Thursday, 30 April 2015

April 2015.........Love It.........Hate It

The title of this month's Blog is taken directly from the cover of this month's Newsletter, our editor bemoaning the fact that he considers April to be a distinctly poor fishing month up here in the north, going as far as to describe it as a "fishing no-mans-land". Not everybody will agree with this view I'm sure and he makes the point himself that being out on the bankside somewhere in April, is in itself an enjoyable experience as the natural world re-awakens after the Winter.

Mind you, judging by the level of fishing activity amongst the regions members our Newsletter editor may have a point. Of those that have reported their results it was clear that there was a mix of decisions as to what the chosen quarry was to be. Some elected to continue their pike fishing others made an early switch to the carp and/or the commercials. Many others decided not to bother with either or thought their efforts were better spent sorting out the garden as the weather became more conducive.

We'll ignore the gardeners amongst our number and as far as I can tell from the reports received those that elected to continue their pike fishing did significantly better than those who made the switch to the carp or commercials. In these northerly climes it obviously takes that little bit longer for the water temperatures to notch upwards before worthwhile results can be expected by the boilie and maggot brigade I guess.

Highlights of the piking month were two post-spawning fish, a 15lb'er from a Scottish Loch for Dave Greally and a 14lb fish from what is a tough local water for our long-standing RO, Mike Bell. The slight downer on this capture being that the fish had a very un-sightly and in my experience very unusual growth on its upper jaw, promptly earning itself the nickname of "lumpy" from those present.
Mike Bell and "Lumpy"
As for the coming month, well we have a "fish for what you want" day out on a local water on the 17th May and our next region meeting on Tuesday 26th May 2015 at the usual venue, when we will be starting to pull together arrangements for both next seasons monthly piking trips as well as our annual four day jaunt to the Lake District. If you're interested why not call in for a chat, it would be good to see you.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

March 2015 - A Reality Check

A SENPAC March is usually all about the really serious Pikers amongst our number and their end of season efforts to locate those big fish which are the ultimate prize, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow that we hanker after. However, this SENPAC March we have had to endure a massive reality check when many of our members found out that they had to come to terms with the news of the sudden and premature passing of a friend and fellow Piking enthusiast Shane Patterson. 

Those of us at SENPAC that have come to know Shane over the years have, enjoyed his company, reflected in his enthusiasm, admired his total commitment to the PAC and more recently the Angling Trust and applauded his charitable works. Someone said that only the good die young and cliché or not that is most certainly the case where Shane is concerned.

SENPAC RO Mike Bell provided a moving tribute to his long term friend and fellow PAC RO of the Teeside and Darlington Region for inclusion in our April Newsletter, the sentiments of which were undoubtedly shared by all at SENPAC. A very sad day.

Of the Piking last month well, nothing much to celebrate I’m afraid. Four of our number represented SENPAC on the PAC Lake of Menteith visit and all found the going a little tough. Bruce Turnbull managed a couple of jacks, Mike Bell and Dave Gardner one each, Dennis Fearon failed to find a fish. Dave however did have a busy day with the lure gear attracting large rainbow trout after large rainbow trout, we stopped counting at eleven! This was another Menteith event where the overall results followed what has now become a recognisable pattern, hundreds of small fish with a very modest number of upper doubles and twenties. The Pike stock profile has undoubtedly changed over recent years. Still a great day out though with good friends.
Best SENPAC fish of the month went to Bruce Turnbull with a nice 17lb fish from north of the border however the main highlight of the month was the concluding event of the season for the SENPAC Club Trip Championship. Seven region members took part and fourteen fish were caught which by recent standards was an outstanding result. A virtuoso performance on the day by Paul Proctor saw him take the championship with the eventual winner of the Biggest Fish trophy being Peter Armstrong. I think the general view amongst the SENPAC regulars was that this final event was by far the most enjoyable of the season both from a social and fishing point of view. The season more generally has not been the most productive and I guess we will spend the Summer club meetings chewing over what we should do next season to try and improve on our results.

 And speaking of the Summer, plans are coming together for our Summer League matches with a draft list of dates and venues published in the latest Newsletter as we begin to look forward to returning to the commercials and some of us renew the struggle of tying size 16’s to invisible rigs and the annual pole versus waggler debate begins all over again.

Our April meeting will take place on Tuesday 28th at the Northumbrian Piper as usual.