looks set to be banned in East Anglia, in a bid to conserve the species.

Environment Agency officials wanted to impose a close season on the region's few remaining eel fishermen.

But regional fisheriy officials want to impose a complete ban on taking eels.

Click here for more.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Pike fishing loses one of the good guys - a tribute to James Holgate

Predator anglers across the UK are mourning James Holgate, editor of Pike and Predators magazine and a lifelong supporter of the Pike Anglers Club, who has passed away in hospital after suffering a brief illness.

Neville Fickling, fellow author and former PAC committee member who like James also did a stint as editor of Pikelines, said: "We were only in Sweden on a trip three weeks ago and he was his usual self, the cutting wit he's always been.

"He was a genuinely decent man, there's no two ways about it. He never did anyone any harm, but it's the same old story, they're always the ones who die first."

James, who lived in Lancaster, did a three year stint as editor of Pikelines in the mid-1980s.

Neville said he was the natural choice as editor, when the monthly Pike and Predators was launched more than 10 years ago.

Many of today's top names owe their first break to James, who nurtured many would-be angling writers into print.

Steve Ormrod, current editor of Pikelines, said: "It's really knocked me sideways and I'm struggling to come to terms with it.

"James was a great friend and such a gent, he was one of the best and I'll miss him a lot.

"He'd had more than his fair share of illness of late but was a strong-willed chap and just shrugged off his ailments with his usual brand of good humour and faith."

PAC secretary Graham Slater said: "Pike fishing's lost one of the nice guys.

"He did a lot to encourage first time writers, many people's first published piece was down to James."

Sunday, June 07, 2009

PAC opposes Irish size limit review

Britain's leading predator angling club has added its voice to the groundswell of protest against proposals to raise the legal size limit of pike which may be killed for the table in Ireland.

The Central Fisheries Board is considering asking Irish fishery authorities to increase the size of pike which may be killed from 50 to 75cm.

It claims it is under pressure to do so, after complaints from visiting European anglers. But pike anglers using freedom of information laws have found just two Swiss anglers and seven visiting Germans have complained, along with two individual guides, who say their customers want to be allowed to kill larger fish.

Tim Kelly, president of the Pike Anglers Club, said: "As the representative body for the UK's pike anglers, we are voicing our objection to any move to raise the size limit for pike from 50cm to 75cm.

"We are fundamentally opposed to the promotion of taking pike for food as we believe that the pike is a sport fish to be enjoyed by many as opposed to being consumed by the few.

"UK pike anglers make up the majority of the pike fishing tourists travelling to Eire every year and the lost income from increasingly pike unfriendly policies will surely have a far greater impact than allowing a few anglers from the wider continent to kill larger fish."

Landmark conservation bylaws to protect Ireland's pike were agreed in 2006, after a long battle by anglers on both sides of the irish Sea.

To add your voice and oppose any move to see the size limits increase, e-mail the Central Fisheries Board's director of marketing David Byrne at david.byrne@cfb.ie .

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Pike fishing in Ireland - an update

Pike Anglers may be aware from recent coverage in the press that The Pike and Coarse Fish Bye Laws are being enforced in certain waters located in The Republic of Ireland by officers of (in particular) The Shannon Regional Fisheries Board, writes former PAC president Phil Wakeford.

This is likely to be linked to increased pressure from PAC and other pike angling organisations who have been lobbying for action to prevent the excessive and unlawful removal of pike and other coarse fish especially by continental and Eastern European anglers.

Whilst PAC supports wholeheartedly the protection of dwindling pike stocks in the Irish Republic we would like to point out to members and other visiting, conservation minded pike anglers the full extent of the Bye Laws so that they are aware when a potential breach is being committed, either by themselves or others.

. Fishing must be by rod and line only
. A maximum of two rods only to be used
. It is illegal to use live bait
. It is illegal to transfer live roach from one water to another
. The maximum number of coarse fish that can be taken by any angler in one day is 4 and none of these can exceed 25 cm in length
. It is illegal to take more than one pike per angler per day and such pike must not exceed 50 cm in length
. It is illegal for any person to have in their possession more than one whole pike (of less than 50 cm in length) or more than 0.75 kg of pike flesh in total
. It is illegal to have in ones possession more than 12 coarse fish for use as bait. As mentioned above only 4 of these can be caught on the day and the other 8 (maximum) must have been obtained from a authorised retail outlet and proof of purchase/receipt retained for inspection by Fisheries Board officials.

Your attention is drawn to the fact that a number of anglers have been found in breach of these regulation whilst fishing on Lough Derg in recent weeks. A Shannon Regional Fisheries vessel is patrolling the lough on a regular basis and checking for compliance with the Bye Laws. The vessel used to date is a semi-inflatable rib fitted with a high speed 90 HP motor.

Relatively minor breaches of the Bye Laws are attempted to be dealt with by the use of 'on the spot' fines of 90 euro. If the anger concerned will not or cannot pay this fine then the Fisheries Officer is empowered by Irish Law to confiscate/impound the angers tackle/equipment (including boats) pending further investigation. These officers apparently have the same powers as the Garda/Police.

When PAC members are approached they should first ascertain the identity of the Officers involved and enquire as to which of the above Bye Laws it is alleged that they are infringing. Details should be retained for future reference.It is uncertain at the time of writing whether having more than 2 rods in a boat constitutes a breach. Similarly if an angler were pleasure fishing for coarse fish and retained these in a keep net (as practiced by match anglers) whether this constitutes a breach.

There would appear to be a desire by the Fisheries Board to deal with matters via the 'on the spot' fine approach by we feel that if matters were to be dealt with through the courts then a body of hard evidence would be required including the statements of witnesses, photographs, bodies of fish etc. However the threat of reality of confiscation of expensive tackle/equipment would obviously prove very inconvenient and potentially expensive to the angler. It is believed that some foreign nationals using crude/cheap tackle are ready to hand this over as opposed to paying the 90 euro fine.

PAC will monitor these matters with interest and periodically update the blog accordingly.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Meet the new PAC Committee

Months of speculation ended at the PAC' s AGM in Nottingham today, when the committee which will run the club for the next three years was announced.

In his first address Tim Kelly, the club's new president, thanked the previous committee for their work on the club's behalf.
"When they came in there was a real buzz, it was obvious there was a new committee and things were happening," he said. "If we can build on that it will be a great thing.
"To go forward, I would like the aim of the committee to be to make things better for pike anglers.
"Some clubs have petty rules and things which get in the way of their fishing. You have fisheries where they have braided line bans and other silly things like that."
Tim said the club would strive to be more inclusive and attract more pike anglers who were not members to join.

