Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Alaska's monster pike - video

Eek - monster pike, that attack boats... Great programme all the same, here's a clip.

Readers of Pikelines magazine will know we interviewed Jeremy recently and it made for a great read in the mag.

An errata for an errata in Pikelines

Ironically, the errata that appeared on page 9 of Pikelines 130 for Malcolm Bannister's book was itself wrong.

The corrections do not apply to his 'Tales from a Pike Angler's Diary', but to his joint book with the late Barrie Rickards: 'The Great Modern Pike Anglers'.

Sorry for any confusion.

Last orders for Christmas from the PAC Shop

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me - a sweatshirt from the PAC.

Don't forget tomorrow's the deadline for getting orders from the PAC shop out in time for Christmas. Click here to visit the shop.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Illegal set lines kill Lincolnshire pike

SNOW JOKE: One of the dead pike found on a Lincolnshire drain

Pike killers have targeted a Lincolnshire drain using illegal set lines, leaving a trail of dead fish to double figures behind them.

A PAC member found their handiwork on Sunday, when he saw a number of dead fish by a bridge over the waterway, which is near Boston.

One was still attached to crude blue cord. Two larger specimens, including one estimated in the 16 - 18lbs bracket, appeared to have been restrained on a stringer - presumably to await collection.

But the drain had frozen, leaving the pike to perish. A person living near the drain saw someone leave the scene on a bicycle on Saturday.

PAC membership secretary Chico Winterton said: "The EA went down and removed some of the fish, some had disappeared even though they were dead.

"It turns out that some were attached through the gills and mouth on a stringer, maybe they were alive but maybe not."

the angler who found the fish has sent pictures to the EA. He told the PAC: "I would say with confidence that two are good doubles, especially for this drain, including the one still attached to the line, somewhere between 12 - 15 lb, in my estimation, and the smallest, probably 6-8 lb.

"They could be bigger, though. A real shame. In one of the pictures, if you look carefully, you can see all three of them.

"It seems odd, to me - one fish is still attached to the set line, which is blue nylon baling twine attached to a plywood stake pushed into the bank - but the other two don't appear to be attached to anything. I wonder if the person(s) responsible had picked the other two up elsewhere, and were disturbed while checking on the third one, and decided to dump the other two, to be on the safe side.

"I don't believe they are not connected, in some way, doubles being something of a rarity in this drain, and finding two of them coincidentally dead within feet of each other stretches credibility somewhat, especially in these circumstances. I have a feeling that quite a few pike are being spirited away from local waters."

Set lines have become an increasing problem in parts of the Fens in recent seasons. They're an indiscriminate way of killing predatory fish.

The EA is investigating the gruesome find. We'll bring you more on this as we get it.

SET LINES: How to spot the pike killers - click here.

Set lines - how to spot the pike killers

It's too late for this double (left), found dead beneath the ice on a Lincolnshire drain on Sunday. Story here.

So far no-one's been prosecuted for laying set lines - despite the fact the practice is widespread in parts of the Fens and elsewhere, if reports from angling clubs and pike anglers are anything to go by.

But that doesn't mean we have to shrug the problem off. If enough people report it and present the Environment Agency with evidence, they might start taking it more seriously.

Some set lines are easy to spot. Some take pike and zander using lengths of strong mono or even twine pegged to the bank or the margins, with a large sea hook or treble baited with a dead fish on the other end.

If you find anything like this, phone the Environment Agency's emergency hotline straight away.

Store the number 0800 807060 on your mobile, in case you need it. Give them a precise location, and make it clear that the call is about illegal fishing in progress.

Ask for an incident reference and make a note of it. You may be told to leave the set line or lines in situ. We'll leave this to your conscience - if you pull and find a fish on the end, you might consider trying to land and release it.

If the line's empty, retrieving it could obviously save a fish which would otherwise take the bait - or a fish-eating bird, for set lines don't discriminate when it comes to what they kill.

Beware of people who appear on a water, seemingly casting out multiple baits before disappearing almost immediately afterwards. Wait until they have gone and then inspect the bank.

If you can't see any obvious signs, try pulling a large lead along the margins in case lines have been fastened out of sight.

If you find anything, remove it to prevent a fish or bird being killed. Call the EA straight away - it's unlikely they'll respond to every call, because they don't have the resources and their thinly-spread fisheries teams are likely to suffer further cut-backs as the Lib/Con Government's spending cuts bite into fisheries enforcement.

But if enough people call, they may start taking the problem more seriously.

+++Tell us straight away if you find set lines or their aftermath on one of your local waters. The pike angler who found dead pike near Boston, Lincs, last weekend has triggered an investigation into the incident. We'll let you know as soon as we hear more.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Italians ponder incredible pike markings

Our friends over at Esox Italia have been looking at some of the incredible markings pike display in their country.

Their blog's worth a look too. Catch and release is taking off across Europe, just as it did in the UK in the late 1970s after the Pike Anglers Club was formed.

They've just done an interview with PAC secretary Graham Slater - click here to read it.

