Newsletter July 2019
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.
I can’t believe that we have already reached the longest day of 2019 with daylight hours now beginning to shorten. We have certainly had very mixed weather since the last newsletter which has almost certainly adversely affected the number of trips undertaken by members, especially those members who are restricted to weekends due to work.
The early Bream season was somewhat of a disappointment with regard to good sized fish & one can only speculate if the commercial netters affected their availability as a result of being able to target breeding areas whilst the water clarity was not good enough for good angling catches. Southern IFCA is currently carrying out a scientific study, based on DNA analysis, to try to determine if our local bream population is part of a wider south coast population or if there are a number of separate discrete populations such as those at Kingmere, Sandown Bay, Christchurch Ledge & areas near Poole. I have been requested to assist by providing samples.
It seems that a number of skippers have concentrated mainly on trying to target Plaice, due to the lack of many days when conditions were suitable to go well offshore. I understand that even that has not been particularly rewarding with the average size of fish being fairly small & numbers not generally great.
There have been a few days suitable to venture well offshore but the reports indicate very variable results. Some boats have reported total failure whilst a few have reported some success with Pollack but Cod remain elusive, which is not good news for the autumn inshore cod season. A few short windows where inshore water clarity has been good have resulted in some good Bass being caught but the legal bag limit of 1 fish per angler per day is, of course, very frustrating, especially when a rod & line commercial boat fishing a few yards away from angling boats has no such restriction. It will be even worse from 1st November when the legal bag limit reverts to not being allowed to retain any at all. There have been some moves at national and EU level to try to get the daily bag limit increased to 3 fish but I have just been informed that this has been rejected.
It seems that quite a few club skippers are getting all set to target the very large species which provided some sport south of the island last summer. The current apparent shortage of Mackerel is once again beginning to be a worry although that did not seem to adversely affect the sport last summer. One can only speculate as to what the large predatory species are actually feeding on which may, perhaps, include Scad, Pollack, Bass, Squid & Cuttle.
The first of our special open comps for this season was held on the first listed date in May. A slightly disappointing entry of 41 mainly struggled to find numbers of Bream which were all medium to small. Only 15 brought fish to the scales where a maximum bag limit of 2 fish applied. Liam Smith won the Sydenhams Sponsored £150 first prize with a bag of 4 lbs 7 ½ ozs. Remarkably there was a tie for second place where Hugh Racket & Steve Simmons each weighed in 3 lbs 14 ozs and were awarded £75 each being half the combined second & third prizes sponsored by Sydenhams. Mark Tutton’s single bream of 2 lbs 11 ozs took the heavies t fish by a senior prize of £50 sponsored by Charles Smallman.Young Daniel Gawn’s single bream of 1 lb 15 ozs took the prize rod for the best fish by a junior sponsored by Odessa Angling Centre. Club President, Bob Cowley, had kindly donated the table prizes for the remaining heaviest bags. Full report plus photos are available on the club’s web site. At the time of writing this, the Pascall Atkey sponsored open Plaice comp is due to be held on the reserve date having been postponed due to adverse forecasts. [Report now loaded on web site.]
Our comp sec advises that good fish recorded since the last news letter include: Nick Ring boat caught Undulate 14 lbs & Spotted Ray 4 lbs; Chris Rackett shore caught Black Bream 2 lbs 7 ozs & Undulate 12 lbs 9 ozs; Derek Chappell shore caught Mullet 3 lbs 10 ozs; Spencer Wright boat caught Tope 50 lbs & Spotted Ray 3 lbs 12 ozs; Mark Jones boat caught Bass 9 lbs 12 ozs; Jacob Grimaldi boat caught Pollock 12 lbs 12 ozs;
With the obvious ongoing debacle, there is still virtually no clarity regarding how fishing regulations will be affected by Brexit. Currently there are a number of issues relating to what the EU wants to impose on us that a no deal Brexit could possibly negate & be to our advantage. One issue is that apparently the EU wants to force the UK government to prohibit the use of red diesel in recreational vessels. The angling Trust has joined with the RYA to attempt to block this but we understand that the UK government is soon to undertake a so called consultation about it. This is more likely to focus on how it could be implemented rather than if it should actually be implemented in the first place.
