Friday the 28th December saw 16 of the Thames Gateways intrepid anglers braving the blustery conditions to attend a festive fish in at the Darenth Fisheries Tip Lake. After a few mugs of coffee, the odd massive fried breakfast, and the usual seasonal pleasantries, we left the comfort of the clubhouse and braved the gusty conditons to set up our stalls after the Tip Lake's resident esox.
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


The first meeting of 2008 will be on the 2nd tuesday of the month, bescause the first Tuesday is New Years Day.
To entertain us this month we have no other than the one time UK pike record holder


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


Xmas Extravaganza starring "The Doc"

What can i say, another superb evening, admirably supported by the stalwart chaps of Kent and Essex.....Big thanks has to go out to "The Doc", everyone to a man was in awe of James's commitment to his sport, and his incredable tally of big fish......the man is a big pike catching machine.

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.