Saturday, 20 August 2011

Ever wondered what lures sound like..?

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

Mepps have got some audio clips on their website, which give an idea of how different lures make different noises.

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

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

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

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

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

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

New safety campaign on the Broads

A new safety campaign has been launched to encourage boat users to wear life jackets on the Norfolk Broads - like these anglers fishing the Bure from a hire boat.

So far there have bee four deaths in the area this year. More here.

Click here for the PAC's guide to safety afloat.

Cormorants - are eagles the answer?

An interesting piece from a bird blog regarding cormorants - could white tailed sea eagles help keep their numbers down..? Read it here on Raptor Politics.

Moves to re-introduce the eagles - dubbed the flying barn door because of their 8ft wingspan - to Norfolk ended in controversy.

But apparently, there's nothing they like more than munching on a cormorant. Talking of which, local papers in Cumbria have been reporting a plague of cormorants of late.

But the Cormorant Watch website shows the Thames Valley is their current stronghold, with more than 400 sightings logged. Click here to report your sightings.

Download a free archive issue of Pikelines

If you follow us on Twitter, you'll know we've been uploading a few vintage copies of Pikelines to download for free. As well as some ground-breaking, entertaining articles, they provide a fascinating insight into how much pike fishing's changed over the years.

Click here to download Pikelines from August 1991. Click here to follow us on Twitter.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Mick Brown at PAC Convention with new book

Mick Brown, Professional Pike Angler, is the latest book on pike fishing. And you'll be able to get your hands on a copy - signed by Mick - at the PAC Convention.

Mick will be bringing copies of his latest - and long-awaited - book to Kettering for the biggest event in predator fishing on Saturday, October 1.

He told Pikelines: "The book is about my 20 years as a professional pike angler. It covers every thing I've had to do to make a living from pike fishing from sponsorships to TV work.

"It's not a rigs and methods book, its anectdotal but with a strong emphasis on my thoughts about pike behaviour and how they affect my tactics.

"It retails at £28.00 and is normally only available through my web site but I will be selling them at the PAC conference this year."

Lincolnshire-based Mick's one of a number of top pike anglers who will this year be taking time out to run junior workshops at the event, to help give the young pike anglers of the future a good start. "It's going to be a busy day," he said.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Pikelines magazine sneak preview

We're just putting the finishing touches to Pikelines before it goes off to the printers. August's magazine has a great piece on boat fishing basics from Eric Edwards, the next installment of Ivan Cooke's adventures on the Broads - and talking of adventures, John Synnuck's trekked thousands of miles to a Pacific Atoll to do battle with some exotic giants.

Nearer home, we've got all the latest on the forthcoming PAC Convention, at Kettering, on October 1 - including the final line-up for the day, more details on the junior coaching workshops and a picture of Neville Fickling wearing a deck-chair.

Keep 'em peeled for the postman...

Monday, 8 August 2011

Junior coaching on offer at PAC Convention

COACHING: Eric Edwards shows a youngster the ropes

This year's PAC Convention will feature special coaching sessions aimed at junior anglers.
Hat tip Eric Edwards, who's organised an interesting programme for the youngsters - not to mention Mick Brown, Gord Burton, Denis Moules, David Wolsoncroft-Dodds and Alan Dudhill; who'll all be lending a hand through the day.
With free admission to the Convention for accompanied juniors, we're hoping it will help encourage some of the pikers of the future.
"Several PAC regions now have qualified angling coaches within their ranks and many of them have offered their services to make it a great day for our younger pikers," said Eric.
"Mick Brown will be presenting the opening address at the junior event and we also have presentations by Gord Burton, Denis Moules and David Wolsoncroft-Doods."
Eric told Pikelines the emphasis would be "hands-on", with juniors getting the chance to build their own lure, make traces, learn abiout pike and try their hand at fly casting.
"The team of qualified coaches will be on haand to ensure no-one gets left out and give evryone one-to-one expert tuition," he went on. "What's more, thanks to Alan Dudhill and Pikemaster Traces everyone who joins the PAC at the new greatly-reduced price will receive a 'goody bag' containing lots of items that can get them started at fishing for pike."
Eric said he was determined to improve on the club's flagging junior membership and get more young people involved in our sport.
"Over the past year, as I've come into contact with many young people at PAC-run coaching events, it's become clear that there is a great demand for proper pike fishing tuition," he said. "This is our opportunity to swing our club's resources into gear and deliver what the youngsters want.
"I want to make this appeal to regional organisers: Talk to your members and encourage them to bring along a kid to the PAC Convention 2011 - and help preserve the future of UK pike fishing." More on the Convention here, here and here.

Help promote the PAC Convention

Here are a few easy ways you can help us to promote the PAC Convention.

- If you've got a blog or a website, please add the flyer above to help us spread the word.

- If you're on Facebook, please upload it to your pictures.

- If you're on twitter, please tweet it - here's a link to the picture, just copy into a tweet: . You can follow us too - @pikelines, or click here .

- If you know anyone who's into pike fishing, e-mail them the link to let them know about predator fishing's biggest event.

Free download - vintage pike fishing magazine from 1991

Pike fishing's changed a lot over the years - see how much by downloading a free copy of Pikelines from August 1991. Click here to download PDF.

Members will be getting the latest modern-day equivalent in a few days' time, when Pikelines 133 hits their doormats. One of the benefits of belonging to the PAC is you get our acclaimed quarterly magazine.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

PAC Convention update

One or two new details we can now reveal about this year's PAC Convention, being held on Saturday. October 1, at Kettering Conference Centre (left).

First of all, talks will be taking place in the centre's new 562-seat theatre. Apparently, they found a lure in the roof of the last one while they were clearing it out.