I have still not received any information as to when the MMO intend commencing consultations for control measures for the “Offshore Overfalls” already designated MCZ which includes the area known by many BAC members as the ray banks.
The government has, very recently, confirmed designation of the Bembridge MCZ, which includes inshore Sandown Bay. It does not seem as if there will be any adverse impact on us other than the outside chance of a ban on anchoring in a very small area on the inner part of Culver Spit. Nothing is proposed relating to Black Bream. Consultation on control measures for this MCZ will take some considerable time with a maximum two year deadline for any to be put in place. As part of my membership of Southern IFCAs angling liaison group, I should have an ideal opportunity to be involved at a very early stage in any discussions about this.
Your committee has acknowledged that the club house could do with being redecorated in line with a recommendation put forward by John Davies who has been kindly cleaning parts of it for some time. It was felt that it would be appropriate to do this a little later this year and, to that end, we are seeking names of any members willing and able to assist with the task to make themselves known to chairman, Ross Staplehurst , membership secretary Dave Geddes or myself. The club will provide all materials. Assistance would be most appreciated.
It seems to me that there is a fair degree of deterioration of the wood structures round the edge of the quay which will probably need to be addressed in the not too distant future. The club is responsible for the maintenance of these & the cost could well prove to be significant.
The rental cost of the club’s land line has been a concern for quite a long time, given that the prevalence of mobile phones has resulted in virtually no income from it for several years. Your committee finally decided to terminate it & it is anticipated that by the time you receive this newsletter it will have ceased to function.
Any member wishing to access the harbour companies new enhanced wi-fi system will need to enter into an individual financial agreement with them since they do not offer any group arrangements.
Our Social secretary, Derek Ohren has kindly arranged for a social evening at the club on the evening of Saturday July 20th (high tide 3pm ) between 7pm & 10pm. There will be was a BBQ and Derek will be playing played music from the 60s, 70s & 80s. The evening will be was restricted to members & their guests and everything will be was free with the costs hopefully being offset by the proceeds from a paid for raffle. Donations of prizes for the raffle would be were gratefully received. Non alcoholic drinks will be were available but feel free to bring your own alcohol if you wish. Derek would like some advance indication of numbers for the catering so please advise your intention to Derek on 07583643813 or on the list in the club house.
Derek is also in the process of assessing the feasibility of holding the club’s annual presentation evening at some alternative venue where a meal could be included as well as bar facilities. Cost is a significant factor that has to be considered regarding the likely level of support from members.
With the increased emphasis on marine plastic litter, we should all be doing our bit by refraining from throwing any plastic overboard but should, instead, take it home for disposal in our own recycling rubbish bins. It seems that there is a small number of members who think it acceptable to put their old bait wrappers and other rubbish in the club’s rubbish bins despite previous instructions not to do so. We have no right to a free rubbish collection by the council but instead are reliant on the good will of Selwyn Court allowing our rubbish to be included with theirs. Putting smelly rubbish in our bins could jeopardise that arrangement resulting in additional cost to the club which eventually is a cost on all members.
There have been a number of changes regarding members’ vessels this year with Joe Filipe selling Esk Lady to a fellow club member, Phil Mason replacing Wave Dancer with a smaller boat, Phil Smith disposing of Scorpio plus John Racket taking on a different boat into which he has put lots of work. On top of that, a number of skippers have suffered various breakdowns including one who has had to do a complete engine replacement.
I should, perhaps, make it clear that the harbour company has requested that they be kept with up to date with details of all club mooring holders so that they can comply with the Bembridge Harbour specific Port Marine Safety Code that includes a requirement for them to be able to directly contact any skipper in the event of some form of emergency situation affecting his/her boat. John Racket, in his capacity as moorings officer, has kindly agreed to take over responsibility for providing that information to the harbour company so any queries regarding moorings related issues with the harbour company should now be initially addressed directly to John.
The harbour company advise that they have so far issued 2 formal warning letters to commercial fishermen for speeding in the approach channel having observed them on their new cctv system monitoring the channel
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 in members’ personal copy of this newsletter and on the noticeboard in the clubhouse.
It just remains for me to wish you all good catching during the remainder of 2019. Alan Deeming