Thursday, November 17, 2011

Christmas predator bash at Ten Mile Bank

 TEN MILE BANK: Venue for the King's Lynn PAC Christmas Bash

Good King Wenceslas looked out, on the Feast of Stephen. Sod gathering winter fuel for a game of soldiers, he said. I'm off to Ten Mile Bank - where there are shekels up for grabs in the King's Lynn PAC Christmas Bash.

There's a £250 first prize, plus £50 for the biggest fish on offer in a roving pike comp organised in conjunction with our friends at King's Lynn AA. They're lending us their bit of river on Sunday, December 11, for a social with a difference.

All predators count, meaning pike, zander and perch can all add towards your total weight. It's £15 a ticket, draw at the EA car park at Denver 8am, fish 9am - 3pm and meet back at the Jenyns Arms from 4pm for prizes.

It's a rover, meaning up to you whether you fish with baits or lures, plot up in a spot you fancy or stay on the move - KLAA rules must be followed (apart from the one that says predators don't count in matches...), and it goes without saying anyone taking part should have adequate gear, all the unhooking tools etc.

More info from Ashley at our next meeting at the Wm Burt Club on Wednesday, November 30.  If you can't make it, text him to book a place on 07876 491748.

Thanks to Lynn AA for their support.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Building Bridges lure match at Ferry Meadows

A lure match is being held at Ferry Meadows on Saturday, November 26, as part of a project to integrate Eastern European and British anglers.
It's being organised by Rado Papiewski, the Angling Trust's Building Bridges project manager.
Registration will start at 8.30 am with fishing starting from 9.00am - 1pm.
"Prizes and bbq will take place at 2pm so we will have some time to discuss the catches and exchange some experience," said Rado.
Entry is £10, plus £5 day ticket. For more information or to book a place, e-mail . Click here for more on the venue.

EA puts aerators in River Wissey after fish kill

A major fish kill may have been averted on the Wissey after the Environment Agency deployed aerators to boost oxygen levels in the river.

Fisheries officers stepped in after fish including more than 50 large bream, roach, tench and pike  were found dead on Wissey Pools.

Tests revealed low oxygen  levels, believed to have been caused by low flows during the ongoing drought. The EA has placed aerators near Wissington bridge and at Hilgay (left).

Experts are now monitoring the river daily. 

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Neville Fickling talk at King's Lynn PAC

There can't be many people who've had a bigger influence on the modern pike fishing scene than Neville Fickling.

He's a Lynn lad who started his career on our local drains and rivers in the 1970s and went on to catch a record 41lbs pike from Norfolk's River Thurne, in 1985.

That record's long since fallen, but Neville's had a string of big fish since, amassing a total of more than 300 20lbs-plus specimens along the way.

How does he do it..? You can find out at our next meeting, which is being held at the Wm Burt Club, West Winch, on Wednesday, November 30 (7.30pm). Admission is £2 for PAC members/£3 non-members.

This is bound to be a big, big night. And knowing Neville, it'll be a night when everyone's going to take away a few new tips and ideas; whether it's on how to fish the dreaded drains, to tackling trout ressies.

We're looking foward to this one. See you there. 

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Rain at last - can we have some more please

We've had some rain at last. Not enough to bring any colour to our drought-ravaged rivers and drains, but enough to get the Cut-Off flowing along gently today.

A few bits of duck weed were coming down the drain as well - meaning the baits needed a re-cast every 10 minutes or so to stop in building up on the line.

This can be a bit pricey if you're using sardines as bait.

Elsewhere bits of the Cut are still solid with the dreaded blanket weed. The Middle Level's looking nice, running clear but weed-free.

The Ouse was clear and standing, with a nice ripple on it and few anglers apart from a few around the Chapel.  

Friday, November 04, 2011

Old Bedford River latest

You heard it from the horse's mouth at our meeting - now the Environment Agency has responded to fears over the state of the Old Bedford River.

Click here to read their response to the story in Wednesday's EDP. 

Hands up who believes 'em, bearing in mind some of the other horror stories we heard about the EA's lack of action on other fronts.

As  Denis Moules outlined at the meeting, we all need to be the eyes and ears when it comes to what's happening to our waters and those who abuse them - be they EA officials more intent on ticking boxes than taking action, or those intent on making a quick buck by gill-netting them.

Farewell to much-loved Pentney bailiff John Block

Pentney Lakes, where John Block was the much-loved warden

Norfolk's countryside lost one of its true characters when John Block lost his battle with cancer, writes Chris Bishop.

He was as old as the hills and he lived on steak and potatoes, washed down with the odd whisky or two, in a cabin in the woods at Pentney Lakes, where he was on-site warden after retiring from farming.

John wasn't a man for the indoor life. He knew the wildlife above and beneath the surface like the back of his leathery hands.

His wry observations on life and the many anglers who crossed his path peppered our bankside chats like buckshot - not to mention the occasional brush with officialdom.

"You won't catch 'em here - they're all over there," he said countless times, pointing off to some distant swim. "I keep telling you boys you're in the wrong place but no-one listens to Old John."

With his ancient spaniel Mr Fonty plodding along behind, he did his rounds on an electric mobility scooter for the last  couple of winters as age and illness finally began to overtake him.

This silent mode of transport meant he could creep up right behind you and make you jump out of your skin, before he'd disappear in a fog of cigar smoke, laughing like a drain.

Not so long ago, he'd be thundering up the Coast Road to Hunstanton on his Harley Davidson on fine afternoons. He never took his 'Hawg out when it rained.

But he'd be out beside his beloved lakes through the worst of the winter, pondering nature's comings and goings with our rag tag crew even when he knew his days were numbered.

His vice-like grip had loosened a notch or two when we shook hands at the end of last season. "Don't you worry, I'll see you come September," he said.

John died on October 29, surrounded by his family. When I heard he'd left us, I thought about leaving a wreath in the Barbecue Swim, but somehow that wasn't John. I went fishing elsewhere, leaving the pike in Pentney in peace.

As dusk fell over the Fens and I wound the baits in, the geese cried like they were mourning a lost friend. I poured a whisky, mouthed a toast and threw the rest in the river, before I packed the rods away in tears.

John left a lasting mark on many anglers. His funeral is at Mintlyn Crematorium on Wednesday, November 9 (4pm). Family flowers only, donations to Cancer Research UK.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Fears for fish stocks in the Old Bedford

Once a prolific pike fishery, EA surveys reveal fish stocks have fallen by more than 90% in parts of the Old Bedford River.

Lower reaches of the drain have become heavily-silted, from dirty water allowed to flow in from the tidal river to replenish levels after abstraction.

More on the crisis-hit Bedford here.