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March 2020 Newsletter
Welcome to the last newsletter of the 2019-20 season and if you have been involved or follow us on Facebook you will know it's been a busy year again with lots of matches and work parties which included the complete rebuilding of the bridge at Mill House Farm as well as the more mundane general maintenance our waters require to keep them to the high standards you expect.
We would like to inform you that as well as our email address we now have a permanent telephone number for all general enquiries which is 07873 322562. If you call it and get the answerphone please do leave a message and we'll get back to you as soon as it's possible.
On the reverse of this newsletter you will find the membership renewal form, once again we have not had to raise the price on any category, so please complete this and post it to Sandra or pop into one of our outlets, you can also rejoin online. If you recently joined on our 3 months free offer you DO NOT need to use this form as you are already a member for the 2020-21 season and your handbook will be posted to you before the end of March. Should you choose not to renew this coming season we would be very grateful if you would drop us an email with a short explanation on why you've decided not to renew as this could help us to retain more members in the future, although we do appreciate some of you will just fancy fishing new waters. Can we also remind you that, should you not renew, your details will be held electronically until 31st January 2021 and that you may receive emails from us up to this date unless you contact us asking to have your details removed sooner.
We would also like to take this opportunity to invite you to attend this years AGM and prize giving which will be held at the Social Club in Crowborough on Tuesday 5th May. We will have a Guest of Honour, the raffle with loads of prizes and a free buffet plus all the usual banter. Remember the specimen competitions are open for claims until midnight on March 31st so if you think you have a contender get in touch, and a reminder that Fish of the Year claims can be of a fish caught anywhere so long as it is a UK water.
As many of you are aware Pennybridge, one of our most popular waters, has not been fishing so well over the past couple of years, we have now found this is due to a water quality issue which we are working to resolve and we hope to see an improvement quite quickly but this will require ongoing treatment and monitoring, we have already secured some new stock for when the water is ready to take them.
Finally we hope you have enjoyed fishing our waters over the past season and that you continue to do so in the future and we look forward to seeing you at the AGM or on the bankside and hearing about your catches and any other thoughts you may have.
For and on behalf of the
December 2019 Newsletter
Welcome to your latest updates regarding your fishing club.
There is a new gate at Potmans Heath that includes a small gate within its construction, it has a 15" high step and has to be held open as you pass through it . There had been several complaints about this from members and it has been agreed that the main gate will be left open. Members are reminded that this is also a bridleway and this is the only way a horse can be got through . The RFA are aware that this will at some point have to be dealt with properly . The main gate will be left open for us and please if everyone remembers to close it behind them it would be helpful.
NEW WATER AVAILABLE RFA
I hope you will be pleased that there is a new stretch of water which will be available from October 1st. until September 30th. 2020. We will post a copy of the map on our website and Facebook page.
The only things we as members need to be aware of are:
No parking on the riverbank / through the gate. Park on Lossenham Lane only but do NOT obstruct the gate.
Maximum of 20 anglers at any time (match secretaries be aware)
Do not fish beyond the boundary post.
NO fish of ANY species to be taken away at any time.
Our use of the river will be reviewed and if the owner is happy he will continue.
Absolutely NO litter (and anglers using the water are responsible for clearing any BEFORE fishing.)
Cut NO vegetation down other than what is necessary to open up a swim.
March 15th - June 15th Close Season
We have noted the issues that have been brought to our attention about Pennybridge. The feedback has been that the fishing has not been up to its usual standard for some time and we have been working on some possible solutions for some time, and taking professional advice.
The water has been regularly tested and we have now commenced a plan of action. This includes the liming of the water which will not stop you visiting and fishing the water.
We will of course keep you updated on progress.
POSSIBLE POLLUTION OF ERIDGE STREAM
At the time of writing, we are waiting for a report and will update when we receive a response from the EA.
For those of you that like to fish this particular water please note that we have been made aware that the bridge over the stream, on the Sandhill stretch, has become dislodged by the recent flood waters. As this is a public footpath it is in the hands of ESCC Highways who will repair/replace the bridge, in the meantime please do not use.
The next scheduled working party is on Sunday 15th December from 9.00 – 12.30. This will be at Mill House Farm, so please come along if at all possible. We also have a new bailiff for this water – Daniel Taylor, ably assisted by his son Hayden. He already has a good rapport with the owner and lives very near to the water. His details will be in your new membership books next season. Thank you Daniel, your help is much appreciated.
We recently had a very successful day at Pennybridge, and with a good turnout of people, this water is now all tidied up for the winter. Many thanks to everyone that helped out.
We, as a club already have a planned maintenance schedule on a yearly basis. We are currently working on a 5 year plan as this will enable us to more easily apply for any potential grants which we may be considered for.
As ever, we have a small crew of volunteers that carry out most of the maintenance at present. It would be so helpful to recruit some more helpers to lighten the load for the regulars.
Most of the working parties are only for a couple of hours each so please consider coming along.
Do you have any great ideas to raise funds for items such as new equipment to maintain our waters? If so, don’t keep them to yourself!! We would love to hear them.
HOOKED ON GREEN - Christmas/New Year Opening Times
Monday 23rd – 07.30-18.00
Christmas Eve – 07.30-13.00
Christmas Day / Boxing Day Closed
Friday 27th - 09.00-18.00
Saturday 28th - 09.00-18.00
Sunday 29th - 10.00-16.00
Monday 30th - 09.00-18.00
New Years Eve - 09.00-16.00
New Years Day Closed
YOUR COMMITTEE WOULD LIKE TO WISH ALL OUR MEMBERS A FANTASTIC CHRISTMAS
AND TIGHT LINES FOR 2020!!!
September 2019 Newsletter
Welcome to your September newsletter for your fishing club.
Please take some time to read our ramblings, as there may be some useful information between the lines!!
Firstly some of you may have realised that Pennybridge has not been fishing so well over the past couple of summers. We have now taken some professional advice and it seems that there is an issue with the water quality when there is little or no flow from the inlet causing the fish to become "stressed". We are now in the process of speaking with the owner and deciding what course of action we take as this will be an ongoing issue if nothing is done so rest assured we are on the case to get the fishing back up to scratch at this popular water.
Whilst monitoring our waters, it has been observed that there are still some issues with litter. Please ensure you take all your rubbish home and keep an eye out for any that may have been left by other anglers. If you do see any laying around, it would be greatly appreciated if you could dispose of it appropriately and just let us know. This is of course, an ongoing problem and we are doing our best to keep all the waters as we would like to find them ourselves. Don’t forget, litter can and will harm wildlife and fish and to that end we would prefer it wasn't left in the toilets as is happening at some of our waters.
While on the subject of litter did you know that if you have any old fishing line to dispose of, there is a line recycling box at Crowborough Tackle. Please try and remember to use it as this is a brilliant service and your line will eventually become road cones, amongst other products.
The working party team have been working very hard as usual to try and ensure we can all go fishing in a safe and tidy environment. The latest large project has been at Mill House Farm where a new bridge has now been constructed. Particular mentions must go to Dave Flint and Cliff Milledge who took on the roles of project managers. There was a good turnout for this particular task and many thanks to those who supported the day by working, supervising and making plenty of cups of tea available.
Don't forget, if you would like to help with any of these essential works, please contact us by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next scheduled working party was due to happen on Saturday 15th September at Oast Farm. That one will now not take place as the works have already been carried out, due to the fact the lake is booked for a match that weekend. Please see the club website or Facebook page for further updates.
The following one will be at Underhill on Sunday 27th October from 9-12.30. We would always make you welcome and would really appreciate your help if you are free on that day. Just let us know you are coming and we can bring more cups!!
