COVID-19 LOCKDOWN: Update 4-7-20:
Current Government legislation prevents us from opening the clubhouse since we do not have the necessary facilities in place that are required by the latest restrictions.
The playing of pool remains prohibited by government.
This page will be edited as and when required. Please scroll right down to see the full content.
4-7-20: Comps & specimen fish claims
6-6-20: Ray Lewis
30-5-20: Bembridge Harbour Trust.
Previous significant updates:-
18-12-18 : Link "Harbour Dues explained" added
4-1-17: Comp rules changed again
4-11-16: Revised cash prizes for comps
8-9-16: Change re submission of Grey Mullet specimen claims
Please note that entries are not in date order so you need to review the entire page for changes & additions.
About this page
As your publicity officer, I hope to bring to your attention items of interest.
You should be aware, however, that I am constrained by a directive from the committee to not publicize individual catches except as part of reporting competition results or in the case of Island or National records. This is primarily to avoid the chance of commercial fishermen exploiting the information for their own gain to the detriment of club members.
To assist any members wishing to submit their own catch reports, I have posted some advice in the forum under Help/Tips & Tricks which I would ask you to read.
Details of how to claim a potential British record can be found on the Angling Trust web site at :-
with record lists etc available to download via links at
Mike Heylin, chairman of the British Record Rod Caught Fish Committee has advised that: “A claim for a British Record Fish does not have to come from a club member, or an AT member, but [can come from] anyone fishing in British waters regardless of membership, gender, creed or nationality.”
BAC is affiliated to the Angling Trust.
Their web site includes a section dedicated to IW issues which can be located at:
Angling Trust IW Marine however more current info can be found at :
Isle of Wight Marine Committee AT which is a web site specifically for the Isle of Wight marine committee of the Angling Trust under the control of local AT representatives.
A current list of IW records can be found under "Islend Records" in our main menu.
Our local Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Authority
Information about legal restrictions, (eg minimum landing sizes, areas where bait digging is banned, commercial trawling exclusion areas etc) together with on going dialogue with anglers, can be found on the web site of our local Southern Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Authority (SIFCA) at:- www.southern-ifca.gov.uk
They have specifically asked that anglers report any suspicious fishing activity to the SIFCA office number 01202 721373. Reports without any specific evidence would still be useful in allowing SIFCA to build a picture of possible illegal activity.
SIFCA has formed a Recreational Angling Sector Group in order to engage with anglers within its area.
Club Secretary Alan Deeming is a member of that group.
It should be noted that a significant area to the East of the Nab Tower fished by club boats falls within the area controlled by Sussex IFCA.
SUSSEX Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority
Unit 12a, Riverside Business Centre, Brighton Road, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex,
BN43 6RE Tel: 01273 454407 Fax: 01273 464668
6-6-20: We have received the very sad news that long time member Ray Lewis has passed away after a very brief stay at the hospice. Ray had given up fishing to act a carer for his wife Molly who subsequently passed away a little while ago. He enjoyed his weekly visits to the club to play pool before his lung cancer really took hold. His son Phil has suggested that, once things return to some form of normal next year, the club holds a memorial competition followed by a get together drink in the clubhouse.
4-7-20: Comp sec has advised that he now feels it reasonable to commence comps and the committee has raised no objections. In consequence, he intends to commence with the plaice comp scheduled for 12th July but with social distancing requirements being imposed.
Specimen fish claims have resumed being accepted in accordance with the proposal from Dave Gawn that received committee approval.
7-6-20: Dredging in harbour started. Please see:-
That gives full details of dredging at both ends of the harbour with two seperate large spoil barges moving in & out of the harbour at irregular intervals. Some disruption to navigation may be experienced. Members are advised to monitor vhf Channel 80 whilst transiting the harbour.
30-5-20: Bembridge Harbour Trust is inviting applications to become a trustee.
Dates for your diary:-
1st April: Every Year: mooring holders pay harbour dues direct to Harbour Co
For an explanation of the basis on which the harbour company charges harbour dues see Click on this link forHarbour dues explained
1st November: Every year: Membership & mooring fees to be paid.
From April 2020: Committee meetings suspended till further notice.
EU RESTRICTIONS FOR BASS IN 2020 ARE 2 FISH PER DAY BAG LIMIT BETWEEN 1st MARCH & 30th NOVEMBER.
ALL OTHER TIMES NO RETENTION AT ALL.
For lots of info about the current Bass issues please click on this link:https://www.saveourseabass.org/
|Please have a look at this informative document: Service to anglers
|Members please note that the Competition Secretary can only consider fish for which a written claim form has been submitted. Club rules state that such claims must be submitted within 7 days of capture.|
|The government was consulting as to when it would bring in a law that would make it illegal for us anglers to use red diesel in our boats as a result of an EU court ruling. That consultation closed mid 2019.
