Pugged up in the relative comfort of the sheltered SE corner of the lake, Dave Tomlin was quickly into the fish with a nice specimen of 18lb.
I set up next to the mouth of a small bay, into which, a number of pike had herded the lakes population of silver fish, and were crashing and swirling around in a traditional Mr Crabtree stylee. A deftly placed section of Bluey was quickly taken by one of these fish, and my account was opened with a nice fish of 15lb 6oz.
This was quickly upstaged by the first cracker of the day in the shape of a 22lb 8oz fish falling to the rod of Paul Sharman.
A phone call for a photo request from Gary Hayes took me to the far end of the lake to photograph a stocky 19lb 7oz fish for the grinning Mr Hayes
On returning to my swim, i recast the rods and was quickly rewarded with a nice double of 12lb 12oz from the mouth of the bay again.
Mid morning saw a lull in the pike captures, and the late arrival of Merv "the jackmaster" Jones, who was soon whipping out jacks a plenty on his ultra light lure gear, but let himself down later in the afternoon with a double of 13.08.
"The Jack Master" keeping the faith!
Midday saw the wind pick up and the captures die down, save a flurry of jacks for Tony Palmer and Dave Tomlin. As the gusts abated in the afternoon, the fish started to feed again, and Harry Wonford was in on the action with a nice double of 14.04, as was Tony Skeet with a long, big headed pike of 18lb, quickly followed by a scraper double.
Jon Willgress who had been suffering with a few false runs that day, struck into another run, only this time to be met by solid resistance, and was soon being given the runaround by a hefty fish, which turned out to be the biggest of the day at 23lb exactly.
With only the odd jack forthcoming after Jons cracking fish, we packed up at dusk and retired to the warmth of the local hostelry, to warm our cockles and soothe our wind swept faces.....
The day raised £240, which will be donated to the British Heart Foundation, on the request of our host for the day Ian Matthews.
Thanks again to Ian for giving up his lake for the day and allowing us access, and to Paul Davies who owns the Darenth Fishery complex, and to all the members who turned up and made it another successful fish in for the Thames Gateway region
To entertain us this month we have no other than the one time UK pike record holder
MR NEVILLE FICKLING
Neville is a stalwart of the PAC, as well as holding the Zander record on a couple of occasions, he is also a prolific author and tackle shop proprietor,and has been pike fishing longer than most of us have been alive, with maybe the exception of Bill Palmer. In this time Neville has amassed a virtually unequalled tally of big pike.
The meeting will be at the usual venue, and we'll be meeting around 7.15-7.30 for an 8.00pm start. Usual buffet and raffle. PAC members £2.50, non members £3.50
The Doc looking suitably pleased with himself.
I would recommend anyone to go and see James's talk, a nicer, more modest gent, you couldn't wish to meet, and a thinking, insightful angler to boot.
Bumper Xmas Raffle
Inbetween James's talk and the troughing of the buffet, the jumbo raffle went down a treat. Hopefully most people won a prize, and thanks to all the generous local tackle dealers for donating loads of excellent prizes.
Here's wishing everybody a very pikey festive season and thank you for your continued support and patronage of the Thames Gateway PAC Region 19 in our very successful first year.
For your delectation this festive month we have
JAMES "the Doc" GARDNER
visiting our region. James is a prolific catcher of large trout reservoir pike and in doing so has honed his trolling techniques in the pursuit of the reservoir dwelling denizens of the deep.
So, if you are thinking of fishing any of the trout reservoirs this season or just need a few pointers regarding your trolling tecniques, then James is the man to come and talk to......
In the words of the great Noddy Holder...
And to this end that can only mean one thing
BUMPER XMAS RAFFLE!
I have been trawling the local friendly tackle shops, convincing their proprietors to donate a few trinkets for our Xmas raffle..............and donate they have!!!! I have enough stuff to start my own tackle shop now, I have been given Rods, Reels, pike tube, livo tube, lure carryall, trace wallet, lure box, lures, and more assorted bits of tackle and clothing than any self respecting piker could want...plus a copy of the PAC30 book, and other bits and pieces.
