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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 are pleased to announce that after twenty-three years, the Common Carp Club Record has finally 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 your 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 Carp of 17lb 8oz the same day.
Former record holder Graham Colvin used to run the original Crowborough Tackle Shop – even in those days the sound of a kettle boiling was a common occurrence! 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.
We are keen that as many members as possible will be able to attend the Club's AGM on Tuesday 30th April in the Social Club, Crowborough at 7:30pm. We have Paralympian and Olympic Torch Bearer Jo Rout with us to present the prizes and awards. We also have a wonderful buffet laid on for us by the Social Club and many a fishy story is told and many fishy friends are made during the course of the evening. Not forgetting the most important thing of all, it's your Club, it's your chance to vote, it's your opportunity to listen to the Secretary's review of the season and to hear the Committee's plans for the year ahead. All in all - an evening not to miss - so 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.
CDAA - You are well known for helping out at working parties, what’s the attraction?
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!
From the 1st January 2013 Memberships are available for NEW members only. We are offering three months free fishing for the price of a twelve month subscription. All new members joining the Club will have a membership that runs until the 31st March 2014.
Existing members will be able to rejoin from the 1st April 2013.
It is with regret that we announce we have removed our Guestbook from the "Contact Us' page. Unfortunately we have been subjected to over one hundred postings from some "special interest" websites in recent weeks. Some of the postings contain links to other websites. We are a Club catering to all members of the angling family and therefore have no option but to remove this facility. You can of course continue to contact us by any of the other methods.
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.
The Club is currently going through the process of re-designing its' website. Please bear with us at this time. If you have any ideas, thoughts or opinions that you believe may help us during this time, please do not hesitate to contact us.
CDAA are pleased to announce that half price memberships are now on sale. These memberships run from the moment you purchase them until March 31st 2013. Check out our Membership page for full details.
The Club has regrettably become aware of a recent fish theft of a 10lb Carp from one of our waters. Members will be aware that this type of action is against the Clubs' rules and against the spirit of what the Club stands for. You will see that some new signs have already been erected at some of the waters. We ask members to be be aware of poaching and to refer the matter back to the Committee if any strange behaviour is observed on the bankside. Our aim is to educate first and to prosecute second, although the Club will not hesitate to prosecute, should it become necessary.
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Members will find some of our archived articles in The Memory Bank.