Welcome to Bembridge Angling Club

This version of the news letter is slightly amended from the personal copies sent to members in order to make it suitable to be published on line & to reflect that certain things are now in the past.

Membership & mooring fees for the forthcoming 2017/8 season become payable on 1st November 2017
 
You are invited to attend the club’s AGM on Tuesday 24th  October in the club house, commencing at 8pm.
This will be primarily for the usual election of officers etc, but also provides members who are not on the committee with the means to raise any issues relating to the club under agenda item any other business.
The only subject put forward is a suggestion for constructing a boat scrubbing off station next to the quay by the steps. We are seeking additional volunteers to serve on the committee, especially from younger members. There is no great burden in doing so as all we ask is that you give, at most, 2 hours of your time on just one Tuesday evening (usually the first one) of each month.
 
Dates for your diary:-
24th October , Tuesday :   AGM in clubhouse PASSED
29th October, Sunday :   Open Cod Comp: See advance details on BAC website Notice Board page. STILL TRYING
1st November :   Membership & mooring fees due
8th  December, Friday : Prize Giving in the clubhouse. PASSED
 
Much the same as I was writing at this time last year, there is concern that the ongoing low numbers of Cod on the wrecks this summer will translate into another relatively poor winter fishery.  Apparently there is scientific evidence that cod stocks in the north sea have recovered slightly but that the eastern English channel stock has not recovered & remains at a very low level. Given the excessive levels of reported angling catches two summers ago, the finger of blame cannot be solely pointed just at commercial fishermen in this instance. Reports have surfaced of some cod having already been caught within the Solent but there have only been a couple of reports of individual fish from outside marks. I have been told by a contact  that large numbers of very small codling appeared for a couple of weeks recently up towards Eastborne but it remains to be seen what happens down here. We can only hope for some decent fish to show in time for our open cod comp which, once again, has received some excellent sponsorship from Sydenhams, Pascal Atkeys, Nick Challen Building Renovations, & Charles Smallman. that matches that which we received last year.  Also additional prizes from various club members & local businesses which are detailed on the competition entry forms.
On a far more positive fishing note, chairman Ross Staplehurst has advised that he has no objection to my reporting his fantastic run of success with sharks this season, despite the scarcity of Mackerel on the shark grounds. I believe his crew has released no less than 5 Threshers & 1 Porbeagle over a small number of trips. The only slight down side being that Ross & Smacker Smith both had to pass their rods over to a second crew member to complete the fights as they were both too exhausted to finish the fights themselves. This prompted Ross to purchase a shiny new purpose rod with which he was able to subsequently land a large Thresher unaided. Bob Cowely, however, showed up these “younger” ones by successfully fighting a good thresher without needing to seek any such assistance. “Old guys rule!”.
I believe that Rob Grimaldi & Martin Dye also had a degree of success.
A small number of club boats have ventured very long distances out into the channel (nearer to France on occasions) to find some excellent specimen Pollack to in excess of 15 lbs (Martin Dye 15 lbs 6 ½ ozs) plus some of the elusive summer cod albeit that Harry Hayward’s winter caught specimen of 27 ½ lbs still tops the leader board.
Lots of Bass are currently being reported but none to beat Mark Tutton’s current club best of 12 lbs 14 ozs. Unfortunately it won’t be that many seasons before the gap in year classes has its predicted effect of drastically reduced numbers, especially with the commercial sector continuing to find ways to continue targeting stocks above a sustainable level.  Unfortunately I am not getting a warm feeling about what EU restrictions may surface for us for Bass next year. I have a nasty feeling that it may well be the same again. There is a campaign going on by angling bodies that seeks to include all commercial fishing in a total 6 month ban if there is a repeat of the 6 month ban on anglers but I have serious doubts that the campaign stands any chance of success in the face of the overwhelming support that commercial fishermen give to their representing organisations.
Other notable catches include:- 
Conger 55lbs Greg Skinner; Blonde Ray 29 lbs 12 ozs Nick Ring; Tope 50 lbs Ross Staplehurst.
Derek Chappel continues to dominate the reported shore catches with Mullet up to 4 lbs 6 ozs.
 
