Thursday, 7 December 2017


                                                It's A Waiting Game.

 A relatively quiet month for SENPAC but even though no big fish appeared the members have still been out catching fish. Paul Proctor and three other members visited a Cumbrian still water and at the end of the session all four returned home fishless. Paul was back a couple of days later and once again the Pike did not show up. Not one to give up easily Paul returned three days later with Bruce Turnbull and this time he got the result he was looking for. Two fish on the day the biggest weighing in at 12lbs.

                                             Result for Paul.

Dave Gardner got a late call up as one of the reserves on the Lake of Menteith PAC event. Dave was unable to track down any of the lakes big girls on the day but still managed to catch a few smaller ones.

                                Another One From Menteith For Dave.

Dave Greally and Bruce Turnbull have been making frequent trips down into Yorkshire fishing various waters. They have both been catching fish. Pictured below Dave with a 12lb river fish.

Chris Graham has been fishing over the pond. Not one of our local ponds though. He has just returned after a three week break in Texas catching Perch, Channel Catfish, and Drum fish.

We are into December now and looking to pull out a few Christmas crackers. We take this opportunity in wishing all our blog readers from around the world a very Merry Christmas and many tight lines for 2018.

Friday, 10 November 2017


                                                      A Piking Dawn.

The region got off to a good start in October with the appearance of two good doubles. One caught by Dave Greally whilst fishing a loch north of the border. The pike weighing in at 18lb 12ozs must have been hungry because the next day it succumbed to Dave's offering again.

                           Not Once But Twice. Dave And His 18lb 12oz.

One of the highlights of the SENPAC year is the annual Jolly Boys outing which  usually takes place at the start of the pike season. Over the years the lads on the trips have caught decent fish and this together with the Geordie banter and laughs along the way has made it a very successful event. This year's trip has just taken place and once again nobody had any complaints. Six intrepid Pikers set off for the four day trip and everybody caught pike. Over thirty fish were landed mostly up to the ten pound mark but Dave Greally and Dave Gardner caught fish weighing 11lb 2oz and 10lb 2oz. Paul Proctor landed three fish on the same piece of bait. Bruce Turnbull had a 9lb 2oz and unfortunately Steve Sandiford and Peter Armstrong blanked on the Sunday pike match. Best fish of the trip fell to Mike Bell during the club match with his only run of the day providing him with a 19lb 1oz fish.

                                                 One For Paul Proctor.

                                               Another One For Bruce.

                                      Steve Sandiford The Lure Specialist.

                                                       A Piking Sunset.

                    Only Run Of The Day But Well Worth It. Mike And
                    His 19lb 1oz Which Turned Out To Be The Biggest
                    Pike Caught On The SENPAC 2017 Jolly Boys Outing.

                                              The Perfect End To The Day.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017


After a quiet September's fishing October has arrived  and another Piking season is underway. Dates and venues have been arranged for the region's club trips over the next six months with some of the old favourite venues being chosen along with a new one which we are all looking forward to trying out. Bruce Turnbull and Dave Greally made an early start on a Yorkshire river and caught a couple of nice fish.

                           Good start to the season for Bruce Turnbull.

Anyone viewing the SENPAC blog over the year will have seen some of the marvellous fish caught by member Steve Sandiford. Fabulous Barbel and who can forget that 183lb Ebro Cat. Well Steve will be fishing for Pike this season and I am sure in the months ahead his captures will appear on this blog, but just to show that he has other strings to his bow he tried a spot of Salmon fishing and yes he is not bad at that either.

                                       Steve with his 22lb Salmon.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017


Bruce Turnbull with a nice Tench.

A relatively quiet month for the region as some members have been away on holiday. For those who did manage to get on the bank some decent fish were caught. The SENPAC Summer league was completed during the month and Dave Greally was the champion for the year. Dave Gardner took second spot and Mike Bell was third. Some nice Roach were caught on a local reservoir during the final round of the competition together with some decent Trout which did not count at the weigh in. Local waters have also produced some more nice Carp and Bream. Only another month before the new Pike season commences and the lads are gearing themselves up for the months ahead. Venues for the club's Winter season Pike trips will be chosen this month with those that have fared best in the past getting priority. The club has also finalised its annual Jolly Boys Piking trip which will take place over a few days at the end of October.

