Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Hot days, short nights

I've never been a hot weather person. And the current hot weather is melting what little drive I have to do anything. My 'can't be arsed' quotient has reached an all time high! The shortest mights of the year haven't helped my enthusiasm for either side of sunset sessions either. No sooner has it got properly dark than it's time to get to bed or risk stopping all night with no sleep. It's no wonder I usually leave the eels alone until July when the nights start to draw in a little.

All that aside the evenings and nights, when it's cooled down somewhat are great to be out in. Even cloudless skies make for atmospheric sunsets that seem to last for hours. What I have noticed on both of my latest eel sessions is that runs are coming later. Not just later by the clock but later by the sun and stars. There has been a little interest in my baits in the half hour before dark, but it's picked up over an hour after the light has gone as much as it will go before dawn. This doesn't help me get home for sleep.

I'd had a few missed and aborted takes before I started to pack up at twelve thirty on the first session, then I foul hooked a small eel, which slimed the leader good and proper. While I was sorting the mess out I had another run which I missed. If I hadn't drained the last of my bottle of pop I might have stopped a bit longer. However I did plan to start and finish later on my next session.

It was nine fifteen when the latest eel session got under way. Apart from making the tramp to the swim a little cooler it also cut out the waiting time to the start of the action. Even around ten there had been carp cruising the surface and apart from some worm nibbling the eels didn't make their presence known until eleven.

It was the usual story of twitchy takes, pinched baits, and short aborted runs. Either there are small eels pestering me or my presentation is up the Swanee. I suspect the former. While I was getting action it was sporadic. Either stick it out until late in the hope of a good one or pack in around one and get some shut eye. After missing a proper run I connected with one at twelve thirty. Not big enough to tax my new 50" landing net, or trouble the scales. But it did make me think that later might be better if I can muster the enthusiasm for an overnighter. At one I packed up and sweated my way home.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Unpredictable results

As with election results these days it's almost impossible to predict how an eel session will pan out. A short evening session last week produced one eel but quite a few takes. The next session on Sunday, despite my expectations, resulted in just one run when I was a bout to pack up. And that was missed, at least in part because the rig was tangled. Despite being keen to get an overnight session in the weather was against me. I really don''t fancy spending a night in the rain jumping in and out of the bivvy as I try to hit takes. Election night was set to be dry with some rain in the morning. If the weather forecast was right I'd be able to pack up after sun up and get back home in the dry. So it proved.

I was set up in good time but even the worm was left alone as the sun began to sink.It was quarter to ten when the right hand deadbait absolutely tore off. Eels one, me nil. Over an hour and a half passed without any indications. The signs were that it could be a night of infrequent action but the chance of a big eel. Then the right hand rod was away again. This time I hooked the culprit. and it was doing so little it felt like I'd hooked a soft snag. Something was slowly coming towards me against the pressure of the rod. I threw the landing net in the edge and tried to push it forward to sink the mesh. Damn. It was caught on something. Keeping the rod bent I managed to untangle the mesh with my left hand. The eel was then easily netted. It wasn't as large as I'd hoped. Later I started pulling weed in from the same area and wondered if the eel had wrapped its tail around a clump.

A fresh bait was hooked up and cast out. This was picked up after 25 minutes. Another missed take. And so the usual selection of dropped and missed runs proceeded at very infrequent intervals. So infrequent I managed to nod off a time or two. Even if not for long. A couple of fish were bumped off on the strike. All the action coming to deadbaits, which was unusual.

Although the night wasn't warm it didn't feel cold either despite the heavy dew in the morning. It was a noisy night though. All night reed warblers were warbling their scratchy song, possibly because of the bright full moon, a water rail or two spent a mad ten minutes squealing, and what I took to be a snipe flew by making it's strange whirring sound. Thankfully there were no ratty rustlings in the reeds and the only rodent that made its presence known was a wood mouse. As we approach the solstice the nights are short. The sky to the north hardly got dark at all. Which only gives a few hours of  'eel time'. It was still good to be out after dark on such a night.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

No Sleep Till Breakfast

I was going to put in an overnighter on Monday night, but it started raining when I was going to get me gear sorted out. Tuesday night would do. It rained after I'd got most of the gear in my car. Then the sky brightened and off I went. The temperature had dropped from my previous session but even a north westerly wasn't too chilling. I still fancied having the wind off my back but nowhere like that at Peacock Pool looked inviting. Eventfully I got set up with the brolly at an angle to the rods where I could just about see my rods from the bedchair.

