Nigel Duncan on fishing: Pike Anglers Alliance line up star speaker
The 33-year-old bricklayer has already landed two pike of over 30lb and is closing in on 100 of 20lbs plus and now he is setting his sights on bigger fish and something even more challenging, blue and porbeagle sharks, fishing from his 17ft boat off the Welsh coast and in Cornwall. He has already hooked into two of around 100lbs. They are, he said, not dangerous in the water for swimmers, but extremely dangerous if they are landed and in a boat.
Turner stressed that anglers contemplating going pike fishing should treat the fish with the greatest respect. Basically, they have hundreds of sharp teeth in their mouths and they all face backwards so if your finger is trapped there is little or no escape.
The pike angler said: "My talk will be about pike and also sharks and my advice to people thinking about taking up pike fishing is to go to the water with somebody who knows what they are doing. A lot of people are scared of pike, Yes, you should give them respect, but the main thing is to be firm and gentle."
He fishes with a minimum of 65lb braid and 60lb wire trace and with two standard size 4 treble hooks and he prefers to bring the fish in as quickly as possible. Having heavy tackle helps with that and also eliminates the risk of being broken by a big fish.
The Welshman admits to being methodical in his approach, including stealth on the bank, and he uses dead and livebait and also lures to tempt the fish. Turner generally goes fishing with three rods, one of which is left in the water for a long spell and the other two for around two hours before a bait change.
There is, he said, no magic formula to catching pike once you have learned the basics but Turner added that preparation of terminal tackle and correct bait and spending time on the bank are key elements. The Welshman, who cuts costs by using some second-hand gear, is no stranger to Scotland having fished waters North of the Border including Loch Ken, Loch Lomond and Loch Tay and he said: "I'm now targeting shark, blue and porbeagle, and they, like pike, have a lot of teeth.
"They are not dangerous to swimmers in the water but they do have a lot of teeth, like pike, and when you get them in the boat they thrash about. Their teeth are sharper than sharp."
Incidentally, the official record for a porbeagle shark caught in the United Kingdom stands at 507lb, caught by Scottish fisherman Chris Bennett of the Orkney Isles in 1993 and the blue shark have always been present in UK waters in the warmer summer months.
The busy day starts with committee business which is expected to run until 11.45am and Turner's talk will begin around 1pm and will be followed by the raffle and prize draws. A large prize list is on offer including tackle from Fox, PikePro, Dave Lumb Specialist Tackle and boat fishing on many of the PAAS waters. There will also be a range of tackle on sale from lure specialists My Fishing Lures.
Rapala and Okuma will be showing off some of their new ranges and there will be a second hand stall for anyone wishing to catch a bargain or sell some unwanted gear. In addition to the raffle, there is a guess the weight competition, a prize draw with a £700 top prize and the Golden ticket - a chance to win a free boat and fifteen minute head start at any PAAS event (open to PAAS members only).
There is a bar and restaurant on site and the event is open to all and prospective members can also join the PAAS on the day. Admission to the talk and exhibition is free. Onto fly fishing and Tweeddale Millenium near Gifford is fishing well with buzzer, damsel and humongous scoring on a mixture of floating and sinking lines and John Jackson, owner, plans to re-stock today (Saturday).
Rosebery near Temple is also fishing well with Aaron Willis again into quality fish. Nymph and lures have proved best here and Dougie Grant, fishery manager, says fish are staying down but fishing the margins could prove profitable.
Nearer the city, Loganlea in The Pentlands above Flotterstone report that damsel, bloodworm, humongous and diawl bach patters have worked well and the water is fishing well.
Across the hill at Clubbiedean, Steven Johnston, owner, reports that one boat angler toiled all day and then hit into a 12.5lb trout on an red apps worm. He went home happy and it is the best fish hooked this year. Damsel, buzzer and egg plus eggstacy patterns are working here.
Nearby Harlaw reservoir was "fishing its socks off" according to one regular in midweek and octogenarian Ronnie Robinson had 19 from The Dam Wall on a damsel pattern one morning with double-figure returns reported the same day.
In West Lothian, Morton Fishings near Livingston have re-stocked for the 14th time since they re-opened in early March and catch returns remain good while nearby Allandale Tarn at West Calder has been busy and is fishing well.Retired policewoman Rhona Jackson had a red letter night hooking fish after fish and several anglers, including Mr Gage from Denver, USA, were also successful.