Chris Graham.

Friday, 4 August 2017


July has been a very good month for the members who have been out and about. Decent quality Bream, Carp, Roach and Tench have been caught. The second match of the club's Summer league provided better quality fish than round one with two nice Carp falling to Chris Graham which enabled him to win the match on the day.  Two matches in August will complete the four match series.

Some nice fisheries are within half an hour's drive for most of the members and these contain some very good fish which can provide very good sport on light gear. Pictured below Bruce Turnbull with a 6lb 4oz Bream from a local reservoir and a lovely Carp from a Northumberland pond.

                        Dave Greally above with an unexpected catch.

And finally on this month's report its nice to take some time out catching Trout on the fly.

Enjoy the video of a day out on Sweethope Loughs. You Tube. A Moment In Time - Sweethope Loughs - Trout Fishing.

Thursday, 13 July 2017


The Golden Maggot trophy being presented to Dave Greally (left) by Chris Graham.

The region's Summer coarse fishing is in full swing. The annual one off Golden Maggot match was won by Dave Greally. The Summer league is also underway although catches have resulted in very low weights.  
 The members have been catching some nice fish on their travels.

A nice mixed bag

A pristine Carp of 7lb caught on the waggler.

Steve back from his encounters in Spain with the Cats chasing those Barbel again. This one weighed just under 10lbs caught while on holiday near the Welsh border.

and finally if the fish are not biting you can enjoy the wildlife.

Friday, 30 June 2017

One For The Lure Anglers Amongst You

If, like me, you buy more lures than you could ever use sufficiently to find out whether they can actually catch fish, then you will no doubt, like me, have a few lures that seemed like a good idea when you bought them but now languish at the very bottom of your lure bucket. Some of those lures may never have been in the water, some on the other hand may well have had an outing or two, not caught a fish and been dismissed as a failure. Most if not all of those lures will have been purchased on the basis of conversations with fellow anglers, articles in the fishing magazines, You Tube videos and/or plain and simple marketing by the manufacturers as being the latest “must-have” fish catcher that you couldn’t possibly do without. Some of those lures may well have achieved a reputation based upon the successes of others that elevates the lure to an almost mystical status, but despite that they just do not work for you and inevitably reside in the bottom of that bucket.

I own one of these near mystical lures. It is not a new lure, in fact it is one of the lures that I have owned longest. So long that I can’t remember how or where I came by the lure. It is a lure that has been made famous over the years by many well known lure anglers and in their hands has caught many spectacular fish. Read any article about lure fishing and variants of this lure will undoubtedly feature in the “must-have” list.

It is the definitive jerk bait……………The Buster Jerk.

As I said I can’t remember how I came by my Buster Jerk and I certainly can’t remember why I chose the colour that I did ( perhaps it was the only one the shop had?) but at the time it must have been something that I just couldn’t do without and it was, for a while, one of my favourite lures. The action on the lure is fascinating, it hangs in the water when stationary absolutely perfectly, settling only very slowly, the slightest twitch of the rod or turn of the handle and the glide is perfect, it feels and looks like a fish catcher in every respect and in the hands of others that is exactly what it is. But mine just doesn’t and hasn’t caught me a fish and hence the bottom of the bucket.

A recent clear-out of the aforementioned bucket exposed said BJ to the daylight for the first time in a long time and I was reminded of my earlier efforts with the lure to catch a fish and given that there could be absolutely no failure on the part of the angler in question that had contributed to the lack of fish then there had to be something wrong with the lure. In short order it had to be the colour of the lure that was to blame I convinced myself. What to do about that was the next question and a trip to Wilko and a quick review of the spray paint cans on offer was enough to convince me that what I needed was somebody who knew what they were doing.

Step forward SENPAC founder member Mark Houghton of MH Custom Lures who very kindly agreed to do a conversion job on my lure. I provided a very detailed design brief for Mark, “roach pattern mate” seemed to do the job and despite being incredibly busy trying to keep his head above water satisfying an ever growing order list for his immense catalogue of lure patterns my BJ was headed for a make-over.

I think the transformation speaks for itself, and pictures are worth many words or something like that, so………………………………………..



The only problem now of course, is that if I fail to catch with it, then I’ve run out of things to blame!
For lure fishing porn go to…………………

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.