Graham Slater, the club's new secretary, said his initial reaction on being approached was to turn down the post.
"But if everybody in the history of the PAC had said no it would have folded years ago," he said.
"I'm a bit disappointed I don't get to dress up as a secretary, but joking aside, there's part of m that's looking forward to it.
"There are going to be times when we might have difficult times and difficult decisions to make but that's what we're here for."

Events organiser Guy Micklewright said he hoped to build on the "great job" done by his predecessor Mark Skinner.
"There's more to events than Menteith and more to events than catching a big fish, great though that is," he said. "I'm hoping to increase events and improve the social side of things.
"We want them to be occasions when people can get together, form friendships and get as much from this as they get from the fishing itself."
Guy said he expected his legal qualifications to be of use to the club over the next three years.
"I'm a practising barrister and I hope there are skills I have which may be helpful in what we do in future."

Membership secretary Chico Winterton said: "I'm your new membership secretary, together with my helper Bryan Ashford.
"Filling John Cahill and Pete Green's shoes is not going to be an easy task, they've both been coaching me for months now so whether I fail miserably will be down to them."
Chico said an increase in membership subs - which had been held for three years by the previous committee - would be confirmed in Pikelines, becoming effective immediately.
"I'm going to be the harbinger of doom now," he said. "Every category is going to be raised by £3, meaning adult membership goes up from £19.50 to £22.50."
He added a new three-year offer gave members willing to commit to the club for three years the chance to save £7.50 over that time.

Advertising manager Ben Thomas paid tribute to the hard work of his predecessor Mike Kelly.
"Attracting advertisers is going to get more difficult, as Mike's explained," he said. "I've already experienced it, having made calls to a couple of advertisers before today.
"members have to let advertisers know when they buy from them that they got their phone number, address or website from the PAC."
Ben, whose role includes taking over organising the PAC Convention, said this September's event would again be held at Stoneleigh.
"There will be new advertisers coming in and taking stands at Stoneleigh," he added. "Next year, we'll have to wait and see but we're going to keep it where everyone can get access to it."

Webmaster Mike Skipper thanked outgoing web supremo Dave Lumb, who set up the PAC website, for his hard work over the years.
"Everyone who looks at our website says it's a very well thought-out and content-rich site and I intend to try and add to it," he said.
He added the club would also be making more use of social networking media like Twitter and Facebook.

Mark Skinner will be remaining on the committee to take over the role of products manager, with help from Gary Hodd.
"Mick's done a great job, I'm going to try and sell the book so those who've not already got one better buy one as we've only got 1,000 left," he said.

Chris Bishop will remain as press officer until after the Convention, when a successor will be appointed.

John Synnuck will remain as treasurer for the first year of the new committee's term.
"I'm very enthused with the group of people I'm going to be working with," he said.

TENPAC leaves strong club as new committee takes the reins, pike anglers' AGM told today

There have been successes and there have been failures. But the Pike Anglers Club has had a higher profile than for many years and remains a force to be reckoned with.
That was the message at the predator fishing club's AGM in Nottingham today, as TENPAC - the tenth committee to have run the club since its formation 32 years ago - handed over to its successor.
Opening the meeting chairman Colin Goodge said: "I've been very satisified with this committee, they've done a marvellous job. We didn't achieve all we'd like to have but they've put the PAC back on the map.
"I've been proud to be a part of it and I'd like to thank them for all their hard work over the last three years."


Outgoing president Phil Wakeford said the club had come a long way and achieved a lot during its 32 year history.
Of the Tenth PAC committee's term, which began in May 2006, he added: "There've been some successes, there've been some failures but the games never over.
"You've got to redouble your efforts and keep chipping away at it and one good thing is there are always people willing to put their hands up to keep this club of ours going."
One ambition of the tenth committee was to grow the PAC's membership beyond the record of 3,000 achieved in the early 1990s. Many of the outgoing regime are disappointed they failed to achieve it.
"The biggest target is regular pike anglers who are not members of the club," Phil said. "How do we get to them..?"
Phil said relations had improved between the PAC and Pike Anglers Alliance for Scotland, while there were also encouraging signs that a new pike conservation group would be set up in the Irish Republic.
"What is the glue that holds us together," he said, closing his final address as president. "Clubs come and go but the PAC is still here. We're still strong and we're still a force to be reckoned with."

Events organiser Mark Skinner said his main aim on taking office had been to increase the number of events open to members.
"As everyone knows, Menteith is the club's main event, but these events are few and far between so other avenues had to be explored," he said.
"I therefore aimed our events more towards the social side of fishing and tried to offer members venues where meeting up, making new friends and rekindling old friendships was another thing to focus on , rather than just fishing a place with the chance of catching big fish."
Mark said one highlight was being on the Menteith event where Newcastle-based Lyn Baker caught the biggest pike ever to be caught by a woman in the British Isles. The capture sparked coverage in national newspapers including The Sun and TV appearences for Lyn, which raised the profile of the PAC and its work.
"I actually mentioned to Lynn how great it would be for a woman to catch a big fish on the event in the Rob Roy the night before," he said. "Needless to say I had a few members asking me to say the same thing to them on the night before our last event on Menteith."
Mark said meeting members and making new contacts had been another highlight of marshalling events.
"You can talk to members via our forum or through e-mail, but nothing bats meeting other members face-to-face out on a day's fishing.
"To finish off, I'd just like to say I've really enjoyed my time in the role and working with everyone on the committee.
"We've had our ups and downs, we've had our disagreements but we've focussed on what's been good for the club."

Products manager Michael Hastings said: "I'm going to keep it short and sweet like Kylie.
"I inherited a good system from Mick Culpan and I don't think I've messed it up too much."
Michael said products revenue had grown to more than £7,000 in 2007/08. He said products were a popular way for members to support the club, with "badges, caps and 'ats" proving more popular than mugs and mousemats, while a stock of PAC30 - the commemorative book published to celebrate the club's 30th anniversary - remained unsold.
"I've enjoyed the last three years and I'm proud to be a member of this club," he said. "This committee has taken the club forward - we've taken over a good club and we've not mucked it up too badly."

In characteristically to the point style, webmaster Dave Lumb said: "We've still got a website, we've got a forum, we've got a webshop, we've got a blog and we've got a gallery like a blog and someone else is going to be doing i from this afternoon."

Advertising manager Mike Kelly said the recession had seen many larger players in the fishing industry slash budgets, while some companies had gone out of business over the last three years.
"We've lost quite a few advertisers, Hengelsport, Harris, Lure Mania, Lureshack and John Roberts," he said. "We've got new advertisers but we've lost income. We've got a lot of small advertisers and we're in a recession."

