Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Hate mail after he claimed he'd caught a 40

A visiting angler who claims he landed a 42lbs Broads pike on the last night of the season has received hate mail and abuse, it was reported today.

Craig Humphries brought his rods when he stopped off in Norfolk on a job-hunting visit from Germany.

He hit the headlines when he revealed he had caught the 42lbs 8oz lump from a hired houseboat on Hicking.

But in today's Eastern Daily Press, angling correspondent Roy Webster reports he has had nothing but ear-ache ever since.

“Since it was reported in the angling media I have received hate mail, verbal abuse and mockery,” Webster quotes Mr Humphries as saying, in comments which themselves appear to be copied from other media.

“What is wrong with these people? This does not appear to be jealousy, just down right hatred, yet I go fishing for enjoyment and nothing more. I'm getting fed up with the whole episode now.”

Doubts were cast over the fish when the picture appeared online. According to Webster, Mr Humphries said: “I took the photograph on the balcony of the houseboat and returned the fish that was heavy in spawn to the water immediately.

“I guess the negative comments about the fish being a fake are normal (for some anglers) yet all I have done to the image is rotate it, crop it and clean it up."

Charity pike fish-in for Help for Heroes

A pike fishing holiday in Ireland and a weekend break at a top Scottish hotel are among the prizes on offer at a charity fish-in in aid of Help For Heroes.

PAC member David "Scobes" Scobie hopes to raise at least £2,000 from the event, which is being staged on Saturday, September 4, at Loch Vennacher.

All proceeds will go to H4H - a charity which has raised millions for servicemen and women injured in the line of duty.

"The plan so far is to have a fishing event during the day followed by a BBQ and fishing tackle auction/raffle all for the Help for Heroes charity," said Scobes.

"I'm very proud to say this event is supported by the PAC and thank you all those who have helped me, I couldn't have done it without you."

There's a Facebook page with more information on the event here.

+If you can't make it but would like to donate, click here.

++H4H has raised a staggering £34m since its launch three years ago. Click here for more on the charity and its work.

+++If you're a PAC member check the club's forums for more on the top prizes.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Monster pike blamed for disappearing ducks

Sometimes, they story sounds so familiar you could write your own punchline.

Ducks are disappearing from a wildlife reserve in the Midlands. And guess where the finger's pointing..? That's right, a monster pike, or so the Telegraph reports.

It's already been dubbed the Loch Ness Monster - despite the fact the scourge of Stonebow Washlands in Loughborough, Leics is hundreds of miles from Scotland.

But at least someone's got some grip on reality.

Mark Graham, wildlife development officer at Charnwood Borough Council, said there were no plans to hunt down the mystery predator.

He said: “Pike are a natural part of the ecology of our lakes. a native fish that have lived alongside wildfowl for thousands of years."

More here.

Monday, 29 March 2010

BAA urged to think again over livebait ban

Brimingham Anglers Association has been challenged over a ban on livebaiting dubbed a damaging and divisive move for angling.

Midlands PAC organiser Steve Bown had a positive meeting with BAA club secretary John Williams, warning predator anglers would be adversely affected by the club's new by-laws stressing that predator anglers are now the only club members facing restrictions on their angling methods.

"The BAA is a club run by it's members. I urge individual club members to stand up and be counted and to contact the BAA to voice their disapproval at the clubs by-law change," Steve said.

"The executive committe has a duty to listen to its members and act accordingly.

"Working with local predator anglers to achieve a mutually-acceptable by-law would be excellent publicity for the BAA.

"A demonstration of different bracnhes of angling working together would no doubt encourage more people to join."

After a lengthy consultation process, the Environment Agency drafted new national by-laws concerning fish removal. These by-laws increased the protection of mature coarse fish, amid concerns at the numbers being taken for the table. But they also allowed predator anglers to take up to 15 fish a day for use as bait.

"We must also recognise that the taking of small fish for bait is an important part of predator fishing," the EA said. "There is no evidence that this is damaging stocks and therefore should be allowed to continue."

The BAA committee disregarded the EA's findings when it voted unanimously to outlaw the removal of any fish - apart from zander - from their waters.

Mr Williams said the PAC's concerns would be passed on to the BAA's executive at its next meeting. The committee has the power to revisit the issue. The PAC is now considering the next step if the ban is not rescinded.

+++To contact the BAA, click here.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Wee Shane bags brace of twenties

Young Shane Lyon showed his old man Ewen and fellow members of the PAC's Inverness region hiow to do it in style, when he landed his first-ever pike at a club fish-in.

It sent the scales spinning round to 24lbs 14oz. And just for good measure, he followed it up with another belter which weighed in at 22lbs 11oz a few hours later.

See the full story on the Inverness PAC Blog here.

Pikers urged to lobby over BAA bait ban

Pike anglers are being urged to lobby Britain's biggest angling club after it announced a ban on livebaiting.

The PAC requested talks with Birmingham Anglers Association after it announced a ban on the method without warning. So far, no date has been set.

Regional organiser Steve Bown said: "As individuals you have the chance to voice your concern with the BAA and if you have not already done so then I urge you to do so by contacting them through their website here.

"The more emails they get, the bigger the weight of our argument. Please support this, if we can get the BAA to reverse their decision we will set a precedent and will be approaching other clubs after this."