Recent indications are that it may not happen but tax levels look like they will be amended to comply.
|The club is seeking names of any members willing to assist with a future project to completely redecorate the clubhouse. Please advise Chairman Ross Staplehurst, Secretary Alan Deeming or membership Secretary Dave Geddes. Thanks.|
|Anyone experiencing a theft of items from their boat whilst on a mooring within the harbour would be well advised to report the matter to the harbour office as soon as possible after discovery and also report it to the police.|
Wi-Fi In Bembridge Harbour: The harbour company, BHA, has installed an enhanced Wi-Fi system serving the harbour but free access to it is restricted to visiting yachts plus berth holders who pay directly to the harbour company. Access by BAC members who do not rent a mooring directly from BHA requires a financial arrangement being entered into between individual members & BHA. They do not offer a facility for a group club arrangement.
MEETING HELD ABOUT CROSS CHANNEL POWER CABLE
HOW IT COULD EFFECT OUR ANGLING
It is planned to lay a major power cable across the channel from France to make landfall just west of the entrance to Langstone harbour. See chart below.
Detail provided so far suggests it will come very close to Bullocks Patch as well as going across the plaice grounds between the entrance to Langstone Harbour & the blocks.
There was a meeting specifically for the consultants to engage with anglers on this plan at Hotel Ryde Castle, Monday 8th April, at which it was confirmed that they were aware of the issues relating to the cable going very close to Bullock Patch. Sussex IFCA has also confirmed that it is aware.
Southern IFCA was consulting on possible additional controls on inshore netting including exclusion zones round some piers. Consultation closed on 7th December 2018.
As of Feb 2020 SIFCA is in process of formulating a bylaw.
Please see Netting consultation where the suggested response document has been totally rewritten.
The final outcome will depend to a degree on the level of support that was supplied by anglers. SIFCA has advised that over 280 responses were received from all groups.
Utopia MCZ Management Measures Consultation closed
This is an area just North of a deep hole some few miles SE of the Nab tower that some of our club boats fish in the first half of the year. It falls under Sussex IFCA control.
See link (opens in new page) :- SXIFCA consultations
20-1-18: No restrictions on angling have been imposed, only restrictions on bottom trawled fishing gear.
4-11-16: Cash Prizes for Competitions
At the November 2016 meeting, the committee considered the issue of very poor recent support for the club in the way of the participation levels in competitions.
In order to partly address the committee’s deep concern it was agreed to revise the prize arrangements.
Club’s competition rules state that a minimum of 10 have to enter a competition for it to count towards club awards. Provided that minimum of 10 enter a particular ordinary club competition where fish are brought to the scales, there will be a guaranteed first prize of £50. Any additional entry fees received will be used to provide a second prize up to a maximum of £30 (would require total of 16 entrants). Any further surplus entry fees will be used to provide a third prize up to a maximum of £20 (would require total of 20 entrants). Any further surplus to be put towards the considerable costs of annual trophy engraving.
The number of competitions targeting prime eating fish to be brought ashore will be increased & consequentially the number of competitions carrying cash prizes will increase. That said, these competitions will continue to be subject to bag limits in the interests of conservation.
No cash prizes will be awarded in competitions where fish are not brought to the scales.
4-1-17: Competition Rules: Now set as being that 2 rods can be used but only 1 to be nominated as counting for the duration of the competition.
For the past 2015/6 club season we had introduced a new rule allowing 2 rods to be used in competitions, subject to specific conditions re number of hooks. This was introduced as a result of feedback from members in the hope of increasing the participation level in competitions.
Committee initially agreed to continue with this 2 rod rule for the current 2016/7 season. Subsequent feedback from members suggested, however, that it was preferred that only 1 rod out of the 2 should be nominated to count towards a competition.
Committee gave this some considerable thought at their December meeting.
Account was taken of the fact that participation in those few competitions that were held last season was disappointingly low with some members fishing on the day but choosing not to support the club by entering the comp.It was concluded that allowing 2 rods to be used in competitions had not had the desired effect of increasing participation & so it was agreed to revert to the standard 1 rod with 3 hooks restriction in club competitions. Subsequent adverse feedback, however, resulted in the January committee meeting agreeing to the use of 2 rods with only 1 being nominated to count for the duration of the competition. It is recognised, however, that this is virtually impossible to enforce
Geoff Jones performed wonders during the 2015-6 season keeping the clubhouse clean & stocked with Tea, Coffee etc. A minority of members abused the facility. Their cups were left unwashed, drinks not paid for, coffee & bin bags stolen to mention just a few issues. In direct consequence Geoff felt he was no longer willing to carry out clubhouse cleaning etc. John Davies has kindly been cleaning on a weekly basis since the 2016-7 season & Sid Stretch has been assisting on an ad hoc basis but inconsiderate members continue to leave cups unwashed or even left scattered round the compound. It may end up with the club not supplying any cups resulting in members having to supply their own.