As the sun set the wind died right away and the sky cleared. The crescent moon was so bright that it cast a shadow. The incessant bleeps and blips of the previous session were notably absent. The first take I had, just before ten, to a deadbait, was a proper run. I still failed to connect. This didn't signal the start of more madness. It was fifteen minutes before the next run came. Which was also missed. After another quiet thirty odd minutes I connected with an eel to the off bottom worm. It fell off. The eel that picked up the left hand deadbait at eleven stayed hooked all the way into the net. Not one worth sliming up the weigh sling, but a start.

A combination of the slower pace of activity and the conditions made me think that there was a chance of a better than average fish. When the bootlaces are playing the bigger eels seem to get beaten to the baits.

It was still frustrating. I'd miss a run. Recast. Then sit waiting for action. When I gave up hope I'd curl up under the bedchair cover. The eels seemed to know when I was getting snug and starting to nod off. I'd leap out to the rods and miss another run. Rinse and repeat!

So it went until ten past two when a deadbait on a longer chuck was tearing off. Half way in it began to bulldog. It felt pretty reasonable as I held it on a tight line while I fiddled around trying to switch my headtorch from red to white without it flashing red. Safely netted at the second attempt and the sling and camera were going to be required. I didn't feel like a wrestling contest so I put the fish back after a couple of 'sling shots'.

With a fresh bait out I got an hour's rest before the takes picked up frequency again. By then the sky was showing some light and a sedge warbler woke up. Soon the dawn chorus began in earnest, accompanied by the occasional distant cock crow. The takes became less frequent. Not expecting any action once the sun was in the sky I began to tidy my stuff away. Then I had two runs in quick succession. Which I missed. Of course.  Quarter past five would be home time.

I was well knackered as I pushed my barrow load of gear back to the car. That's the trouble with all night eel fishing. It's often impossible to get any sleep unless you don't bother checking to see if they've pinched your baits when you get a dropped run!

What had been encouraging was that the takes were peeling line from the baitrunners, even with the rod tips at an angle to the baits. Like most fish, I suppose, even eels have days when they aren't bothered by resistance. Or is that a myth?

The sun was rising casting it's beams through the mist swirling off the water promising a warm day to come. It'll be meteorological summer tomorrow. So it'll probably snow.

Friday, May 26, 2017

The maddening eel

After my eel session I determined to get myself some worms before having another go. There were still a few deadbaits and some squid in the freezer but lobs would give me another option on the off-bottom rig. When the worms arrived, on the hottest day of the year so far and with the warmest night promised it seemed like too good an opportunity to miss.

Even arriving after eight in the evening it was still red hot. There was hardly a breath of wind to ruffle the surface and even in the shade of the lowering sun it was t-shirt warm. I spent a good ten minutes drilling holes for my rear banksticks before casting out a head and a tail and then rigging up the worm rod. The rig was all set up and just needed a bomb to finish it off when I couldn't find a bomb. I was sure there were some in the rucksack, but no. For some reason the eel box had three back leads in it. I pulled the clip off one, tied a uni-knot in the end of the lead link and tightened it down on the backlead's stalk. I was in business!

Why you can't buy simple hooks like you used to remains a mystery to me. Drennan used to do a long shank hook which I liked for fishing worms, but long shanked hooks with simple O'Shaughnessy or round bends have all been replaced by 'carp' hooks. The closest to what I'd like that I've found so far are Varivas 'Semi Circle' hooks which I bought late last summer after my eeling was over. The eyes are a bit small, but wire or Kevlar braid will go through even on the size four. As I didn't seem to have any eel traces made up I've put these hooks on my dedbait traces too. The wire of the size fours is a bit finer than I'd like, but the 1/0s are spot on. I hope!

By eight thirty Fred and I were sat watching the rods and listening to the radio as the evening failed to cool down any. We weren't expecting any action until well after nine in any event. Sure enough it was almost ten, still t-shirt warm, when the head section fished to my left tore off. And so the madness began. I didn't keep a note of how many twitchy takes and dropped or missed runs I got. There were lots. As soon as the marginal off-bottom worms were discovered that bobbin was never still until the worms had gone. I ended up fishing just a single lob on that rig with the same result. Almost constant activity but nothing to connect with.

