Dr Paul Garner
Whilst I was call myself an ‘allrounder’ I really do love my winter predator fishing more than anything else, and come August, my mind once again starts to fill with plans for the winter ahead. Most of these plans will revolve around catching big pike. Most of my time is spent fishing trout reservoirs, as these venues give the best chance of catching really exception pike, but I also fish other venues, particularly my local rivers and gravel pits.
I am fortunate enough to make my living through the sport that I love. I have written a weekly column, more or less continually, for over twenty years, mostly for Angling Times. I have also contributed to virtually every magazine in the UK, and a number in Europe too. I have written and self-published two books on angling. I am also a keen self-taught photographer and videographer and produce material for several different companies. Finally, I also develop and source products, and have had a hand in much of the PikePro range, most of which has been developed on the bank to overcome our really life pike fishing problems.
Despite being a rather lucky angler, and having caught some big predators, my drive and passion never waivers and every time the drop-off signals and run or I get a bump on a lure the adrenalin kicks in as it always has and hopefully always will.
Paul’s current PB’s
I am a passionate and successful angler, who has been fishing all his life for various species, but now specialises in all things predator!
I travel all around the UK and Europe for my predator fishing fix, and can often be found jigging for zander on tidal rivers, legering for pike on the Fens, chucking lures on the wild Scottish waters or flicking pike flies on the Irish Lochs. A lure angler at heart, there is nothing I like better then casting lures for pike or zander, but I am equally at home deadbaiting for them, or even beach-casting for rays and smooth hounds.
I have a scientific background in fisheries, holding both a Diploma and a BSc Hons Degree in Fisheries Science, and work in the fisheries industry. I regularly contribute to various coarse and predator fishing magazines and have a column in Anglers Mail.
Pike are probably my favourite fish and I have currently caught over 200 twenty pound pike, with no fewer than fifteen fish over the magical 30lb mark. My personal best pike is 34lb 12oz. Zander are also on my hit list and I am currently the only angler in the UK to have caught two 18lb + Zander from different waters with my personal best being a massive 18lb 8oz. Whilst I do less perch fishing I have caught numerous fish over 4lbs topped by a stunning UK PB of 5lb 1oz.
Andy’s current PB’s
I am a year-round general coarse angler, but really look forward to the winter months when the predator season kicks in, the banks get quieter, and I can concentrate on my favourite gravel pit or reservoir deadbait tactics for pike, or work lures on the local canals and rivers for perch, pike, chub and zander.
I have used Pikepro/Baitbox products exclusively now for over three years and realise the value of having specially designed predator tackle and super fresh baits to up my catch rates. It’s not just about quality though, it’s trust too; the products available are all extensively tested on the bank by our team to ensure reliability, strength and suitability, so I know I can fish confidently with everything performing as it should without fear of failure or poor presentation.
This season, I intend to put a lot more effort into fishing Astbury Mere, a fifty acre pit on the Stoke-on-Trent Angling Society ticket which I’m sure contains pike to over 30lb, but with depths to almost fifty feet too, it’s finding them that is the challenge!
Although I am best known as an all rounder that enjoys all branches of the sport I have always been especially interested in predator fishing. In 1988 I won the TG Lure championship catching pike with an overall weight of 99.11 and around the same time made two of the very first dedicated Pike DVDs, which were a best seller for Clean River productions.
Since those days I have retained my interest in predators and have enjoyed success with perch to over 5lb, eels to over 7lb, zander to over 18lb and pike to over 30lb, and even caught the ultimate predator, the Great White Shark, in excess of 1000lbs.
My association with PikePro started a few years ago now when I wanted the best frozen bait on the market and then after meeting Paul Bird I was asked to join the PikePro team. It is an honour to deal with a company that develop gear that is based upon what active and successful anglers tell the design team.
Predator fishing is not easy in this country nowadays for a number of reasons and to be consistent and at the top of the game requires that you have to be using gear that you can trust and you know works on even the hardest of waters, PikePro gear gives me the confidence that you need to be successful when predator fishing.