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Mentieth PAC event sees 150 pike to 23lbs

News just in from today's PAC event on Menteith. More than 150 pike were caught, 145 singles, 10 doubles to 19lbs and three twenties to 23lbs to Kevin Dunne, Graeme Davis and Rab Hendry.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Pikers seek talks over BAA bait ban

Britain's top predator club has called for urgent talks with the Birmingham Anglers Association, after it announced a ban on livebaiting without warning.

Pike Anglers Club of Great Britain members in the Midlands who belong to the BAA say they were not consulted over the rule change, which comes as national fishery by-laws are set to come into force giving the green light to the method.

Environment Agency chiefs agreed predator anglers across England and Wales should be allowed to use limited numbers of fish caught on the day for bait after a three-month consultation any angler could take part in.

But in a statement on its website, the BAA says it intends to outlaw the practice, as what it calls "a side effect" of other changes.

"After a wide-ranging and public debate over the issue of removing fish from our rivers for any reason, the EA came down firmly on the side of predator anglers whilst greatly increasing the legal protection afforded to most species of coarse fish," a PAC spokesman said.

"It was a workable compromise we are certain most anglers would be more than happy to live with, judging by responses the EA received, which were published online for anyone to see.

"We are saddened if the Birmingham Anglers Association decides to ignore all of this without even consulting those affected, or considering the bigger picture."

PAC officials overturned a similar ban on BAA waters in the early 1980s, after pointing out the move represented the thin end of the wedge for all angling.

PAC regional organiser Steve Bown has written to BAA secretary John Williams requesting a meeting to put the club's case.

"Predator anglers who are BAA members need to voice their concern directly to the BAA via the contact details on the club's website," he said.

"I have emailed all the local members to this effect and hopefully we will see a good response."
To have your voice heard, contact the BAA via this link.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Ice and easy does it at Damflask event

ICE, ICE BABY: The scene at Damflask

PAC events organiser Mick Crisp tonight paid tribute to the 30 hardy souls who braved Arctic conditions to raise £650 for Macmillan nurses, at Sunday's club event a Damflask Reservoir, in South Yorks.

"A temperature of -7 overnight meant that on arrival significant areas of Damflask were iced over making the task of catching any pike even harder," he said.

"Despite the conditions 30 anglers turned up to support the event. Ra88 and RA21/89 came en masse and boosted the numbers and also donated raffle prizes

"Only three fish were caught, the largest 8 lb. But with the support of all who came we managed to raise £650 for Macmillan, so thanks to everyone who came and either fished or helped out with the event."

The PAC thanks sponsors Yorkshire Water, Mark Houghton, Eric’s Angling, Chico’s Lures, Eagle Claw, Teesside and Darlington Region PAC, the Wisewood inn, Loxley; Pikemaster Traces, Craig Beverley, David Charlton and Brian Birdsall, along with stalwart Yorkshire organiser Pete Green.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Parking charges threat at Loch Lomond

First they announced they were considering a ban on so-called casual camping beside Loch Lomond, which would mean anglers could no longer bivvy up along 14 miles of its shoreline.

Now the Lomond and Trossachs National Park is considering charging up to £6.50 to park.

Story here.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Watto weighs in on zander debate

John Watson's added his view to the ongoing zander debate in the Eastern Daily Press.

Click here for more.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

PAC bites back over Scottish bivvy ban

Pike anglers are backing Ramblers Scotland in their campaign against new camping by-laws proposed for Loch Lomond.

Park authorities claim tighter controls are needed to protect the Bonny, Bonny Banks from litter louts and vandals.

But the Pike Anglers Club of Great Britain (PAC) fears a ban would stop responsible anglers enjoying their sport around the loch shores.

It's worried similar by-laws could also stop visiting fishermen from bivvying up around lochs Tay, Tummel and Rannoch.

"The by-laws would deny us the right to enjoy the countryside, as our members have for generations," said PAC secretary Graham Slater. "It's wrong to punish the majority because a minority offend."

Trossachs National Park has announced a 12-week consultation on whether to stop "informal camping" along a 14-mile stretch of Lomond's eastern shore.

MSP Murdo Fraser is calling for similar bans to be imposed along the bans of lochs across Highland Perthshire. But the 2500-strong PAC says any bans would be contrary to the spirit of the Land Reform Act.

Its leaders have written to the Ramblers, expressing support for their campaign. They're also seeking urgent talks with National Park authorities.

"What these proposed by-laws fail to do is draw a line between the responsible behaviour of a group of anglers bivvied up around a loch, enjoying a pastime which is completely in tune with the philosphy of the National Park, and those who leave litter, light fires and behave like hooligans," said Fife-based Mr Slater.

"A blanket ban makes as much sense as banning driving because a minority of motorists speed, drink drive or cause crashes."

Loch Lomond is one of Scotlands most historically-important pike fisheries, which has been enjoyed by pike anglers from both sides of the border since Victorian times. Tommy Morgan's 47lbs 11oz pike, landed from the loch in 1945, still holds the Scottish record.

The largest pike ever to be found in the British Isles was discovered dead on its banks, near the River Endrick, in 1934. The head of this monster, estimated to weigh 70lbs, is now in Glasgow's Kelvington Museum.

Consultation over the by-law changes ends on May 3.

Click here for more on the consultation, and how to take part.

Click here for Scotsman story on how the proposed ban could spread.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Wheely boat up for grabs on Menteith

A wheely boat for disabled anglers is available on the Lake of Menteith, for a PAC event on Saturday, March 13. Lure only, £60. For more details, e-mail .