Takes to the deadbaits were more sporadic. The tail section cast well out disappeared from a single bleep. I replaced that with a lobworm and it was pounced on immediately. Every now and then the right hand alarm would signal a positive run. Some were missed, one was connected with until whatever was on the hook came off it a rod length out. Anyone who strikes at the slightest hint of a take this would have ended up in a strait-jacket! Being of a less intense nature I can eventually tune myself to respond only to positive runs.

The run that came to the head section rod at five to midnight was the sort that wasn't going to stop. At last I hooked one. Plainly not pulling back very hard, at least it was an eel. I left it in the landing net while I packed the other rods and everything else away. When I came to lift the net ashore the eel had done the decent thing and unhooked itself.

Back at the car the thermometer was reading 18 degrees. I removed the sweatshirt I'd put on an hour earlier and drove home with the window wound right down on a still and sultry night.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Easing into eeling

After another evening chucking topwaters around, for one small fish and a missed take, I got the urge to rig the eel rods up on Wednesday. While the days have been warm the temperature was soon dropping if there was a clear sky at dusk. I was glad I'd taken a fleece.

Even though I'd intended to arrive around eight impatience got the better of me and I spent two and a half hours before, right on time as the light began to edge towards needing a torch to pack up, the right hand alarm sounded making that tell-tale short burst of sound that accompanies a pinched eel bait.

Typically there were fish topping and bubbling all over the swim I'd selected. I'm sure I'd have caught a few fish if I'd taken non-fishy baits with me. That saw me torn between having another go for eels or taking some pellets and corn and seeing what might be daft enough to pick those up. I hate making decisions. As the eel rods are rigged up and the tench/bream rods aren't it might be an easy choice though.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017


My lure fishing comeback tour continued yesterday. In the morning I'd visited the local DIY shop, which also sells household goods, with the intention of purchasing a tupperware type box to take over from the unstable bucket my lures have been rattling around in. I had one lined up but then noticed some storage boxes. Not air/watertight but that isn't a problem. The lidless bucket was hardly that. Best of all the box was large enough to get my unhooking tools in as well as the lures, and half the price of the tupperware type box!

Eager to try out the box I filled it with my junk, put it in the Korum mat/sling thing. And headed out into the warm spring evening. The sun was bright, the sky almost cloudless but there was a chilly north-easterly blowing.  Not ideal, but I do prefer a ripple on the water when I'm surface fishing. Particularly if I can cast downwind and work the lures back over the wavelets. I think the ripple makes a lures artificiality less obvious and it creates more noise from a bait.

My plan was to work my way in the opposite direction to last time. No real reason except I fancied seeing if this time I could nail the fish I'd raised late on. No joy in the first swim so on to the next one. Here the water was in shade, but more rippled with the wind in my face. I cast over the places the takes came from on my previous visit with no success. Then I flicked the Blackpot out to my right. Nothing. Another cast a bit closer to the margin and two thirds of the way back there was a satisfying take. Not the splashy take of a small jack. Not the modest 'boom' of a high single. But a proper ka-boom! The resistance was more than the prototype rod had had to put up with before too.

Even so the fight was similar to all the others, except on a bigger scale. Wallowing and head shaking rather than runs. As I could see that the lure was outside the pike's mouth, just the tail hook connected, I feared the worst. A single point snout hook-up all to often leads to a shake of the head that sends the lure flying free. That was why I reached for the net rather than risk letting the fish tire before hand grabbing it. There had been no need to worry. The hook had taken hold well inside the top jaw, but was easily removed.

The scales I had with me were a little optimistic for pike fishing, reading up to 120lb. Being out of practice with my pike weight guesstimates I was amazed to see where the needle settled. A fair few degrees further round the dial than I'd expected.

A two pounder would have done to save a blank, but this fish meant I could have packed up there and then. I carried on though. Either I've scared all the jacks with the Jackpot, or they weren't up for it, because I didn't raise another fish for over an hour. In fact it was getting close to home time when a rooter in a swim I hadn't worked a lure through last time out went airborne with the bait between its teeth. the same old story, the first or second cast getting any interest there is. Then it was back to fishing what seemed like fishless water.