Secretary Mark Barrett said the club still had a strong regional structure. But he said the future lay in smaller, larger regional groups.
"We don't have the number of speakers and pike anglers attending meetings to make 120-odd regions viable," he said. "It's a bit much to drive a long way and find there's one man and a dog in a pub."

Press officer Chris Bishop said his term had began dealing with negative stories about pike fishing and establishing the club as a port of call for comment and information about predator angling.
He said the club had won some high profile victories, but the landscape and the media were changing fast.
"Having a blog was fairly cutting edge when we launched it, a lot of other angling organisations followed suit," he said. "Now it's old hat and the future's going to be about finding new ways of reaching people."

Treasurer John Synnuck presented the club's accounts and said while they would show a small surplus, this came mainly in the final quarter of the year. John said while newspapers were reporting the first signs the economy was recovering, the recession was likely to impact further on the PAC.
"Whether we like it or not, it's going to have a direct effect on people going fishing and pike anglers," he said. "People will be fishing less regularly and won't be joining clubs like ours.
"If we end up in three years' time with the same number of members we've got now that in itself will be a fantastic feat."

Pikelines production editor Steve Ormrod reported on behalf of himself and co-editor Neville Fickling, who could not attend the AGM.
"At his worst, he's the grumpiest man alive," he said. "At his best, he's the best features editor you could ever wish to work with."
Steve said the incoming committe had asked him to remain in post for the next two issues, to allow them time to review the position of Pikelines manager. He said he would be taking a back seat, non-committee role.
He outlined cost savings, which meant the magazine was cheaper to produce than in 2005/06.
"The magazine won't be changing that much in the short-term," he said. "The new chaps are keen to have an impact, so watch this space and see what happens.
"But be assured Pikelines will always be a quality product. The PAC has a very bright future."

John Synnuck gave a report on behalf of membership secretary John Cahill. He said while membership had not reached the hallowed 3,000 mark, it had grown from 1830 in May 2006, to 2065 today.
"That's a growth of 12.5 per cent so we have had some significant success at growin the numbers," John said. "John's done fantastic job and was one of the heroes on the PAC committee - it's ball-breaking work for very little thanks." John said John Cahill was "ably assisted" by his predecessor Peter Green.

Closing the outgoing committee's final reports, Colin Goodge said: "This has been a very successful committee, they've done everything they've been asked and more. We now finish with a strong PAC thanks to the lads around me."

Monday, April 20, 2009

PAC AGM details announced for May 9

The next PAC committee will be unveiled for the first time at the club's AGM on Saturday, May 9.

PAC chairman Colin Goodge said members were welcome to attend to give the outgoing committee, which has run the club since 2006, a send-off, and to welcome and give their suggestions to the new committee who will be taking over the reins for the next three years.

The meeting is being held at the Holiday Inn, Bostock's Lane, Sandiacre NG10 5NJ - this is off Junct 25 of the M1, between Nottingham and Derby.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Broads flooding plans are abandoned

Almost a year ago to the day, anger erupted after controversial plans to abandon coastal defences and surrender large areas of the Broads to the sea were leaked to the media.

Some of Europe's finest pike fisheries were under threat - including the Upper Thurne, Hickling Broad and Horsey Mere. Just weeks ago, the system produced a 45lbs pike, the largest ever caught from a British river.

Thousands signed a PAC petition on Prime Minister Gordon Brown's website.

Now Natural England has dropped the controversial proposals from its final report.

Click here for full story.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

RA31 Presentation Night - 1st April

Region 31's annual Presentation Night takes place on Wednesday 1st of April from 8pm onwards.

This is our last formal meeting of the 2008/2009 season, the evening will be hosted by James Holgate P&P Editor & angling author, the agenda will include:

* Region update & accounts
* Tackle auction
* Buffet
* Certificates of merit
* Trophy presentations
* Prize raffle including:

1. Win a days boat piking with Wezley Ballentine - this is a top prize and a first!
2. Fox Stratos baitrunner style reel
3. Okuma Multiplier
4. Years subscription to P&P

Details for the clubs final outing of the season will be given at the meeting. Entry £3 none region 31 members, £2 to members

Venue upstairs function room Caledonian public house, 154 Bolton Rd (next to Tesco garage), Ashton-in-Makerfield, Nr Wigan WN4 8PF.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Two pike anglers dead, two missing on Loch Awe

Two pike anglers have died and two others are missing after getting into difficulties on Scotland's Loch Awe.

The dead men were last night named as William Carty, 47 and Craig Currie, 30.

Fears are growing for Mr Carty's 42-year-old brother Steven, and his friend Thomas Douglas, 36, who are still missing.

Police, coastguard and an RAF rescue helicopter searched an area of the loch near Kilchurn Castle after the alarm was raised in the early hours of Saturday.

The four men were part of a group of five anglers who had travelled from Glasgow to camp beside the loch and fish. Awe is a popular venue, which draws pike anglers from across Scotland.
Sky reported: "At about 11pm the four had headed towards a hotel on the other side of the loch in a small boat, leaving the fifth man sleeping in one of the tents.

"At 3am the fifth man awoke to discover his friends had still not returned and then heard screams for help and raised the alarm. Firefighters from Oban, Inverary and Dalmally raced to the loch to help.

"On arrival at the scene next to the A819 firefighters could hear calls for help from the loch but could not see anyone because of the fog."

The BBC later said: "The men, who were on a fishing trip, had been camping on the banks of the loch, near Kilchurn Castle, close to Dalmally, and were thought to be from north Glasgow.

"A police spokesman said they had decided to take a small boat across the loch to a hotel and left at about 2300 GMT on Friday, leaving one of the group at the campsite.

"At about 0300 GMT the 38-year-old man discovered his friends had not returned. He then heard them calling for help from the loch and alerted the emergency services but thick fog hampered their rescue efforts."
The bodies of Mr Carty and Mr Currie were recovered from the loch by rescue teams yesterday morning. The search for Steven Carty and Mr Douglas will resume today.

Marie Sommerville, landlady of the Tight Line pub which the men visited before the tragedy on Friday night, told the BBC: "They were just really nice guys. It's just unbelievable."

Her daughter Anna Price said they were "keen pike fishermen" who were regulars on Loch Awe.

She added: "It was just a hobby, but they were anglers, they were really good and very experienced.

"They weren't idiots in a boat. They knew what they were doing. We don't know what could have happened other than the fact that it was so foggy last night."

Strathclyde Fire and Rescue told Scotland on Sunday: "On arrival at the scene, the fire crews could hear calls for assistance from the loch. Unfortunately visibility was down to five metres and they could not see anyone.