BOOK EXCHANGE SCHEME
This scheme allows you to fish waters belonging to Haywards Heath and Glynde fishing clubs. They are held by Jed at Crowborough Tackle. If you would like to use this facility, please take your membership book and £10 to the shop. Jed will exchange books with you and when you return them, you will get your CDAA book and your £10 back. This excellent opportunity has recently been underused and it does open up a lot more fishing venues to you.
In conclusion, please feel free to contact us about anything you would like to comment on, or with any suggestions you may have. We are on Facebook, Twitter, email or the old fashioned telephone.
Don’t be shy as its good to have feedback when possible.
Robin from Hooked on Green in Uckfield would like to mention that he has now added Dynamite Baits to his list of suppliers and has an increased range of Groundbaits and pellets. They are open 7 days a week and you are entitled to a 10% discount if you produce your membership book at time of purchase.
Another available outlet, although not local to our waters is Bodle Angling which has opened in Burgess Hill.
Details can be found on our Local Tackle Dealers page of this website.
June 2019 Newsletter
Dear Member, welcome to our latest newsletter.
AGM & Race Night
The AGM at the Crowborough Social Club was well attended once again and thank you to all took the time to attend. Race night was also well supported and a huge thank you to all those involved in organising and running the event, I know Pete Gotts worked very hard to bring this together so thank you all for your support.
A message from the CDAA President Mr Peter Boorman
Sandra Lawrence announced at our last Committee Meeting that she had sold her tackle business. Sandra’s Crowborough Tackle Shop has been a vital support to our fishing club for many years and she has re-sited her business from the little wooden hut in the station goods yard through quite a few locations and finally to end up in Jarvis Brook where it is now. Sandra has worked tirelessly for the benefit of our club as well as other anglers in the area giving time and sponsorships and has been our Membership Secretary for many years and I am sure that she will continue in retirement to serve our club for many years to come. On behalf of the Crowborough & District Anglers Association I would take this opportunity to thank Sandra for all that she has done in the interests of the club and that of angling in general and wish her a happy well-earned retirement and we look forward to seeing more of Sandra on the banks of our waters in the future. Peter Boorman – CDAA President.
Exciting times at Mill House Farm
Club member Daniel Taylor, pictured with his son Hayden, had a result with a Common Carp of 19lb 11oz caught at Mill House Farm on 2nd June. He spent most of the session stalking this fish on the surface using an 8ft 2lb test curve stalker rod with 8lb line straight through! To say he was thrilled is an understatement and this fish is now a contender for both the Tony Barnard Memorial Carp Trophy and Fish of the Year.
I would also like to add that we are going to rebuild the bridge at this venue and that it would be nice to see some new faces at the work parties in the future, especially the bridge builders among you!
I leave you with a message from everybody’s favourite tackle shop owner.
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT CROWBOROUGH TACKLE
I have some big news relating to Crowborough Tackle. Very soon, there will be a new owner of the tackle shop. His name is Jed Kent, an experienced and accomplished angler who is already known and has worked in the fishing tackle trade.
He will be taking over from me very shortly. It’s time for this old granny to spend more time at home, looking after the family and spending more time with my grandchildren, after all there are already 7 of them and I’m sure more to come. It has been an absolute pleasure to be part of the fishing community here in Crowborough. I have met some wonderful people who I hope will continue to be fishing buddies and friends well in to the future.
The shop has been such a big part of my life and there have been lots of laughs and some sadness along the way. Some of the youngsters that came in when I first opened, now have their own children and some of the older community have sadly passed away. It has been an experience I will never forget and I will certainly miss seeing you all on a regular basis. We have become our own community over the years and shared each other’s highs and lows.
All the suppliers and reps of the various companies have all been very supportive of small business and have been a pleasure to work with.
The fishing clubs, especially Crowborough & District Anglers, have been amazing. Some of their committee have been with me from the start and were my very first customers. A huge thank you to you all.
I couldn’t have manged this last 2 years or so without the amazing support of Jerry Morgan. He has been a great source of help to me and always has a listening ear when I have needed one.
Please support Jed, as you have all supported me. You have made it a pleasure to come to work (if you can call it work!) and I know lots of you will be happy that there is still going to be a tackle shop here well in to the future. I may bump in to you on the other side of the counter as Jed will be my first port of call of course for my own tackle and bait.
Leaving party day to be announced, chocolate is always the perfect gift!!!! Fancy dress is optional.
Thank you so much, from Sandra
March 2019 Newsletter
Welcome to the March 2019 newsletter. 2018 was a very busy year for the committee and lots of improvements have been made to the waters we manage with thanks to the many volunteers who give up their time to carry out this work and enable us all to enjoy pleasurable waters to fish.
We have recently added Claygate Lakes in Marden to our portfolio, if you have yet to fish it please do so as it is a lovely set of lakes and all the details are in your handbook and on the club website.
The AGM is on Tuesday 23rd April 2019 at the Crowborough Social Club commencing at 7.30pm so please be there on time so you do not miss any news. There will be prize giving for the annual awards, free buffet, speeches (we promise they will be kept as short as possible), a raffle and a chance to catch up with people you may not see all the time. The special guest this year is Carl Rasey who is an EA Bailiff and will give us an insight into the work they do.
Membership Renewal Form
Yes it's that time of year again so please see the reverse of this newsletter for your membership renewal form, or you can renew via our website.
Tight Lines Board Game
One of our club members, committee member Lyndsay Black, has been involved in devising an exciting new fishing board game for which an image and is shown here and there is a competition you can enter, please see the enclosed information.
Finally just a note to say that Sandra will be opening the shop for the normal hours (Tue - Sat 9am to 5:30pm) as of 1st March, so no more half days for her!
I look forward to seeing you all at the AGM.
December 2018 Newsletter
Welcome to the December 2018 newsletter. Winter is upon us and I hope everyone is gearing up for a splendid festive season and hopefully some good winter catches. Its been a very busy year for the committee and the work does not stop just because its Christmas, but I think we can take it a little easy for a few weeks and get ready for 2019.
The recent race night went incredibly well and thank you to all the members and their guests who attended and made it such a successful night. I would like to say a massive thank you to Pete Gotts and Roy Williamson for their amazing efforts getting this event staged and running so smoothly. The list of others to say thank you to is a long one so I will simply say thank you to you all for your assistance and for giving up your time to ensure everyone had a great night. It is hugely appreciated.
Lots of people do lots of good work for the club throughout the year but I am mentioning in particular Roger Funnell for his sterling work making sure the match season runs as smoothly as it can so well done Roger as I know how popular the matches are and well attended.
Club Waters News
We are very fortunate to have such a varied portfolio which was added to early this year when we gained the sole rights to Oast Farm at Buxted. But as usual the Committee have not sat back on their laurels and, with thanks to Roger Funnell for securing this, we can announce that as from January 2nd 2019 our members can fish the two match lakes at Claygate Lakes Marden for free if using one rod or pole (£2 charge if you wish to use a second), if you wish to fish the specimen lake you will get a £2 discount on any ticket purchased but this must be booked in advance with the fishery. They also suggest that if you wish to fish the match lakes during a weekend you phone before travelling to make sure pegs are available as they do hold a lot of matches at this venue. The contact number is 07770 513448 and if you want more details see the fishery website at .