Despite a long lay off from surface fishing my little ruses are coming back to me. Making the lure walk around pads with hard taps followed by gentle ones so it doesn't come along a straight line. Dropping the lure short on a downwind cast and letting it drift up to the pads or reeds. Constantly shifting my position to alter the direction of the retrieve slightly to manoeuvre the lure. breaking up the metronomic taps with pauses. Sometimes these things work. Mostly they keep me thinking. Next time out, if I have the patience, I might start out with a surface crawler.

Monday, May 01, 2017

Boom, boom, boom, boom!

I've never considered myself to be obsessive, but when doing something takes my fancy I to tend to get focussed on it for a period. That's why I was back with the lures, specifically the topwaters, yesterday. Even when pike miss a surface lure it gets the adrenalin flowing!

It was straight in with the 'Blackpot' and after my previous experience I wasn't going to spend much time in each spot. Takes had come to the first few casts. If there was a pike in the swim it would probably have a go early rather than late. Had I been turning bigger fish I would have used a surface lure to wake the pike up and strike or not followed that with something more subtle fished subsurface.

Sure enough the pattern was repeated. Nothing in the first swim, move. The second spot let me cover some of the same water plus some more. First cast to a new area and boom! At first I thought the pike had missed as the take was early in teh retrieve on a long line and I didn't feel anything. As I tried to regain contact with the bait something pulled back. Not very hard, but it pulled back. Another jack.

A few more casts to spots I hadn't covered and move again. Nothing in three more swims then a corner swim. It might not have been the first cast through some pads but it was second or third. The easterly was making long accurate casts tricky. As the lure came in to open water it was hit. One headshake and the pike was gone. A few more chucks and move again. Nothing. Two more likely looking spots produced nothing so into another one.

First chuck and a jack tried to eat the lure just as I was going to lift it out of the water. This one was determined, if inaccurate! Three more failed strikes followed over the next few minutes before I let the lure rest on a short line at the end of a retrieve. With the lure static the pike's radar served it better! No monster for sure,and as skinny as a snake.

On my way to the next swim I disturbed a roosting tawny owl. The birdy highlight of the evening, with a family of a dozen small mallards in second place. Sedge warblers and whitethroats noisily noticeable, temperatures rising and hawthorn starting to bloom means spring is here at last.

Yet again the first cast stirred a pike into action. This one got hold briefly before dropping off. Possibly the biggest raised of the evening. Two more pikey looking spots produced nothing so I tried another which had a number of interesting looking places to work a lure past. Sure enough one saw a two pounder launch itself at the lure on its firts pass. And its second. Then again a few minutes later after I'd given it a rest. A long cast to another spot and straight away a pike of fur or five pounds cartwheeled behind the bait.

The light was starting to fade as I dropped into the final spot for the evening. First cast, you guessed it. As the lure came into open water it got hit. A couple of headshakes and it was gone. Not to return. They rarely do once they've felt steel. That was it. Another short, fun session. My usual reaction to this kind of fishing is to start taking more lures and gear, and more often than not getting worse results. I do need a better container for the lures though. I'd ditched the bucket for a lidless storage box which I thought would stand up better in my mat/sling when its strap was slung over my shoulder. It didn't. A couple of times I had lures all over the mat.Whatever container I end up using I will not be putting any more lures in it. None.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Out of retirement

Daylight hours must be a trigger for me getting the urge to wet a line because after tea yesterday I picked up a bucket of lures, some unhooking tools, a rod, net and unhooking mat and set of to throw the lures in some water. It was the first time I'd felt like fishing since early February and my longest break since the close season was abolished.

Two Burts, one floater one slow riser, a spinnerbait, and in-line spinner and a jackpot would cover most eventualities for a couple of hours on a shallow venue.

The main reason for the session was to play with a new lure rod. The reel I put on it hadn't been un a rod for a loooong time. So long that it must have got a bit dried out. The drag was stuck and there was a hideous screeching noise on every cast which the usual dunking in the water didn't shut up. After half an hour or so everything settled down and peace was restored though.

The weighted Burt and in-line spinner were ignored in the first two spots I tried but half way through the first cast the Burt was smoked by a fish that didn't test the rod, or the drag, at all. It was a start though. A couple more casts then on with the topwater. A dozen feet out on the first retrieve and a fish a little larger than the one I'd landed blew up behind the lure. It didn't have a second try.