"The officer in charge requested the assistance of a rescue boat from Renfrew Fire Station. A helicopter was also sent by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency but was unable to locate the missing persons because of the poor visibility.

"When the rescue boat arrived from Renfrew they rescued two male adults from the water. Both were wearing lifejackets. The two men were unconscious and in a poor condition. Sadly both were declared dead at the scene."

The Sunday Herald said low visibility hampered the search for the men. The Mail on Sunday said there were concerns over the time it took to launch a rescue boat.


Friday, March 13, 2009

Yorkshire Slide Show

Pete Haywood will be giving the Yorkshire region a talk on Friday 27th March.

The show will be held at Redoubt Rugby club on Broadway Wakefield WF2 8AA and start at 7.30 pm.

A charge of £2 on the door and a raffle will be held on the night.

All will be welcome to this the 1st of many Yorkshire regional talks.

Further information can be obtained from Pete Green on 01924782705 or psgreen@blueyonder.co.uk

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Scott's thirty tops Menteith event

A 36lbs 10oz pike caught by Scott Davidson topped off today's PAC event on Menteith.

More than 100 jacks, 20 doubles and seven twenties were caught - including a 29lbs fish to Jack Dinnewall, who pens the junior column in Pikelines.

The fish might have been up for it, but the weather was less than pleasant, PAC events organiser Mark Skinner said tonight.

"It was wind and rain all day, people came back drenched," he said. "But everyone enjoyed it, it was a great day."

Friday, March 06, 2009

Wissey fish thieves face legal challenge

LEGAL BID: Tench on a home-made stringer

Court injunctions look set to be served in a bid to step up the campaign against fish thieves, sources have told the Pike Anglers Club.

Two migrant workers caught netting fish and barbecuing them on the banks of Norfolk's River Wissey were prosecuted last September, after an outcry over fish being taken from Fenland drains and rivers.

Tonight sources have told the club that efforts to pursue a private prosection have been abandoned, but legal injunctions are now being sought to ban various parties from fishing the river.

King's Lynn Angling Association officials and PAC members have highlighted the extent of fish being removed for food, from rivers like the Wissey.

There were hopes a private prosecution would follow. But one source tonight said: "We haven't been able to prove a loss but we have been able to put an injunction on them."

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Region relaunch - Blackpool/Preston

Any members from the Blackpool/Preston Region, are invited to attend a meeting to be held on Tuesday next, 10th March 2009 at the Fylde Boat Club, Bispham to start at 8-8.15 p.m.

This is to hopefully reform the club in this area.

Philip Gould, former Cheshire PAC RO, wants to invite any anglers who are interested. Phil's contact number is 07721-436184, but he is away this week on holiday, so any enquiries should be directed to Mark Johnson, NW Liaison Officer (Tel: 07817-419286)

Monday, March 02, 2009

Neville Fickling speaks to RA31

Region 31 South Lancashire proudly present Neville Fickling, a name that needs no introduction to pikers, a man who has held the British pike record and has caught over 400 twenty pound plus pike!

Wednesday 3rd March upstairs function room, Caledonian Public House, Bolton Road Ashton in Makerfield, Wigan (next door to Tesco garage). Entry £4 none region members, £3 to members of the region, entry includes free buffet.

Talk starts 8pm.

Caledonian Public House -154 Bolton Road, Ashton-in-Makerfield, Wigan, Greater Manchester WN4 8PF

Friday, February 27, 2009

Anglers protest outside water firm's HQ

Anglers who have fished Foremark Reservoir in Derbyshire for a generation held a protest outside Severn Trent Water’s Headquarters today after the water company refused to back down on its controversial plans to close two thirds of the reservoir to angling due to concerns about health and safety of the public, the anglers themselves and the structural integrity of the dam wall. Afterwards, a meeting was held between Foremark Fly Fishers, the Angling Trust and the Operations Director of Severn Trent.

The Angling Trust and Foremark Fly Fishers will launch a petition this weekend at the Spring Fly Fair in Newark to seek the support of thousands of anglers who are angered by this decision by the privatised utility. The petition will go online next week on the Angling Trust website at www.anglingtrust.net

Earlier this week, support for the anglers case came from an unlikely source: the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), whose Strategy Division wrote to the angling club: “there are a great many myths circulating about what ‘health and safety regulations’ require; they are just that – myths. Unfortunately some organisations fall for these myths and act upon them. It does appear that health and safety is being used as a reason to limit the amount of fishing along the banks of the reservoir when the real reason may well be something else altogether.”

The HSE went on to suggest that the anglers ask the company for a copy of the risk assessment which led to the decision being taken. Despite several requests to Severn Trent, a copy has not been forthcoming and at a meeting with Peter Gavin, a Director at Severn Trent, it was confirmed that the document would not be released. This has led anglers to speculate that no such assessment exists.

David Coates, Chairman of Foremark Fly Fishers said: “I felt that the meeting was positive although no firm commitments were made, the dialogue has opened up and the company has agreed to make a ‘response with substance’ in the next two weeks or so.”

Alan Dawes, Secretary Foremark Fly Fishers and Angling Correspondent for the Burton Mail said: “it was good to meet Severn Trent face to face, and although nothing positive came out of the meeting, it was obvious that they listened to our grievances and were prepared to discuss it further in the near future.”

Mark Lloyd Chief Executive, Angling Trust said: “I am appalled by the way Severn Trent has treated their customers. There has been no consultation about this entirely unreasonable decision and no attempt to take on board our members’ suggestions for measures to mitigate any risks which might exist. It is clear that the Health and Safety Executive agrees. We will be calling on all anglers to sign our petition and, if they are shareholders or customers of Severn Trent, to write to the company and complain.”

Monday, February 23, 2009

PAC National Committee Statement re Ireland

The National Committee has read with interest the various views being expressed on internet forums and elsewhere regarding matters pertaining to pike and pike fishing in Ireland. This statement has been prepared reflecting the position of the National Committee.

The Irish Republic

The present geographic remit of the Pike Anglers Club does not currently encompass the Irish Republic. The Club was formerly known as the Pike Anglers Club of Great Britain and Ireland but this changed with the formation of the Irish Pike Society in 1993. Sadly the IPS was adversely affected by the untimely death of the IPS Chairman David Overy.

The current position of the PAC is not to reincorporate the Irish Republic into the club. We are aware of the potential formation of a Conservation Orientated organisation there with similar objectives and principles to PAC. Clearly the existing organisation representing pike anglers in the Republic namely the Irish Federation of Pike Angling Clubs has shown itself to be more concerned with running pike matches than in pike care and conservation per se and hence do not fulfil the necessary role that PAC fulfils in the UK.