Message from the Chairman
Recently our life vice president Dave Park was kind enough to provide funds to purchase a 4 meter extended branch cutter which will prove invaluable to working parties for clearance of unwanted vegetation and improve fishing conditions for us all. thank you Dave.
it is proposed to start a " thank you " list on our website acknowledging and recording such donations. if you would like to appear on this proposed list we would be pleased to hear from you, currently we are in urgent need of, a boat, a ride on mower, a quad bike and a JCB, but seriously if you have a piece of equipment which you feel would be of assistance to working parties or would wish to donate funds to purchase equipment do contact our water management officer Dave Cottington on 01892 653367.
Have a very Merry Christmas and a great New Year and lots of record specimen fish for you all in 2019.
CHRISTMAS MESSAGE FROM SANDRA AT CROWBOROUGH TACKLE
I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and New Year.
Many thanks for all your support throughout the year, it has been a strange one, with a mix of the “beast from the east” and then a tropical summer. It has honestly been a challenging year both professionally and personally, but I hope to spend more time on the bank in 2019, as we probably all do. I would like to thank Jerry, as yet again he has been a great support to me and the shop all year.
Don’t forget that gift vouchers are available in store or you can buy them over the phone and we will post them out to you free of charge.
Everyone supporting the shop and me is genuinely appreciated, and I hope to see you all again soon. Don’t forget, the kettle is always on, so call in any time. Christmas opening hours as follows, please be aware that hours may cut down through January and February which I will endeavour to let you know as soon as possible. (It’s a long day hugging the heater through Jan and Feb now that I am an old granny!)
Saturday 22nd December 9-5
Closed until –
Thursday and Friday 27th and 28th December 9-1
Saturday 29th December 9-3
Closed until -
Wednesday to Friday 2nd, 3rd, 4th Jan 9-1
Saturday 5th January 9-3
Onward is yet to be determined – may be half days through the rest of January
Thanks everyone – hope to see you soon, from Sandra
September 2018 Newsletter
Welcome to the September 2018 newsletter. Autumn is nearly on us and it's been a very hot dry summer, you will have noticed that several of our waters have been suffering quite low water levels but we have been fortunate in that we have suffered no fish losses unlike some clubs with waters around our area.
CLUB WATERS - NEWS.
All our waters appear to have continued to fish well despite the high temperatures and low water levels which is good news and we would love to hear from more of you about how well (or not) your fishing is going. Remember we do not know if anything is wrong unless you let us know as we cannot be everywhere all of the time. You can contact us via the website, Facebook, Twitter or the good old fashioned telephone.
There is always work to be done at our waters to improve them and we are currently looking to improve access to Oast Farm lake for the less able. Once we have the costings we will decide whether to apply for a grant or fund it ourselves. If you would like to help with ongoing maintenance or a one off project then read on.
Hopefully you will remember from our June newsletter that we were planning a works schedule based on set days/evenings each month. This has now been completed and will hopefully be approved at the September committee meeting and then it will be emailed out to all those who have expressed a wish to help and will also be put on the club website and Facebook page. Each of our club waters has a Bailiff who keeps an eye on "their" water and lets the Committee know of any problems or work that requires doing and we currently have two waters that are in need of a new Bailiff. These are Mill House Farm lake in Maresfield and Oast Farm lake in Buxted and your involvement would include the grass cutting, it doesn't have to be kept to bowles green standard as approx once a month will do, and the club has strimmers (including a wheeled one) which you can use including petrol so you wouldn't be expected to use your own. The owners of both these waters are very friendly and we have very good relations with them which you would be required to continue to build on. If you might be interested then contact us and we can let you know exactly what is involved before you decide.
We have recently noticed an increase in the number of wet wipes that are being disposed of in both of the toilets at Scaland Wood and Underhill, unfortunately these toilets work by composting the waste and wet wipes do not break down in the same way as normal toilet tissue meaning we are having to empty these toilets out more often than we should. We have also had a problem with the toilet at Pennybridge with the flushing system becoming blocked by toilet tissue/wet wipes so we would ask that you only use the toilet tissue supplied here as this is designed to work in this toilet unlike normal toilet tissue and wet wipes.
While on this subject it has been brought to our attention that anglers (not CDAA members) have been seen urinating into a reservoir water that we have access to. This has resulted in one angler being banned from this water with possible legal proceedings being considered by Southern Water. Can we ask that you are discreet when urinating, if there are no toilet facilities available, and do not urinate directly into any of our waters please.
Thank you to everyone who has supported the Crowborough Tackle shop so far this year. Thanks also to Jerry for working alongside me. He has a lot of angling knowledge and is always happy to pass it on. We have battled through the awful spring (beast from the east etc) and the really hot spell. Now the weather seems absolutely spot on for some decent time on the bank.
There has been quite a lot of new stock coming in this year, so please feel free to come in and browse at your leisure. There is usually time for a natter and a cup of tea. Don’t forget to contact me if you would like something I don’t normally stock, and I will try and get it for you. Also, I will try and match or get close to some of the internet prices on larger items, I don’t bite …………so just give me a call. Thanks, Sandra
HALF PRICE MEMBERSHIPS.
If you have a friend or relative who you think might enjoy fishing our waters then let them know that from the last week of September they can join us for half price, and as you are aware many of our waters continue to fish well throughout the autumn and winter.
We are still getting enquiries as to where the gate code has disappeared to, as they used to be on the individual waters pages. It is now on the front cover of your handbook and to the left of the club logo.
I refuse to use the "C" word this early in the year, unlike a few of my FB friends who insist on letting me know it's only X number of days/sleeps away, but our next newsletter will be out in early December to update you on what has been going on during the autumn so if you catch a good fish (don't forget to check the website for up to date known best's and current specimen trophy entries) or have something funny or strange happen on a fishing trip then let us know and maybe we'll include it. And remember just because the weather isn't so pleasant you don't have to stop fishing, just plan shorter sessions.
June 2018 Newsletter
Welcome to the June 2018 newsletter. It continues to be a busy year for the committee and volunteers working hard on running the club and carrying out works at the various venues and our waters are the envy of many a club as a result of this.
CLUB WATERS - NEWS.
There are lots of reports of good fishing coming in from most of the clubs waters. I can personally vouch for Underhill where the Tench are very happy to be caught in this early stage of the season and also Wirgol where lots of the swims on Wirgol II have been cleared and made accessible and the hill really is not as bad as some might think. Lots of Carp and quality Roach showing their faces. The Roach appear to love Robin Red 4mm & 8mm pellets which of course Sandra at Crowborough Tackle stocks.
Work continues at Scaland Wood to improve the pegs with the ones along the back bank now being levelled ready for some wood chippings, the brickwork on the outlet at Oast Farm has been repaired and new boards will be inserted very soon which should mean the water level will be raised by about 6 inches. Danesfield Wood has had its annual tidy up including some weed clearance, but there is still some work to do here and if you are interested in helping with any of this work in the future read on.
For the last two years we have developed a schedule for the work that requires doing at our lakes on a regular basis. This has worked reasonably well but with quite short notice of each session many people have already made arrangements and so have been unable to attend so we have now decided to take this forward by scheduling working parties on set days of each month. We hope this will encourage more members to participate and so spread the workload.
We are planning on doing work parties on the following days, first Tuesday morning, second Thursday evening (May to September only, due to the lack of daylight hours) and the third Sunday morning, of each month. We hope that by the next newsletter, in September, we will have allocated a water to each of these sessions and the full schedule will be posted on both Facebook and the working party page of the club website.
Until September the work parties will remain ad-hoc and will be posted on Facebook and emailed to anyone who has already agreed to go on our working party email list. If you would like to be added to this list then please contact us via or call our Hon. Secretary John Butler on 01273 586240, the more help we get the easier the workload will become.