It's a long time since I've cast a lure in anger but it didn't take long to start remembering the little tricks and techniques. Things like casting long so the lure is well under control as it comes to the place you think will be the strike zone.

Nothing to either lure in the second spot. I'd decided that a silhouette bait was the best bet in the overcast conditions and abandoned the bladed lures.

I bypassed another swim which looked a bit barren in favour of a more featured one. That proved fruitless so I backtracked. A long first cast to some pads and something hit the topwater lure as it came into open water. It felt like I'd hooked a couple of the pads the resistance was so slight. It turned out I'd foulhooked a jack of about a pound, which I consider letting swim around for a few minutes to see if one of its big sisters might be hungry!

Another long cast to get the line laid better on the spool and as the bait came past a bankside bush a better fish did a spinning dolphin impersonation behind it before finishing off with a belly flop. It's a long time since I had so much surface lure action and had forgotten what fun it can be.

A shorter cast, more in hope than expectation, and when the lure reached the same spot the pike made a better job of things and nailed it. Still no test for the rod it was a fish that might have made double figures pre-spawn.

Time was getting on by now so I made one last move to a swim where I could cover a few features. It was to no avail. Two hours fishing, five strikes and two fish. Travelling light with minimal gear and a camera in my pocket. Not a bad way to spend a spring evening with the trees greening up and the chiffchaffs on repeat. I might do it again!

The rod is one that looks nice with it's woven finish but I'm not sure adds anything other than that to the ones already in my range. I did find it really nice for fishing the Jackpot though. There's enough 'weight' to let the drop of the rod tip do most of the work for walking the dog, and it's stiff enough for working the floating Burt too. I'll be leaving it rigged up with the bucket beside it and grabbing a few more short sessions I think.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

New challenge?

I still can't be arsed to go fishing. Mostly because I've been concentrating on a photographic project. However, a syndicate ticket has come through and with work returning to manageable levels I've had time to build myself some new, as in prototype MkII, rods to use there. Just got to get them rigged up, make a new landing net to go with them, and wait for the weather to warm up.

Also soon to be new on the scene is a magazine aimed at serious specialist anglers. Catch Cult will be a high production value, limited edition magazine with a difference. The promo vid might give a hint as to what can be expected. More info as it becomes available.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

In need of a challenge

Almost the end of February and I've only managed one depressing pike session way back on the third. Time I put something on this blog! It being my fourth blank on the bounce I decided to retire from fishing until the eels wake up. I think I've hit that wall which usually pops up around the third year fishing a water. For whatever reason it begins to get predictable, and boring looking at the same scenery every trip. There's a chance I might catch a twenty, but the odds are it'll be a fish that's been caught before, and possibly one I've already caught at a lower weight.

When I look back at the waters I've fished for various species over the years the pattern has been fairly consistent. The sequence goes like this. First year all is new and challenging trying to suss out swims, methods, fish movements. Second year put into action the lessons learned and catch consistently. Third year repeat the second year but start finding it all a bit predictable. Fourth year get bored going through the motions.

As I've got a 'new' water lined up for eels, and possibly tench, this year I'm more focused on that than my piking. I want those two species to start moving, more so the eels, to provide me with the challenge I need to get myself fishing again..

Mind you, work has only just begun to return to 'normal' levels, which has curtailed my opportunities to wet a line. The free time I have had midweek has often come at less than optimal times for fishing given that I'd rather fish early or late. It's OK for photography though, so I've been snatching an hour or two here and there to pursue a project which has become a bit of an obsession.

Most of the rod building has been run of the mill stuff, or horrible rebuilds. But one alternative handle which I thought might look a bit rubbish turned out rather nicely. Cork with a soft touch reel seat and black anodised aluminium butt cap with rubber button. I don't recommend the soft touch reel seats from a practical point of view, the coating can scrape off and I've known it turn sticky. But it looks nice to start with.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Colours and measures

Given my innate dislike of work when I have a lot of it to get done my motivation to go fishing tends to desert me for some reason. That's my current excuse for staying away from the water for most of this month. When I have had a spare couple of hours I've been spending them taking photographs for one of my projects.

In among the drudge work of standard builds there have been one or two custom jobs to keep me interested. I like playing around with colour combinations so when I was asked to whip up a set of rods using an olive thread and told to use my imagination for a choice of tipping colour to go above the handle I did just that. I wanted a contrast, but a subtle one. I think it worked out OK.