All of these have been kindly donated by the following splendid chaps
Gary and Kevin at The Tackle Box in Dartford
Ian at Anglers Base in Penge
Mark and Mark at Mark 2 Angling in Crayford
Andy at The Friendly Fisherman in Tunbridge Wells
John at The Anglers Rest in Welling
So come along to the Thames Gateways Xmas Extravaganza on the 4th and be regaled by James and have a chance of winning lots of splendid stuff in the raffle.
As usual the buffet was consumed with relish, and I actually managed to snaffle the odd sarnie this month!
This months raffle prizes were kindly donated by Mk2 Angling in Crayford and by The Anglers Rest in Welling...Cheers guys
Novembers meeting will be held on Tuesday the 6th November at the Papermakers.
This month the man sharing his wealth of knowledge with us is
Ken is very accomplished pike angler and a previous recipient of the PAC's Pike Angler of the Year award. He is a also the fishery manager of Kents most prolific big pike water, Bough Beech Reservoir, which has produced pike to over 40lbs.
As usual we will be starting at about 7.15-7.30 to drink beer and regale each other with tales of all the monster pike we've all been catching!!!!!, and the talk will start about 8.00pm
Usual buffet and raffle, and we will have a few copies of PAC 30 for sale for any interested parties
£2.50 members/£3.50 non members
If you haven't seen Rodders talk then I recommend that you make the effort to go and see the man at a region near you.........you won't be dissapointed...the guy is hilarious, and on the flip side, a top pike angler with a wealth of experience.
Thanks again to Mark at MKII Angling for the raffle prizes
Next months meeting is on Tuesday 2nd October at the Papermakers, and our guest speaker this month is none other than the Fenland Maestro himself
STEVE "RODDERS" RODWELL
Rodders has a wealth of experience fishing the Fenland Drains, with over 100 twenty pound plus pike to his name,as well as exstensive knowledge of the Broads, Trout ressies and rivers, plus his fishing exploits with ET and Mr Horton!
Steves talk is entertaining as well as informative, and will be an excellent incentive what with the traditional pike season looming, to dust those rods down and get out there among 'em!
Meet at 7.15-7.30 for beer and banter, 8.00pm start for the talk.
Thanks to Andy for starting the season off with a bang. 25 of the Gateways finest listened to Andy deliver a very interesting and sometimes thought provoking talk about all aspects of his lure fishing....from trolling the big trout ressies to fly fishing for predatory barbel and vertical jigging for dutch zander and perch
Andy's obviously a man who thinks long and hard about his fishing, and uses this to the best advantage judging by some of his catches.
Thanks to Mark at Mk II Angling for the raffle prizes, and as usual the buffet was consumed with great relish ( but not by me as I was too busy selling raffle tickets )
Tuesday 4th September sees the start of the speaker season at the Thames Gateway PAC region
To kick us off this autumn we have
well travelled lure angler and proprietor of the Friendly Fisherman tackle shop,
who will be gving us an insight into all aspects of his different lure fishing styles from pike in the UK to zander in Holland and predatory barbel from Spain...
As well as Andy's talk we will have the usual raffle and resplendent buffet........
This all takes place at the Papermakers Arms in Dartford, Kent, and we meet around 7.15-7.30 for an 8pm start
I'm sure Jon would be more than happy to bring his talk to other regions if they were interested in something a bit less pike, but still predator orientated....
Next months meeting will be on Tuesday 7th August, and as a pre runner to the first "proper" meeting of the pike season in September, I will hopefully be bringing some of the latest catalogues from the Friendly Fisherman. So if anyone wants to put an order in for some nice new shiny lures, for the up coming trout water season, you can fill in a order form, and when Andy Lush visits the region in September for his Lure Talk, he can bring lots of lovely lures with him that you have pre ordered.
If anyones got any pics of some summer lure caught pike then send them to me at the regions e-mail email@example.com and i'll put them in the gallery.
John will be giving us an insight into his foreign fishing adventures, with video footage and a slide show featuring huge Tarpon and massive Catfish to name but a few.