We have had a few enquiries as to where the gate codes have disappeared to, as they used to be on the individual waters pages. It is now on the front cover of your handbook and to the left of the club logo.
Oast Farm Lake at Buxted will be closed on 22nd July 2018 for a match that is not listed in the handbook or on our website.
GDPR – DATA PROTECTION.
Firstly if you have already renewed your club membership thank you (and apologies as it means you may have received this email twice), but if you have not now is the time to do it.
The reason for this is that you will no doubt have heard about the new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation 2018) which replaced the old Data Protection Act on May 25th 2018. Due to this new regulation we have to inform everyone whose details we hold electronically that, if you have not renewed your membership by July 31st 2018 you will be removed from our email list meaning you will not receive any further newsletters or other information we send out to members. Your details that we hold electronically in relation to your lapsed membership will be held on the club database until March 31st 2019 unless you instruct us to remove them prior to this.
If you are a current member we would like to remind you that under the new regulation you can request that your details are removed from the clubs electronic database at any time during your membership, and you can do this by contacting either the Hon. Secretary or Hon. Membership Secretary. Details of how to contact these persons can be found on the front of your club handbook and on our website.
We would also like to remind you that any electronic data we store is only for use by the CDAA Committee and then only for accounting purposes, analysis and recording of our membership. This information is never passed on to any company or individual and is only the information you have provided on the membership application form which you completed when joining or renewing.
If you have any news such as good catches, weights, unusual catches (I had a 2.5lb brown trout out of Underhill 2 or 3 years ago), suggestions on potential new waters for the club to look into or anything that you feel may be relevant to your club, please do let me or any other committee member know.
March 2018 Newsletter
Welcome to the March 2018 newsletter. It has been a busy year for the committee and volunteers working hard on running the club and carrying out works at the various venues and our waters are the envy of many a club as a result of this.
AGM - Please note that the AGM is being held at the usual venue of Crowborough Social Club on Tuesday April 17th commencing at 7.30pm for an 8pm start and will as always include trophy presentations and a free buffet and a pay on the night raffle. The guest speaker and presenter will be Mr David Wilkins of the Angling Trust.
CLUB WATERS - NEWS
Oast Farm in Buxted is now established as a club water and a lot of work has been undertaken to transform the venue with new swims constructed and tree and bank work undertaken to make it a delight to fish, especially if like me you sometimes don’t want to have to work too hard or think too technically to catch a fish as the carp are very obliging and very active. The owners are very happy with the working partnership we have formed.
More House Farm, please note that as of April 1st 2018 there is a new pricing structure for member’s day tickets on Canal and Sidewinder at this venue. A days fishing is now £3 rather than the £2 we have been paying, there are also now no subsidies for fishing the Kingfisher Lake so check www.mhf.co.uk for full details of their pricing for this lake.
A MESSAGE FROM CROWBOROUGH TACKLE
Hello everyone and a warm welcome to spring. It has been a strange winter, what with storms, fog, rain and all sorts of weather. I must be honest, as the year’s progress, I am less inclined to sit on the bank in the dark and the cold and as trade suggests, I am not alone. Let’s hope by the time this newsletter is published, that I am no longer wearing a coat all day at work and moaning about how cold the shop is!! Warm days and long nights – hurrah (maybe). As always, I would like to thank everyone that has supported the shop during the last season and hopefully that will continue during this next one. My biggest competitor is the internet, but that is a fact of life these days. You can now tell that age is creeping up on me but I will refrain from starting the next sentence with something like “years ago or in the old days” Years ago (oh sorry) I’ll start again! I would like to thank Jerry for working with me since the move back to Crowborough. He is a great guy and has a lot of angling knowledge. He always takes the time to give very good advice, should you require it, so don’t be afraid to ask. We all have something to learn, I know I do. There has been lots of new stock arriving through the winter, so come and have a look around. The kettle is still always hot and the banter continues to fly. Thank you to everyone that has come in armed with tools, to help with the jobs that this DIY challenged woman can’t do. I really do appreciate it. Let’s now look forward to a lovely summer, lots of fishing and happy days ahead. From the old granny, Sandra.
Catch Angling - Allow me to introduce myself I am Paul, licensed Level 2 angling coach through the Angling Trust. I have been fishing myself for over 40 years and thought it would be nice to pass something on to others so it was the case of having to pass check for DBS, going on child protection and first aid courses and lots of angling assessments to gain my Level 2 Angling Coaching certificate. If you are new or coming back to angling, young or old, even just a bit rusty, a good day can be had. All types of course angling can be covered. I am fully insured, risk assessments carried out, first aid and safety equipment carried to ensure a safe and enjoyable day is had.
I can be contacted at email@example.com or on 01892 537060/07803 452950.
(Please note that although Paul is a club member any sessions organised through him are independent from and have nothing to do with our club other than using our waters)
MEMBERSHIP RENEWALS AND NEWS
The club have bucked the trend in the membership stakes by continuing to increase the membership numbers to over 300, the highest it has been for many a year and a great deal of thanks and praise goes to Sandra Lawrence of Crowborough Tackle and Dave Flint both Committee Members who have worked long and hard to ensure the numbers increase and not forgetting the rest of the Committee who have been able to incentivise new members to join with several scales of membership now available making the club one of the best value clubs in the Sussex area.
I look forward to seeing you all at the AGM or around the waters (when it warms up a bit).
December 2017 Newsletter
Welcome to the final Newsletter of 2017. It has been a very busy year for the Club and Committee with lots of activity through completing works following Angling Trust Grants to obtaining new waters (see below). As always the time is given up free of charge by the various committee members attending meetings, seminars and working parties and of course the time given up by volunteers assisting with the working parties so a big thank you to all those involved.
There are lots of good reports coming in regarding our waters and that they are fishing well, so keep catching and keep letting us know via Facebook/Twitter and email if you have good sessions/catches.
The club are delighted to be able to announce that Oast Farm in Buxted is now available to fish for members. This is a very pretty little water with a huge stock of very active Carp. Not sure what the biggest is in there as we are not holding any known bests yet, but be prepared for an active days fishing especially in the spring/summer/autumn periods, though it also fishes really well in winter. Please check the clubs website for the rules and parking information.
The trophies that members are holding can now be returned at your earliest convenience to either Crowborough Tackle or Crowborough Shoe Repairs.
Please don’t forget to let us know of any specimen catches for the specimen trophies.
The date for the AGM has been set at Tuesday 17th April 2018 and the guest of honour is Mr David Wilkins of the Angling Trust. The AGM will be at the usual venue of the Crowborough Social Club.
Club Handbook Advertising
The club have a few spare pages in the handbook for advertising and if any members have their own businesses and feel an advert in the book might help promote themselves then they are available at £35 per page per annum, bargain advertising.
Fishing Board Game
The club are assisting a local Crowborough company who are devising and manufacturing a board game based around fishing, by way of assisting with video footage and technical (fishing) assistance and guidance in their production. More news will follow in 2018 regarding this.
It is with regret that we must advise that after many years of excellent organisation, John Manktelow is having to give up his role as Sea Section organiser and the club would welcome any volunteers who would like to take this role on to allow the Sea Section to continue.
It remains only for me to say on behalf of all the Members of the Committee that we hope you have had an excellent Christmas and we all wish you a very Happy New Year, may all your catches be specimens.
