This newsletter has been slightly modified for public consumption from the version sent individually to members 

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 February 2020

Membership & mooring fees for the  2019/20 season became payable on 1st November 2019

Please don’t forget that once the new club season started, on 1st November, you were / are only eligible to have any specimen fish claims considered and/or competition points awarded after paying the membership renewal fee. Paying will not allow these to be credited retrospectively for anything prior to payment.

At last October’s AGM, the election of officers resulted in virtually no change other than a couple of committee members dropped out. A full list of officers & ordinary committee members can be found on the club web site and on the notice board just inside the main entrance to the clubhouse.

There were no propositions for consideration at the AGM.

We would still welcome additional younger volunteers to serve on the committee by way of being co-opted on prior to the next AGM. There is no great burden in doing so as all we ask is that you give, at most, 2 hours of your time (often 1hour or less) on just one Tuesday evening (usually the first one) of each month.

 As many of you will be aware, we ended up having the annual presentation of awards evening at Brading Haven Yacht Club with their caterers providing food which we (the club) paid for, thus making it free for attendees. Many thanks to Peter Knight & his helpers for running a good raffle that significantly contributed towards the cost of providing food. The evening was judged a success so we have booked to repeat it there again this autumn. The hope is that we can be allocated a larger area for our use on the evening.

Dates for your diary:-

3rd May, Sunday :   Open Bream Comp

27th October , Tuesday :   AGM in clubhouse

1st November :   Membership & mooring fees due

8th November, Sunday :   Open Cod & Whiting Comp

27th November, Friday : Prize Giving in Brading Haven Yacht Club

 In case you missed earlier communications, we anglers are being permitted to retain 2 Bass per day between 1st March & 30th November this year which means an extra 2 months of being allowed to retain them. This will still apply, despite Brexit  having been achieved, since there is a 12 month transition period during which EU regulations will still apply.

The Save-Our-Seabass web site http://www.saveourseabass.org provides much useful information & highlights issues regarding bass conservation (including lack of it in the commercial sector).

 Our fears for our traditional winter inshore Cod fishery have proved correct this year, with even fewer caught than the low numbers of last season.  This was evidenced by only 2 being returned to the scales when we finally managed to hold our much delayed winter open comp with the largest only a modest 12 ¾ lbs. It was clearly a good move to include Whiting as an eligible species as that almost certainly was a significant factor, along with the forecast of calm weather on the day, in the excellent entry of 64 anglers. We are therefore looking to include Whiting again this year on the assumption of no significant improvement in cod numbers.

We are very grateful for the excellent main sponsorship we received from Sydenhams, Pascal Atkey & Charles Smallman along with additional prizes from various club members & local businesses which were detailed on the competition entry forms etc.  Not to forget Nick Challen for his ongoing club sponsorship by way of providing a free printing service.

We have spent some time debating a list of competitions for this year & have gone along with the competitions secretary’s proposals to hold normal club competitions throughout the year, as previous, plus to include just an open Bream comp in addition to the Cod & Whiting open. A list of competitions was included with this newsletter sent to individual members. A full colour version is available on the club web site if any member wishes to copy & paste then print it via their computer.

 A number of specimen fish claims were submitted to the Angling Trust in respect of their annual specimen scheme. We received appropriate certificates for a number but, unfortunately, a number relating to very large fish ran foul of their rule that catch-and-release submissions have to have the fish’s length & girth recorded.

This is clearly not practical for the very large fish that members release at the side of the boat without being brought aboard (in the interests of not harming the fish). I am in the process of highlighting this issue in the hope of getting an appropriate category of specimen fish claim introduced but that will probably not happen till 2021 at the earliest. It is particularly unfortunate that junior member Callum Smith’s Porbeagle estimated at 400lbs could not receive the recognition it deserves along with several other members’ very large shark captures.

A last minute specimen Bull Huss of 14 lbs 2 ozs, caught by Steve Simmonds, took over top dogfish spot at the end of last season. I can confirm that the Spotted Ray of 5 lbs 3 ozs which was submitted last year was positively identified from a photo. Lest there be any doubt, if the spots go all the way to the edge of the wings then it is a Blonde Ray but the photo clearly showed the spots stopping short of the wing edges which is a positive identification factor for a Spotted ray.

 As I feel sure you can imagine, things are still very much up in the air regarding UK fishery regulation post Brexit.  The Angling Trust is currently examining the new UK government’s recently published fisheries bill to see if it includes the additional provisions for recreational angling that the Angling Trust had negotiated with the government prior to the recent general election.  Without the Angling Trust’s efforts, there would have continued to be no consideration of recreational angling in future UK fisheries management and the commercial fishing sector would have had free reign to carry on pressurising the government to allow it to overfish stocks beyond the limits of what the scientists have declared to be sustainable. As with any organisation representing the interests of a particular stakeholder group, the Angling Trust can only ever be as strong as the level of support it receives.  If you are not currently a personal member of AT then it is effectively free to join since you would receive a tackle voucher equivalent in value to the joining fee.

 I have nothing additional to report on the previously advised intention of the government  to comply with an EU ruling that recreational vessels may not use red diesel for propulsion. How Brexit will effect that, if at all, remains totally unknown.

 I can now confirm that the under 10m commercial fleet is being progressively required to record all their catches, which was not previously the case. A requirement to compel them all to have on board trackers that allow the authorities to monitor where they are fishing is also being rolled out. The Angling Trust still does not recommend support of the government’s sponsored catch reporting scheme for anglers which will continue through 2020 (SA2020). It is waiting to see firm evidence that the changes have been fully implemented & are seen to be being enforced, at which time it is most likely to recommend voluntary participation.

 I have still not heard 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.

 We are currently planning on redecorating the interior of the clubhouse after the boat lifts have finished. The leak in the gents toilet will be addressed. There are also planned some tasks round the compound such as installation of railings at the corner of the quay by Phil Mason’s berth, installation of steel sheeting over the rotted wood round the edge of the quay by the compound entrance, renewal of the power cable to the winch from the adjacent control box & repair to the face of the quay at Steve Simmonds berth. Our thanks to various club members for their existing or anticipated assistance whith these tasks including, but not limited to, Dave Gawn, Jason Holiday, Bob Cowley, John Attrill, Martin Dye, Ian Mann & John Davies.  

 As a consequence of apparent need, we are considering running a training session on how close the clubs sliding door rather than leaving it wide open in cold weather whilst the clubhouse heating is running at maximum. We may also include information on how to turn off the radio in the clubhouse rather than leaving it switched on but at such a low volume as to not be able to be heard.

 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     We are, of course, very grateful to John for all his sterling work in keeping moorings well maintained.

Please keep the club updated at all times with any change to your contact details & please note that the club’s updated data privacy policy can be found on our web site.

 I regret to have to advise that there has been no improvement in the previously advised situation regarding the Isle of Wight (marine) division of the Angling Trust. Your committee has decided to support the possibility of amalgamating the IW division with the Wessex division with the proviso that the money currently held by the IW division is ring fenced for the exclusive use to support IW activities and that the IW record fish list be maintained in its current format. The IW div could be resurrected as an autonomous division if sufficient support materialises in future.

 It just remains for me to wish you all good catching during  2020.      Alan Deeming

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