Welcome to Bembridge Angling Club


Newsletter February 2016

At the club’s AGM on Tuesday 27th October 2016 the following officers were elected:-

Chairman: Ross Staplehurst. Vice Chairman: Matt Porter. Sec & Publicity Officer: Alan Deeming

Treasurer: Barry Burnand. Mooring Officer: Paul Hunter. Assistant Mooring Officer: Steve Simmonds

Competition Secretary: Marcus Gawn. Assistant Comp Sec: Phil Smith. Bosun: Dave Gawn

Cup Custodian: Dave Grimaldi. Club Steward: Geoff Jones. Property Mainenance: Tony Law, John Attrill.

AT rep, Membership, Web admin: Antony Stanyon. Social: Derek Ohren, Joe Filipe.

Committee: Ray Lewis, Stuart Newnham, Martin Dye, Ian Mann

Greg Skinner was co-opted onto the committee at the November committee meeting.

Dates for your diary in 2016:-

February 1st     : Daily bag limit for Bass becomes zero (see later in this newsletter)

April 1st               : Mooring holders pay Harbour dues once demanded

April 23rd TBD   : All boat owners that have participated in this year’s boat lifts to attend compound tidy up day

April 24th           : Beaulieu boat jumble

May 1st          : First Comp of 2016 (Flatfish) MAY BE CANCELLED DUE TO DELAYED BOAT LIFTS

July 1s t                 : Daily bag limit for Bass changes from zero to 1

October 25th    : AGM

November 1st : New club season. Pay membership & mooring fees.

December 2nd : Prize Giving in the clubhouse.

Unfortunately the dreadful weather on the Saturday resulted in a dismal entry of only 57 for our postponed annual open Cod competition, despite it being in receipt of major sponsorship from Sydenhams, Pascal Atkeys, Nick Challen Building Renovations & Charles Smallman, in addition to a number of lesser sponsorships.

As had been the case for a few weeks prior, fish proved somewhat difficult to locate with only 20 anglers returning at total of 23 fish to the scales. Most of those were very small in comparison to averages sizes in previous years with not one over 16 lbs being recorded. Such was the extent of the prize table that everyone that returned a cod to the scales received a prize.

Mark Tutton walked off with the £250 first prize sponsored by Sydenhams Newport & BAC for his 3 fish bag of 20 lb 6 ozs. New club member Todd Long took both the £150 second spot prize sponsored by Pascall Atkey plus the £100 heaviest cod prize sponsored by Charles Smallman for his one fish of 15 lbs 12 ozs

Gary Smith took the £100 third place prize sponsored by Nick Challen Building Renovations with his single fish of 13 lbs 12 ozs. Another new club member, Matthew Porch, managed to catch 2 cod for a combined weight of 12 lbs 3 ½ ozs to take the £50 fourth spot prize. More details can be seen on the club’s web site.

All the remaining competitions scheduled for December got cancelled due to poor forecasts.

Despite some dreadful weather, some good specimens have been recorded with the highlight being Martin Dye’s Bass of 15 lbs 13 ½ ozs which came within a whisker of beating the recent club record that had only been set in 2014 having previously stood unbroken for 23 years. Other notable fish on the board include

Mark Tutton’s Cod of 29lbs 14 ozs & his Pollack of 14 lbs 2 ozs plus Bill Smith’s Whiting of 3 lbs 4 ½ ozs

I feel sure that most of you will be aware of the nightmare that has emerged regarding EU “conservation” restrictions for Bass. There is a national outcry of anger by anglers due to the EU & national government caving in to pressure from the commercial sector resulting in some instances where, instead of having their catch quota reduced, some commercial sectors have actually been allowed to catch even more Bass. At the same time we anglers are not allowed to retain even a single Bass before July 1st & after then we are only allowed to retain 1 bass per day per angler. The Angling Trust is trying to do all it can in partnership with the Bass Angler’s Sportfishing Society, BASS, to get the restrictions made more equitable & in line with scientific advice re maximum sustainable yield. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that this will result in any change to the restrictions currently being applied to anglers. It is an unfortunate truth that the commercial sector is taken more note of because they shout louder with a large proportion of their membership prepared to actively campaign for their cause. The angling sector has, for too many years, been hampered by the high proportion of anglers who are not prepared to make their voices heard but instead sit back in the false assumption that someone else will successfully fight their cause for them. Please check out our web site for more information.