We hope in time to see the emergence of an Irish led pike welfare organisation in the Irish Republic and will both watch and support developments to that end closely. In the event this does not transpire the National Committee will review matters in conjunction with its membership in Ireland and also represent the interests of the many GB based pike anglers who fish in Ireland.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is well served by PAC members with circa 100 members of the club residing there. This level of activity to our mind reflects both the level of interest in pike fishing in this part of the UK as well as the threats increasingly posed to it from various sources.

Originally there was a single PAC Region in Northern Ireland but following the 2008 AGM of Region 43 this region has since closed and a new Region 111 started up.

The PAC’s officers in Northern Ireland are George Higgins as Liaison Officer and Robbie Marsh as Regional Organiser RA 111. We have confidence and faith in these two members to look after PAC interests in the North and are in regular contact with them.

No other individuals are authorised by the National Committee to deal with authorities and other bodies on behalf of the PAC in Northern Ireland.

For avoidance of doubt the PAC do not support the Erne Classic Pike event.

Furthermore we have appointed two members of the National Committee to deal with related matters in Ireland these being John Cahill for the North and Phil Wakeford for the Republic. They will of course work closely together.

Barrels

The strong following for pike matches throughout the island of Ireland has resulted in the perceived need to retain live pike for later "weighing in" and verification of the catch by "permitted methods" by match officials to prevent false claims being made. This is particularly relevant when considering the large value prizes that some of the open matches offer.

The PAC of GB would like to make it publicly known that we are in total opposition to the practice of retaining pike in barrels.Where the club has engaged with match organisers we have been unable to date to change their minds in relation to the use of barrels. We would much prefer alternative methods were adopted such as trusting anglers to report catches correctly, retention in suitable 'carp sacks' for as short a time period as in necessary or adoption of methods used elsewhere such as photographic evidence alongside approved measuring tapes/sticks.

Despite our opposition, if barrels are still to be adopted in a particular match then the welfare of the pike must be aided by considerations such as size of barrel, freshness and volume of water, temperature of water/air plus levels of dissolved oxygen (DO). The use of undersize aeration devices clearly will be next to useless in increasing the DO within a large volume of water i.e. 100 litres and we criticise quasi scientific reports promoted by bodies seeking to validate the use of barrels.

We also have reservations whilst angling afloat with a barrel of water. We leave the organisers to confirm to participants that this practice is Health and Safety compliant for insurance purposes.

Gill Netting

PAC continues to be adamantly opposed to the so-called "management of pike stocks" as has been practiced in certain Irish waters by Regional Fisheries Boards such as on the Great Western Loughs. We are particularly critical of the use of gill nets in which not only fish suffer (they are also indiscriminate in species selection) but also birds and in some cases otters.

Illegal Fish Removal

We sympathise greatly with anglers and fishing clubs in Ireland whose local waters are being targeted by poachers using a variety of capture methods including nets and long lines.

The current Byelaw 809 (2006) in the Republic provides the following:

1) A bag limit of one pike in any one day

2) Prohibits the killing of more than one pike greater than 50 cm in any one day

3) Makes it illegal to be in the possession of more than one Pike <> 0.75 kg of Pike flesh

We would welcome tougher enforcement of existing laws by the authorities. Recent successful prosecutions give us cause for some hope in this area.

The upcoming review of the Marine Bill in the UK is hoped to have a similar outcome with regard to protection of dwindling pike stocks but the key to success will as ever be with enforcement of the law often in adverse circumstances, in remote places and often at night.


Enquiries in relation to this announcement can be directed to:

Phil Wakeford, PACGB President re matters relating the the Irish Republic

John Cahill, PACGB Membership Secretary re matters relating to Northern Ireland

Chris Bishop - Press enquiries..

Mark Green at RA 88

Date : Tuesday 3rd March

Time : 8.00pm

Venue : Hollingworth Conservative club , Hollingworth , Hyde ,Cheshire , SK14 8HY

Cost : £5 which includes buffet.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Eeeek... Andy's caught a crab

CRABBY: An alien visitor to the Fens

Mittens aren't only what pike anglers use to keep their fingers warm in the winter if you fish in the Fens these days, as PAC member Andy Webster discovered when he fished a drain in Lincolnshire.

For when something munched on his deadbait, it wasn't a pike but a Chinese mitten crab.

"I reeled in the float fished sprat and felt a bit of weight on the end but it fell off," Andy said on his blog tonight.

"The sprat had been shredded and I didn't have a clue what could have caused it. I decided to put it back in the same spot and after ten minutes I carefully reeled in again. The crab was wrapped in the trebles."

Mittens first hit the headlines when they turned up in the tidal Thames two decades ago. Oringinally believed to have travelled to London's docks in the ballast of cargo ships from the Far East, scientists believe frequent drought years and increased abstraction reduced river flows and created ideal conditions for the interlopers to breed.

Since then, they have spread around our shores, taking upwards of 20 years to walk around
our coastline to The Wash, from where they are believed to have entered the Tidal Ouse.

One turned up in a fish trap at Denver two years back and anglers were urged to report captures to the Environment Agency.

Another specimen ws caught recently on the Yorkshire Ouse - click here for local paper report.

As well as having a nasty nip mittens - so called because their claws grow fur during the breeding season - have another habit which doesn't go down well in low-lying, climate-change threatened areas like the Fens.

They burrow into the mud, digging large holes which can cause river banks to erode.

Environmentalists are now investigating whether the crabs could be commercially harvested for food as a way of controlling their numbers. But there are concerns over the level of toxins present in their flesh.

Lincolnshire lads clean up at Ecton Lakes

T-SHIRT WEATHER: Steve Rudkin with an Ecton double.

A Glorious day, weather-wise but little in the way of action for most of those taking part in today's PAC Event at Ecton Lakes, in Northants.

But Steve Rudkin and Andy Blunt's long trip down from Lincolnshire was made worthwhile when they found pike in frenzied mood on the nearby River Nene.

They banked three apiece in the space of barely half an hour, the best scaling 15lbs. Andy suffered a cut hand when a pike did a pirouette and to add insult to injury a sizeable pike showed itself when it lunged at an eight pounder he was playing.

Thanks again to the management and bailiffs at Ecton for their hospitality. It might take some getting to down that track, but it's a beautiful fishery when you arrive.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Graham Slater speaks in Co Durham

Pike Angler of the Year Graham Slater will be speaking to the Darlington, Teeside and Durham region of the Pike Anglers Club on Tuesday, march 3.