John Butler – CDAA Honorary Secretary
September 2017 Newsletter
Welcome to the September 2017 newsletter. It’s been a very busy year so far for the committee members of the Crowborough & District Anglers Association. Since obtaining a 2nd grant from the Angling Trust in under a year from which the work has been completed and then examined by the Angling Trust who were very impressed not only with how much work we did from the grants, but also the quality of the work undertaken so a huge thank you to all who assisted. There are still some routine maintenance works to do this year so please do watch out for notifications about regular working parties at which all ages and abilities can take part. Because of our relationship with them we have been encouraged to apply for funding on other projects and we have been advised on several potential grant options which we are investigating for late 2017 early 2018.
It is with sadness that we comment on the passing of a member of the club. John Kelly was fondly remembered by many and our own Chairman Cris Millis spoke at the funeral at the request of the family having been a long standing friend. A summary of what Cris had to say is as follows; “I have known John since the mid 80s when he rejoined our club and we went on many sea boat fishing trips together. We had a lot of laughs on the sea trips and John was an active committee member for some years also. John’s tree surgery and construction knowledge served the club well on many a working party day. John held many of the clubs fishing records for a time but I feel his greatest contribution was his friendship and he will be sadly missed”. The family insisted that instead of flowers at the funeral they would rather donations were given t be passed to the CDAA club which is something that John would no doubt have endorsed and welcomed. The committee will work with the family to ensure that the donations are spent wisely.
There are good reports coming in from all the waters with stories of good catches and excellent quality fish. Get out there and enjoy yourselves and wet nets one and all. At the Mill House Farm water a superb 5lb+ Tench was caught by a member so get down there with the tackle as there are records to break.
Sadly Scaland Wood has had to be temporarily closed while water testing takes place under the guidance of the relevant authorities and we are hopeful of re-opening the water in the next few weeks. Please watch for updates on the social media pages and club website or contact any committee member for an update in a few weeks time.
Improvements have been undertaken at Danesfield Wood a superb little water including repairing the dam and clearing and preparing several pegs to be used.
Club Promotions & Events
The club are co-hosting a race night on Saturday 28th October which Roy Williamson one of the committee members has worked really hard getting arranged. It is an 8 o’clock start with a free buffet and good beer prices. Lots of fun bets to be had and tri cast tickets can be bought in advance for £5 covering 8 races with a chance of winning £50 and you can get these by contacting Roy on 07725 095073.
Don’t forget there is a half price promotion starts on 1st October so if you know anyone considering joining, then now is a good time for them to do so.
We have mentioned before that the sea section of the club is struggling for members at the moment and the club is now looking for someone to take over as the steward of this section, but if one cannot be found then sadly this part of the club may sink to Davey Jones Locker, so please if you have an interest in sea fishing or know people who have we would very much like to keep this alive and prospering.
The next newsletter will be the Christmas Newsletter, wow nearing that time already and of course don’t forget Sandra’s shop Crowborough Tackle when buying presents or writing wish lists. Please watch for updates the club website and social media between now and then.
Thank you for taking the time to read through the newsletter.
John Butler – CDAA Honorary Secretary
CDAA Secretary's monthly report:
Welcome to my first monthly report, this will be my way of keeping you up to date with what has been happening during the past month, not only within our own club but anything of note that has happened in our area that I feel you should all hear about. With this in mind please do let me know of anything you think we might all like to hear about including any notable catches you make or events you've heard about.
We hold Committee meetings on the first Tuesday of every month and I will be letting you know if there is anything that comes up that you should be aware of, and if there is anything you would like to make the Committee aware of do contact us as if we do not know of something then there is nothing we can do about it.
At the bottom of this report you will find a "dates for your diary" section which will list matches and any CDAA events happening during the following month.
Sadly I have to start my first report on a serious note:
Koi Herpes Virus (KHV) - There is a confirmed outbreak of this disease in our area and we all need to be vigilant, advise has been posted on both Facebook and the club website so do please take note and make sure your nets are completely dried between going to fish at another water as this is still the best way of stopping the spread of this virus and other diseases. Fortunately due to the quick actions of the lake owners this outbreak has, currently, been contained and we hope it stays that way.
But things do get better:
Pennybridge20 – A very successful day and well attended (approx 200 people) and the weather finally assisted us at lunch time. Roger Funnell, who organised this event, said Nick Fisher (a past member who officially opened the lake 20 years ago - http://www.nick-fisher.co.uk/ ) confirmed he thoroughly enjoyed the day. The Junior who assisted on the music stand is being given a free Junior Membership as agreed by all. Des Shipp had a great time catching about 40lb of fish during the day and it's safe to say most of our match guys are hoping he doesn't turn up at one of their matches! He did give some of them some very good advise though so hopefully they'll put that to good use in the future. The profit made was £62.60. It was discussed and agreed that profit was not what it was about, but putting on a good day was the main priority which it certainly did.
Mill House Farm - Our newest water is quickly becoming more popular since improvements were made to the access, thanks to a grant from the Angling Trust, and the stocking of some more Tench and Crucian Carp. Reports of good catches are coming in and we would be grateful if members could let us know what they are catching there, as well as from our other waters.
Scaland Wood - This water saw major improvements at the beginning of June, again thanks to an Angling Trust grant, with the car park being enlarged along with improvements to a stretch of very soggy bankside which also happened to be the main access route to the roadside bank. This water is now more easily accessed by all our members and we hope you continue to enjoy it, after all we own this one and further improvements are planned and will take place over time.
Sea anglers - Our sea section are struggling at present to find enough anglers wanting to take a place on the boat trips so if you are interested get in touch with John Manktelow, his contact number is in your handbook.
Lady anglers - This year has seen the Ladies section go from strength to strength with the Ladies Trophy going from a single one day event to a three match series plus a Ladies only Have a go Day. If you are interested then contact Sandra at Crowborough Tackle for more information.
Well that's all for this month so tight lines
June 2017 Newsletter
Welcome to my first newsletter as your new Honorary Secretary. It’s been a very busy year so far for the committee members of the Crowborough & District Anglers Association. Having successfully obtained a 2nd grant from the Angling Trust in under a year for which we are extremely grateful to them, we have managed, thanks to Dave Flint and Cliff Milledge in particular, but also a whole host of volunteers, to undertake a fantastic revamp of our very own Scaland Wood. If you have not seen it for yourself yet, please do pop down and have a look, oh and it’s fishing very well also. Lots more to do this year so please do watch out for notifications about regular working parties at which all ages and abilities can take part.
The club have taken advice from the Angling Trust and Environmental Agency and have introduced a new wording you will see in the club rules. It reads as follows and basically means there is a requirement to produce your membership book and license to a club appointed bailiff if requested to do so.
“All members fishing on Club waters must be in possession of a valid Environment Agency Rod Licence and current Club Handbook (and/or an applicable Guest or Day Membership or Overnight Ticket) at all times. All relevant Environment Agency bye laws will be observed on Club waters. Anglers are required, on request to produce their permit and rod licence to the Club appointed Bailiff.”
The event at Pennybridge went very well despite the weather before lunch and as events got underway the weather turned and made it a very enjoyable day attended by close to 200 visitors of members and non members alike. Des Shipp a very accomplished professional angler who has fished for England and appeared in many magazines and TV programmes and is a representative of Preston Innovations, fished throughout the day and gave lots of advice and technical assistance and demonstrations to young and not so young anglers alike. In a 4 or 5 hour session he netted almost 40lb of fish, the match men might want to hope he does not make Sussex his home!
There are good reports coming in from all the waters with stories of good catches and excellent quality fish. Get out there and enjoy yourselves and wet nets one and all.
