This newsletter has been slightly modified from the version sent individually to members in order to deal with a couple of sensitive things.
Membership & mooring fees for the forthcoming 2019/20 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 29th October.
It will be 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 (often 1hour or less) on just one Tuesday evening (usually the first one) of each month.
Dates for your diary:-
20th October, Sunday : Open Cod Comp: See advance details on BAC website “Notice Board” page
29th October , Tuesday : AGM in clubhouse
1st November : Membership & mooring fees due
29th November, Friday : Prize Giving now confirmed as in the clubhouse. (Free food.)
As I write this, an EU consultation has just ended in which “Save-Our-Seabass” was, in conjunction with the Angling Trust, encouraging anglers to write in to request a larger bag limit for anglers when new EU regulations for 2020 are set. If the level of support shown by anglers for this is as poor as was shown in previous campaigns then it is unlikely that the entirely unjust regulations on us will become any better. The effect of Brexit on this is not known. The Save-Our-Seabass web site http://www.saveourseabass.org provides much useful information & highlights the failure of our own government to support the interests of anglers.
The ongoing low numbers of Cod on the wrecks does not bode well for our traditional winter inshore fishery. Scientific evidence indicates that cod stocks in the North sea have recovered slightly but the Eastern English channel stock has still not recovered & remains at a very low level. We can only hope for some decent fish to show in time for our open cod comp which, once again, has received pledges of some excellent sponsorship from Sydenhams, Pascal Atkey & Charles Smallman. We also anticipate additional prizes from various club members & local businesses which will be detailed on the competition entry forms etc once finalised. We are very grateful for the sponsorship from the above sponsors but we cannot expect them to guarantee ongoing sponsorship so we would be delighted to be approached by anyone considering sponsorship.
Plaice fishing seems to have been very much hit & miss again with mostly medium to small specimens reported. Members seem to be mainly concentrating on one area due to the old grounds not producing.
On a far more positive fishing note, the sport with large predatory fish has continued to be extraordinary this past season with a number of club members finding success in only their first or second seasons targeting them. Some specimens which were thought to be well in excess of the current British record were again successfully released, the best reported of which was Martin Dye’s estimated at 450lb.
A few Porbeagles have also shown up, leading to hopes that conservation measures will see them make a comeback. Ross Staplehurst has advised that Tope numbers seem to have reduced this season but those that have been caught have included some very large ones. Rob Grimaldi has recorded the largest so far at 70lbs overtaking one of 60lbs by Ross.
The specimen fish board is a bit bare compared to what is usual at this time of year, possibly indicating a generally poor season or perhaps more members being preoccupied with sharks. The weather has not helped. Since the last newsletter, Ray Ellis has upped the Pollack target to 14 lbs 4 ozs just overtaking Mark Tutton’s 14 lbs 1 ½ ozs and John Rackett has recorded a Bull Huss of 9 lbs 8 ozs
As a result of the 2018 open cod competition having to be abandoned due to poor forecasts, the club decided to hold three mini-open comps during 2019 in which the unused donated prizes for the cod open would be used, having gained the approval of all the sponsors. It was hoped that the combination of a reduced number of competitions plus the additional prize funds would attract significantly more support for the competitions. Unfortunately that did not happen with one of the competitions attracting a disappointingly low entry far below that of a normal club comp in previous years. In consequence, the committee is thinking that there should be no club competitions between mid June and the end of August next season. This may well result in a problem of funding for engraving of annual trophies and provision of vouchers for fish of month awards next season in light of what will probably be a very much reduced income from competitions.
As I feel sure you can imagine, things are still very much up in the air regarding UK fishery regulation post Brexit. I have nothing additional to report on this since the last news letter other than the government is planning to comply with an EU ruling that recreational vessels may not use red diesel for propulsion. How Brexit will effect that, if at all, is totally unknown.
I can confirm that some of the exemptions that the under 10m commercial fleet enjoyed that allowed them to not have to report some of their catches are coming to an this year end plus there are plans to compel them all to have on board trackers that allow the authorities to monitor where they are fishing. The Angling Trust still does not recommend support of the government’s sponsored catch reporting scheme for anglers which will continue through 2019 (SA2019) and beyond . It is waiting to see firm evidence of the changes 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.
The government as recently confirmed the designation of the Bembridge MCZ, which includes inshore Sandown Bay. It does not seem as if there would be any significant adverse impact on us once any control measures are agreed. It does not include any requirement to protect Black Bream but recent developments suggest that the omission may turn out to be to our benefit since Natural England are recommending banning all angling and anchoring in Bream nesting sites within some other new MCZs designated in the area near Poole in which black Bream have been listed as a feature to be conserved.
Enclosed with personal newsletters you should receive a membership renewal form. Our membership secretary needs your completed forms as he uses them as a basis for compiling his membership list and if you are not on his list, it is very unlikely that you will receive any communications from the club in any format. If there have been no changes to your details from last year then marking “No Change” across the main sections will suffice.
Those members who rent a club mooring should also receive an invitation to apply for a mooring for the 2019/20 club season. There is an unavoidable increase in mooring fees in line with our 5 year plan that was explained at length a couple of years ago. Our treasurer has confirmed that the plan is still currently on track but we are committed to reviewing it again at the end of every season. Our moorings officer, John Rackett, has taken on responsibility for all communications that specifically relate to moorings so any such queries need to be addressed directly to him please.
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 the number shown on your mooring application form.
I regret to have to advise that the Isle of Wight (marine) division of the Angling Trust is in danger of either being wound up or being absorbed into the Wessex division. This is the result of an apparent total lack of interest & support for the AT being shown by IW sea anglers. Our John Rackett is the current Chairman & Secretary and he has decided not to stand for those posts again. The treasurer, WWAC’s George Bernowicz, would reluctantly stand again but only if a replacement for John would come forward. The AT has been trying, unsuccessfully so far, to find a volunteer or volunteers to fill these posts but if, as looks likely, none are forthcoming then it may be the end of the division. That would leave the Isle of Wight (marine) record fish list in danger of disappearing as well.
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.
Some sea anglers have voiced criticism of the AT but they should perhaps ask themselves where would we be without it, given that the old NFSA could not continue as it was due to problems of its own making & nothing to do with the AT. It turned out that, when AT stepped into the breach, it was landed with a massive debt owed by the NFSA which had not been declared. The AT has strongly fought the corner for sea anglers and continues to do so in light of the important imminent change that will result from us leaving the EU and its dreadful common fisheries policy that has contributed significantly to the massive decline in many fish stocks.
It just remains for me to wish you all good catching during the remainder of 2019.