He'll he appearing at Coxhoe Working Mens Club, High Street, Coxhoe, Co. Durham; from 8pm.

Bar, buffet, raffle and tackle sales available.

Tickets £2 (PAC members) or £3 (non members) on the door.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Labour's 'Angling Minister' Martin Salter stands down

Reading West MP Martin Salter is standing down at the next election, reports his local paper the Reading Evening Post.

In 10 years as an MP Salter - who famously once bought a house because it had a decent barbel swim in its back garden - has been a leading member of the Commons All-party Angling Group, which he currently chairs.

Thaw, she's a-comin'

BRRR: Brass monkeys all-round

Believe it or not, there's meant to be a thaw on the way over the next few days, or so Metcheck reckons.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Winter Raffle - time's running out!

Don't forget to get your Winter Raffle Tickets in to Mike Kelly as soon as possible.

The draw takes place at the AMM in May and prizes have so far been donated by:

Martin Walker, Neville Fickling, Mark Barrett, Dave Lumb, Friendly Fisherman, The Pike Shop, PAC shop, Sovereign Superbaits and there are two Golden Menteith tickets available too.

Remember, more tickets are available by sending a SAE to Mike and the more tickets you have the better your chances of winning.

Good Luck.

New blog for RA24

PAC Region 24 South East Northumberland (SENPAC)now has a blog.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Graham Slater's talk CANCELLED

Graham Slater's talk for the Cheshire PAC RA9 scheduled for tomorrow (Monday) evening is the latest cancellation due to the weather predictions.

Contact Andy Bates for more info:mobile 07834999129 e-mail andybates7@sky.com

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Council investigates jet skis on Norfolk pike fishery

An investigation is under way into moves to open up a Norfolk pike fishery for jet skiing.

Jet skiers have been using a nature reserve at Pentney Lakes, near King's Lynn.

Planning agreements in place at the beauty spot state Bird Lake should be kept as a nature reserve and used only for windsurfing and fishing.

Jet skiers were supposed to be confined to a smaller, neighbouring lake on the complex.

But a channel has been dug connecting it to Bird Lake and estate agents are advertising jet skiing as being available for people buying chalets at Pentney.

Anglers are allowed on limited areas on Bird Lake outside the breeding season for rare species like terns.

The restriction means the lake is only accessible during the winter months, when its only visitors tend to be pike anglers.

"Those of us who fish the place are happy to co-operate with the restrictions because we recognise we have to co-exist with the wildlife," one said.

"But if we go along with the rules and only fish when are where we're supposed to, it seems unfair if jet skiers can use the lake when birds are fledging.

"There's also the question of what damage they could potentially do with their wake and disturbance, which is why water skiing was not permitted on Bird Lake in the first place, and why the only water borne activities permitted are angling and wind surfing."

A planning agreement drawn up between the lakes' owners, the council and conservation group the Norfolk Wildlife Trust, divides the site into a number of zones.

They include a "buffer zone" where there should be "reduced levels of activity". But two-storey holiday homes have been built close to the zone, which includes an area frequented by otters.

Now the owners of one property have applied for planning permission to live in it all-year-round, while a hot tub and decking have been built alongside one of the lakes.

Pentney Lakes declined to comment. The council said an investigation was under way, with a view to a "more robust" management plan being drawn up.

It added: "These recommendations may or may not include formal enforcement action."

Ward councillor Janet Murphy said: "The intention is to get a more robust management plan to make sure that the wildlife is protected. We need to protect our countryside."

Monday, February 02, 2009

BREAKING NEWS: EA sets out fisheries reforms

Fines for illegal fish movements will increase to up to £50,000, close seasons will be set for eel, smelt and lamprey fisheries, while so called fish-thieves will see the maximum penalty for removing fish from Britain's rivers increased from £100 to £5,000.

The PAC was today passed a copy of the Environment Agency's take on the Marine and Coastal Access Bill currently before Parliament.

Entitled Reforming fisheries law for the 21st Century, the document spells out for the first time how the EA plans to "modernise fisheries regulation in England and Wales", and address recommendations made in the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries review.

"There will soon be major changes to the rules governing freshwater and migratory fisheries," the document says.

"These changes will help to conserve fish stocks, allowing people to continue to enjoy and make a living from fishing.

"Legislation to make these changes will go through Parliament over the next year or two.

"At the Environment Agency, we are working with Defra and the Welsh Assembly Government to ensure new regulations will meet current and future challenges.

"And to make the regulations as effective as possible, we will also work closely with other organisations, including angling governing bodies and conservation agencies."

At present, the EA is responsible for regulating salmon, trout, coarse and eel fisheries.

"This leaves fisheries for other migratory species unregulated, including rare and threatened species," the report adds.

"The Marine Bill will extend our regulatory responsibilities to river and sea lamprey, and smelt."

The bill will give the EA powers to make and enforce byelaws to meet European targets for protecting all three species. It is also seeking to regulate fishing for twaite and allis shad, which it says are also threatened.

New licence and authorisation schemes for smelt and lamprey will come into force in January 2010. Both species are a staple of the frozen deadbait trade.

New measure to protect the eel, whose population is believed to have declined by up to 70 per cent in recent decades, are included. The EA intends to regulate fishing, improve habitats and relocate elvers into "suitable upstream areas".

A faster mechanism for setting byelaws is included in the Marine Bill, along with powers to set close seasons for smelt, eel and lamprey.

The maximum penalty for byelaw breaches will be increased from £2,500 to £50,000.

"The marine Bill will reform how we regulate fish removal," the EA document says. "As well as giving us greater byelaw-making powers to control fish removal, the bill will change the Theft Act by removing the disticntion between day and night fishing, and increasing the maximum penalty for fish theft from £100 to £5,000.

A new scheme governing fish introductions and removals is also proposed. This is likely to impact on pike culls, by requiring nyone wishing to remove fish to obtain a long-term poermit lasting for between three and 10 years.

"Thanks to these measures, it will be much more difficult to move fish illegally without being detected, as only authorised suppliers will be allowed to move fish, and only to or from waters which have a long-term permit," the EA adds.

"The maximum penalty for illegal fish movements will also increase from £2,500 to £50,000, creating a much greater deterrent to breaking the law."

Anyone who wishes to comment on the proposals can e-mail paul.lidgett@environment-agency.gov.uk.

Club mourns death of "a smashing lad"

The PAC was tonight mourning the loss of a young Scottish member who died yesterday after a road accident.

Daryl Turley, 13, suffered serious head injuries when was hit by a motorcycle as he crossed a road at Hamilton on Saturday night. He lost his fight for life on Sunday night in Glasgow's Southern General Hospital.