Voluntary Bailiff Service (VBS)
I am pleased to announce that our very own Dave Flint a long standing member and committee member has been enrolled in the Angling Trusts VBS scheme and has successfully completed his induction. This gives Dave and the club access to an excellent reporting system to advise the Angling Trust of anything that is a concern around our waters such as pollution or poaching for example allowing them and the police to build up a history to be able to tackle issues. Fortunately we have not been blighted by either but better to be prepared and able to report clearly. If any members are aware of any issues that they think should be reported, please let me know and we will ensure your concerns are passed on through the VBS.
Thank you for taking the time to read through the newsletter.
John Butler – CDAA Honorary Secretary
The Club’s 67th AGM will take place on Tuesday 19th April 2016, at the Social Club, Croft Road, Crowborough, commencing at 7.45pm sharp. We had a great turn out last year and are keen for the coming AGM to be just as successful. The Club has been in existence since 1948 and we owe it to our predecessors to attend this meeting and treat it with the reverence it deserves. Our Treasurer has cut our costs this year with some pruning here and there. We were looking to cut the cost of trophy engraving, but thought we should ask you at the AGM for your view. If you have thoughts on this topic then please come along and air them – after all, it is your Club and it would be ideal to move forward with a general consensus from the membership as a whole.
Don't forget we will be presenting all the prizes and trophies for the season ended. The popular half-time buffet and the prize laden raffle will also be taking place. Turn up, show your face, enjoy a fishy story and be part of driving the Club forward in the year to come.
We are pleased to announce that Club members now have immediate access to our new water - Millhouse Farm - at Maresfield. The details of this new stillwater are on our Club Waters page. Please contact us if you require directions or the gate code for this water. A lot of work has gone into making this mysterious pool fishable and we hope the members will enjoy it - and let us know their catches and thoughts. Tight Lines!
We are pleased to let you know that CDAA members are now able to obtain memberships at Bough Beech Reservoir at a discounted rate for a limited time. Bough Beech is 284 acres in size and although it used to be a Trout fishery it is now a very successful coarse fishery.
For just £14 CDAA members get access to this water for the rest of the season. Please note that this membership does not include specific fishing and targeting of Carp and Pike as those memberships are only available directly through Bough Beech.
Those of you who would like to take up this option need to send a cheque for £14, made payable to CDAA, to our Honorary Secretary, Dave Stanbridge at his home address (see your Handbook). As soon as he has your cheque, we will pass on your details to Bough Beech who will then issue your membership. It should be a quick turnaround. If you have any questions, please call Dave on 01892 - 655504.
This offer runs until the end of August 2016, it's limited for this season. After the end of August we won't accept anymore memberships for this season. But we hope this will be successful exercise and that we can extend it next season.
The Club's 67th Annual General Meeting will be taking place at 7:30pm on Tuesday 14th April 2015 in the Social Club, Croft Road, Crowborough. Members will be welcome from 7:00pm onwards to engage in a fishy story or just wallow in the general bonhomie of fellow anglers - no fish is ever quite as big as the one that got away!
The AGM is the opportunity for members to have their say in the running of their club. It's a chance to be heard and an opportunity to volunteer, to help us along the road that lies ahead over the next year.
After our traditional half-time buffet, there will be the presentation of all the prizes and trophies for the 2014-2015 season - not forgetting the drawing of the lucky winning tickets in the annual raffle.
See you there...
WATERS UPDATE : Members should be aware that the car park to BROWNS POOL will remain inaccessible until the middle of January at the earliest. Members are still able to fish the water but will have to park on the road if doing so. Parking on the road is not something the CDAA Committee recommends and you do so at your own risk. Members should also be aware that the acess to the RIVER ROTHER at NEWENDEN will be from the "pumping station" along Lossenham Lane for the remainder of the current season. The Environment Agency have been hard at work on the bankside and the work is yet to stabilise, which makes access from the Cricket Ground unsafe. We expect things to be back to normal by June, in time for the 2015 - 2016 season.
At the beginning of June we heard from our former Honorary Secretary and now Life Vice-President, Dave Errey. Dave was Secretary from 1987-2003 and has remained a Club member since stepping down from the role. In this exclusive interview he shares some of his memories.
CDAA - Have you got a first fishing memory?
DE - I have two memories really. The first is of what we all know now as Scaland Wood. But long before it became a Club water my Dad used to take me and my brothers to fish there. In those days it was still completely surrounded by woods and you couldn't see it from the road. It was covered in lilies and we used to call it the "Lilly pond". Dad had fished it as a boy, before the war and we used to cut a hazel pole to use with a quill float with paste as bait, just as he had.
My second memory is of trips to fish the Sussex Ouse at Isfield and Barcombe Mills. We used to catch the bus from Crowborough and get out at Isfield and then walk along the disused railway from the Laughing Fish pub and fish under the railway bridge where it crosses the river. I caught my first ever fish there, a small Rudd, and I also remember some cracking Perch and Eels.
CDAA - Would you and your brother Peter compete or co-operate as children?
DE - We were pretty competitive, especially at sport. I know that I always thought that I was better at football. As far as fishing was concerned I don't think we were quite so competitive, although as with most kids, if one was catching and the other not we would muscle in on the others swim!
CDAA – Are you just as competitive these days?
DE - No, the competitive edge has definitely mellowed.
CDAA - How long have you been a member of CDAA?
DE - Good question, I think I joined in 1981.
CDAA - How did you end up on the Committee and rise up to the role of Secretary?
DE - I joined CDAA on the recommendation of Tony Smith, who some older members will remember. Tony was a work colleague and a CDAA Executive Committee member, I think he may have been Treasurer but I can't remember for sure. Keith Wilson or Peter Boorman will be able to put me straight on that. Tony put me forward as a Committee member at an AGM a year or two later and the rest is history as they say.
CDAA - Were there other Committee members who impressed you with their dedication and hard work?
DE - I don't think you can top the dedication and longevity of Keith Wilson, Peter Boorman and Cris Millis, all of whom were there when I joined and are still there, doing their bit for the club.
CDAA - Did you have a favourite venue from your days on the Committee?
DE – My favourite was definitely, the River Medway at Ashurst, not least because it took me a while to learn how to fish it. But once I had unraveled some of its secrets I had some memorable times there. I caught some cracking Chub in the heat of summer and also in the depths of winter and some excellent bags of Roach and Dace.
CDAA - And a favourite venue that we no longer have in the portfolio?
DE - It has to be Ashurst again. It’s a cracking stretch of river that was challenging but rewarding. It's a shame that we lost it just at the time the big Barbel really started to be caught in any real numbers.
CDAA - Any funny incidents ever happened on Club waters during your time?
DE - I remember an occasion when Dave Cottington was so scared of a grass snake he spotted during a match at Wirgol that he nearly fell in. (Guess what Dave? That sort of thing still happens!)
CDAA - Could you have envisaged a time when you were Secretary, when the Club might own Scaland Wood?
DE - It was always a possibility. If the Club were going to own a water of its’ own it was always likely to be Scaland Wood.
CDAA - What's your best ever fish or is it about the whole experience and not just the photograph?
DE - It's really the experience for me, but one fish in particular stands out because it was not only by far the biggest Rudd I have ever seen but also so unexpected. I caught it at Broadhurst Manor, another old Club water. It consisted of an old lake with three small ponds fed by a stream from the main lake. I hadn't caught much when there was a thunderstorm, so I moved down to try my luck on one of the small ponds where I could shelter in a barn and still see my rod. With no real expectations of any action I set up a ledger rod with a large piece of bread flake and poured a coffee. It wasn't long before I noticed line running out through the rod rings. The result was a pristine Rudd fifteen inches long. Unfortunately I had neither scales or a camera with me, and therefore no means of recording any facts. To this day I don’t know what it weighed or have a picture to treasure, but over 30 years later I still remember it clearly. (We think that based on current best estimates a fifteen-inch Rudd would weigh close to 3lbs – truly a fish of a lime time)
CDAA - Which would you rather watch and why, Jeremy Wade's River Monsters or Robson Greene's Extreme Fishing, or maybe Jack Hargreaves Out of Town?
