Saturday, 10 June 2017


        The above picture tells it all. The shades, the tan, and a River Ebro Catfish weighing in at 183 lbs. This was the biggest of the bunch in a staggering haul of over 1,700 lbs caught by two members of SENPAC Steve Sandiford and Dave Gardner during a week's Spanish fishing break. Dave also managed a 25lb Carp on the trip.

I guess for many a trip of this nature would only be a dream but for Steve and Dave it became a reality. A truly stunning week's fishing and I gather that plans are already being made for a return visit. Fishing under cooler conditions the other members of the region have been out and about on some of our smaller waters. Fishing started slowly due to the weather conditions but recently the catches have improved significantly. Good catches of Rudd, Skimmer Bream, Tench, Roach and Carp have all been reported.
The region now looks forward to the Summer matches that will take place over the next three months.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Awaiting That Run In The Setting Sun.
The weather is improving and as we move into March the members of the club are out and about trying to catch that elusive big fish before the season ends. Paul Proctor has been on his travels and caught this 13lb Pike whilst lure fishing on a Yorkshire canal.

Not content with the above he moved on to a water closer to home and caught this 21lb 8oz fish.

Reflections On Menteith.
The Lake Of Menteith PAC event took place in March and four members of SENPAC, Dave Gardner, Bruce Turnbull, Dennis Fearon and Mike Bell turned out on the day. After a slightly rainy start the weather was kind to all concerned. Some large Trout fell to Dave's rods whilst Bruce and Mike had to make do with a few Jacks between them. Dennis took the honours on the day with a 16lb 12oz fish pictured below.

Another Menty Double For Den.
Meanwhile back down on the river Steve Sandiford was pursuing the Barbel again and getting the right results.

The final round of the club's annual Pike matches took place during the month. Only one fish caught on the day which did not effect the overall result. Club trip champion for the year went to Dave Greally. We now move on into the Summer months and look forward to our various competitions fishing for other coarse species before returning later in the year to our main quarry Esox Lucius.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Spectacular Sunset.
One of the advantages of Pike fishing is that if the fish are not being cooperative you can always do a spot of photography. Freezing that moment in time can result in photos like this stunning Scottish sunset. Moving on with the region's February report, well things have started to pick up a little and a few more fish have been caught. The region's calendar of events was severely disrupted during the month due to weather and a trip down to Lincolnshire was cancelled due to rain and snow. The trip was hastily re-arranged to a water closer to home which resulted in those who turned up in a totally fish-less day. Dave Greally took time out to visit one of his favourite swims over the border which resulted in him having the best Pike of the year so far at 20lb 1oz. Steve Sandiford had a session on a local stretch of river and was rewarded with a beautiful Barbel that weighed in at 10lb 5ozs.

Steve and his Barbel.

                       The dawn of a new year and with it the club's 21st birthday. The region was started by Mark Houghton on the 25th January 1996. Those twenty one years have flown by but many members past and present have had the joy of catching a very large Pike. Pride of place must go to Lyn Baker for her Lake of Menteith fish that weighed just under 40lbs. Other members have achieved that magical thirty pounder whilst on their travels. So what will 2017 bring. Hopefully some more big fish for our members. One of the highlights of January was the club's annual review and presentation evening which included The Story So Far, which was a leaf through the region's Piking photograph album and Piking diaries of the last fifteen years and beyond in one or two cases.

January proved to be a quiet month for the region fishing wise with only a couple of double figure fish being reported.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

November 2016 - Can The View Make-Up For A Lack Of Fish ?

The main reason for the question in this month's blog title ( and our newsletter editors cover image) isn't as you could reasonably assume, another moan about a poor fishing month but more to do with the fact that November provided many  of our members with opportunities to fish in some very scenic locations in some very scenic conditions. Some of them even caught some nice fish whilst others were forced to revert to becoming photographers instead of anglers which will at least mean that the slideshow at our annual presentation of awards night will have something other than pictures of fish to entertain the assembled masses.
With visits to the Lake of Menteith and our Jolly Boys Outing, also north of the border, there were undoubtedly opportunities for both fish and photographs to feature in this month's blog. First the fish and best of the month was one of Menteith's crackers which fell to our joint RO Bruce Turnbull at the tail end of the day fishing with our Scottish colleagues the PAAS. The PAC visit proved to be a bit more of a struggle due to the breezy conditions and the somewhat questionable anchoring equipment that was provided by the fishery ( I'm sure that this will be sorted out in time for the March visits) and SENPAC representatives Dennis Fearon and Mike Bell had a frustrating time although Dennis did manage an 11lb'er between re-anchoring practice. Dave Gardner who was at the sharp end of the boat with Bruce had one of those days when nothing would stay hooked and took solace ( I think?) in the netting of Bruce's fish.
By The Light Of The Super Moon - 24lb Of Menteith Magic

The JB Outing fished over five days in the west of Scotland coincided with a period of high atmospheric pressure, clear blue skies, bright sun, sub-zero temperatures ( can you tell where this is going?) and no breeze which kind of equates to the perfect storm when it comes to catching pike, but as I said earlier, did provide alternative opportunities and did not impact greatly on the overall enjoyment of what is principally a social event. Certainly the very comfortable farm cottage which was our base for the trip proved to be very popular and I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if we don't go back. Best fish of the trip amongst a number was an 11lb'er and the competition for best photograph is still to be decided but sunrises featured strongly.

Of  December, well the Region outing is to one of our regular venues, high in the hills of Dumfries, high enough to need us to keep an eye on the weather so hopefully that all comes together and then we enter the silly season that is Christmas, when as anglers, we all try to fit the fishing around all of the other demands on our time and domestic expectations of the festive season.

No formal region meeting in December because of the celebrations although a few of us will be found in the Northumbrian Piper on Tuesday 27th December 2016 just to get out from in front of the TV!

Sunday, 6 November 2016

October 2016 - Short,sharp and to the point.............

Apart from being a little late with this one it is going to be sharp, punchy, to the point and sadly very short!!

The main reason for this disappointing situation is that SENPAC have probably "enjoyed" the hardest start to a piking season that most of us here can remember. The fishing on the waters that we usually fish has been incredibly slow, yes we have been catching small jacks in numbers on both baits and lures ( mainly baits) and yes for all sorts of reasons the time that people have had available to actually fish has been lower than was to be expected, but none of our lot have had a double figure fish to report throughout the month. Not good.

We nearly enjoyed a perfect region outing during the month, that is if you measure perfection in terms of everybody present catching a fish, sadly one of our number let the team down, no names no pack-drill but Paul was as fed-up as a fed-up thing. That said nobody was exactly celebrating as the biggest fish was a 5lb'er, not that we were being ungrateful you understand but something a little larger would have been nice and it would certainly made having to endure a biblical hail storm towards the end of the day, a little easier. Still we all enjoyed a wonderful Scottish sunrise which solved a problem for our newsletter editor and provided him with his front cover image, (now you can all play guess the venue??).

I know this all begins to sound a little negative and I want to try and avoid that if I possibly can and here at SENPAC we are achieving that by adopting our usual philosophy of being a bunch of eternal optimists and focusing very much on the delights to come in November (at least one of which has already happened as I write this, report in next blog) with trips to the Lake of Menteith, our Region outing and  five days away for some on what has become known as our Jolly Boys Outing which one way or another is always a high-point of our season.

Next Region meeting Tuesday 29th November 2016, usual venue as detailed on the left.

Like Buses!......Tight Lines To All

P.S. Just watched the latest "River Piker" video on You Tube, the Northern Lure Gathering, fantastic stuff, well done Paul and Ady, thoroughly recommended viewing.