Tonight PAC secretary Mark Barrett said the club sent out its condolences to young Daryl's family at this difficult time.

"We were all deeply saddened to hear of the passing away of Daryl Turley the son of Davy Turley, who were both PAC members from Scotland.

"From a personal point of view I got to meet Daryl on the visits to RA93 and he came across as a smashing lad that loved his fishing and the entire committee would like to pass on their condolences to all the Turley family at this sad time."

Thursday, January 29, 2009

REGION 31 SOUTH LANCS, CHANGE OF GUEST SPEAKER

Unfortunately Paul Haughton has dropped out of doing his talk on on Wednesday 4th February.

Region 31 Member & local specimen ace GARY KNOWLES has kindly stepped into the breach and will be presenting a slideshow on his all round specimen angling exploits, (this will be a different slideshow than Gary presented at R31 last year).

Entry £3 non-Region 31 members, £2 Region 31 members. Upstairs function room Caledonian Public house, Bolton Rd, Ashton in Makerfield, Nr. Wigan (next door to Tesco garage.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Mark and Peter Green speak in Leeds

Mark Green and Peter Green will be giving a talk on pike fishing in Yorkshire at the Leeds region of the PAC on Tuesday February 3rd.

Meeting will be held at The Royal Pub, Station Street, Pudsey, Leeds and starts at 8.00pm

A one foot fly among the lily pads - fly fishing tales

You can see why fly fishing for predators is gaining such a following, if some of the features on pikeflyfishing.co.uk are anything to go by.

The PAC has taken on the site, and webmaster Dave Lumb has revealed the club hopes to develop it.

Ad Swier tells of a one foot fly among the lily pads on www.pikeflyfishing.co.uk:

"Slowly my feet paddle away beside the rushes and lily pads. Some are in blossom, others are deep below the surface. Bright greens and deep shadows. Every now and then a wood of pondweed appears. The better spots for pike.

"The edges of the deep standing lilies. There where the shivering darkness starts, is another hot spot, the truly unknown domain of everybody's dream fish. The huge pike, with moss on the head."

John Mees looks closer to home, with his tales of Grafham zander.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

PAC takes on pike fly fishing website

The Pike Anglers Club can tonight announce it has taken over the management of leading pike fly fishing website pikeflyfishing.co.uk.

PAC webmaster Dave Lumb, who has redesigned the site, said: "Colin Brett has very kindly given the PAC the domain name and the contents of the site that he had built over the years.

"The PAC committee would like to thank Colin for this as the domain name is established and the site can become a valuable tool for attracting new members."

Dave said he hoped the site would become an important online resource for pike fly anglers.

"There is plenty of scope for expansion of the site to provided as good a resource for the pike fly fisher as the main PAC site has become for the general pike angler," he added.

"Towards that end we'd welcome input from our fluff-flinging members. What does it need? What would you like to see on it?

"Fly tying instructions would be most welcome for a start, but the site also needs a handling page dedicated to fly fishing rather than the current link out to the main PAC site."

The committee would also like to develop a recommended 'code' of tackle and practices to expand those on the main site.

"Thanks again to Colin for giving the club this opportunity," Dave said.

Catch up with Ackers in Co Durham

Mark Ackerley will be speaing at a Darlington, Teeside and Co Durham Region meeting on Tuesday, February 3.

It kicks off at Coxhoe Workingman’s Club, High Street, Coxhoe, Co. Durham, at 8pm.

Admission £2 PAC members, £3 non-members on the door.

Further details available from Shane Patterson on 0191 3869078

Monday, January 26, 2009

Blog subscribers growing - why not join them

We now have more than 600 subscribers, the actual number's a big higher as it takes the stats a few days to catch up.

If you want to join thm and receive an e-mail whenever the blog's updated, just enter your e-mail address in the subscriptions box and follow the instructions.

PLEASE NOTE: You have to respond to a confirmation e-mail by clicking a link (or copying and pasting it into your brower...) to confirm your account. If you've signed up and haven't heard anything yet, check your spam or junk e-mail as the message could have been diverted there.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Here comes the rain

With several days of rain forecast, you could be forgiven for asking what's happening to our weather and what it's going to do to our fishing for the remainder of the river season.

First there was the unseasonal cold snap - perhaps not so much unseasonal as it is *technically* winter, just a bit colder than normal.

After a couple of weeks of this, parts of the UK have this weekend experienced a third of a month's rainfall 12 hours.

"And the miserable conditions are due to continue over the next few days," reports the Daily Mail.

Many hoped slightly milder weather might bring the pike back on the feed and there were encouraging signs on one or two waters last week.

A few more weeks of crap weather and the fat lady's going to be singing for this season on the rivers. Best make sure those waterproofs are, um, waterproof then.

Catch up with Steve Ormrod in Lincoln

Steve Ormrod is guest speaker for the next Lincoln PAC meeting at the Stag's Head, Newport, on Monday, February 2.

Steve's a well-travelled, thinking angler with an impressive tally of big pike caught when he's not slaving away producing Pikelines.

RO Chico Winterton said: "Steve's talk is entitled "Heaven and Hell" and he'll be covering rigs and methods along with some of the many theories as to just why old Esox behaves the way she does.

"It will be a cracker of a talk, just remember to have plenty of questions ready at the end."

Venue details: Located in the North of the City in the Newport area on the B1226 which runs N-S from the ring road, The Stag's Head is a few hundred yards from the 2nd roundabout heading into the City on the left next to the St Nicholas Church. Once on the map link below search LN1 3DP

For more on LIncoln PAC meetings and activities, click here.

North-west pike anglers overturn livebait ban

Northwich Anglers Association's AGM saw proposals to lift a long-standing livebait ban on its waters voted through.

Graham Shillito, who proposed the change, also argued successfully for a restriction on using coarse fish deadbaits to be lifted.

Predator anglers had been limited to using sea deadbaits and lures only, but will now be able to use up to six small fish in a session for livebait, providing that these fish are caught and used at the venue on the same day.

Membership of Northwich Anglers Association is open to all, and offers prime coarse fishing for members only on the River Weaver, River Dane and a number of prestigious stillwaters in the Mid-Cheshire area.

The campaign to allow livebaiting and coarse deadbaits was supported by Northwich AA committee member and former PAC secretary Mark Leathwood.

“This just shows what can be achieved when anglers work together," Mark said.

"We did a great deal of work in putting forward a positive case which drew the support and goodwill of carp anglers and matchmen as well as predator anglers within our association.

"Attitudes towards livebaiting are changing and an increasing number of people are coming to understand that the method is of key importance to the modern specialist angler”.