The North wind doth blow on Eric Edwards

Eric Edwards ponders the onset of the cold snap in his latest blog post.
"While most people in this country abhor the cold and stay tucked up in their cosy houses the average piker loves it and can't wait to get out," he writes.
"Wind, rain, snow, we take them all in our stride and concentrate on the matter in hand - catching snappers."
Click here to read the rest of it.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

EA probes Humberside pike selling claims

The Environment Agency is investigating allegations an angler was told to hand over pike he caught for sale at a Humberside day ticket water, for which tickets can be bought from a tackle shop.

"I can confirm that an incident has been reported to us and we are investigating," an EA spokesman told Pikelines. "That's all we can say at the moment."

More on this soon.

Weee Haaa... старых кремния Gord Burton

Weee Haaa comrades - here's an archive video featuring the cossack of the Crossens hosted on a Russian website.

Big Thames pike gets some help from Jock

Bicester angler Michael "Jock" Morrell gave a 20lbs Thames pike a helping hand, when he removed a trace lodged in its throat, the Oxford Mail reports. The fish - estimated at upwards of 20lbs - is a rare specimen for the middle reaches of Father Thames these days. Story here.

Student lands a 40lbs Yorkshire pike

Fishery student Jake Finnigan has landed a pike described as "between 39lb 15oz and 40lb 3oz" by Angling Times.

The 17-year-old caught it on a Shad Rap at Wykeham Lakes, near Scarborough, the paper reports. Story and picture here.

Korum launches new pike fishing gear

Korum are the latest tackle firm to launch a range of end tackle for pike fishing, under their new Snapper Tackle brand.

So far it's confined to a couple of through the middle sliding floats, which carry 12 or 18g loads, a 25g pencil and made-up traces.

The floats come with weights, stops, swivels and beads and retail at £4.99. Snapper Tackle is designed to make pike fishing easy, the firm says.

Alongside the gear comes a free leaflet with details of rigs, tackle - and most importantly how to safely unhook and return the fish.

"Always care for your catch," the leaflet says. "That way there will be more predators to catch in the future."

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Brass monkeys in Norfolk

Snow, hail and not much caught on day one of the PAC's Norfolk event.

Best fish so far an 8lbs specimen to events organiser Mick Crisp.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

PAC members head for the Norfolk Broads

BASH: Wroxham, on the Norfolk Broads

PAC members are today setting sail for a two-day bash on the Norfolk Broads. They'll be keeping us up to date as events unfold via our Twitter feed.

It's easy to follow if you're already on Twitter - just follow @pikelines. If you're not, it only takes a couple of minutes to sign up. There's already plenty of fishing banter on there.

There'll be the odd update on here too, depending how the WiFi works out down in Norfolk.

Mad Mud Dog Salamander pike fly

Here's another whacky pike fly, this time tied to imitate the aquatic antics of a salamander.

Hat tip Pike Fly-Fishing Articles for finding the video again...

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Pike fishing is great, says blogger Mick

Mick Hastings is one of pike fishing's more laid-back characters, but that calm exterior hides a real passion for the sport.

He writes an excellent blog detailing the ups and downs of some of his piking trips in Norfolk and further afield.

His latest post's a real belter, describing a two-day trip afloat that eventually yielded a good fish.
I hardly had time to ponder on this before a flat spot caused by oil on the surface attracted my attention, had something chomped the Bluey? Yes! The float was sliding away! The resulting strike put a proper bend in the rod, lovely! I found myself attached to a big angry Pike that didn't want to come near the boat then had a similar reaction to the landing net. After a brief tug of war and lots of boiling water she was mine! Into the sladle, unhooked then weighed, a quick photo before being admired briefly, (bootiful!) and returned. Job done!
Fishing is Great's the name - click here to enjoy.

And here is the weather...

Most anglers are probably wondering how the weather's going to impact on their pike fishing over the next few days, with snow predicted across the North and East of the UK.

If you enter your postcode - or the rough postcode for the area you're planning on fishing - into the MetCheck weather widget on the right, you can get a blow-by-blow forecast for the next few days.

No forecast is 100 per cent accurate. But it pays to be prepared.

The daddy of all weather sites - and source of many of the weather stories you see in newspapers - is the Met Office. Click here to go to their site, which offers a wide range of forecasts including things like air pressure.

Whatever next - invisible swivels

An American tackle company has just unveiled an invisible swivel. Aquateko claims the InvisaSwivel, made from a hi-tech flourocarbon-like material, will trigger more strikes from wary predators.

The firm has also launched a new titanium nickel trace material. In a press release, it says:
"We've had guys tell us that it's the best thing they've ever used for pike and muskie leader, because it simply never kinks or corrodes. They can fish for days and weeks with just one leader. And they can tie new rigs in seconds. Of course, the stretch factor amazes everyone. We've even had anglers use it as a shock leader on giant tarpon and other powerful fish."
For more on both, click here. Hat tip Illinois Outdoors.

+++For Neville Fickling's thoughts on titanium trace wires, click here.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Eric Edwards talk at Darlington and Durham

He's caught the biggest brace of pike ever landed, lost lures in the odd ceiling along the way - and he doesn't do a bad talk either.

Eric Edwards is heading for the Darlington, Durham and Teeside Region of the Pike Anglers Club on Tuesday, December 7.

He'll be speaking at the Coxhoe Workingmen's Club, High Street, Coxhoe, County Durham.