DE - I think I'd prefer Jack Hargreaves because his style of fishing was closer to my own.
CDAA - Of the new venues CDAA has on the portfolio, which are you looking forward to fishing?
DE - I'd like to have a go on the River Medway at Ball's Green.
CDAA - You succeeded the legend that remains Keith Wilson as Secretary in 1987, was it a daunting prospect?
DE – Yes it was, very much so. It was in the days before computers so everything was paper based. Keith was very meticulous so it was hard work to say the least, to match his standards.
CDAA - Have you carried on fishing since you stood down as Secretary in 2003?
DE – Yes I have. I concentrated on fly-fishing with the odd Pike fishing trip with Pete Gammon but in the last five years I have not been much. I fully intend to put that right and am looking forward to a few sessions on CDAA waters in the coming months.
CDAA – Thanks Dave, that’s an informative and interesting set of answers, we look forward to seeing you on the bank side soon – and don’t forget your scales or your camera!
We recently caught up with our Club President Peter Boorman for a few words about his time with the Club, which stretches back to the swinging sixties and far beyond.
CDAA - What's the truth behind the story that you were elected to the Committee by mistake in 1971?
PB - It’s so long ago I’m not sure I can remember it, but I am sure the walking talking encyclopedia known as Keith Wilson will have the correct answer. It’s more than likely though, many things in my life have been either mistakes or accidents and although I probably did not intend it to happen, I don’t regret it for a moment.
CDAA - While you were Chairman the Club acquired Holts, as well as creating Wirgol, Sibley Pond and Welbourne Lake. So what’s the secret behind your success?
PB - My “success” as Chairman was really down to being in the right place at the right time and when opportunities came along I tried to grab them with both hands and make the most of each one. I have always been someone who will step out and take a justifiable chance rather than hold back and miss out.
CDAA - You’ve been President for a few years now, where do you hope the Club goes next?
PB - I hope that the future of the Club follows my philosophy, taking the opportunity to move forward when it presents itself. Hopefully we can acquire new waters and also purchase them if there is the chance to. Our reputation is very good in the district and we have, in my opinion, always shown a good example of how a good fishing club should be run.
CDAA - How has it all changed since 1971?
PB - Since 1971 there have been quite a lot of changes - I believe that angling is an advancing sport that is vastly more technical now than ever before. There is better tackle. There are also an enormous selection of manufactured baits, many created to sell more bait to gullible people - although occasionally worthwhile new baits are invented. There are more vocal anti-angling factions and there are a lot more rules, some are good, some are bad. For example we now use barbless hooks, which is good. However, we now need risk assessments on our waters because we now have to have someone to blame for every thoughtless accident that takes place, never mind the genuine accidents. You cannot just dig a few worms, pick up your rod and go fishing, as you could in my early days, because restrictions apply to most decent waters. I also believe that the fish caught now tend to be larger than those of yesteryear so it is not all bad.
CDAA - Would you do it all again, if you had your time all over again?
PB - Oh yes, I might do some things a bit differently and I would have liked to have done more practical fishing than I have done but Crowborough and District Anglers Association is very dear to my heart and I will continue to support it with a passion.
CDAA - Have you got a favourite fish?
PB - In days of old, just after the war, my favourite fish was the Eel - my cousin and I would catch countless Eels in the Ouse and my Aunt prepared them for us to eat at breakfast. However, these days I don't think I have favourite fish, but it is certainly still a delight to catch a decent Perch or Roach or even a Bream. Just like the 7lb Bream as I caught this year – which was made all the better, as the Club Chairman Cris Millis was on hand to act as my gillie and net the monster for me.
CDAA - Have you got a favourite water from yesteryear that you would like the Club to add to the portfolio?
PB - The oldest water that I have fond memories of is one my father took me to, and where he taught me how to fish. It’s over at Mark Cross and I would be thrilled beyond belief if the Club was ever able to add it to the portfolio. I was over there recently having a look at it, revisiting my youth and memories of fishing with my father. It’s still a nice water but would require a lot of work to bring it back to its former glory. – (Be careful what you wish for Peter, you never know your luck).
CDAA - And of the current Club waters, which have a special place in your affections?
PB - I guess that the water that gives me the greatest satisfaction today must be Scaland Wood, having been instrumental in persuading Crowborough Town Council to help us finance the purchase. It is great to see how it has been improved by the work of our members, not just recently but over the last thirty-five years.
CDAA - Justin Bieber or Elton John?
PB - I am basically a traditionalist who believes that fishing is becoming unnecessarily complicated and scientific - After all my best fish was caught on floating bread. I guess that makes me Elton John!
CDAA - Is it true you are the subject of the story at the end of the most recent, October newsletter?
PB - I don’t relate directly to the newsletter story, although after inheriting the tackle of our former Treasurer’s Brian Green, it became a very worthy argument.
CDAA - And finally, is there anything else you would like to add?
PB - Of course, I would like to wish all our members, whether young or old, new to the Club or dyed in the wool, a very Merry Christmas and tight lines for 2014. Finally of course as all Committee members know from my time as Chairman – “Meeting closed 11:15”
For the first time in many years the Club has arranged beach matches in an attempt to re-invigorate our beach fishing scene. In the early days of the Club this was a very popular pursuit and remained popular until about twenty years ago when the enthusiasm started to wane and many of the older members of the Club hung up their beachcasters and multipliers. We have arranged two matches to whet the appetite and would hope to add more if these prove to be successful. The details are on the Sea Match tab of the Matches and Competions page. Take a look and we hope to see you there.
We recently got to spend some time with our current Club Chairman Cris Millis. Cris has been in the hot seat since June 2001 and a Club member for many for years than that.
CDAA - Hi Cris, what’s your first fishing memory?
CM – It was fishing for Trout using worms on the upper reaches of the Medway at Forest Row. In addition to that I remember Sea fishing from the Western breakwater at Newhaven. Both I might add, with limited success.
CDAA - When did you join the Club?
CM - I joined the club upon my return to this area in 1978. I had originally intended to rejoin the Dorset Arms Club, of which I was previously a member but at that time they had a waiting list. So after a chat with Keith Wilson, who was the Secretary at the time, I joined CDAA and have been a member ever since. This year sees me clock up my 35th consecutive year, that’s more than half the time the Club has been in existence.
CDAA - How did you end up on the Committee?
CM - By accident, I'm sure it was the guy behind me at the AGM who had his hand up!
CDAA - You said in the early 1980’s that you thought you had done your time on the Committee to help the Club along, but you’re still here. What happened?
CM – You can't get enough of a good thing.
CDAA - You’ve been Chairman since June 2001, how have things changed during your time in this role?
CM - I think the greatest change is the fact that the Club now owns its’ FIRST water. This was something the Club had striven for, for a number of years and after a few disappointments and false starts we finally achieved this with the purchase of Scaland Wood in 2009.
CDAA - How much longer do you think you will continue as Chairman?
CM - Difficult to say, I keep trying to leave, but they keep voting me back in.
CDAA - All Clubs have a shortfall in volunteers, including CDAA. Why should the Ordinary Member get more involved in our Club?