Elsewhere, club officials in Norfolk have today told the PAC that reports new by-laws had effectively meant livebaiting was now banned on King's Lynn AA waters in the Fens were not true. The PAC is seeking official confimation of this in order to respond to the incorrect reports.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Barrie heads to Scotland for rare talk


Barrie Rickards needs no introduction as a founding father of both the PAC and of modern pike fishing.

He's written more than 25 books - including Fishing For Big Pike, which many still regard as one of the most important books ever written on the species.

He'll be giving a rare talk in North Lanarkshire on Friday, March 27.

Click here for details on the Region 93 blog.

Silver pike can be treasured, says coroner

A silver pike believed to be 1400 years old has been declared treasure trove by a coroner's inquest.

The special court sits whenever valuable relics are found, to decide whether the finder can keep them.

Metal detectorist Stephen Brown found the 5cm silver fish, believed to have been an Anglo-Saxon shield mount, in a field near East Walton last November.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Steve Younger talks in the Midlands

Fenland Zander author Steve Younger will be doing a talk for the Birmingham region of the PAC in Sutton Coldfield on Monday, January 26.


Doors open 7.30pm at the Hill Allotment Association Social Club, in 33 Dugdale Crescent, Sutton Coldfield.

Steve Younger runs SAS Tackle in King's Lynn and organises guided predator trips for just about everything that swims.

His book remains a sought-after classic.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Lure boxes raise money to save bass

BASS - aka the Bass Anglers Sportfishing Society - have become a growing force when it comes to conserving one of our greatest sporting sea fish.

Now they're raising funds for the campaign with some new individual lure boxes, which look just the job for the roving angler.

They're just the job for shorter sessions, when you might only want a handful of patterns. Better still, they're only £1.50 each and several will easily fit in your pocket.

Click here for more details on how to order.

Just face it pike... No-one likes you

Pike are about as popular as a fart in a thermal one-piece suit.

That's more or less the conlusions of an Angling Times poll to find Britain's favourite species of fish, where out top predator managed barely a twentieth of the votes.

Even the Times was surprised at the outcome, with tench winning the survey with 24 per cent of the vote, with roach (21.7pc) coming second and carp (14.8pc) third.

Barbel, bream and perch all beat pike, which scored just 6.7 per cent. Only the chub got less votes.

In tonight's Norwich Evening News, angling correspondent Roy Webster writes: "How pike commanded little more than one-twentieth of the votes is a mystery.

"Pike fishing is one of the few expanding sections of the sport and the National Pike Anglers' Club membership grows year on year."

To avoid any confusion, we assume the National Pike Anglers Club referred to is in fact the PAC.

Monday, January 12, 2009

EA predicts bumper year for angling

Record numbers of rod licences have been sold despite the credit crunch, the EA revealed today.

"More than 1.3 million people took to the rivers in 2008 fully armed with a fishing rod and licence in a bid to find credit crunch-friendly entertainment that won’t break the bank," the agency told the media.

"Rod licence sales hit a record high last year and are predicted to increase by a further 26,000 this year as cash-strapped consumers seek out cheap alternatives to increasingly expensive trips to the cinema, football and theatre."



Sunday, January 11, 2009

Pike fishery boss speaks in Sussex

Fishery boss Ken Crow is doing a talk to the PAC's busy East Sussex Region on Tuesday, January 13.

It's at the King's Head, East Hoathley, at 7.30pm. Click here for more information on their blog.

Tips on spooling up line without twist

Here's a new one on us... Dave Lumb's turned his attention to gizmos which help you spool up your reels without getting line twist - not to mention a gadget for swopping line between reels when you're turning round braid.

Click here to read it on the excellent Lumbland multi-species blog.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Better weather for pike fishing at last..?

Is the thaw expected to set in over the next couple of days going to give pike fishing a jump start..?

That's the question we reckon thousands must be asking themselves tonight after a dour week when unseasonally low temperatures have seen waters frozen over from the Fens to the Glens.

Mike Ashcroft sums it up for many on the Cheshire Predator Group's blog.

"Four tentative dropped runs between us told us that the Pike are just not in the mood at the moment," he writes.

"We both agreed as soon as this weather breaks the Pike will really turn on."

Let's hope he's right. This season's not been an easy one for many pike anglers, if the impression you get from the forums and blogs is anything to go by.

Sprats might not be the most in-vogue bait compared to more exotic offerings like blueys and lamprey these days, but the Newcastle Journal reports:

"Pike anglers have suffered badly with the deep freeze seeing many traditional waters frozen over and unfishable.

"However piking is still continuing on the few rivers that hold the species and sprat has been the in bait for Tees fish around the Stockton and Yarm areas."

The web-based weather forecasting service Metcheck has this to say tonight: "Another cold start with some frost is expected across southeast England on Sunday morning, but the milder conditions will be moving in as the southwesterly winds freshen here, although it will probably remain dry throughout the day.

"Further rain at times will affect many northern and western areas, but temperatures could well make double figures for the first time in a long time."

You had to look hard to find anywhere with temperatures predicted to bump double figures. But five degrees is better than minus-five - if only because you don't need to go our dressed like Eskimo Nell and can at least get your baits in the water without them bouncing off the ice.

The BBC is also tipping milder weather - but warning heavy rain could bring a risk of flooding to some areas.

Many tip the first day or two of a thaw as the time to hit stillwaters, especially gravel pits.

Whether it's the slight increase in water temperatures or the oxygen boost from the lid coming off and the wind moving the water, it seems to get pike which have been lying dormant on the feed.

From the current freeze-up, the experts reckon we could find ourselves at the other extreme come the last week of January, when temperatures will be much milder than normal.

A week or two of that could see pike heading for their spawning areas early in some lowland areas.

Prebaiting that big swim in the sky

Believe it or not, there are people who request their ashes to be spread on their favourite river when they're ready to sling their hook in that great swim in the sky.

Some pike anglers might even consider the Upper Thurne, Llangdegfedd or even Lomond for their final resting place.

Demand has now increased to the extent where a leaflet has been published on how to carry out the practice without upsetting other river users.

Avoiding areas other anglers have been prebaiting is probably a good idea.

The Inland Waterways Association says on the subject:

"The Environment Agency advises that there is no evidence to suggest that the disposal of human ashes in rivers and streams has a negative impact on the environment.
However, other aspects of these practices, such as casting tributes and other objects into the water could harm the environment or upset other river users.

Individual ceremonies are unlikely to pollute the water but you should comply with Environment Agency guidelines.

A free Environment Agency leaflet offers guidance on completing the practice without causing harm. The leaflet is available by telephoning the Agency's customer contact centre on 08708 506506."