Tickets are £2 PAC members, £3 non-members, juniors free. There's a bar, buffet and raffle.

Pike fly video - the deep swimming frog

Hat tip Pike Fly-fishing Articles for finding the vid.

Ordering for Christmas from the PAC Shop

T'was the night before Christmas, and everything was dark - but someone wouldn't be getting a present from the PAC Shop, because they didn't order it in time from Mark...

Down in deepest Sussex, Mark and the elves in our shop are getting ready for the festive season.

Why not treat yourself, your mate - or even the lady in your life to a stylish PAC sweatshirt or hoodie, to keep out the winter chill..?

If you're thinking of buying PAC merchandise for Christmas, please note the closing date for guaranteed delivery is Wednesday, December 1. Click here to go to the Shop.

Pete Climo talk in Devon

Lure fishing for big pike will be the main topic, when Pete Climo travels down to deepest Devon to do a talk this week.

He'll be at the Barge Inn, at Halberton, near Tiverton, on Friday, November 26 (7.30pm).

Pete knows more than a thing or two about big pike - he led the 13-year campaign to get Llandegfedd opened up to pike anglers, before catching his 42lbs 5oz PB there.

Admission to what promises to be an interesting evening is £2 members/£3 non-member. There will be a raffle, with prizes including a signed copy of Big Water Pike Fishing, by Neville Fickling.

You can find out more about Devon PAC on their blog - click here.

Weather looks grim for PAC Norfolk event

Weather looks set to take a turn for the worse for this week's PAC event in Norfolk. Report here.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Heavy things, them batteries...

Heavy things, them batteries...

Graham Slater talk at South Lancs PAC

PAC secretary Graham Slater will be paying the South Lancs Region a visit on Wednesday, December 1 (8pm).

He'll be speaking about his varied pike fishing career at the Caledonian, in Bolton Road, Ashton in Makerfield, WN4 8PF. Members and non-members welcome.

For details of South Lancs meetings, guest speakers and other events, click here.

Here we snow again - cold snap on the way

Those who love the pike fishing weather of yore might just be in for a treat this week.

For the Met Office says a change in the weather will see the return of overnight frosts and showery rain in many eastern regions of the UK, with a wintry mix over the hills.

Temperatures are expected to fall, especially later in the week, with eastern parts of the country the most likely to see some wintry weather.

Met Office chief forecaster Frank Saunders said: “Early indications are that there might well be some snow as we head towards next weekend, however, it is too early to say exactly where and when.”

Sunday, 21 November 2010

New Pike Anglers Club car stickers

Newly-designed car stickers are now available, priced £1.50, from the Pike Anglers Club's online shop.

Click here to see the current products range.

Pike fishing in Cumbria documentary

Cormorants on the increase despite cull

A survey of the numbers of cormorants being shot by fishery owners reveals they're still on the increase.

More than 2,000 were culled last year, 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.

Bird groups are calling for alternatives to lethal methods of control. They claim fish refuges can help protect stocks.

This is all very well on small, commercial pools. But next to impossible on navigable rivers or the large, clear gravel pits which seem to the suffer the most from the birds' attentions.

Pike anglers know only too well how fisheries suffer. Long, lean pike point to a lack of prey and a water where the natural balance has been upset.

So far, studies have failed to get to grips with the cormorant's impact on other fish-eating birds, ranging from kingfishers and grey herons, to divers like the grebe and merganser.

Reasons for the bird's rapid increase - or rather the migration inland of what was a coastal or esturial species - have also received scant attention from scientists, although the collapse of stocks of sea fish seems the most likely.

Will the latest survey make any difference..? Watch this space.

Yorkshire pike angler's gear stolen from van

A pike angler is appealing for information after his kit was stolen.

Landscape gardener David Balaban's van was parked on York Road, Leeds, on Monday, when a thief smashed a window to steal his satnav.

Also stolen were:

A Korum five-rod quiver;

Three Dave Lane Generator 3lbs test curve rods;

Three Shimano XTE10000 reels.

Two Prologic rods with Okuma reels;

Twelve Korum bank sticks;

Drennan carbon net handle;

Korum Tuff Stick with 42" John Wilson net.

Rods were made up with Korum rod bands, butt and tip protectors.

"My van is fully comp but the contents are not covered," said Dave. "I'm sure the rods will be damaged due to how they have been dragged out of the van but any info would be great."

A male aged 18 - 25, wearing an Adidas hoody was seen near the van, possibly riding a silver and red mountain bike.

+++Any info to david(at)leedslandscapes.co.uk

Latest lure fishing sensation - the carrot

Forget those boxes full of expensive lures... All you need to catch a pike is a carrot, according to this video clip.

Believe it or not, we've heard this one before. Carrots were apparently wobbled in the Fens in times gone by.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Mark reads the riot act on fish theft

A pike fishing former police officer has read out the riot act on fish theft, with some no-nonsense advice to fishery bosses.

Ex-bobby Mark Leathwood believes more offenders could be prosecuted if clubs and owners knew their rights, and the evidence needed to bring a prosecution.

"Why are we so often told in the angling press that the authorities are unable to tackle these problems," he asks.

Mark, who served with the Cheshire force, tells of his experiences in the latest edition of Pikelines - the members' magazine of the Pike Anglers Club.