Through my participation in the angling liaison group (Recreational Angling Sector Group) of the Southern Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Authority, I can advise that we are keeping a watch on the developing commercial fishery whereby live wrasse are transported up to Scotland to be put in Salmon breeding pens to clean the salmon of lice in place of using chemicals. There are vast numbers being harvested from the coasts starting at Portland & down to the far west & the relevant IFCAs have introduced control measures for the fishery. So far, it looks like no commercials in our area have got interested but if anyone has  any information about a local commercial getting involved then that information would be gratefully received.
 
As I feel sure you can imagine, things are still very much up in the air regarding fishery regulation post Brexit. One very disappoint bit of information I received recently is that even if the UK took back all fishing rights within its territorial waters tomorrow, it would be about another  7 to 11 years before it could completely exclude foreign vessels from our fish stocks. The reason is too complicated to fully explain here.
 
This time last year I wrote about the significant proportion of listed competitions that we had been forced to cancel due to bad forecasts. I also wrote about an unfortunate number of skippers failing to support the club by not entering competitions despite them actually fishing on the same day. The situation this season has been no better, weather wise & in fact the level of support for competitions seems to have deteriorated even more to the great disappointment & displeasure of the committee. A condition of holding a club mooring has always been to support the club in whatever way would be appropriate to the circumstances of the skipper. Participation in competitions is seen as a prime method of support & may be taken into account if any issues regarding allocation of moorings arise.  Expenditure on engraving annual trophies plus the supply of vouchers for fish of the month awards runs to several hundred pounds & the current level of contribution to club funds from competition entry fees is minimal.  The committee is seeking views on an option of not having any summer competitions at all with the competitions being restricted to spring Bream comp (s) & Autumn /Winter cod (& possibly cod & whiting) comps. The minimal, if any, income from competition entry fees may mean that further consideration has to be given to the costs involved with vouchers & engraving, with one option to stop them entirely.  In addition, an experiment was tried this past season of having some comps on a Saturday. This did have a couple of bonuses where the comp was held on the Saturday but would not have been able to be held on the following day due to deteriorating conditions. That said, the level of entries remained disappointingly low so consideration will be given to resuming having comps just on a Sunday (or bank holiday) as was the previous convention. I believe that the new format of voucher that we gave at last year’s prize giving has worked well & it is worth noting that the proprietor of East Cowes tackle has confirmed that they would also be accepted at his new Newport shop “Odessa Angling Centre”.
 
This time last year, I reported that Defra had, in 2016, carried out an audit of the sales of fish done by the under 10m inshore commercial fleet as a result of an EU requirement relating to the derogation that allows just this sector of the UK commercial fleet to not have to record their catches. At the same time Defra commissioned a voluntary survey of catches by RSAs under a heading Sea Angling 2016 (SA2016). The Angling Trust declined to promote this RSA survey & did so again for a similar survey SA2017, citing the failure to fully document the commercial catch yet still imposing restrictions (Bass) on RSAs based on incomplete/inaccurate data. AT has just been informed that the Defra report on the under 10m survey that had been held up all this time at the MMO is about to be released & will recommend that the under 10m fleet become compelled to maintain detailed catch records. AT has been requested to support yet another RSA survey SA2018 but has declined for the same reason but with a proviso that it would reconsider its position if the catch recording requirement on the commercial under 10 m fleet was to be implemented.
 
Sussex IFCA has been consulting on control measures for the “Utopia” designated MCZ & it looks like only bottom trawled gear will be prohibited so there should be no impact on us anglers.
I have yet to hear anything from the MMO about consultations for control measures for the “Offshore Overfalls” designated MCZ which includes the area known by many BAC members as the ray banks.
 
Enclosed with your personal copy of this newsletter you should have received a membership renewal form. Once again your committee has decided that there should be no increase in membership fees for the coming season. Those members who rent a club mooring should also receive an invitation to apply for a mooring for the 2017/8 club season.  There is, however an unavoidable increase in mooring fees & a detailed explanation is printed on the rear of the mooring renewal invitation form. It is important that all mooring holders check, at least every 2 weeks, as much of the mooring hardware as they are able to with a view to identifying any components that are getting to a point that they should be replaced shortly & are advised immediately to our moorings officer John Rackett  Contact details on your mooring invitation or in notice in club house.
Please keep the club updated at all times with any change to your contact details.
It just remains for me to wish you all good catching during the remainder of  2017.      Alan Deeming
 
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