CM - I feel there is a great amount of experience and talent (aside from the fishing) within the ranks of our members and it would be nice to see more of them come forward (without too much commitment) to assist the Committee in some capacity. We have had three or four new volunteers in recent times and the fresh blood and enthusiasm has helped rejuvenate the Committee.
CDAA - Which of the waters that Club no longer has, would you like to bring back?
CM - Despite the hassle with the lily cutting and the restrictions imposed upon us, I always liked the main lake at Buckhurst. Early in the season, when the surface was still and dawn was breaking, it was a beautiful place to be.
CDAA - Sea fishing or Coarse fishing?
CM - I must admit that I have probably done more sea fishing than coarse fishing in my time, but during the last few years the situation has reversed. I don't know really, it’s a little bit heads or tails and I like both.
CDAA - Any thoughts on Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's Fish Fight campaign?
CM – I admire him for what he is trying to achieve. I think it's essential that protected areas and marine reserves exist, where no fishing can take place. At present only 0.001% of our coastline has protected status. More research and possible restrictions on the catching of essential food chain species such as sand eels needs to be undertaken. After all the bigger fish need something to eat.
CDAA - What’s your best catch?
CM – Well I would like to say they are too numerous to mention, but of course that would just be another fisherman’s yarn. However I do remember a sixteen-hour boat trip off Rye many years ago that yielded some 2,800lbs of Cod and Conger. The Cod weighed up to 32lbs and the Conger up to 60lbs.
CM – There is no particular attraction, I just like to see the waters in good condition and I like to do my bit to help. I also feel that by attending working parties I am supporting the class ‘A’ bailiff for that water, and I feel they do an excellent job in maintaining our fisheries.
CDAA - Would you do it all again?
CM – Yes
CDAA – Many thanks for your time and your interesting answers Cris, let’s hope you have helped inspire the next generation of Committee Members – and by the way, contrary to the rumours, the meetings never finish at 11:15!
We are pleased to announce that after twenty-three years, the Common Carp Club Record has been broken. The last time this record was broken the Internet was a figment of Tim Berners-Lee's imagination and mobile phones came with a battery pack. John Major was Prime Minister, 'World in Motion' was number one and the Australians always won the Ashes. So it's a big CDAA pat on the back and congratulations to James Howland of Tonbridge who caught his 22lb 4oz monster at Oak Lake, Gabriels Fishery on the 27th May. For good measure he caught another of 17lb 8oz on the same session.
Former record holder Graham Colvin used to run the original Crowborough Tackle Shop - even in those days the sound of a boiling kettle was a common occurence! Graham also served for many years as the Freshwater Match Steward. He was also Angler of the Year in 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1996 before moving to Wales where he now lives.
The 22lb 4oz fish now tops the leader board of the Tony Barnard Memorial Carp Trophy. Any members who are hoping to win that trophy now, will have to break the new club record to do so! So good luck to the Carp chasers and in the meantime, well done James.
Just a few days ago we caught up with Pete Meiners, the man who has been setting tongues wagging all over Crowborough during the last few weeks. Pete has broken the Clubs’ Chub record not once, or twice, but three times in just a month and is on the fast track to becoming to legend in his own lunchtime.
CDAA - How and when did you start fishing? Was there a junior day in your youth?
PM - When I was small my Dad used to take me fishing on the Medway at Tonbridge and later I used to go a lot with my school mates, mainly in the Tonbridge area, but I didn’t catch much. I was a member of Tonbridge Angling Society and don’t recall a Junior Day but that’s maybe because fishing was more popular amongst youngsters than it is nowadays and clubs didn’t need to encourage new members so much. Then I discovered beer and girls so fishing fell by the wayside and I didn’t go again for over 30 years.
CDAA – So when did you join CDAA?
PM - I took my 9 year old son Alex to the Clubs’ tenth annual Junior Day in June this year to try and get him interested in something we could do together that didn’t involve looking at a screen. I was so impressed with everything the Club did that day to encourage young people that I decided to join up. I’m afraid I’ve become rather addicted now.
CDAA - Did you expect to break the Club's Chub record when you first went to the Eridge Stream?
PM - I wasn’t even aware that it was a Club record until it appeared on the new website as such. I thought it was just the “known best” for the Eridge Stream when I reported it. I suspect bigger fish have been caught there but not reported for whatever reason. I certainly wasn’t expecting to break any records on my first Chubbing session since the 1970’s. Beginner’s luck probably.
CDAA - Were Chub the fish you were after?
PM - Definitely. My partner Haley and I had made up some really smelly cheese paste especially for the Chub. I was just hoping to catch a Chub of any size and had already caught a couple of about a pound each before landing the 2lb 12oz fish. I’ve had other fish from the Eridge Stream over 2lb since then so there’s probably bigger ones in there.
CDAA - Most people are attracted to Gabriels Fishery by the huge Carp, how come you ended up fishing the Eden Brook?
PM - I just prefer that style of fishing, carrying the minimum amount of tackle and keeping on the move. On a small river, there’s a different challenge round every bend and there’s something very hypnotic about sitting on the bank with the water flowing by, the occasional kingfisher flashing past. I do enjoy Carp fishing too, but since taking up fishing again I’ve noticed that there is a lot more publicity given to Carp fishing than there used to be. I usually use vintage fishing tackle too so I suppose I’m a bit of a traditionalist. I guess Gabriel’s offers something for almost everyone.
CDAA - What's it like to break the Club Chub record three times in a month?
PM - It shows I have too much free time on my hands these days. Luckily, I’ve been able to spend a lot of time bank side recently, coinciding with the Club gaining access to a decent Chub water.I’m pleased that my efforts have paid off though, and hopefully it will encourage a few more members to give Chub fishing a go. There’s never anyone around to take a photo with me in it!
CDAA - Remind us of the weights of those Eden Brook Chub?
PM - My first visit produced a fish of 4lb 8oz, followed on my next trip by two fish of 4lb 1oz and 4lb 3oz. I went back the next week and had 4 other fish over 4lb, including the same 5lb 8oz fish caught on successive days in different swims. I’ve had my share of blank days too, and also lost a few good ones in those snaggy swims.
CDAA - Do you think you are an expert, or was it right time right place?
PM - Hardly an expert! Luck obviously plays its part but I think the key is to try and read the river to identify the likely places where Chub will be lurking at this time of year as water temperatures fall. Also to keep moving around and trying different tactics. Stealth is also important with Chub, Izaak Walton called it “the fearfullest of fishes” and I’ve been stung several times crouching in nettles trying to keep my shadow off the water. (CDAA – we think he sounds like a bit of an expert!)
CDAA - And when you hooked what turned out to be the 6lb 2oz Common Carp what were you thinking then?
PM - I thought I’d hooked a monster Chub so I was surprised and also a bit disappointed when I saw it, although it would be churlish to refer to a 6lb Carp as a nuisance fish! As with the Chub, it was a struggle to keep it from getting away in such a narrow stream. I prefer using a centrepin on the Eden (as I do for Carp margin-fishing) since I personally find it easier to keep control in tight areas. All the Chub I’ve lost so far were on my fixed-spool.
CDAA - What's next?
PM - Chub feed at lower temperatures relative to most fish so I’m going to carry on Chub chasing on the Eden during the Winter, although I expect it will get more difficult. I’d like to catch a decent Perch too, since my personal best is only about a pound. I also keep meaning to give Pike fishing a try but I’m a bit apprehensive about that. Apparently, the Eden has some good-sized Perch and Pike so Gabriel’s still has a lot to offer during the colder months.
CDAA – Many thanks for your time Pete, have a great Christmas and don’t forget to start marketing your cheese paste in the New Year.