Football is something I don't understand, so it was a mystery to me why anyone would want a rod whipped up in a football team's colours. That they were green and white could have been a problem if I hadn't got myself a spool of white thread sometime last year on a whim. I'm sure I had a plan for it, but that can't have worked out! It is an option for colouring the tip on a barbel rod, but paint is easier. Putting marks on a marker rod is another use I've tried it for. Which it does well enough. Although I was sceptical of the green and white colour scheme it looks a lot better than I thought it might.

I've long been a sucker for stationery supplies. A weird fascination to have, but not an unusual one. There's something satisfying about pens and notebooks. Tapes fall into a similar category. I buy these sort of things and then try to find a use for them. After purchasing some black gaffer tape to wrap around a garish camera strap I discovered the stuff comes in a range of colours, including cammo and dayglo ones. I couldn't resist the temptation.

The cammo tape went on a bait bucket that didn't really need it, but it looks nice. Initially I had no use for the bright tapes. However, after using the white I had also bought to make labels for my boxes of stock and various other things I started using it to mark the sections of blanks when I'm building rods.

I'd used masking tape for this for years, writing details on it with marker pens. But despite it's removeability masking tape can leave a sticky residue which needs cleaning up. Gaffer tape, the proper stuff rather than duct tape, is pretty much residue free. And it tears easily. By using different colours on different sets of blanks I can quickly determine which sections are which. It looks kinda pretty too. I'm finding other labelling uses for dayglo tapes too. You can have hours of browsing fun at gaffertape.com if you are a tapeaholic!

Every so often I have a customer who wants a rod building to match one or more they already have. In an ideal world I would build the new rod along side the existing one to make sure everything lines up the same. That's not always possible so I ask for measurements. The problem is that everyone seems to measure the placement of fittings in different ways. None of which ever coincides with my system!

The way I do things is to work from fixed points. On two-piece rods these are the tip and the butt. That way any slight variation in section length in the manufacturing process is eliminated. The joints of the old and new rods might not match up, but so long as the overall lengths are the same all the fittings will align.

Reel seat placement is measured from the butt cap to the back of the reel seat (A), as is butt ring position (B). If there are two rings on the butt section the second one can also be measured from the butt cap. The  rings on the top section are measured from the tip ring (C). All quite straightforward. Three piece rods are a bit more trouble. What I do is put the middle section on the butt treat it as a single section. Similarly with four piece rods I put the two top sections together and treat them as one. The key is to use the fixed points.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Blatant self-promotion

It must have been the weather that tempted me back to the lake last week. That and some free time. Despite the conditions, which were mild before a forecast freeze, I failed yet again. Not even a missed take on the retrieve in any of the three swims I tried. Including the banker swim. I did see a low double caught by the other angler, so I guess I was just putting my baits in the wrong places., As usual. The promised frost began to arrive as I was packing up. Just a light coating of the sparkly stuff on the rod sling and unhooking mat.

I keep persevering with the 12000OC Baitrunner loaded with mono on one rod. I really don't know why! Side by side with a 6000OC it does look considerably larger. If I was fishing larger stillwaters I think the 12000 might be my pike reel of choice.

The following day I was out with my camera until late afternoon and decided to drive by the lake on my way home to see if anyone was fishing. The car park was deserted despite it being a dry and sunny day. When I saw the lake I realised why. It had gone solid over night. I'd missed nowt.

Over the Christmas/New Year holiday Neville Fickling interviewed me for Pike and Predators.I quite enjoyed answering his questions, which were not the usual sort that get asked in fishing interviews. I rambled on about a few 'off topic' subjects. The interview is in the February issue which is out now. My silly side was pleased to get one of my poultry show photographs printed in the mag!

Neville wrote a nice 'predatorial' about the history of the PAC as it enters its 40th anniversary year. It's quite remarkable to look back at how pike fishing has changed in that time. Not so much the methods, which have evolved little, but the attitudes towards pike and the access to fishing where previously pike were treated as vermin. And pretty much all down to the efforts of those who got the Pike Society rolling in the first place and those who continued the work with the PAC phoenix which rose from its ashes. Things are much better now than they were in the 'good old days', but there are still threats to pike stocks which need countering, and I fear there always will be. Which is why any angler pike angler who isn't a PAC member ought to give it strong consideration.