Volunteers to assist with occasional compound & clubhouse external maintenance would be very welcomed. Attendance at committee meetings would not be mandatory.
Specimen Claims for Grey Mullet Species
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 have consulted with the expert at the National History Museum who has 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 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 as either a Thin Lip or Golden Grey. This could entail seeking expert external opinion if necessary.
At the September 2016 committee meeting, a discussion took place regarding members who were not prepared to retain fish for positive identification. It was eventually decided to consider all Grey Mullet claims as being Thick Lip. It is intended that this should maintain fairness for other members who may submit claims for other species but would otherwise loose out due to a high percentage being attributed to one of the smaller Mullet species where that has been incorrectly identified by just the captor. That does not, however, preclude anyone who thinks they may have a new record Thin Lip or Golden Grey Mullet from seeking club assistance with positive identification but only if the whole fish is made available for inspection.
Specimen Fish Claim Submissions
At the August 2014 committee meeting it was confirmed that claim forms for shore caught fish must be witnessed as to the weighing & identity otherwise they will be declined.
Due to the difficulty in identification of the 3 species of Grey Mullet, submissions will be assumed to be Thick Lipped unless the fish itself (not photos) has been positively identified by an official fish identification officer against a number of particular defining features.
Contact Hampshire Police Marine division (Project Kraken) on 07774 684317
Have you registered with the new scheme replacing the Coastguard CG66 scheme ?
Skippers are advised that if, as we have highly recommended, they have registered their boat details with the Coastguard CG66 scheme, they need to now re-register with the new scheme that is replacing it.
For full details, including appropriate web links, see under Boat Safety in the main menu.
USE OF CLUB ELECTRICITY SUPPLY
Information that came to light as a result of the major boat blaze in East Cowes marina indicated that once glass fibre composite (that most boats are constructed from) catches light it is almost impossible to extinguish.
The committee has discussed the high level of risk associated with the unattended use of electric heaters and other equipment during boat lifts.
A fire in one of the boats in the compound would almost certainly severely damage adjacent boats and possibly the club house.
It was therefore decided that no electrical equipment is to be left plugged into the club's electricity power sockets overnight or whilst the equipment is left unattended for significant periods.
Furthermore, all members are specifically instructed to un-plug any power lead if found plugged in under the above circumstances, irrespective of if the socket is switched on or not.
This is by order of the committee.
Scales used for Weighed on Board submissions.
All such scales are to be submitted to the competition secretary for approval by way of comparison with the club's scales before any further submissions for WOB using them will be accepted.
The only exception is if there is an up to date certificate of accuracy in force for the scales which has been shown to the comp sec.
SIFCA ban trawling inshore round the IW
On 27th January 2014, Southern Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Authority confirmed that their new Bottom Towed Gear byelaw is now in force.
Details can be found on the home page of the SIFCA web site http://www.southern-ifca.gov.uk/
The new byelaw controls all bottom trawled fishing gear in areas that include significant stretches of the Island coast as per the chart below.
It may be of interest that SIFCA have confirmed that the Bottom Trawled Gear byelaw specifically bans the use of any object being towed round fixed nets in an attempt to scare fish into the nets.
Any observations of violations of the byelaws should be reported to SIFCA with as much detail & photographic evidence as possible. We have now established contact with a new SIFCA officer responsible for the IW
RADIO COMMUNICATIONS WITHIN BEMBRIDGE HARBOUR
The Bembridge Harbour Authority has requested that all boats navigating within the harbour should maintain a listening watch on VHF Channel 80.
This is to ensure that any emergency situation, constraint to navigation (such as vessels towing other vessels or particularly large vessels transiting the harbour) etc can be efficiently communicated to all craft within the harbour on a channel specifically allocated to Marinas.
It should be noted, however, that this is a duplex channel which means that a vessel can only communicate with a shore station, not other vessels, and other vessels can only hear the shore station and not a vessel communicating with it.
Requirements are fully laid out in the Bembridge Harbour Local Notice to Mariners LNM1 2014 which can be accessed through the link under Boat Safety.
The club record for Plain Smoothound was broken twice on the day of the 2012 Smoothound Comp from Joe Filipe’s boat, having previously stood at 17lbs 1 oz since 2000.
Danny Fyrth broke it first with a fish of 17 lbs 12ozs but this was then returned when Mark Jacobs caught an even larger specimen which went 18 lbs 13 ½ ozs when weighed ashore and then released having been kept alive.
This unfortunately could not be accepted as a new island record as it was not positively identified from a skin sample.
Note: The only 100% way of identifying a Plain from a Starry Smoothound is by examining a skin sample under a microscope.
BAC is however prepared to accept purely visual identification based on presence or lack of spots.
To add your support to the on-line petition asking the EU to ban the Finning of sharks please go to