09 Apr 2012

Hello to all, it’s been a while since I last wrote for the blog, for that I apologise.

Well where do I start? Winter has come and gone, or at least the 2-3 weeks of winter that we had has gone! I can’t remember the last time we had such a mild winter. The lakes have certainly reflected that with catches continuing to be encouraging throughout the November – February period.

The coming year I believe is going to be a very exciting year for Blackfords, with several changes to the management team providing new energy and gusto to the already enthusiastic committee. There is also a new team of bailiffs to police our waters. (Ill talk about the bailiffs more later)

As you will already have realised if you are reading this blog, the website has changed a little. We do apologise for tempery loss of the website, this was due to an unfortunate misunderstanding with the previous web manager and website host. A new host has now been set up and over the coming weeks you will see more changes and new information added to help keep you all up to date with the goings on within the society. Once again your help is required in keeping the website fresh and current so please send in any information, pictures and match reports so relevant pages can be updated.

This years AGM has come and gone. Thank you to all those members who attended. I think it is quite an eye opener for those members who did attend just to see what goes on in running such a large and successful club such as ours. You would not believe the hoops we now have to jump through as a fishing society just for you all to enjoy a day’s fishing! With new legislation regarding our insurances and public liability, it has been necessary to appoint a Risk Assessment Manger , Dave Burns, and one or two rule changes along with some old ones being re worded to reflect the new era in modern fishing. Please take a look at the rules here on the web site. They will also be printed on the new seasons cards once they go on sale in May. It is all our members’ responsibility to acknowledge, understand and adhere to the club rules.

Tom outlined the financial position of the society which remains good in such testing times, pointing out the considerable investment made around the pools in the form of new pegs and fish stocks.

The last of this investment was the large stocking of silver fish and Tench to the Kingswood Lake. £24,000 infact, which represented approx 8000 x bream, approx x 1600 Rudd and a 1000 x Tench. What a sight that was seeing all those fish go in! I lost count of the number of buckets I carried down to the lake. A big thank you again to all those who came down and helped. You can see many photos and some videos on the web site gallery. This should certainly provide some interesting sport over the coming months and years.

At this point I want to have a little moan! With the massive investment made in new fish over the last few seasons the society has to be seen to be doing more to look after its fish stocks. If the club is to be around for the next 65 years and beyond we have to take care of our fish and the environment we fish in. That said what can we do?

Well, we can all take note of fish care and handling procedures for the species we are fishing for. Use the right size landing net for the relevant fish being fished for, along with a quality unhooking mats and fish medic kit for carp anglers. Rigs should be SAFE, with due care being taken for the fish should we be unfortunate enough to have our lines break. If you are using keep nets think about the length of time you have the fish in your net.

We all spend a fortune on the latest rods and reels, poles and the like, pay £10 a kilo for a bag of boillies and then don’t have or use the right fish care kit to look after the very fish we fish for. I would ask all members to ask themselves when they next go fishing, ‘am I doing all I can to safeguard the welfare of the fish we strive so hard to catch?’

 Also the rules put in place by the society are both just and reasonable. There are no silly petty rules on our card, which some other clubs and venues employ; our rules protect our fish stocks and the environments we fish in. In some cases the rules have been put in place purely to satisfy the clauses in the leases we have for the lakes. They therefore must be adhered to and enforced by the society.

This brings me nicely back to our new Bailiff team. Don Mark and Bob have kindly offered their services to police our waters under the guidance of new Head Bailiff Spencer Moore.

Our bailiff team have been given new directives, to help guide our members and enforce the rules of the society. You will all see bailiffs on a more regular basis asking for tickets, checking for the correct fish care equipment, along with rig checks and the like. Tin cans and alcohol is band on all our waters so please leave them at home. Any member found breaching the society rules will be issued with a warning, may be asked to leave the lake and have their details passed to the committee for due consideration. The committee will revoke your tickets for serious offences or repeated rule breaking. For too long we have been seen to be too lenient, this will change from now on.

I realise that I am not talking to the majority of members here, (I apologise for my rant to you) but to a selective few BE WARNED!!! Blackfords PAS can no longer put up with the few who flout the rules and think we will do nothing.

Right I’m off my high horse now.

One final point, to encourage the use of the correct unhooking mats for both pleasure anglers and carp anglers, there will be available from Archline Angling discounted unhooking mats which we consider suitable for the respective genres of angling. One matt per angler is available when purchased with a new  Blackfords PAS season ticket. You can find more information at the shop (speak to Vernon or James)

Fishing reports around the lakes has been a little sketchy of late, please pass on your catch reports to Gary for the web site.

There have been some good catches of roach from calf heath recently, roach making up some good weights in the recent matches, falling to hemp and caster. I’ve been reliably informed that leaving the ground bait in the bag can certainly help when fishing for the roach, keeps the bream at bay.

Carp anglers have certainly been enjoying some very unwinter like catches. Normally lying dormant over the winter months, the carp can become very hard to catch but with the mild weather there have been some very good fish caught.

Tom Merchant continues his fine season with one or two fish out of Leacroft pool, James Massey has had several good hauls from Calf Heath while doing a few night/day sessions. A 16 lb fully scaled mirror being one fish of note.

On a personal note while fishing with fellow bailiff Gary Kuzmicz, we had a couple of fine hits catching 10+ carp on two separate occasions, culminating with me finally achieving my winters goal of a carp in the snow… after walking the dam wall in an early morning blizzard, and partaking in a few cups of tea to warm me up…. a 15lb 4oz fully scaled mirror…. well chuffed!!!

The 20lb common has graced the bank again down at the Turf pool, well done to Ben who is a regular at the turf.

As I say the reports are very patchy and as a carp angler myself find it a little difficult to talk about the general fishing around the lakes so please send in you catch reports however big or small, funny or not and we can include them in the website,

With that said then I will sign off for now.

 Tight lines Phil


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