We will meet at 7.30 for an 8.00 start at The Papermakers arms....all welcome
I've been busy over the last couple of weeks procuring the services of some of the finest speakers on the PAC circuit, and the lineup for this winters pike season is looking like this at the moment
September 2007 - ANDY LUSH : Lure fishing
October 2007 - STEVE RODWELL : Fishing in the Fens
November 2007 - KEN CROW : Fishery Manager at the famous Bough Beech reservoir.
December 2007 - JAMES GARDNER : Fishing the Trout Reservoirs
January 2008 - NEVILLE FICKLING
February 2008 - JASON DAVIES
March 2008 - MARC BARNETT & PHIL CHERITON : Irish fishing adventures (The Spring Sessions)........the "Winter Sessions" to follow next season!!!!
April 2008 - DAVE HORTON : Author of "Ultimate pike" and catcher of loadsa big pike
More details will be posted nearer each date.
The regions first fish-in took place last Sunday on a small secluded pit in the wilds of deepest Essex. Due to unforeseen circumstances, only seven hardy souls pitched up to do battle with the Essex Esox. Ray Pemberton was straight in on the action with a cracking fish of 17lb taken on a copper spoon, closely followed by Mick Doohan with a nice fish of 10lb.
Later that morning, a narcoleptic Jon Synnuck was rudely awoken from his slumber by a 19lb 4oz fish making off with his deadbait. After a couple of pics, the 19 was slipped back, only for it to swim off.....and take his livebait!!!....I knew these fish were hungry but thats just plain greedy!!! John also added a 12lber and a couple of jacks to his tally.
Yours truly opted for a more roving approach (roving around the whole pit about four times in fact!)and managed to winkle out a handful of jacks and two nice doubles of 16lb 6oz and 18lb 14oz on the trusty 'ol Springdawg.
Gary noticed that the roving approach was paying dividends, so off he went armed with his chubby shad, only to return minutes later, with a fish under his belt, a big smile, and a slashed thumb!
All in all twenty fish were taken during the course of the day with all members catching, with five doubles caught and a handful of nice sized jacks, but the roving approach obviously didn't suit Pete Fish!
A big thanks has to go to Ray for organising the day, and to Malden AC for allowing us access to their water.
John Synnuck has an idea for a fish-in later in the year, and I guarentee you won't want to miss out on this one!! All will be revealed at a later date!
This months meeting was the first of our "informal" summer meetings, and was quite well attended considering there was bloody football on again!!(can't see the attraction of watching 22 overpaid, under achieving nancy boys chasing a bit of pumped up pig round a field), but hey ho whatever floats your boat!!.
I hope the pike based quiz went down well, and well done Ray Pemberton for coming out Top Dog....a sterling effort....i'm sure he got a few of the answers from Bill Palmer!!
We decided among ourselves that a good idea for next months meeting would be a "Bring and Buy" sale....so if you've got any old tutt...I mean tackle that is surplus to requirements...bring it along to the next meeting and someone might take it off your hands. That will be on Tuesday the 5th June...11 days before the start of the fishing season!
Don't forget to renew your rod licences if you haven't already
You can buy them on-line from the EA
(you will have to cut and paste this link coz i'm a computer muppet and can't get it to work.....Doh!)
Fish-In Sunday 5th May
The regions first fish-in at Ricketts Mere, kindly arranged by quiz supremeo Ray Pemberton was an outstanding success........report to follow
Despite a few technical hitches (and a suspect gentlemens dvd!!!)the evening was a highly entertaining event enjoyed by everyone present (especially hecklers corner!)
"Come on you b@stid, feckin work!!!!!!!"
Thanks again to Mk 2 Angling and The Tackle Box for generously donating raffle prizes.
Thats it for the guest speakers until September now, I've already got a couple of speakers lined up for the next pike season (all will be revealed at a later date).
Over the summer months we will still be having the meetings, but they will much more an informal affair.
Next month, May 1st, we're going to do a pike based quiz, with prizes, and just have a general chat with you all about the direction you would like to see the region going in the future and any ideas you may have for future meetings. Also we'll have more info about the fish-in thats penciled in for early May.
saw Mark Barrett travel from the wilds of the Fens to entertain the Gateway lads with his excellent talk and slideshow.