Of one incident, he says: "The custody officer at our divisional HQ almost had palpitations when I turned up in the early hours with four prisoners arrested for attempting to take fish by night.

"I hope you know what you're doing here,' he said, as he booked them in.

"I could see that he was pondering the likely repercussions of four unlawful arrests but later, having checked the legislation for himself, he was much happier about the whole affair.

"The four prisoners admitted the offence when interviewed, were charged and bailed to the magistrates' court, subsequently convicted and fined. Result."

Copies of the article are being circulated to police forces nationally, by a senior enforcement officer from the Environment Agency.

We've now published his account in full on our website. It's a must read for anyone whose waters have been targeted.

Click here for more.

Keep up with the news when you're on the move

Got an iPhone or a BlackBerry..? Did you know if you pick up your e-mails on the move, you can get an e-mail every day we update the blog, with clickable links that take you straight to the latest content..?

All you have to do is scroll down the right to the sign-up box. Make sure you look out for the confirmation e-mail - you need to click on that to activate your subscription (some providers sweep this into SPAM or Junk Mail folders...).

Friday, 19 November 2010

Pike fishing poll update

Pike fishing's definitely getting harder, it would seem - regardless of your choice of headgear.

We didn't include hats in our poll (later, maybe...), but 92pc of those who've voted in our poll reckon their fishing's an uphill struggle these days.

There's still a few hours left to vote, so why not make your mark on the scores on the doors.

Eric Edwards is probably in the harder camp, judging by his latest blog post here. Two blanks followed by losing a lump can only come as insult to injury after leaving a lure in the rafters at the PAC Convention.

New tips on pike fishing with baits

We've just added the first of what will doubtless be many links to articles about bait fishing for pike.

They include everything from basic float or leger rigs for pike, to more advanced tackle tips.

Have a scroll down the right-hand side bar to see them. And check out our rapidly-growing collection of lure links too.

Al Qaeda believed behind Lomond bomb

Pike anglers fishing Loch Lomond could have been sharing the water with Al Qaeda, it was claimed today.

Police believe terrorists set off a bomb which damaged woodland in the Garadhban forest, on the south-west shores of the lake.

Suspect devices have been found at the scene and Scotland Yard experts have travelled to Scotland to investigate, the Daily Mail reports. More here.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Lure fishing for pike - check out our links

We've just added a stack of links to online articles about lure fishing - from beginner's guides to some seriously advanced stuff, from cracking the colour code to controlling depth.

Scroll down the right to read 'em...

We'll be doing the same with bait fishing tactics for pike soon, so keep an eye on the links whenever you visit the Pikelines blog.

ABU reels and how to look after them

Here's a great website if you're into lure fishing with ABU's legendary Ambassadeur multipliers.

Dave Lumb's no-nonsense guide tells you everything you need to know about fishing with them, looking after them and even some ideas for customising your own "special".

Click here.

Livebait bans are 'sentimental rubbish'

"It is sentimental rubbish to think that it is wrong to use live fish as bait to catch predatory fish."

So says Keith Arthur, in his column in Angling Times.

Here's a point we haven't seen before: "common sense tells you that deadbaiting - all those freezers full of roach, bream, perch etc - is certainly far more wasteful of fish life than catching half-a-dozen baits, using four then releasing the remainder."

Pike attacks angler horror shock

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Britain's top rivers named in poll

The Great Ouse, which came fourth in the poll out today

Some of Britain's favourite rivers are as popular with pike anglers as conservationists. But many favoured predator waters did not get a look-in.

The Wye was named top in a public poll which named the nation's best and worst five waterways.

The Thames was voted among both best and worst, while the Great Ouse (pictured) came fourth. The Trent, Kennet and Lea also featured among the worst; while Yorkshire rivers and Norfolk's celebrated Thurne did not feature in either category.

The survey was organised by the Our Rivers campaign to celebrate the nation’s rivers and highlight the threats to river wildlife. Since launching in August thousands of people have cast their votes online for the rivers they love, and those which need urgent attention.

The Wye – which straddles the England-Wales border and has inspired artists and composers – was chosen for its iconic beauty, and abundance of wildlife. Voters described it as ‘magical and timeless’, ‘a haven for wildlife’ and a place ‘to get lost and slow down’.

Voters highlighted problems on The Thames, such as the levels of sewage discharge and run off pollution from London streets. Comments left by visitors to the Our Rivers website include, ‘People don’t care about the river, they are not grateful’, ‘It’s a filthy excuse of a river’ and it suffers from ‘hundreds of years of lack of investment in sewage infrastructure’.

Many voters, however, put The Thames as their favourite river and it came second in the best rivers category ahead of The Dart in Devon, The Great Ouse in East Anglia and The Wandle which joins The Thames at Wandsworth. It was followed in the worst rivers category by The Kennet in Wiltshire, The Mersey, The Lea in Hertfordshire and The Trent.

Ralph Underhill, from the Our Rivers campaign, said: “The Wye is a stunning river which captures the imagination of everyone who visits it. It faces real threats, such as fertiliser and soil sediment from agriculture. But it remains a fantastic place to spot wildlife from sand martins and dippers to dragonflies and salmon.

