I cannot believe that the time has passed so quickly, and we are approaching the summer
It certainly has been a very strange time and has been very challenging for many people, not
only with regards to job security, financial pressures but most importantly people’s wellbeing. I
know talking to many people, it has been a struggle to keep positive, at times and not feel
isolated and lonely. I hope that the limited time we have been able to fish has helped many of
you with your wellbeing and you have enjoyed the time out and our wonderful sport has given
you some respite and feeling of normality.
The purpose of this newsletter is to update you on what normally would be covered at the AGM.
Obviously due to the lockdowns we have had the AGMs as we know it has not been possible so
hopefully this newsletter will update you and summarise the developments and news within the
It has been very difficult for the club because although there were the issues with the pandemic
and lockdowns, the fishing club has had to continue to be run. The leases that we have
commitments on were still payable and the ongoing maintenance of the fisheries had to
I am very grateful to all the volunteers who through difficult times have given up their time
throughout the year to help when possible and when allowed under government guidelines to
keep our fisheries in good repair and enable some of the ongoing projects to continue.
In the limited fishing that was allowed, on the whole, I was delighted to see many members
catching some memorable fish, particularly on the rivers with many notable Roach captures
along with some large chub, barbel, perch and Pike.
There has also been other good news with regards to ongoing improvements within the club.
The lockdown obviously slowed down many roads of negotiation that we have been on for
several years, however, we have made great headway in many areas.
Many of you will have noticed via the Facebook page or the website that one such development
is now coming to fruition. As you know we have been in communication with Wessex Water and
the other bodies involved who control the waters of that protected area, in an attempt to
rejuvenate our beloved Spinnaker Lake.
It has taken a huge effort from Brian Stocker who kindly took this project under his wing a long
time ago. I would like to thank him for the help on this as my vice chairman as I simply would not
have been able to dedicate the vast amount of time that he has to this cause. I had the relatively
easy job of attending some of the meetings with various people where Brian and myself have
tiptoed our way through very delicate negotiations to get to where we are now. I have stated a
number of times that Spinnaker had never been forgotten and the club was doing all that it could
to improve this superb water. It was everybody’s dream to rejuvenate the water with some memorable
fish for the future that would complement its wonderful history. I am delighted with
the outcome so far and you will be able to read further on within this newsletter Brian’s detailed
report of events which will put some meat on the bones so you all know exactly where we are ,
where we are going and some idea of the time scale of when the project will be completed. That
said, it is one of those waters that maybe the project will never be completed as it will be forever
Following on from the professional netting and stock survey that was carried out at the Lake we
were delighted to see that the predation control measures that we have had in place for the last
five years plus have really paid off. We are lucky that we are now having some of the spawned
carp surviving and have come through as quality fish. This was particularly noted with the
number double figure common carp that showed up in the netting that we are not that old and
hopefully will follow in the footsteps of the larger Commons that have been caught at the Lake in
With these results, this year, by pure luck or great planning , we managed to take delivery of
some beautiful new stock of VS Fisheries carp. Every one of these fish was in superb condition
and at only four summers old were all double figure fish already ! I am delighted to see that
already some of these fish have been caught and have already increased their weight by more
than a pound which is great considering they have only been in there a little while and that was
through the winter, which is not when they are likely to put on weight. The fact that they have
already increased in weight bodes very well for the coming seasons.
We have taken professional advice from Simon Scott and his partner Viv shears of VS fisheries
with regards to improving Hucklesbrook. One of the things they have said is to allow as much
sunlight into the water, particularly the margins as this is the lifeblood of the Lake. They have
also said that they would recommend some feeding in addition to angler’s bait to give the
younger fish that we have and indeed the established residents a boosted food source which
will improve not only their growing capacity but also their wellbeing.
We have taken this advice and will be putting it into practice. We have already obtained the feed
for this summer which will start to be introduced into the Lake from the beginning of May 2021.
We are also looking at what they have said with regards to the marginal areas, the ever
increasing overhanging trees and of course the urgent swim rebuilding that is required. This is
something that Peter, our fisheries manager, will give more details on in his report within this
We had planned a stock survey and management of this complex too, as this is still a very
important project to the club that still requires continual development. We are all still very
committed to making this a Premier crucian carp water. Unfortunately, we were not so lucky with
regards to timing and with lock downs in place, sadly, the proposed netting had to be cancelled.
Like I say this does not mean it will be forgotten and again Peter will give details of the further
development of this project along with the works to the platforms that are also planned.
On other news, we have also had a change within the bailiff organization within the club. Luke,
who was our head bailiff, sadly had to step down due to a heavy workload and family
commitments. I would like to thank him on behalf of the whole club for the tremendous effort thathe put in with his team, with regards to looking after the security side of our waters. I am
delighted to confirm , for those that are not aware, that Nigel Rasey has kindly come forward
and taken charge of the bailiffs and he has already recruited a number of new people to help
with the never ending task of checking that the people fishing our waters have the correct
licence to do so.
Whilst talking about correct licencing I would like to remind everybody that you must have the
correct Environment Agency licence as well as your club licence paid up to date.
I proposed a number of years ago that we introduce a monthly payment system. This was to
make fishing more affordable and accessible to as many people as possible. This was then
implemented, and I am sure you will agree, that for many of you, it has proved invaluable to be
able to spread the cost of your fishing membership. I would like to point out though that when
you agree to join the club and take the monthly option you are committing yourself to being a
member for the full year and that means that every month’s payment is due.
We have had a number of people that think it is acceptable to join, then fish through their
chosen window of weather for example, the summer and then simply stop paying when they do
not want to fish anymore. This obviously is not fair on everybody else that is paying their full
year’s subscription. Without the full subscriptions we cannot afford to pay all of the leases for
the wonderful stretches of River that we are lucky enough to have and to continue to improve
the fisheries the way we have with the fencing, the plans for new swims to be built and the
stocking of quality fish into waters, as all of this is expensive.
I hope the after this explanation everybody will realise we all have to play our part as we are all
members of the club and if we all pay our membership the way we should for the full year then
we all benefit from better fishing , better fish, nicer places to fish, and the chance to secure new
fisheries in the future giving us even more scope on venues to go to enjoy this wonderful sport
that we all love so much.
Another item I would like to mention that seems to be on the increase was the incredible and
unacceptable amount of litter that we have found on club waters over the last 12 months. This is
something that we will not tolerate, and we will have to look at restrictions on what you can bring
to the fishery if the tiny minority of people responsible are going to continue to dispose of their
cans, bottles, and general litter around the fisheries. I know this is annoying to a majority of the
members and like many things it is always the minority that spoils it for the majority. We can all
play our part though and when we see rubbish whether it is ours or not, we can pick it up and
take it home and dispose of it properly. That way we will be able to enjoy our fishing amongst
nature the way it should be without us damaging our environment.
Well, that is about it for me. I hope that the fight against the virus is successful with our
vaccination programme in full swing and that we could all get back to a new normal without
restriction and you all have a fabulous time fishing on the club venues.
As I have said there are many further detailed reports within this newsletter with news on
finances, Game fishing , matches , fishery management etc so please read on.