The new threare's where you'll fond speaker's Dave Horton (10am), Micky Jones (11.45am) and Stephen Harper (2.45pm); along with various awards and other presentations during the day.

We'll be telling you a nit more about the talks nearer the time, to whet your appetite. Once again, we think there's going to be something of interest to everyone.

For the first time, we'll be running a series of special junior teaching workshops throughout the day thanks to PAC stalwart Eric Edwards. See Pikelines for more details.

Trade stands confirmed as of today inlude The Tackle Shop (Gainsborough), ET Specialist Tackle, Franglais Fishing, The Pike Shop, Baitbox PikePro, Zoota Lures, Zandavan Products, Ultre Light Lures and Fox International; along with the popular second-hand tackle and lure stalls.

There'll also be a new books of interest to the pike angler on sale by the aothors - including Graham Booth's Pike Fishing History, Volume 1 and Mick Brown's new book Mick Brown: Professional Pike Angler.

Admission is £10 (members), £15 (non-members). Accompanied juniors free. Parking at the venue is also free.

British Pike Squad e-magazine

The British Pike Squad are training hard for the forthcoming international against Ireland in the Fens (October 8/9). Ever wondered who they are or how do you get picked for the team - or wanted to find out more about the roving wobbling tactics the squad have developed over the years..? They've just published a free e-zine on their website - click here to read it.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

New hope or a cosmetic exercise..?

Are they finally going to let angling clubs and fishery managers protect their waters..? That's the question many pike anglers will be asking tonight, after Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon announced a review of the impact of cormorants, mergansers and goosanders and the effectiveness of current control measures.

Research out late last year showed that despite limited culling, cormorant numbers were on the increase.

More than 2,000 were culled in 2010, according to Swansea University. But overall numbers have increased from 18,000 in the mid-1990s, to a current estimate of 21,000.

Dr. Dan Forman, the academic who led the study, said cormorants can destroy a fishery. He said eight birds can kill 100 fish in one session, while the birds will return three or four times a day to a water and gorge themselves until stocks are exhausted.

The introduction to the latest review (full copy here) says: "It has been established, and broadly accepted across the EU, that cormorants can cause significant damage to fisheries and fish farms."

It goes on: "The review will also look at the current licensing system to see how this might be better tailored to customers' needs and consideration will also be given to the level of licensed lethal control currently available to fishery managers and landowners to manage fish eating birds. "

Anyone wishing to cull fish-eating birds currently has to apply for a licence from Natural England. Despite a complex form to fill in and the need to be able to prove that birds are having an adverse effect and other non-lethal methods have failed, officials estimate around 10pc of the cormorant population is culled annually.

But Natural England allow 2,000 cormorants a year to be culled because this number will not impact on the sustainability of the birds' overall population - this rationale echoes the EU Wild Bird Directive, whose interpretation in UK law states any cull must not threaten the "conservation status" of the species.

Factor this in, and it's clear the latest review might not have much scope to increase the numbers of birds being culled. Cynics might even see it as a cosmetic exercise unlikely to result in anything more than minor tweaks to the licensing procedure, such as a shorter form to fill in.

Buried in the Defra document announcing the review are a number of exclusions - options which have already been ruled out. The first states: "A national cull is not being considered for any of the three species as this would likely result in a long term decline in their population and would be inconsistent with the Birds Directive."

On the other hand, you might see the data gathering exercise which has been going on for some months as a sign that there could at least be some change in the wind. The Angling Trust has clearly had a steer that it needs to back its claims up with evidence - hence the website where anglers can report coromorant sightings. Click here to visit Cormorant Watch.

Another encouraging sign is Bruno Broughton - a senior fellow of the PAC - is one of three stakeholder advisors, along with Mark Owen from the Angling Trust. The other is Sarah Eaton, from the RSPB.

US State of Michigan agrees increased control measures - click here.

Cormorants - new review announced

Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon has announced a review of the impact of fish eating birds on our waters - but is it really fresh hope, or just a cosmetic exercise - see analysis here.

Defra has also published on its web site the terms of reference, scope and timeframes for what it calls "an evidence-led review of Defra’s current policy in relation to controlling the impact of predation on inland fisheries and fish farms from fish-eating birds, and, specifically, in relation to the threat of serious damage caused by cormorants, goosanders and red-breasted mergansers".

Mr Benyon's office said the review would be in four phases:

1) evidence and data gathering;

2) analysis and assessment;

3) public consultation if required;

4) recommendations.

The review is due to report its findings in early 2012. It comes after a campaign by the Angling Trust and other bodies to relax the complex licensing procedure needed to control comorants. The trust has already set up a website where anglers can report cormorant sightings.

Angling Trust Chief Executive Mark Lloyd said: "This review will be evidence-led and it is therefore vitally important that anglers keep reporting sightings of cormorants and other fish eating birds on our cormorant watch web.

"More than 25,000 birds have been logged on the web site in the first two months, which is a great start, but we will need data from throughout the year, and throughout the country if we are to make the case for change."

In a letter to the Angling Trust announcing the review, Richard Benyon said no firm decisions had been taken. But he added: "Given the current policy is more than five years old I am keen to ensure that we are able to offer fishery managers and landowners the right tools to ensure where fish eating birds are having an impact timely and effective action can be taken to prevent serious damage taking place."

There's more on the review on Defra's website here.

Research last year showed cormorants were on the increase - despite the cull. More here.

Keep in touch with the PAC via Blackberry, iPhone or Android

Reading this on a Blackberry or iPhone..? Then you'll notice we've tweaked the template for a trial to make it display better. You should find it makes it easier and faster to navigate.

More and more anglers are on Twitter these days - did you know you can follow the PAC as well..? Just follow @pikelines .