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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 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 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 - ) 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.