WELCOME TO this week’s Big Fish Blog, coming to you here every Thursday. This time it’s by the Pike Anglers Club.
We take predator fishing seriously at the Mail, so are delighted our pals at the PAC are on board. This instalment comes from PAC Webmaster Dave Mutton.
We hope you enjoy the blog, and share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter by clicking the icons above, or by the “old skool” method of telling fellow anglers! Feel free also to comment by using the special space at the bottom on this page.
ALL THE FUN OF THE PIKE ANGLERS’ CONVENTION
SATURDAY, September 22 saw the highlight of the PACs’ calendar nationally, with the staging of our Annual Convention. This year the event was held in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, which is the most northerly the event has ever been staged.
This gave an opportunity for all of the members from the North of England and Scotland to attend whereas some of them may have struggled to get to events further South. As we are a national club then it is only fair that we give all members an opportunity to attend.
My convention actually started on the Friday afternoon as I travelled up to Harrogate, accompanied by fellow PAC and Catfishing UK member Brian Springthorpe, in order to get the Catfishing UK trade stand set up. The traders’ area was very well organised with easy access. We set everything up and then had a good look at who else was at the show. As ever, the show was very well supported by traders and there were some giants of the pike tackle world alongside some smaller more specialist companies. There was a fantastic range and diversity of product on offer and there really was something for everybody.
For many people, one of the main reasons they attend the convention is to stock up on lots of new gear for the season ahead and so the trade stands are a very important part of the convention. As I don’t want to upset anybody by forgetting them I am not going to try and list everybody that was at the show. But I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of the National Committee, to thank each and every one of you for continuing to support the event year in and year out.
Another big draw at the convention is the junior coaching sessions lead by Eric Edwards, a level 2 qualified angling coach. This year proved no exception with Eric and his team kept busy all day by coaching youngsters in all aspects of pike fishing, from rigs and tackle to the all important safe handling and unhooking techniques. Many thanks to Eric and his team for all their efforts and, from what I saw, all the youngsters really enjoyed themselves.
Every year the convention has some fabulous speakers and this year was no exception. With talks and slide shows from Steve Rowley, Phil Wakeford, Neville Fickling and Alastair Rawlings. Although I was unable to attend any of the talks, everyone was really well received and there was a real buzz in the hall whenever people came out of the auditorium.
The auditorium was also where the annual awards were given out. Congratulations go to Mark Green – Barrie Rickards Pike Angler of the Year, Micky Jones and Rab Hay, Jointly awarded the Regional Organiser of the Year. The President’s Shield award went to that man Eric Edwards in recognision of the vast amounts of work he does on behalf of the PAC in working with youngsters and in coaching in general. The Pikelines awards for articles submitted to the club magazine went to James Sarkar and the Junior Award went to Stuart Wynne.
As ever a popular place to be at lunchtime was the bar and restaurant area as this gave everybody a chance to catch up exchange fishy stories and share in a bit of banter. On top of all this were the usual features of the convention such as the mega raffle, which contained some fantastic prizes, and the second hand stall where people can buy and sell used tackle. This again proved popular so many thanks to Dave Munden and his team for doing a brilliant job here.
At this point in time I do not have the exact numbers of people who attended the convention, I feel that it may be down slightly on last year but, with the current economic climate that is not unexpected. On an extremely positive note we actually signed up 60 new members to the PAC over the day. That is outstanding and is indicative of how well received the convention was.
One new member, Michael Pickard has commented ‘I went along on Saturday as I’m only ten minutes away, and had a great few hours, on the strength of the day I’ve joined the PAC with my son, a really good bunch of guys’. Thanks to everybody that attended this year and it was nice to catch up with some old friends and to meet up with new ones.
Finally I would like to thank Colin Goodge and Brian Birdsall for organising the event. They really were the glue that held it all together and they worked extremely hard to put together a fantastic day for everybody – not bad for a pair of old timers!
For everybody who is interested in pike fishing, the PAC Convention really is a good day out, where you will be able to get some great bargains on tackle and listen to some of the top pike anglers in the country. This event is open to all so hopefully we will see you next year.
One of the other recent events organised by the PAC was the recent fishing event held on Rutland Water. Although the pike were not really having it, with a few being caught to 17lb, the zander were right on the feed with an amazing 102 zeds being caught! Everybody has said what a great day they had and well done to all the guys who bagged a fish or two.
All ready for proper “pike fishing season”!
In the words of House Stark: ‘Winter is coming’! Yep, for all those that fish for pike only after the traditional October 1st start, now is a frantic time of sorting out all the gear and planning your fishing trips. I wish you all well in your hunt for esox lucius this year.
Hopefully we will be reporting a few big fish for the next blog here on the brilliant new-look Angler’s Mail website. One final reminder, if you haven’t done so already – get your deadbaits ordered!
To join the PAC click HERE.
THE NEXT BIG FISH BLOG WILL APPEAR ON THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4.
Here’s the list of all our new blogs and when they go live:
MONDAY: Carp crews on rotation – Korda, Fox, Nash and ACE.
TUESDAY: Steve Collett, Mail contributor and ultimate all-rounder.
WEDNESDAY: Angler’s Mail HQ – yes, us!
THURSDAY: Specialists from Pike Anglers Club, Korum, Pallatrax and Marukyu, on rotation.
FRIDAY: Carl & Alex, Angler’s Mail juniors and video diary makers.
SATURDAY: The Angling Trust – guys at the governing body.
SUNDAY: Colin Mitchell, veteran coarse angler and top journalist