Your committee is ever mindful of the need to achieve a reasonable financial balance of annual income vs outgoings. We have suffered a reducing income from competition entry fees over recent years, partly due to numbers of competitions cancelled, but also apparent unwillingness of some members to fish those that are held. At the same time, expenditure on trophy engraving & supplying vouchers (in place of keepsakes) has remained virtually constant. It has traditionally been expected that this expenditure would be mostly covered by the competition entry fees but this is now far from being the case. The committee is seeking to address various aspects of this. One aspect is the level of participation & as a result of feedback received, the committee has decided to recognise an existing desire on the part of a number of members to fish with 2 rods in competitions. It has decided that in all normal club competitions in 2016, competitors will be permitted to use 2 rods. This will not apply to our Open competition in which the 1 rod rule will remain. Clarification of the revised rules is included on sheet 2 of the new competitions list.

On the subject of finances, we have had some good news. Newer members may not be aware that the clubhouse & compound are leased on a long lease. The associated ground rent is reviewed every 5 years & this is one of those years. Our landlord, who acquired our freehold a year or two ago, initially contacted me with a proposal for a substantial increase of several thousand pounds. In consequence, I sought advice from 2 professionals, one being a club member. Both came back with advice that they could see no justification for an increase bearing in mind all relevant facts. I then had a series of email discussions with the landlord which concluded with him basically accepting our position. This is a relief as we currently have a significant shortfall in income due to not being able to have any income from 5 of our moorings out in the harbour due to them needing to have work done to them. Once back in commission we need to get them let so please inform anyone you think may be interested. With numbers of boats out for maintenance over the next couple of months, we would be able to immediately accommodate new boats by temporarily utilising moorings vacated.

Income from moorings is the only major source of funding needed to cover our ground rent & rental of our moorings out in the harbour. If we continue to have a significant shortfall, there will need to be an increase in mooring & membership fees. Some members have queried the level of financial reserves that the club holds & I should explain that part of our lease requires us to be responsible for repairs to the quay wall within the boundary of our compound. This is a financial risk as major repairs would be very expensive. This was one significant factor working in our favour during the discussions of the review of the ground rent.

We now have new sliding doors in the clubhouse, obtained from a local firm, GTI Glazing Systems Ltd. replacing the old ones that had significantly deteriorated.

A lot of members will have seen the finger pontoons that reappeared on the south side of the visitors pontoon late last year despite earlier assurances that they would be removed over the winter. I received an apology to the club from Malcolm Thorpe for not informing BAC in advance of the intention to reinstall them (apparently to avoid damage where they had been stored.) I also had to subsequently request the harbour staff to fit reflective material down the length of each after they had obscured the reflective material on their ends by putting large fenders over it. Brading Haven Yacht Club is very upset about their return & they have written a strongly worded letter to Malcolm.

Since the last newsletter, the three marine conservation zones proposed in phase 2 for round the IW have now been designated. These are Needles, Utopia & Overfalls. The latter two are really the only ones of interest to BAC as they are situated within our area of fishing. I hope to be involved in the statutory consultations about any control measures to be introduced for them. Current indications are that angling is unlikely to be affected.

Round 3 is likely to include the “Bembridge” proposed MCZ which will require careful consideration if it come up. Some info can be found by looking through the “Balanced Seas” page of the club’s web site although that has not been updated for some time.

As has been advised in previous newsletters, it is important that all mooring holders check 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. This exercise should be carried out at least every two weeks and any problems reported immediately to the moorings officer (reporting forms are available in the clubhouse). Club mooring rules absolve the club from responsibility for consequential costs arising from a boat coming adrift from its mooring if it results from the failure of the upper part of the mooring hardware.

Would all members please ensure that the club has your current address, especially if you move house mid season, any change of email address, where applicable, and also that we have up to date emergency phone contact details for mooring holders & any change of boat name/ownership. For moorings issues Paul Hunter’s Mobile number can be found on your retained portion of your moorings renewal form or on the notice board in the clubhouse.

The club is indebted to Nick Challen & his secretary Katrina for kindly agreeing to do printing for the club in response to a previous appeal.

It just remains for me to wish you all good catching & better weather during 2016.    Alan Deeming


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