Newsletter October 2018
Note that this version of the newsletter is a modified version of that sent individually to members in recognition of a small number of sensitive issues.
Membership & mooring fees for the 2018/9 season became 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 30th October. WAS HELD
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”.
There are no propositions for consideration at the AGM.
We would welcome additional younger volunteers to serve on the committee. There is no great burden in doing so as all we ask is that you give, at most, 2 hours of your time on just one Tuesday evening (usually the first one) of each month.
Dates for your diary:-
30th October , Tuesday : AGM in clubhouse WAS HELD
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. (Free raffle for £40 prize just for those attending)
As I write this, it has just been made official that from 1st October , anglers are allowed to retain one Bass per person per day. Whilst it may seem that the current catch rate of Bass contradicts the need for conservation, the actual problem can be seen on this web site http://www.saveourseabass.org/en/key-facts/
Much the same as I was writing at this time last year and the year before, there is concern that the ongoing low numbers of Cod on the wrecks this summer will translate into another relatively poor winter fishery. Apparently there is still scientific evidence that cod stocks in the North sea have recovered slightly but that the Eastern English channel stock has still not recovered & remains at a very low level. Reports have just surfaced of a couple of small ones being captured by beach anglers at the back of the Wight & based on previous seasons, some should be showing in the Eastern Solent by now.
We can only hope for some decent fish to show in time for our open cod comp which, once again, has received some excellent sponsorship from Sydenhams, Pascal Atkeys, Challen Building Ltd, Charles Smallman & other club members that matches that which we received last year. Also we anticipate additional prizes from various club members & local businesses which will be detailed on the competition entry forms etc once finalised.
Plaice fishing seems to have been very much hit & miss again with mostly medium to small specimens reported. The old traditional grounds don’t seem to have produced like they did a few years ago.
On a far more positive fishing note, the sport with Threshers has been extraordinary this past season with chairman Ross Staplehurst & crew improving even further on their success of last season. A number of other club members have also done well including some for whom it had been their first season. Some specimens which were thought to be in excess of the current British record were successfully released, the best reported of which was Martin Dye’s estimated at 400lb.
I also caught & released a Blue Shark of around 85 lbs which it is believed is only the second one caught in our local waters & is certainly the first recorded for the club.
Other notable catches include:- Tope 50 lbs Charles Smallman; Plaice 4 lbs 7½ ozs Colin Hicks; Mullet of 4 lbs 10 ozs myself. Unfortunately the comp sec has been suffering computer problems & has not been able to update the specimen fish details as he would have wished.
Rumours are emerging of Blue Fin Tuna being within extreme targeting range for some members prepared to go some significant distance. UK boats are prohibited from targeting them so it remains to be seen if there will be any “accidental” captures by local boats although the weather has probably put paid to that possibility.
Club president, Bob Cowley, recently raised with the committee the number of fish caught over recent years that would have set new club records had they not been returned & thus not eligible for consideration. Threshers & Undulate Rays are a couple of examples. In consequence we are looking at introducing a reference list of notable captures that records them just for future reference. It is anticipated that this list could include multiple entries for any one species.
Over recent seasons, the level of support for club competitions has significantly declined despite efforts to adjust the format of the competitions list to reflect feedback from members. The situation has not been helped by the number of competitions that have had to be abandoned. Your committee has struggled to find a solution since even this past season’s list, containing flexible competition dates, produced no significant improvement.
It is intended to look at having only a very small number of competitions next season with perhaps just two or three prior to the cod season then a number of Cod (or Cod & Whiting) comps. As I reported this time last year, the minimal, if any, income from competition entry fees may mean that further consideration has to be given to the costs involved with trophy engraving and giving vouchers, with one option being to stop them entirely.
Whilst on the subject of vouchers, you may be aware that East Cowes Tackle is under new ownership & I can confirm that our vouchers remain acceptable there along with Odessa Angling Centre & UK Hooks.
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 has been active in lobbying the government on behalf of RSAs. One positive outcome has been that government has amended its draft proposals to now include specific reference to anglers having a greater say in fishery management.
There has been some talk by government of the possibility of having all recreational sea anglers registered.
This raises many questions such as would that be compulsory or voluntary & would there be any cost involved?
Suggestions have included RSAs paying to part fund fisheries regulation enforcement. The Angling trust has pointed out that the commercial fishing fleet pays no licence & indeed actually receives vast subsidies & grants which are ultimately funded by all tax payers. It would be unfair to single out anglers for having to pay.
There has also been talk of requiring RSAs to record & report catches.
Clearly there would be great difficulty in enforcing any of these suggestions & they would almost certainly be resisted by a large proportion of anglers.
Yet more government sponsored surveys of sea anglers are in the pipeline & the Angling Trust is being given the opportunity to be involved with formatting them.
It seems as if some of the exemptions that the under 10m commercial fleet enjoyed that allowed them to not have to report some of their catches may be coming to an end plus there are plans to compel them all to have on board trackers that allow the authorities to monitor where they are fishing. AT has recently decided that it will still not recommend support of the government’s sponsored catch reporting scheme for anglers which will continue through 2019 (SA2019) unless & until it sees firm evidence of the changes to the under 10 m commercial fleet (as above) have been fully implemented & are seen to be being enforced.
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.
Defra has recently been consulting regarding whether a further number of sites recommended to become Marine Conservation Zones should actually be designated. The Bembridge pMCZ, which includes inshore Sandown Bay, is the only one of particular relevance to BAC & it does not seem as if there would be any adverse impact on us if it does get designated. As such I have indicated support for designation as that could result in some additional restrictions on commercial activities although I was disappointed to see that nothing was proposed relating to Black Bream. Consultation on control measures would take place some considerable time after designation if the government agrees to designation.
Enclosed with personal copies of this newsletter you would have received a membership renewal form. The committee is mindful that the annual membership fee has not been increased since 2012 plus we must cater for inevitable increases in our outgoings. The committee felt that, as mooring holders are being asked to contribute increased rents, it would be appropriate to ask the general membership to also contribute by way of a small increase in membership fees. It has therefore been agreed that the annual full male membership fee will increase from £30 to £33 making a convenient £35 when the £2 specimen sweep cost is added. No change for the ladies or junior fees.
Those members who rent a club mooring should also have received an invitation to apply for a mooring for the 2018/9 club season. There is, an unavoidable increase in mooring fees in line with our 5 year plan that was explained the rear of last season’s mooring renewal invitation form. Our treasurer has confirmed that the plan is currently on track but we are committed to reviewing it again at the end of every season.
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 on his phone number shown on your personal mooring renewal invitation.
It just remains for me to wish you all good catching during the remainder of 2018. Alan Deeming