The first half of the evening was taken up with Marks love for his Zander fishing and all round coarse fishing prowess...(who knew c@rp grew that big in the fens???), then following a break for a beer refuel, bangers, chips, sarnies and the raffle, we were treated to an insight into Marks pike fishing career.
All in all, a highly entertaining evening, and huge thanks to Mark for coming out on his birthday, to keep the standard of speakers we are getting at the Gateway at the highest calibre.
Thanks again to Mark 2 Anging and the Tackle Box for generously donating more raffle prizes.
As you can see I have had the first piccy sent to me for our members gallery, a lovely plump 21lber caught by Ray Pemberton.
Its looking a bit lonely there on its on, so come on lads, get those piccies sent in, action shots, your first pike, anything you want. Send them to me on the regions e-mail address
and I'll post 'em up for the world to see.
Don't forget that next months meeting on the 3rd April sees the
roadshow roll into town. I'm reliably informed that this is one not to miss
Last night saw 31 determined pikers battle the gridlocked traffic of the Dartford area, to hear Bill Palmer recount his life in piking, and kickstart the Thames Gateway region into life.
Greetings to old faces and new were exchanged, beer was quaffed, sandwiches were scoffed, and the assembled throng gathered to listen to Bill regale us with tales of many huge pike, and one very huge pike in particular, which impressed the hell out of everyone present, and may even have scared one or two!!
John Synnuck does his best Brian Blessed impression while addressing the members
Bill and the assembled throng
The evenings procedeings were rounded off with a Q&A session with Bill and the drawing of the raffle.
The raffle prizes were kindly donated by
Mark of MK II Angling http://www.mark2angling.co.uk
Gary of The Tackle Box http://www.tacklebox.co.uk
Thanks again lads
John and I would like to thank everyone who turned up for making the whole evening a lot less of a stress-fest than we thought it would be because of the traffic chaos.
I'd like to start a members gallery section on this blog, so if any members have catch photos they would like me to publish, send them with a few details (obviously not where you caught it!!!) to the regions e-mail address which is
Next Months meeting is on Tuesday the 6th March, and our guest speaker will be
Mark is the PAC secretary as well as a Fenland guide and Zander-phile
Welcome to the Blogspot for the all new Thames Gateway PAC Region
The Thames Gateway region meet on the first Tuesday of the month at the Papermakers Arms, Hawley Road, Dartford, Kent.
We intend to run meetings all through the year, but only play host to guest speakers during the pike season proper, which will be September-April.
Meetings will kick off from around 7.30pm onwards, with the guest speaker starting at around 8.30pm.
With the location of the meeting venue, we hope to attract pikers from the North Kent/South Essex/South East London catchment area and any brave soul who wishes to venture from further afield. All anglers of any age and ability with an interest in our toothy adversary are welcome.
Your Regional Organisers
I will be acting as RO for the Region. My name is Steve Gould and I have been pike angling seriously since 1983, although i did have a 10 year break between 1994-2004 when i discovered fast cars and faster bikes(the wilderness years I like to call them), but i returned to the fold with the fire burning as brightly as ever.
I'm the one with the silly hat, and the jolly looking chap with the santa-esque apperance is our assistant RO and Treasurer John Synnuck. John is also Treasurer for the PAC commitee. He is also one of lifes characters who has the annoying tendancy of being extremely successful in whichever branch of angling he seems to participate in, but I can't hold that against him as he is an excellent fishing companion and all round good egg.
Contact details: firstname.lastname@example.org
Inaugural Meeting:Tuesday 6th February
Our first meeting is on the aforementioned date at The Papermakers Arms,Dartford.
Directions for the pub are here
To open precedings our guest speaker will be the legend that is
Bill is the author of two very successful books and the captor of more big pike than you can shake a stick at, so come and join us for lots of pike related banter, sandwiches and beer!
Precedings will start at 7.30pm, John and I will be the furtive looking ones sitting at the bar hoping for lots of people to turn up.
Non members £3.50
Hope to see you on the 6th
Tuesday 6th march
(All round predator angler, fenland guide and PAC general secretary)