“The Thames was voted the worst river – but the strength of opinion on both sides clearly shows that it has a special place in the public’s heart. It is under a great deal of pressure due to the sheer number of people who live alongside it.

“The problems The Thames faces are the same as those affecting most of the rivers in England and Wales. However major improvements have taken place and a lot of work is ongoing such as addressing the remaining problems from our ageing sewerage system. Like most rivers, diffuse pollution from agriculture, roads and urban areas remains a significant problem, damaging wildlife and driving up water treatment costs.”

A report out earlier this month from the Environment Agency showed that 72 per cent of rivers in England and Wales are now failing European targets. And while last year there were just five pristine rivers left – there are now only four.

The figures showed that 26 per cent of rivers in England and Wales are assessed as ‘Good’, 56 per cent are ‘Moderate’, 14 per cent are ‘Poor’ and two per cent are ‘Bad’. The European Water Framework Directive has set a target for all rivers to be ‘Good’ or better by 2015.

Mr Underhill added: “The Environment Agency needs to bring together conservationists, anglers, farmers, landowners and other interested groups at a local level so that we can work in partnership to address the pressures threatening our rivers.

“But we also need Government to introduce tougher penalties for those who refuse to take action to address the damage they are causing - only then can we ensure healthy rivers for both people and wildlife.”


The Wye

The Thames

The Dart

Great Ouse

The Wandle


The Thames

The Kennet

The Mersey

The Lea

The Trent

Polish angler captains British pike squad

A polish born angler has been selected to captain the British Pike Squad in an international competition.

Jakub Potrykus (left) led the field at a selection event held last weekend, finishing 7lbs clear of second placed Andrew Waller. Other new competitors Wayne Lees finished 10th whilst Rob Cook finished a creditable 12th and 15 year old junior Tom Davies just missed out in 13th place.

Jakub, from Cheltenham, will captain the 2011 British Pike Squad against their Irish counterparts on UK soil over the weekend of the 8th & 9th of October 2011 at the 20th International meeting between Great Britain and Ireland.

The full 2011 British Squad will be:- Jakub Potrykus, Andrew Waller, Paul Danby, Mark Groom, Derek Lowe, Mark Lloyd, John Currie, Adam Holmes, Gary Edwards, Wayne Lees. Reserves are: Paul Higginson & Rob Cook.

Click here for full match report, which will be posted shortly.

Chris Bishop wrote a fly on the wall piece for Pikelines on squad members in the Fens a few years back. You can read it here.

+++One comment deleted 19/11/10 - apologies to anyone who was offended.

Does this picture show a record pike..?

MONSTER: But is it a world record pike..?

Does this picture show the world record pike - that's the question Pikelines is asking, about this fish, caught in Holland by German angler Uli Beyer.

The weight was estimated at 26kg - or 57lbs in old money, beating the claimed world record by 2lbs.

Looking at the size of the Zalt lure in its laughing gear, a rough estimate puts it at 140cms long.

Neville Fickling reckoned it's over 40lbs. Mick Brown wasn't so sure - he told Angling Times continentals favour wide-angle shots of fish, which can make them look bigger.

***Hat tip AT for the story and permission to use the pic, which is their copyright. See Pikelines for more on the story. We're trying to contact Uli, so may have more on this if we get hold of him.

Great video for pike fly fans

The "Ice-Pick" Streamer from Richard Strolis on Vimeo.

Chuckers of the fluff will like this one. Hat tip Pike Fly Fishing articles - a great blog by Simon Graham, a South African living in Finland, with a stack of links and some great photography. Click here for more.

+++If you're accessing the blog via a mobile device, the vids might not load properly - sorry, you'll have to look at them on a PC or laptop until we sort out how to make them play.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

I'm going to catch a 30 tomorrow, darling

James Aris told his wife: "I'm going to catch a thirty tomorrow..."

And the Buckingham-based angler did just that, with a new 31lbs pb.

Hat tip Angling Times for the story, click here to read it.

****Unconfirmed reports suggest pike anglers across the land are already telling their wives they're going to catch a thirty...

Win a day's pike fishing with Dave Horton

Fancy a day's fishing with this chap - famed for his white cap, some stunning catches and a sought-after book called Ultimate Pike..?

Everyone who introduces a new member to the Pike Anglers Club between now and May 31, 2011, will be entered into a draw to win a day with Dave. He's got a few spots up his sleeve, but where you end up might depend on the winners' location.

"Over the past 20 or so years of PAC membership, I've helped a number of brother members catch a good fish or two," said Dave. "One fella had a couple of 20s and another even had his first 30.

"So let's see what we can conjure up in the name of the PAC between us. All you'll have to bring is an open mind and a smile - I'll do the rest."

Anyone who introduces a new member, plus the new member are eligible to be entered into the draw - please note details of both must be included on the membership form.

To download a form, click here.

Pike Anglers Club on Twitter

Had a look on Twitter lately..? The Pike Anglers Club now has a feed, which we're using to tweet - see, we know the lingo already - our news. You can follow us, @pikelines, for all the latest. And next week, we'll be trying something new.

As members head to the Norfolk Broads for a PAC event, we'll be tweeting through the two-day fish-in, posting words and pictures as events unfold.

Why not register now and make us your first follow. If you're stuck at work next Thursday and Friday, it might just raise a smile or two.

