Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Golden hits another Twenty

Old slushy "Golden Balls" hit this cracking Twenty pounder on one of the Fen drains yesterday. So pleased he was, he called Stu Parker who was just up river to come down and weigh, and then photograph his capture. Stu himself then landed a low double from the same stretch whilst his buddy had a 16. Not bad - three bites between them and three doubles.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Single Strand Titanium Spin Traces For Sale

Whilst at the PAC Convention in September, I was introduced to a ground-breaking new wire that was just about to be introduced to the market by Andy Lush and E.T. Products. Well known and respected Pike angler James Gardner had been using the same 50lb trace for almost 18 months; only having to replace the heavy duty link via a split ring at the end of his trace a couple of times in that period. The wire itself was still virtually as new.
With dozens of pike being caught on just one trace, I could see that even though this wire is ruddy expensive at £11 for 15ft; this was an incredible wire that was almost totally kink-resistant and would outlast any other wire available on the market today. Making up for it's initial cost with the number of pike that could be landed on just one trace. I was so impressed with the look and feel of the wire, that I bought a spool of it there and then f4from Andy and made up three 18" spinning traces to take to the International with me.
Throughout that long weekend at Bridgwater of the Thursday through to the Monday, I used just the one 30lb trace landing pike to 13lbs 07 which tail-walked and gyrated non-stop throughout the fight. A normal trace might have lasted me a couple of fish before I had to replace it, but not so with this wire. At the end of 4 days of fishing, the trace still looked and felt like new. Not a mark on it!
Now you all know that I really enjoy trace making, so I decided to splash out on a few spools of the stuff along with a quantity of quality fittings; and I have been busy building a quantity of 18" Spinning Traces in 20 & 30lb breaking strains with a choice of quality Coast-Lock swivels or Kwik Change Link swivel fittings. All traces come finished with a trace crimp sleeve fitted to the top swivel to give a professional finish. The wire is impossible to twist, so all traces are hand crimped using Mick Willis Professional Crimping Pliers (The best there are available at any price).
These traces will be available for purchase at the cost of £3.50 for one trace inclusive of packing and postage, or £10 for three. Absolutely every single penny of profit made from the sale of these traces will be donated to the BPS funds, to help us towards covering some of the costs of sending the team to Ireland next year.
This range of traces will be added to shortly with some superior quality Ball Bearing Swivel Coast-Lock 30lb traces, which will cost £4 for one trace, or £11 for three. I will also be making up a number of 14" 50lb traces with equally high-strength quality swivels and links for use with large lures or baits.
A range of 7-Strand economy traces are also now available, with a 20lb Duo-Lock clip trace retailing for £1.25 for one trace, or £5 for 5 (Both inclusive of postage). A 30lb Screw-Lock version costs £1.50 each or 4 for £5.
Traces that are available to purchase so far are:

20lb Wire - E.T. Coast-Lock Link / Titanium Wire.
20lb Wire - Fox Kwik Change Links / Titanium Wire.
30lb Wire - E.T. Coast-Lock Link / Titanium Wire.
30lb Wire - Fox Kwik Change Links / Titanium Wire.

20lb Wire - Duo-Lock Link / 7 Strand Wire.
30lb Wire - Screw-Lock Link / 7 Strand Wire.

As traces are sold, I will up-date my stocks of traces so that I can keep a steady supply of traces available for prompt postage.
If you are interested, then drop me an email at manager@britishpikesquad.com with your requirements. Included in the picture are (Left) 20lb Single Strand Titanium Wire Trace with E.T Cross-Lock Link and (Right) 30lb Single Strand Titanium Wire Trace with Fox Kwik-Change Link.
Please make all cheques payable to either "M J Skipper" or "The British Pike Squad". and post your order directly to me at:

Mike Skipper
38 Appledore Close
East Sussex
BN23 7JE

Friday, 13 November 2009

Set Lines Discovered

Those attending last weekend's Practice session on possible waters to host next years Team Selection Final, discovered a number of set lines on the waters they fished. Baits attached to these were still alive and fresh, so they can't have been set long before the boys arrived in the area.
It really is time that action is taken, with severe penalties being actioned to stop the rot before our wildlife is destroyed forever.
Here's a couple of pictures of what they found.....

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Our Eastern European Friends?

Alan Hickson showed us this shot taken on the Kings Sedgemoor Drain back at the International.

Well at least it's not a pike; but still shocking to say the least. There can be no doubt at all that it's been well and truly butchered by a gang out to make a profit and fill their freezers.

Monday, 9 November 2009

BPS Website

After listening to most of your grunts and groans, I have taken on board your comments and re-built the British Pike Squad website. It now allows you to open links and the forum as separate pages, so you can get back to the website with ease.
I am still in the process of adding more photos to the site, and am looking for a few extra articles as well. So come on you budding authors and get typing.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Mike Skipper

Proof that your's truly does manage to catch pike on the odd occasions. This is me and my 13.07, the biggest pike caught during the International. Notice my smug face....nuff said.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009


I doubt that there's many youngsters out there who can claim to have landed a double as their fist ever pike, but young George who is only 10 years old certainly managed that with this beauty.
George was fishing the King's Sedgemoor Drain with his dad on Sunday when we arrived to fish the International and hooked and landed the pike shortly after we started the match.
I was almost directly opposite him when I saw him strike and play the fish to the waiting landing net, and heard his whoops of joy when he saw just how big she was.
I have no doubt at all that young George is hooked on Pike now; and perhaps in a few years time might even be attending our Team Selection Final's.
Well done George, and here's to many more pike in the years to come.

