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Bembridge Angling Club: July Newsletter

Edited for on line publication & late amendments

By the time you get to read this, I feel sure that you will be overjoyed at the prospect of at last being allowed to now retain one bass in any one day. I feel sure that you are even more overjoyed by the knowledge that the commercial fleet will have almost certainly killed more Bass in the first 6 months of 2016 than the scientists recommended should be the maximum limit for the entire year. There is no prospect of our 1 fish per day bag limit changing prior to the end of 2016. The Angling Trust is, however, working away in the background to try to achieve a more equitable treatment of anglers in 2017 but ICES (scientific advisors to EU) has just recommended ZERO take for both commercial & recreational in 2017 (No chance of the commercials accepting that of course). The Angling Trust has obtained agreement from Defra that it will work with the Angling Trust on a long term recovery plan for Bass. I can only re-emphasise that success in our favour will only be achieved by gaining the support of all anglers when such support is requested.

The referendum outcome to leave the EU does not immediately make any EU fishing regulations null & void for UK citizens. How the UK government will deal with the issue of all EU regulations, not just fishing (commercial & recreational), is not known at present but it is inevitable that there will be a transition period, probably of some years, in which the EU regulations will remain in force for the UK. The fishing issue is complicated not the least by the fact that only some legal minimum landing sizes for fin fish are as a result of EU regulations whilst some others have been set locally by way of byelaws introduced by individual IFCAs. That said, most legal minimum sizes are actually lower than the minimum landing size set by the Angling Trust & which we, BAC, have adopted. Whilst the introduction of Marine Conservation Zones was as a consequence of directives by the EU, the restrictions resulting from those that have already been designated have been by way of byelaws introduced by individual IFCAs with those MCZs outside the 6 mile limit being the responsibility of the MMO. These regulations will remain unaffected. It will be interesting to see how the UK government deals with the issue of those proposed MCZs that are still awaiting designation, such as Bembridge and, indeed, the outstanding requirement to establish control measures for the most recent round of designated MCZs. Local ones in this category being Needles, Utopia & Offshore Overfalls. Due to the financial implications, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that the UK government may put all MCZ issues on the back burner for some time. Once the UK government starts addressing the issues of EU fishing regulations, it will be vital that the angling sector has a strong voice in any discussions. Strong support from rank & file anglers will be the only way to achieve outcomes that do not treat us unfairly. It is vital that we do not allow the commercial sector to once again railroad the UK government into regulations that allow the commercial sector to further decimate our ever dwindling fish stocks.

Dates for your diary in 2016:-

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

To be advised: Summer social at club. [NOW ABANDONED]

October 25th    : AGM

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

December 2nd : Prize Giving in the clubhouse.

Our social secretary has recently advised that he is now in a position to be able to consider organising a summer social event at the club. We are yet to set a date but if previous year’s events are any guide, it should be an excellent evening, especially if the weather is kind to us. SORRY BUT THIS IS NOW ABANDONED

Reports so far this year suggest that the fishing has generally been somewhat disappointing. It seems that some mid channel marks that were producing exceptional catches last year are not producing this year & the distant Plaice grounds have also been reported as failing to produce. The Bream seem to have been patchy with some marks producing for short periods whilst others have failed. The lack of long periods of clear water has probably been an influencing factor in the low catch levels whilst it almost certainly benefited the commercial netters. Specimens recently added to the specimen leader board include Martin Dye’s Pollack of 16 lbs 6 ozs, Derek Chappell’s Mullet of 4 lbs 3 ozs & Ross Staplehurst’s Undulate Ray of 19 lbs 8 ozs

We have once again started the year’s competitions being plagued by bad forecasts resulting in most competitions having been cancelled. It is even more important then that members support the club by entering those competitions that are held. Entry fee receipts from competitions have, in recent seasons, fallen well short of the overall costs involved in providing engraving of trophies & associated vouchers that are given with trophies. If the shortfall continues the club may be forced to cut back on engraving & vouchers. The use of 2 rods in competitions (but not the cod open) was introduced as a trial this season as a result of feedback from regular competitors. This will need reviewing at the end of the club season to see if any increase in participation has been forthcoming sufficient to justify carrying on with it.