Pike fishing IS getting harder - poll

Pike fishing is definitely getting harder. That's the message from anglers who've voted in a PAC poll, asking how their fishing's going.

Last night, the scores on the doors were 91pc in the harder camp and 9pc saying things were getting easier.

Have you voted yet..? If not, why not add your view over on the right -->.

The poll's sparked an interesting debate on the PAC Member's Forum. If you're a member, log in to the message board to take part in the discussion.

Green double act hits Glossop PAC

PAC stalwart Peter Green (left) and his son Mark will be speaking at the next Glossop PAC meeting, on Tuesday, December 7.

Former membership secretary Pete and Mark, ROs for Wakefield and Selby respectively, are probably the only father and son double act on the current speakers circuit.

Their show's called Piking over the Last Three Decades.

More on the blog of this motley crew, which includes some of the club's more eccentric characters.

****Note from Chris, if someone wants to e-mail us venue details, we'll include them so prospective attendees don't end up scouring the dodgier pubs of Glossop for your bash....

REPLY: Our meetings are held the first Tuesday of each month, September to March at Hollingworth Conservative Club, 113 Market St, Hollingworth, Hyde, SK14 8HY

Thanks mate.

Devon club adopts pike-friendly rules

Pike conservation is well and truly on the agenda in Devon, after PAC members attended the AGM of Tiverton AA .

The club controls fishing on the Grand Western Canal, which hit the headlines after anglers caught pike which had been crudely tagged with cable ties.

Tonight the Devon PAC blog reports: "We met a nice bunch of anglers who were interested in what we had to say and who have agreed to adopt the pike rules and handling guidelines that we had prepared for them."

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Is pike fishing getting easier or harder, PAC poll

We've all been wondering about this one, so we thought we'd have a poll to see what the pike anglers who visit our blog think.

The question's a simple one - is pike fishing getting any easier or not..?

We've seen some incredible captures in recent seasons. But how has your fishing fared..? No names, no pack-drill - we don't care if you've caught 100 twenties or your best's a low double.

Think back to when you started pike fishing and compare it with last season, or how it's going now. Are your waters on the up or in decline..?

Take part in our poll and let us know by next Saturday's closing date. The poll wotsit will be live on the right until then.

Mail a link to your fishing mates, put it on your blog or website, or bung it out on Facebook or Twitter - or add a comment if you've got a view on why things are getting better or worse.

And here is the weather...

Pike anglers are worse than farmers, when it comes to moaning about the weather.

Too clear, too cloudy - we could do with some decent frosts, etc. We even have our own weather lore - overcast, low pressure troughs for deads; high-pressure best for lives or lures.

Then there's the classic adage: "When the wind's in the west, the fishing's best. When the wind's in the east, the fish bite the least."

Some religiously listen to the shipping forecast on Radio Four. Dogger, Humber, will they bite..?

Ever wished you knew what it was going to do before you get our there - like the chap in the picture..?

Hat tip Metcheck, who provide almost hour-by-hour forecasts for all areas of the UK. Enter your postcode in the widget wotsit over on the right, to find out what the weather's going to do down your way.

You can also set up alerts for your fave fishing spots, to get the following day's forecast e-mailed to you each afternoon.

We'll drop it down the sidebar in a few days' time. Have fun with it in the meantime.

+++Got a weather theory..? Stick it in our comments.

Pike handling tips from the PAC

PAC chairman John Synnuck talks about pike handling, in an archive clip from our video Piking in the 90s.

You can find a lot more tips on safe unhooking and handling on our website, click here.

Broads pike anglers face higher tolls

Pike anglers on the Norfolk Broads look set to be hit by increased tolls averaging five per cent, whether they fish from their own boats or hired craft.

The increase is being proposed by officials at the Broads Authority, as it grapples with government spending cuts. A decision is due on Friday.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Matt Hayes lands 23lbs gravel pit pike

Anoraks might recognise this water, which has appeared in one or two pike fishing videos...

Devon PAC stage lure fish-in

Devon PAC are staging a lure fish-in on the Grand Western Canal on Sunday, November 21.

The meet's at Sampford Peverell car park (7.30am). Click here for more details on their blog.

Pike fishing is great - even when you blank

Sometimes, just being out there's enough...

Mick Hastings's love of his fishing shines through, even when the pike aren't playing ball.

That's probably why he calls his blog Fishing is Great. Click here for a read.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

New PB for Stephen Jones

Well done to PAC member Stephen Jones, with a new PB featured in our gallery.

Click here for the story.

PAC members can e-mail their catch photos for inclusion in the gallery to webmaster@pacgb.co.uk.

Uncle Skip says: "Please send one photo at a time and include your name, membership number and a few details of the capture."

I'm sorry I killed a 30lbs pike, says Murray

An angler who killed a thirty on a Scottish loch has apologised to pike anglers.

As we revealed two days ago, he killed the fish because he lacked the tools or know-how to unhook it. More here.

Now the angler, who posts as MurrayG on a sea fishing forum, says he'll respect the species in future.

In a fresh post on the site, he says: "The intention was not to anger anyone and I respect the fact that you have come on and shared your feelings regarding this, which as I said before, I will, now that I am more aware of the situation, seek to respect in future.

