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 2017/8 season became payable on 1st November

The club’s AGM was held last October with a good proportion of existing officers & committee members being re-elected. However, due to anticipated work related issues, Marcus Gawn stood down from his position of Competitions Secretary having very kindly stepped into that position mid season upon the resignation (due to severe work issues) of the elected comp sec Matt Porter. Bill Smith volunteered to take over the role for the 2017/8 season & he was duly elected. As Matt Porter had also been the elected vice chairman, that position needed to be filled & Dave Gawn was elected to that post. Bob Cowley remains President & Peter Knight remains vice president, both positions being not subject to annual election.

Officers elected were:- Chairman: Ross Staplehurst. Vice Chairman: Dave Gawn. Sec & Publicity Officer: Alan Deeming, Treasurer: Barry Burnand. Membership: Dave Geddes; Mooring Officer: John Rackett. Assistant Mooring Officers: Ian Mann & Andrew Ellis, Competition Secretary: Bill Smith, Assistant Comp Sec: No Volunteers, Boson: No volunteers,

Ordinary Committee members: Marcus Gawn, Chris Rackett, Colin Hicks & Jason Holiday

Rob Seth was co-opted onto the committee at the December committee meeting as a formality since it had been forgotten that he had indicated, prior to the AGM, a willingness to stand again & had unfortunately been missed out of the list of candidates for election.

No one had volunteered for the position of Social Secretary at the AGM but Peter Knight succumbed to much arm twisting at the December committee meeting & was duly appointed.

You may recall that, last year, a small number of members had expressed a willingness to take on some roles but were unable to attend committee meetings. It was subsequently agreed by the committee that, due to a lack of any other volunteers, the kind offers from these members would be accepted & a new class of committee member would be created called non-executive whereby the status of such members would be officially recognised but they would not have voting rights in ordinary committee decisions.

Non-executive committee members co-opted this season are:- John Davies for club cleaning,

John Attrill for club maintenance (Electrical), Dave & Rob Grimaldi for joint cup custodians.

Web admin: Antony Stanyon,

Ross Staplehurst accepted responsibility for obtaining kitchen provisions & cleaning supplies. (Now done by Andrew Ellis)

The club’s annual trophy presentation took place on the evening of December 8th at which awards were presented by our vice president, Peter Knight standing in for our president Bob Cowley who was unable to attend due to being poorly. Peter was very busy having organised both a raffle & the food, which was well received. A list of all winners is available on the clubhouse notice board & on the club’s web site. Any winners who have not yet collected their trophy may contact the club to make suitable arrangements for collection.


Dates for your diary:-

20th January: First boat lift (see important comments later in this newsletter) Application forms in clubhouse.

3rd March: second boat lift      

31st March: third boat lift  

22nd April, Sunday: Beaulieu Boat Jumble

28th April: End of final boat lift & compound tidy up day (all participating skippers in all lifts to attend).

30th October , Tuesday :  AGM in clubhouse

1st November :   Membership & mooring fees due

18th November, Sunday :   Open Cod Comp: See advance details on BAC website Notice Board page.

7th December, Friday : Prize Giving in the clubhouse. (Subject to confirmation re venue & date)

The concerns that I expressed in the October 17 newsletter regarding the prospects for our winter cod season seem to have been well founded. Numbers have generally been well down on previous seasons with just the occasional reasonable catches reported & a good proportion of them seem to have been associated with night time trips. That would normally be associated with long periods of clear water but that is hardly the case this season. The inevitable conclusion must be that the fish are not present in good numbers. On the positive side, Undulate Rays continue to be evident in good numbers along with Congers of which large numbers of very small specimens are being reported which, hopefully, may indicate a stock in good sustainable condition.       A number of members have remarked on the higher than expected average size of Pout encountered on inshore marks which could possibly be the result of reduced predation by Cod or could just be a natural cycle. The lack of Cod would not have helped our open cod comp which was postponed several times due to unfortunate poor forecasts for the scheduled dates & culminated in it being totally abandoned when the final reserve date of 30th December was also called off. We are of course nevertheless very grateful for the excellent sponsorship from Sydenhams, Pascal Atkeys, Nick Challen Building Renovations, & Charles Smallman as well as other local businesses & club members. All were detailed on the competition entry forms. Thoughts are being given to the possibility of an alternative replacement (possibly Bream) to be held in mid 2018 in addition to our annual open cod comp that is scheduled for later in the year..

Subsequent to the last newsletter but prior to the end of our 2016/7 club season on 31st Oct, Greg Skinner recorded a 12 lb Bass & Derek Chappell had his best Mullet of the season at 4 lbs 9 ozs.

Junior Daniel Gawn deserves a special mention for winning a Fish of the Month award in the boat catch & release category for a Spotted Ray of 4lbs 8 ozs.

Notable catches recorded so far this new season have been very scarce. At the time of writing this, the trophy board in the club shows:-

Bass 10 lb ½ oz boat caught & weighed ashore by Martin Dye; Undulate Ray 16lbs 4 ozs weighed on board by Joe Filipe; Undulate Ray 15 lbs 3 ozs from shore by Spencer Wright & Whiting 3 lbs ½ oz boat caught by Alan Deeming

Your committee has ongoing severe concern regarding the continued poor support for scheduled competitions & our new comp sec, Bill Smith, has come up with another alternative approach in hope of improving support. You will see, from the new competitions list, that it includes a small number of definite competitions based on those that have previously received reasonable support. He has also included a good number of additional optional dates when competitions could be held if, close to the date, the presence of suitable target species plus suitable weather suggests that a competition on the date would be well supported. It is anticipated that a decision regarding these optional dates would be made known a week in advance of each. Please make every effort to support the club by participating in our competitions.

Despite the Angling Trust campaigning hard for no increase in the current adverse restrictions on anglers catching Bass, we now have a situation where anglers are not allowed to retain even a single Bass during 2018 & may only target Bass on a catch & release basis. It has come to light that our fisheries minister was called away from the EU discussions that set the regulations so it is hardly surprising that we have been stitched up once again. The only slight glimmer of hope is that the EU has agreed to review the regulations sometime in the first half of 2018 once it receives updated scientific information from ICES, since the ICES information initially supplied had been found to be flawed. A one fish per day bag limit may still be on the cards if the revised ICES information indicates an improved situation but I am not holding my breath.

The Angling Trust is currently preparing a position paper regarding fishery regulation post Brexit. This will be based on having regulations that are based primarily on conservation rather than financial aspects & respond to sound scientific data. An important aspect will be to seek equitable treatment of anglers, including fair representation within bodies tasked with regulating fisheries. It will push the principle that fish stocks belong to all & are not the sole property of the commercial sector. The ability of the AT to achieve an equitable outcome may well be affected by what level of support rank & file anglers are prepared to demonstrate when called upon to participate in petitions or other forms of campaigns.

Concern was raised at our AGM regarding “health & safety” aspects of our boat lifts associated with annual maintenance. A lot of hard work ensued in order to address these concerns & this resulted in procedures & plans being agreed that we hope conform to current regulations & which minimise the risks of injury to those involved. Alongside this, we anticipate being able to minimise any inconvenience regarding access to the winch for dinghies associated with boats still afloat by relocating those associated with boats that are out for maintenance. Boat lift application forms are available in the clubhouse.

I can confirm that Sussex IFCA has not included any adverse control measures relating to angling within the “Utopia” designated MCZ . I have still 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.

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. Any problems found should be advised immediately to our moorings officer John Rackett (phone number included in members’ personal copy of this newsletter) Notification forms are available in the clubhouse.

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 2018.    Alan Deeming

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