Thanks to some sterling work by the moorings team & offering an introductory discount on the remaining un-let moorings for the remainder of this season, I am pleased to report that we now have a full complement of moorings let for the first time in several seasons. This is an ongoing worry, however, as mooring income is the predominant source of funding for the club’s major outgoings such as ground rent for the leased club compound & moorings rental so it is vital that we keep all moorings let in future seasons.

We have, in recent months, had an increase in the number of instances where some members have ignored the club’s instruction requiring them to take their rubbish home & not place it in the club’s dustbins which are supposed to be only for the disposal of rubbish from the club kitchen. Bait wrappers & other fishing related rubbish has been put in the bins, resulting in bad smells & maggots. The club does not qualify for a free rubbish collection service from the council & has previously relied on the kindness of some members who were including our rubbish with their own. With the recent changes to domestic rubbish collection, it is no longer feasible to rely on members in this way. In consequence, the committee has decided that it has no option but pay for the removal of that rubbish that results from kitchen & internal club house activity. As previously instructed, all must take their own rubbish away with them for disposal. Please bear in mind that we have cctv cameras recording activity in more than one location in the compound which would allow for the identification of any one leaving bags of rubbish in contravention of these instructions.

The club is conscious that we have very few lady members at present & would be pleased to see some more getting involved in actually fishing. Fee for lady members is only £15 plus £2 optional sweep. The committee recently discussed the “Ladies Trophy” which is currently for the heaviest fish. It was felt that this gave an undesirable advantage to any lady able to regularly go wreck fishing since a resulting Conger was almost certain to take the trophy each year. In order to provide a more equal chance to any lady member not able to wreck fish, it has been decided to make the ladies trophy for the best specimen. Membership application forms are available in the club house or can be down loaded from the club’s web site.

Club Compound resurfacing: A group of volunteers spent two days resurfacing the half of the club compound nearest the dinghy storage area, in an effort to try to resolve the issue of puddles forming in the area. We benefited from the expert supervision of Stuart Newnham. The existing stone was dragged back off the existing surface plus the dinghy rack was moved & the earth where it had stood was dug out & taken off site by Phil Mason for disposal. The entire exposed surface was then levelled using a mini-digger kindly loaned by Nick Challen. Something in the order of 12 tons of new base material was then spread out, levelled & compacted prior to the existing stone being spread out again over the prepared base. The dinghy rack was put back & dinghies returned to their approximate correct location. Some may have inadvertently been returned to incorrect positions so owners of those are requested to relocate them to their correct positions. The club very much appreciates the efforts of all the volunteers & is particularly grateful for the expert advice & directions provided by Stuart Newnham & of course for the loan of the mini-digger kindly supplied by Nick Challen.

The MMO has recently launched a campaign aimed at eliminating the illegal sale of fish. The Angling Trust was invited to participate in formulating the campaign which initially was obviously biased against anglers. The AT was able to point out a number of inaccuracies with the proposed documentation, in consequence of which, some changes were incorporated. The AT was also able to point at the massive level of illegal landings by the commercial sector that had resulted in prosecutions & the imposition of fines running into millions of pounds in total. This puts the general claims often made by the commercial sector about illegal sales by anglers somewhat on the back foot. The issue of what is legal or not from recreational angling standpoint is very simple. It is illegal to sell (or barter) fish caught from a powered but unlicensed vessel. It is currently legal to sell fish caught from an unpowered vessel or from the shore provided the buyer is not registered under the national “Registered Buyers & Sellers” scheme. For full details see the notice board in the club.

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, at least every 2 weeks with a view to identifying any components that are getting to a point that they should be replaced shortly. Reporting forms available in the club.

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.

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

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