"If your intention was to educate then job done. I'm a big boy who can admit when he has possibly made a mistake and learn from it."

PAC secretary Graham Slater replied to the original post, pointing out the need to conserve pike.

"Hopefully we've all learned something, that was the whole point of me coming on here to point out how we do things," he said.

There's a wealth of information on our website about everything from why pike matter as part of a balanced fishery, to how to safely unhook them.

Underwater video of pike hitting lure

Wow - watch this baby hit in slow-mo...

US and Canadian anglers trolling the Great Lakes and other waters are now fitting video cameras to their down-riggers to capture fish taking their lures on video. This clip features a hook-less lure.

Angler fined for removing fish from lake

An angler in the Fens has become the first to be prosecuted under new by-laws which forbid the removal of coarse fish from stillwaters.

Mark Whisker, from Wisbech, was fined £250 and ordered to pay costs of £127 in the landmark prosecution, at King's Lynn magistrates court.

Whisker, 27, was caught by police and EA bailiffs with five carp in his car on June 3 - two days after the by-laws came into force, the court was told.

For more, click here.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Dave McLachlan talk in Stevenage

Dave McLachlan will be speaking at the next Herts and Chilterns PAC meeting in Stevenage, on Thursday, November 18 (7.30pm).

"David has a vast experience in Piking, and judging by the articles he's written, he also fishes many of the waters haunted by R16 members," said organiser David Thompson. "It promises to be a very interesting talk."

Catch up with Dave at the Chells Family Pub and Restaurant, at Chells, SG2 0LU.

PAC members £4, non-members £5.

For more info on goings-on in Herts and Stevenage, click here to check out their blog.

Scottish 30 killed through ignorance

This picture will anger any pike angler who cares about conservation.

A fish claimed at over the magical 30lbs mark, which was apparently killed with barely a second thought - because the captor said he didn't have the tools or know-how to unhook and return it.

"I headed out for a days fly and spinning for trout in Inverness today, only to return with a 30lb Pike taken on an 8g mepp using 8lb line," he told members of a Scottish sea fishing forum. "I am still in a state of shock!"

The picture is freely available on the internet. We've obscured the angler's face and name.

He goes on: "Spinner was stuck in its mouth and, well, I didnt have the right tools with me to remove it and there ain't no way I was sticking my hand in for it."

Caught in May from a Scottish loch, the incident was highlighted by PAC members north of the border - some of whom were shocked at the cavalier killing of the pike.

"As a pike angler and member of Inverness Pike Anglers Club, as well as the PAC and Pike Anglers Alliance for scotland this is shocking," one posted. "Why the hell kill such a superb fish?"

PAC secretary Graham Slater appealed direct to the angler who boasted of killing the fish.

"Whilst I appreciate that you are a sea angling club and probably unaware of the current climate of pike conservation, it is generally frowned upon nowadays to take a pike of this size. The killing and eating of one pike under 65cms is deemed as the norm in our conservation minded society now although we realise that this wasn't always the case.

"I'd hope that in future you'd return such a fish so that other anglers may also enjoy the capture at a later date."

Another angler said: "It's plain to see that some anglers need educating in the art of dealing with old Esox.

"The captor stated that the spinner was stuck in the fish's mouth and he wasn't prepared to 'stick his hand in for it' as he didn't have the right tools."

Information about why it's important to conserve pike to maintain a balanced fishery - not to mention how to unhook and return them safely - is available on our website.

Click here to learn more about the pike and pike fishing.

***I'm sorry I killed a 30, says Murray - click here for more.

Fenland Pike authors speak in Essex

Fenland Pike authors Dennis Moules and Mark Barrett will be speaking tonight at the Nag's Head, Ramsden Heath, Essex CM11 1HS (7.30pm).

Admission £4 for PAC members, £5 non-members. Food included. All welcome!

Click here for more on venue.

Click here for more goings-on in Essex.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Campaigning for pike conservation in Devon

Devon PAC hope to get the club that controls fishing on the Grand Western Canal to adopt some rules in place to help safeguard its pike stock.

The canal hit the headlines three years ago, when PAC members caught pike which had been crudely tagged by having plastic cable ties pushed through their backs (left).

The culprit or culprits were never caught. But the PAC's response made all the local papers and even the BBC news, and the tagging stopped after that.

Now the Devon region plans to lobby the Tiverton & District Angling Club AGM, at the town's Conservative Club, on Friday (7.30pm).

Their blog reports:

"At the moment the club have no rules in their handbook relating to pike angling, care and welfare.

"We have written to them with a view to addressing this. Also we would like to bring up the question of what seems to be a fairly haphazard approach to the bailiffing of the canal.

"Any members of the club who would like to come along and support us would be very welcome."
Click here for the Devon blog.

Click here for BBC report on the tagging.

Does this explain pike runs..?

Some of the best videos on YouTube are those little clips showing pike in their underwater element.

Watch how this fish flares its gills to pick up an item of food from the bottom, then moves off as it swallows it. Does this explain pike runs..?

Big pike flies are James's way of life

Big Pike Flies as a Way of Life is a blog that does exactly what it says on the tin.

James O'Durbin II drinks beer, eats pizza and watches Samauri Jack while he ties 'em.

