I think that it is fair to say that all at SENPAC considered the month of April to be frustrating as far as the fishing was concerned and I think that it is also fair to say that most were looking forward to May, hanging grimly to the old adage "it can only get better". It didn't!
Up here in the north east, whilst other areas of the country were and are, as I write this, enjoying what can best be described as early summer weather, what have we had, a very persistent cold northerly wind and heavy overcast or a a very persistent cold northerly wind and bright sun, with little in-between. Our local fisheries just haven't turned on at all as yet as far as I can tell. SENPAC members who by now would be heavily into their carping generally don't seem to have bothered and the local commercial pools have been at best hit and miss and at worst miss. One or two of our number who have broken out the lure gear have managed a few modest pike but nothing to really celebrate as such. Whilst this period of the SENPAC year is traditionally fairly quiet it would be great to be able to celebrate a few decent fish/catches at some point in the not too distant future if for no other reason than being able to produce a positive blog update for a change?
The lack of much to report in the Region's Newsletter has driven our editor to adopt fairly desperate measures and write on a subject which he has always said that he would avoid like a shopping trip to Primark. The moon and its' effect, or not, on the pike fishing. Mumbo-jumbo, clap-trap, nonsense and garbage are some of the reproducible descriptions that have been used on the odd occasion that the subject has come up so I suspect our members were more than a little surprised to see the front cover of of the latest edition of the publication. It's all Dave Horton's fault apparently.
One of the many benefits of PAC membership is the very enjoyable and informative magazine that appears four times every year. "Pikelines" has always been a principal part of the cement that glues the organisation together, never more so than under the current production team in my opinion, so when a reputable pike angler, the aforementioned Mr. Horton, has a go at demonstrating the possible effects that the lunar calendar may have on your fishing results in his most recent article, it was obviously enough to capture our newsletter editor's attention. Clearly there has been a huge amount written on the subject over the many years, some more complicated than others, some more convincing, some most definitely not. What seems to have caught the eye this time though was Dave Horton's approach of retrospectively identifying what stage the moon was at when he has caught his many fish of over 20 lbs in weight. One of the many benefits of keeping a detailed diary record of your fishing which so few of us seem to bother with nowadays.
However, after some fourteen years as SENPAC newsletter editor, Bruce Turnbull has a significant database of the Region's members successes and with the inevitable assistance of the internet for all matters moon related carried out a similar review to that described by Dave in his article. Results, well Dave found that 70% of his fish over 20lb were caught during two of the four-week lunar cycle, the new and full moon periods. Clearly the law of averages alone would dictate that only 50% of the fish should have been caught in those two weeks and the SENPAC review, well that produced identical results. Bit scary that?
So what do we do with that new information, well probably not a lot and we will all most likely continue on the basis of given the opportunity to go piking we will go with never a thought to the state of the moon. However, interestingly, our latest newsletter also contained the initial suggestions for the dates of next season's Region outings and guess what............
So, what of June, well I suspect we will all be praying for an improvement in the local fishing and no doubt some of our number will be getting fidgety with a view to getting back on running water. One SENPAC highlight will hopefully be the first of our summer matches, The Golden Maggot! Last year's results were dire and so this one falls firmly into the category of "it can only get better"?
Our next meeting at the Northumbrian Piper will be on Tuesday 28th June 2016, don't be shy why not call in for a natter.