Kevin Cheadle

Here's 'Double Blanker' Kevin Cheadle with a pike he reckons he actually caught. What a belter mate, but pity you don't catch fish like that during the Team Selection Final or you'd make the team!

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

PAC Convention

Just a few days to go till this years PACGB Convention. With many of the BPS also belonging to the PAC, it will be great to see as many of you as possible at Stoneleigh Park near Coventry this Saturday. I'll be spending the day either manning the Products stand, or walking around selling raffle tickets.
If you see me, then pop over for a chat.
Then just a few days later and we'll be meeting up for this years International at Bridgwater. A hectic few days of fun, alcohol and fabulous fishing. Gold for GB & Silver for the Irish?
Take care and have a great start to the traditional pike fishing season.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Team Selection Final

First few pics from the TSF last weekend. 'Golden Balls' of course!
Congratulations to all those who made the team to represent us against Ireland next year: Mark Lloyd(c) Wayne Gorringe, Adam Todd, Alan Hickson, Gary Edwards, Darren Knowles, Adam Holmes, Andy Waller, John Currie & our very special angler Louise Hunns.
Don't forget those that will be doing the business for us in a few weeks time at Bridgwater in this years International: Gary Edwards (c) Paul Higginson, Paul Danby, Colin Telfer, Stu Parker, Andy Waller, Mike Skipper, Adam Holmes, Alan Grant & Glenn Neave.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Andy Waller

I know they're not Pike, but this pic shows a bag of Barbel caught by Andy Waller recently. Not a bad catch at all really. However Andy; please remember that "These Don't Count In A PIKE Match"!
You can catch as many of these as you like next weekend (5th & 6th), or Zander if you like for that matter and we won't care!

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Alan Hickson

Alan "The Lure" Hickson has been hard into his training as this piccy shows. If this is typical of his catches in two weeks time at the Team Selection Final, he'll need a heck of a lot of these if he's to make the squad next year! Mind you it might be he's realised that there is a cash prize for the smallest pike caught over the two days. Any takers on cometing against him for that prize?

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Pike baits exempt from new ban on taking river fish

Killing coarse fish caught from Britain's rivers could soon become illegal.

But exemptions look set to be put in place to ensure pike anglers can continue using limited numbers below a certain size for bait.

Environment Agency officials will next week launch a major public consultation exercise over proposed byelaw changes.

Anglers and other interested parties have until September 14 to make their views known.

"Within the angling community there is a wide range of opinion about whether anglers should be allowed to take the coarse fish they catch," an EA source said.

"There has been mounting concern that coarse fish removal by rod and line is damaging stocks and fisheries.

"We know that some coarse fish are taken to eat and there is evidence that specimen fish are taken for illegal stocking in other waters."

While there have been calls for a ban on the use of coarse baits - frequently following allegations fish are being taken wholesale to supply the bait trade - the EA is on record stating it does not take the claims seriously.

A section of the report accompanying the consultation paper has this to say on the issue of using coarse fish for bait:

"Anglers fishing for pike and other predators have traditionally used small fish
for live or dead bait. It is a legitimate and effective method of fishing and
there is a strong argument that is should be allowed to continue. There is an
equally strong case that the number and size of fish taken for bait should be
limited so it does not damage fisheries. Note that we are not considering the
ethics of live-baiting in this consultation."

PAC president Tim Kelly said: "Everyone wants the problem of fish theft dealt with. On the face of it they're going about it in a reasonable way by acknowleging the ownership of fish stocks and making an obvious exemption for using fish for live and dead bait.

"I see it as an opportunity for us to go in there and state our case. It's also an opportunity to move forward and look at making certified fish available for use as bait, like triploid trout."

EA fisheries policy manager Adrian Taylor added: “We have some existing local byelaws that limit the removal of coarse fish, but these are inconsistent. We are proposing to introduce new byelaws that will apply across England and Wales to limit fish removal, protecting coarse fish and the fisheries they support.

"With a change to our byelaw-making powers expected in the autumn, we are consulting with the angling world now, so we can introduce the new measures as soon as possible in 2010.
“In developing our proposals, we need to balance the need to protect fish stocks with the rights of fisheries owners and managers to decide how their fisheries should be managed. In particular, we need to consider the differences between river and stillwater fisheries.

“We need the views of the angling community to help us strike the right balance.“


Click here to read the report on proposed byelaw changes. It includes a section you can print off and post to the EA.

From Monday, June 29, you will be able to take part in the consultation online. Click here for a link to the page where you can do that.

