Thursday, 31 March 2016

March 2016 - Just In The Nick of Time

As another SENPAC piking season begins to draw to a close we have enjoyed a half-reasonable month of fishing. There will be a few of our number who extend their seasons by travelling north from our Tyneside base and those journey's have, in the past, been rewarded by a special fish or two so it's not impossible that I will have some success to report in next month's missive but for the rest April is usually the month to earn brownie points on the domestic scene before attention is focused elsewhere on other  quarry.

March is always a busy month in the SENPAC camp and traditionally gets under-way with a trip north for some of our members to the Lake of Menteith. This year was no exception and we had two boats filled by RO Mike Bell and Dennis Fearon and Joint RO Bruce Turnbull alongside Dave Gardner. This was the PAC's first attempt at a lure and bait event when we were denied the use of anchors. It was a less than successful arrangement, much as had been experienced by the Scottish Pike Anglers Alliance back in November last year. Particularly so on our visit because of the difficult weather conditions of swirling, sometimes quite strong winds which just served to make boat management difficult and effective fishing almost impossible. Catch returns overall for the day were poor as a result and there was a little discontent evident as the day drew to a premature close for many.
Dennis Fearon

 Mike and Dennis caught pike a 12lb'er each, Dave and Bruce struggled to avoid the trout, Dave boating the only pike, a modest jack. I think that it was widely agreed that a re-think will be necessary, either on the part of the fishery management which up to now they have robustly resisted or failing that on the part of those that are fishing the event as far as tactics go. Baits and lures fished from an un-tethered boat are a challenge too far if the weather is in any way un-sympathetic.
Mike Bell

As for the rest of the month's fishing I'm pleased to be able to report that a few nice double figure fish were reported by our members, principally from waters north of the border and of course our 2015/2016 Club Trip Champion was crowned after our final trip of the season which was also fished in Scotland on a very windy, very wet water in Dumfries and Galloway.
Paul Proctor's 15lb-2oz Fish

 Some of the details, well, Paul Proctor reported a 15lb-2oz  fish and Dave Greally went one better with a very elegant pike of 18lb-4oz over which there was some debate as to whether it had spawned or not. Dave also secured the Trip Championship a couple of weeks later by not catching anything on the last trip such was his domination of the events previous!
Club Trip Champion With His Elegant Pike
All of which provided our Newsletter editor with lots of pictures for this latest edition which no doubt made a nice change. However a good proportion of his efforts were put into a somewhat belated tribute to the late Fred Buller OBE who, as you will no doubt know, passed away back in February.

 As an angler, historian and author he had a big influence on a lot of SENPAC's members who are "of a certain age" and reference to the volumes of The Domesday Book of Mammoth Pike was un-avoidable for our editor, the fascinating tale of John Murray's Kenmure 72lb'er, an almost "local" fish for us, being used to illustrate the dedication and effort that Mr. Buller committed to his work. If, as yet you have not had the good fortune to enjoy Mr. Buller's writings then try this.......................... 

 I'm sure you will enjoy the read.

 As I suggested earlier, April will probably be a fairly quiet month for SENPAC, we have our fishing socials to look forward to, The Golden Maggot Match in June and The Summer League Matches in July and August all of which feel a long way off at the moment so for me it will be a couple more Piking trips before I turn my attention to the boilies and bolt rigs! Our April meeting will take place on Tuesday 26th at the Northumbrian Piper, if you feel that you would like to learn a little more about pike fishing why not call in for a chat. We don't bite, honest.

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