And he's American, by the way. Felllow fluff fans might be interested in his offer of a fly swap. Check him out here - we've added him to our blog-roll.

Monday, 8 November 2010

EA survey results for Relief Channel and Gt Ouse

RELIEF: The Channel at Saddlebow, near King's Lynn

Some quietly tip it to return to its form of yesteryear as a pike water. The latest Environment Agency fish surveys show fish spread throughout the 11-mile length of the Relief Channel, a cross between a drain and a reservoir, which runs between Denver Sluice, near Downham Market, and King's Lynn.

EA scientists surveyed the water in June. Click here to see the results in map form - hat tip King's Lynn AA.

Fish survey results have also been published for the Ely Ouse - the reach between Ely and Denver. Click here for a gander.

Is Chew in decline as a pike water..?

Eric Edwards has some interesting thoughts on the current state of pike fishing at Chew Valley - which some fear may be in decline - on his blog.

"It's probably fair to say that the pike fishing at Chew is just about the best there is in this country - usually that is," writes Eric.

"Earlier this year there was a fish-kill at the lake in which it is clear that many very big pike died.

"Such things are natural phenomena in which the population levels out a little, nothing much to worry about in the long term but annoying at the time."

More here. For Angling Times report on Chew's six thirties to date, click here.

Wye 30lbs pike left James shaking

Every now and then, a great pike fishing story comes along.

Here's a cracker from the British Pike Squad blog, which tells of a 31lbs wild water fish from the River Wye, caught by James Gilchrist.

A dark shape appeared, as he wobbled a pair of tandem-rigged sprats, in a swim where a big pike had shown.

"I could clearly see that this was the fish that I had come for, and with a pounding heart I prayed for the pike to pounce," he said.

"As the baits came within 10 yards of the bank I decided to go for broke and let them sink to the river bed, and with that the pike tilted its head downwards and sucked both baits up.

"Due to the clarity of the water, I could clearly see that the pike had taken the baited hooks inside it's large mouth, striking swiftly and surely I set the hooks home - and then all hell broke loose.

Click here to read the full story of this magnificent capture.

Click here for a fly-on-the-wall account of a day on the wobble in the Fens, as reported in Pikelines a few years back.

Cheshire region pike fish-in

Northwich Anglers Association is giving Cheshire Region PAC members an exclusive day's fishing on Petty Pool (Whitegate) on Saturday, December 4.

"This is a venue we fished last year and, although not many pike were caught, the beautiful surroundings more than made up for it," the Cheshire region's blog reports.

"Petty Pool is a SSSI and home to some of the largest carp in the North West. There are also some very big bream and tench present.

"Pike are fairly numerous and this is a water where plenty of runs can usually be expected. It is not unusual to catch 5 or 6 pike in a day, although bigger fish tend to be very elusive."

There will be a charge of £3.50 per angler, and the funds generated will be donated to Northwich AA's junior section. Pegs must be booked in advance. More info on the fish-in and other Cheshire events here.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Pikelines hits the streets

Watch out for the postman if you're a PAC member - Pikelines is winging your way.

Honoured by the Queen for his services to history, Midlands-based author and pike angler Dilip Sarkar looks back on his predator fishing and tells editor Steve Ormrod of his fascination for the River Wye.

Former PAC president Phil Wakeford looks back on some of the lessons he's learned the hard way through losing a trio of big pike.

Ex-police officer Mark Leathwood has some hard-hitting thoughts on the problem of fish theft.

East Anglian LO Dennis Moules asks whether waters which were once premier league pike fisheries in the Fens are about to see a return to form.

And Tim Kelly reports on a recent trip to Holland - an affordable destination for a few days' fishing away from home.

Pike in Your Waters - free download

We compiled Pike in Your Waters in the early 1990s, to help dispel some of the myths about pike and spell out the important role they play in healthy, balanced fisheries.

Life's moved on since then. But sadly, there are still pockets of persecution, in the form of fisheries which encourage - or even insist on - anglers killing them.

Pike in Your Waters is a vital resource for anyone who wants to campaign to conserve our top predator.

You can order copies from us in booklet form - or download it for free from our website.

It's essential reading for anyone who cares about the pike or their pike fishing.

Click here, to download it.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Piking2011 - date and venue announced

Next year's PAC Convention will be held at Kettering Conference Centre - the venue for the highly-acclaimed Piking2010.

This year's event was such a success on all fronts that the venue had to be a strong contender for 2011.

What decided it was the feedback from both attendees and traders - without whose support we couldn't hope to stage such an ambitious event.

Positive on both counts would be an understatement. The venue is central and offers free parking, along with comfortable facilities and reasonably-priced food and drink.

A great line-up of speakers helped the cause. As ever, we'll do our best to ensure we match it with next year's line-up and provide something of interest to all pike anglers.

Convention organiser Colin Goodge said: "This years was the most successful convention since the 30th Anniversary one, due I believe to the venue, the speakers, good support from the trade and a well organised committee plus a lot of help from PAC members.

"The membership gave us terrific support on the day I find it a great pleasure to organise such an event when you are given such wonderful support and back up."

Saturday, October 1 is the date to diary for next year's event. Speakers and all the other details will be announced as we finalise them.

Click here for directions and venue info.