Welcome to Bembridge Angling Club

July 2017 newsletter amended to remove sensitive items from the personal version that has been sent to members.


I can’t believe that we are already at the longest day of the year. Shame that the weather has been mostly unsettled with only occasional spells of a few calm days. It certainly does not seem to have been a very good fishing season, so far, for most of us.


Our membership secretary has advised that a number of email addresses he has on file for members have returned “undeliverable” error messages when he has mass circulated email communications to those members who have elected to receive electronic communications. Presumably either the email details were supplied incorrect, copied wrongly or the affected members have subsequently changed email address. Any member expecting but not having received any electronic communication from the club, such as the email “BAC- special competition next Saturday” sent on 11th May 2017, should advise us of their current email address. Also any member having a conversation with another member claiming not to have received such communication is requested to advise that member of the issue & advise them to get in touch with the club.


Dates for your diary in 2017:-

1st April:             Mooring holders : harbour dues to be paid. All BAC mooring holders should have paid their harbour dues by now.

To be advised:   Special comp: Great prize table: Entry £10 (see below)

24th October :    AGM in clubhouse

29th October :     Open Cod Comp.

1st November : BAC Membership & mooring fees due

8th December : Prize Giving in the clubhouse.


You may have noticed that the specimen board in the club house had not been kept very current prior to just recently. Unfortunately our elected competition secretary, Matt Porter, found himself subject to an unexpected vast increase in his work commitments (for the IW Council) that prevented him having any time to devote to BAC business & culminated in him having to give up his BAC role. Our previous competition secretary, Marcus Gawn, has kindly stepped into the breach & is now doing the administration side of the role although he is not able to commit to attending all competitions. We are very grateful to Marcus for this as it is proving increasingly difficult to find people willing to take on roles in the club. The club could not function without such volunteers.


With the exception of a small number of skippers who have, on occasions, ventured very long distances out, the fishing for most members this season so far can, at best, be described as mediocre. There were no claims for specimen fish weighed back ashore for either February or March & none for shore caught fish prior to May. Skippers have reported disappointing bream catches, despite reasonable water clarity & Mackerel do not seem to have arrived in good numbers yet & nor do the Cod in mid channel. We can only hope that we do not have a repeat of the Mackerel shortage experienced in recent seasons. One bright spot has been the unexpected bonus local Plaice fishing, all be it that it seems to be on the decline now. Undulate ray catches have dominated the catch & release fish of the month awards this season having taken five out of the six awards so far with best being Greg Skinner’s fish of 18 lbs 12 ozs. Other notable catches since the last newsletter include:- Andrew Ellis, Sole 1 lb 13 ozs; Lee Brown, Pollack, 14 lbs 3 ozs; Joe Filipe, Plaice, 3 lbs 8 ½ ozs & Nick Ring, Smoothound, 15 lbs 0 ozs.

Junior Daniel Gawn has recorded some good catches including Undulate 15 lbs 4 ozs & Sole 1 lb 3 ozs.


We were intending having a special bream competition for a prize table consisting of some good prizes left over from the Open Cod competition but unsuitable weather forecasts prevented us holding it on either of the two available dates & the already poor bream season has now almost ended . As any such competition would require fish to be brought back to the scales, it is intended to hold the special competition later & probably in conjunction with a plaice comp. Details will be posted on our web site & Facebook page.


Deep joy that, starting July 1st, we are legally allowed to retain just one Bass per person per day for the remainder of 2017. This means that the competition scheduled on Sunday 2nd July can only be for the single heaviest Bass. With everything that has been going on at a national level, there is currently no information as to what is likely to be applied in the way of Bass restrictions at the start of 2018.

Assuming that we do ever get to hold any competitions this year, you are reminded of the revised rule that competitors are allowed to use 2 rods but only one must be nominated in advance as counting for the competition. There are several possible complications associated with applying this rule & the committee recognises that it is virtually impossible to police. Don’t overlook that we are departing from previous convention & have introduced a few (but not all) competitions being held on Saturdays rather than Sundays.


As advised in the last news letter, BAC now has to pay to dispose of any rubbish & it is very disappointing that some skippers involved in the boat lifts ignored club instructions & a considerable quantity of their rubbish was left in the compound for the club to dispose of. This was in marked contrast to the significant number of skippers who did correctly dispose of all their own litter. We also continue to have a number of members who seem to think, totally incorrectly, that it is acceptable to leave their empty tea/coffee cups, in the clubhouse or even round the compound, for someone else to wash up. We have previously had more than one club steward give up his post due to extreme frustration with this inconsiderate behaviour.


Peter Knight has advised that he still intends to run an informal knockout championship for pool players with the eventual winner taking the (modest) entry fee pot.


If you still have any unused £5 tackle vouchers that BAC gave out prior to the December 2016 prize giving evening then only those specifically for UK Hooks can still be redeemed. Any specifically for Scotties are now unusable & BAC regrets that we cannot exchange them as we had already paid Scotties for them. Fortunately BAC tackle vouchers given out at the 2016 prize giving were, however, in a new format & can still be redeemed at East Cowes Tackle & UK Hooks plus the owner of East Cowes Tackle has confirmed that they are accepted at his new tackle shop in Newport, “Odessa Angling Centre”.


Our new moorings officer, John Rackett, along with his assistant Ian Mann, is progressively working his way round our moorings to ensure that all are in good condition. John would prefer to be contacted, in the first instance, for moorings issues on his land line as included in the personal copies of this newsletter circulated to members. 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).


Some club skippers will be familiar with (& also fish within) the area SE of the Nab tower known as Utopia. This area has been designated as a Marine Conservation Zone, (MCZ). Although it is fished by boats based exclusively in the area controlled by Southern Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Authority, it lies geographically within the area controlled by Sussex IFCA.

SXIFCA is currently consulting stakeholders on possible control measures for this MCZ & I have provided them with responses to their various proposals as follows:

Proposal 1) Complete prohibition of bottom towed gear: I supported;

Proposal 2) Complete prohibition of netting: I supported;

Proposal 3) Potters may not retain any elasmobranch (see below) species: I supported;

Proposal 4) Anglers may not retain any elasmobranch species: I supported this on the grounds that catch & release is the norm for Tope & Smoothound which are the main target species in this MCZ;

Proposal 5) Close season for angling during elasmobranch species breeding season. I argued against this on the grounds that catch & release would have no detrimental impact on the part of the breeding cycle that takes place here (pupping) so there would be no justification for a closed season..

Note: elasmobranch species = a cartilaginous fish of a group that comprises sharks, rays, and skates.

There is already a national ban on retention of tope caught from a boat by any method as a result of the Tope (Prohibition of Fishing Order) 2008.

The body that has taken over responsibility for the English shark tagging programme has a vast store of tagging & return data for Tope & Smoothound tagged in our area. They have been consulted by SXIFCA & they have replied to them supporting the continuance of catch & return angling in this MCZ. They have endorsed my assertion that catch & release would have no adverse impact on the species found there..

I will be keeping a close eye on any further developments along with anything related to the separate Overfalls MCZ (situated S & SE of Utopia) for which the MMO is solely responsible for introducing any control measures.


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.


The club is indebted to Nick Challen & his secretary Jill for kindly agreeing to do printing for the club.

It just remains for me to wish you all good catching during the rest of 2017.    

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