A group dedicated to the conservation of pike is calling on clubs and fisheries throughout the UK to educate thousands of anglers on caring for their catch in preparation for the predator season.
Several associations in the UK have announced plans to run compulsory tutorials for members that intend to target predators in the coming months and the Pike Anglers Club is now leading a campaign to get others to follow suit.
Although pike, perch and zander may have a fearsome appearance, they are amongst the most delicate species present in our waters and careful handling and unhooking procedures must be followed in order to prevent damage.
PAC General Secretary Alan Dudhill believes that fisheries with stocks of these species should make arrangements to educate anglers on appropriate fish care techniques. He said: “We need to ensure we take all necessary precautions to return pike fit and well and tuition can educate people on how to care for their catch.”
“The PAC runs several teach-ins each year but we need clubs and fisheries to host similar days to back-up our work and make sure that their predators are treated in the correct manner.”
Surrey’s Farnham AS are one outfit that insist on permit holders attending a short class each season before targeting pike and scheme co-ordinator Mike Slater told Angling Times: “At the beginning of each class most are enthusiastic but you do get a few that can’t understand why they have to bother turning up.”
“Thankfully, by the end, everyone can see the value of what we are trying to achieve and everybody learns something new.”
“We’ve educated over 4,000 people on issues such as what tackle to use and also demonstrate on live pike how to handle them correctly. I’ve seen poor handling on some venues in the past but never on our club waters and I believe that is testament to the tuition sessions we stage,” he added.
Other clubs to endorse similar projects in recent years include Norwich’s Bawburgh Fisheries and Cheshire’s Lymm AC.