Saturday, May 09, 2009

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."