Welcome to Bembridge Angling Club

Newsletter October 2016

This newsletter has been amended from the personal copy sent to members.

Membership & mooring fees for the forthcoming 2016/7 season become payable on 1st November

Please return any BAC annual trophies you hold to the clubhouse so they can be prepared for the presentation evening.

You are invited to attend the club’s AGM on Tuesday 25th October in the club house, commencing at 8pm.

This will be primarily for the usual election of officers etc, but also provides members who are not on the committee with the means to raise any issues relating to the club under agenda item any other business.

No propositions have been submitted for the meeting & the deadline for submitting has now passed.

Volunteers to serve on the committee would be most welcome as we have vacancies resulting from non attendance of some members this last season.

Dates for your diary:-

23rd October :   Open Cod Comp: See advance details on BAC website Notice Board page.

25th October :  AGM in clubhouse

1st November :  Membership & mooring fees due

2nd December : Prize Giving in the clubhouse.

Reports at the time of writing this newsletter suggest that, despite the much lower numbers of Cod that were mid channel in the summer, some smaller specimens have already started to move inshore with fish being caught inside the Solent as well as normal inshore marks. Hopefully this will result in a good entry for our annual open Cod competition which is again in receipt of major sponsorship from Sydenhams, Pascal Atkeys & Nick Challen Building Renovations. The shortage of Squid, due to an El Niño year, has resulted in a major price rise & has apparently had a knock on effect with Cuttle now also being reported as being scarce.

Those of you who may face a shortage of bait may like to consider some alternatives that produced some success when there was a severe squid shortage some years ago. Mackerel, if you have any, & slipper limpet are worth considering. The MMO has request the use of only frozen slipper limpet, not live ones, as they are an alien species detrimental to Oyster. Southern IFCA have however advised that the use of fresh ones locally would not be of concern due to the fact that they have become widespread in local waters & their use would have no effect on their numbers here. Black lug is also gaining popularity although some suggest that they are most suitable for smaller Cod.

We seem to have had another very poor year for Mackerel similar to a couple of years ago. Once again the shortage has been reported from all along the south coast up to East Sussex & beyond. Unlike the last shortage year however, there is no clear evidence to allocate blame on excessive sediment in the water. My personal view is that there seems to have been a high concentration of plankton in the water that has severely reduced visibility a lot of the time. This may have caused the fry that Mackerel feed on to not migrate here in numbers & hence not being followed by the Mackerel or it could just be that the reduced visibility has prevented the Mackerel from seeing their prey & also our lures.

Once again the year has produced a few excellent specimens, especially for the few prepared to venture vast distances out into the English Channel. The best of these so far has been Martin Dye’s new club record Pollack of 17 lbs 5 ozs which beat the previous record that had stood for 24 years. Very good specimen Undulate Rays continue to be fairly regularly recorded with Dave Geddes currently topping the list with 19 lbs 12 ozs & Bob Cowley has demonstrated that he can still cut the mustard by recording a 70 lbs Conger.

Unfortunately this season has seen an even worse situation than last with regard to competitions with a large proportion having to be cancelled due to poor forecasts with most, but not all, forecasts having proved to be accurate. We have also seen an unfortunate number of skippers failing to support the club by not entering competitions despite them actually fishing on the same day. A condition of holding a club mooring has always been to support the club in whatever way would be appropriate to the circumstances of the skipper. Participation in competitions is seen as a prime method of support & may be taken into account if any issues regarding allocation of moorings arise. Historically a proportion of the competition entry fee has been used to contribute to the significant annual cost of engraving trophies & providing vouchers with trophies & FoM awards. At the September meeting, your committee agreed that the current situation regarding this expenditure was unsustainable & decided that vouchers will only be given for the winners of the FoM awards as otherwise they would have nothing to show for their award. The club is also exploring the possibility of a slightly different format of voucher.

We have received information from the National Mullet Club that it has become apparent, over recent years, that an increasing number of specimens of grey mullet have been captured where their features do not fully comply with those normally held to be defining features for the three main species encountered in British waters. They advised that they had consulted with the expert at the National History Museum who had advised that the one defining feature for Thick Lip mullet of rows of wart like papillae on the upper lip is an overriding indication of a Thick Lip variety, irrespective of any other features, but unfortunately the lack of these is not an overriding indication that it is not a Thick Lip. BAC has had a requirement in place for some time that any submission for a Grey Mullet will be automatically considered as being a Thick Lip but with the option to present the fish to Alan Deeming for positive identification. This identification process could entail seeking expert external opinion if necessary. At the September meeting, the committee decided that all submissions for Grey Mullet species will be deemed to be Thick Lip. This does not preclude club members seeking club assistance in identifying other Grey Mullet species for record claims purposes.

The UK government has made it clear that all EU legislation will continue to be in force for the UK up to the point that we finally leave the EU. As most of you are probably aware, ICES has issued advice to the EU that there should be a zero take of Bass in 2017. The Angling Trust believes that the commercial sector will block any attempt to introduce a zero take. If that proves correct, the AT position is that Recreational Sea Anglers should be allocated an equitable proportion of the total catch. Rob Clark, chief officer of SIFCA, has publically stated that he would support the total quota being allocated to Recreational Sea Anglers as achieving the best socio-economic benefit as required by EU legislation. We should have a decision re 2017 in December. SIFCA officers have already issued verbal warnings in relation to breaches of the current Bass bag limit.

Defra has this year carried out an audit of the sales of fish done by the under 10m inshore commercial fleet as a result of an EU requirement relating to the derogation that allows just this sector of the UK commercial fleet to not have to record their catches. At the same time Defra commissioned a voluntary survey of catches by RSAs under a heading Sea Angling 2016 (SA2016). The Angling Trust declined to promote this RSA survey citing the failure to fully document the commercial catch yet still imposing restrictions (Bass) on RSAs based on incomplete/inaccurate data. AT has been informed that the Defra report on the under 10m survey is held up at the MMO. In consequence, AT has declined to support next year’s RSA survey (SA2017) unless it can see positive evidence of an improvement in catch recording of the under 10m fleet.

I am advised that the control measures for the two MCZ of interest to us (Utopia & Overfalls) will be consulted on once Natural England has supplied its conservation advice for them which is likely to forthcoming late this year. Due to boundary positions, Utopia MCZ will be dealt with by Sussex IFCA & the Overfalls MCZ by MMO.

Members should have received personal copies of this newsletter which should have included a membership renewal form. Those members who rent a club mooring should have received these plus an invitation to apply for a mooring for the 2016/7 club season through the post. Our membership secretary, Antony Stanyon, relies on receiving completed membership forms from you in order to compile his membership list which he uses for sending out communications throughout the season. Failure to submit one may well result in you not receiving any communications. Once again your committee has decided that there should be no increase in membership or mooring fees for the coming season. It is essential that mooring holders make payment within the time set. Since we currently have all our moorings let, failure to do so could result in additional penalty fees or even withdrawal of the use of the mooring in extreme cases. It is a shame that in most years we have a small minority of skippers who push their luck by late payment which is of course taking the proverbial out of the vast majority of skippers who do pay on 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 please look out for an announcement subsequent to the AGM giving details of a new moorings officer.

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 remainder of 2016.    Alan Deeming


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