Sunday, 21 June 2009


Alan Hickson has just sent me these pictures of a dead pike of around 15lbs in weight.
His words:-
"A up it makes me angry every time I come across this the mindless d--k head that did this
This pike had a stainless steel trace with 2 big trebles stuck down its neck. Attached to the trace was line of about 6lb breaking strain - this fish was doomed from the moment it picked Mr d--k-heads' bait up
This fish was somewhere in the region of 15lb, but may have been more". Cheers a very pissed off angler.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Paul Danby

Paul Danby, team member of this years British Pike Squad; also got amongst the fish during the tail end of last season with this PB taken on the 'wobble'

Monday, 8 June 2009

Gary Edwards

This one managed to slip under the radar from El Capitano Gary Edwards. At 24.07 she's a real winter beauty - now all I hope is that he manages as much at this years International!

Friday, 29 May 2009

New Website Launched

We have launched a brand new site today to replace our old site which has served us well, but is now out-dated. The old site will continue to run for a while, but will be phased out within the next few months.
The New site can be found here.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

2009 International

I am pleased to announce that this years 18th International Pike Championship's between Great Britain and Ireland will take place over the first weekend of October on the waters of the Somerset Levels around Bridgwater. The two teams of 10 anglers selected from each nations national selection finals will fish both days of the event as 1 rod river roving matches, using any tactic other than the use of live-baits.
The squads that will battle it out are: Great Britain: Gary Edwards (Captain) Paul Higginson, Paul Danby, Colin Telfer, Stu Parker, Andy Waller, Mike Skipper, Adam Holmes, Alan Grant & Glenn Neave.
Ireland: Thomas McCabe (Captain) Pat Cooper, Michael McKenna, Alan Heasley, Derek Mohan, Marty Cosworth, Godfrey Donoghue, Marty Lawlor, Sean Markey & John Woods.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Irish National Pike Final

Found this video clip on YouTube featuring film taken during the 2004 Irish National Pike Final. Some obvious faces on there. Well worth watching. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CQmyNhy5sc


Welcome to the British Pike Squad News Blog. All the latest info on the National Pike Angling Squad - our national selection final - the annual GB v Ireland International - members catches - etc.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

2009 Team Selection Final

This years Team Selection Final will take place over the weekend of 5th & 6th of September on the Cambridgshire Fens; around our chosen base of Whittlesey near Peterbourough. After the well publicised problems of a few years back, the Fenland drains and rivers have come alive again with large shoals of prey fish and numbers of predators; and we are earnestly looking forward to the warmer and drier weather conditions September offers along with some excellent fishing..

I have included a list of Hotels & Guest Houses in Whittlesey with contact details for each, to allow you to make your own choice as regards to price and personal requirements.

Registration will be held in the car park of the Hero of Aliwal Hotel on the Saturday from 8.15am where entry fees will be collected, weigh cards issued and scales checked for accuracy. Fishing is expected to commence by no later than 10.30am with the match finishing at 4..30pm at the very latest. Meet back at the hotel after the day's fishing where the results will be posted as quickly as possible.

Entry for this years event is £40, inclusive of day tickets for both days, BPS administration fee and pools which will be paid out to the top 3 placed anglers for each day, with a cash prize for the captor of the largest pike overall, most pike overall, plus the smallest Pike overall. Please Note that ALL CHEQUES MUST be sent to our treasurers Stu and Louise, by the end of July. Entries received after this date, especially those who wish to pay on the day will be charged £45. So pay early to save yourself that extra Fiver!

As usual we shall be holding a raffle to help raise the funds required to run the BPS and in part financing some of the costs involved in getting the team over to Ireland, and so any assistance you can offer in the way of prizes will be gratefully received.

Please note that due to the nature of the fishing and distances to be covered combined with steep banks in places, that this match does not favour those with disabilities. You are still more than welcome to come along and compete at your own risk, but be aware of the problems to be faced. We look forward to seeing you there in September for a few beers in the hotel in the evening, some great banter and hopefully some superb fishing.



The Hero of Aliwal, 75 Church Street, PE7 1DG. 01733 203736

The Falcon Hotel, 1 London Street, PE7 1BH. 01733 351001

The Bee Inn, 53-57 Church St, PE7 1DE. 01733 206975

The Boat Inn, 2 Ramsey Rd, PE7 1DR. 01733 202488

Cobwebs Guest House, 21 Delph, PE7 1QH. 01733 350960

Conifers Guest House, 44 High Causeway, PE7 1AN. 01733 203256

Whitmore House, 31 Whitmore St, PE7 1HE. 01733 203088

Stuart Parker & Louise Hunns, Hon Treasurers, British Pike Squad, 81 Ladys Drove, Emneth, Wisbech, Cambridgsehire, PE14 8DF.

James Gilchrist Nets a 31.02 Wye Giant

New BPS member James Gilchrist broke his previous personal best of 15 1/2 pounds in style the other week with a magnificent River Wye 31.02 giant.
This magnificent fish fell to tandem mounted wobbled spratts fished slowly across a crystal clear river. James saw the fish follow his bait across the river before engulfing the bait.
15 arm aching minutes later this fish was the result.
James enjoyed his first ever national Team Selection Final last November narrowly missing out an an immediate place in this years British Squad to face the Irish ain October on British soil, however as reserve he will still have a large part to play for Great Britain.