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Category: SMAC (Page 1 of 3)

SMAC Awards Night 2022

Delayed from our usual date which would have been soon after the competition season ends, this year our “event of the year” was held on 14th May. Post-Lockdown confidence meant we were back in the Marina Bar as usual, and the members were determined to enjoy themselves. We combine the SMAC awards celebration with the Disabled Club (SMDAC) and we were delighted their members were able to join in too.

DJ Mike Otton provided the music, Steve Kelly hosted the event (and organised it all actually); Bill Arnold made sure plenty of raffle tickets were bought and Rupert Bremer presented the prizes. The Marina Bar team were kept busy supplying drinks and preparing a huge buffet spread for us all.

First up were some “catch-up” prizes that had not been  awarded at the previous monthly meetings. John Jones for his 70lb conger, Stuart Newell for his April bream of 4lb 3oz and Kev Johnson with his Angling Trust Specimen Fish certificates.

Next up were the awards for the Southsea Marina Disabled Angling Club. SMDAC members have the use of the boat Lady Elsa and also fish their own lake and pier competitions. Prizes were awarded as follows:

John Wearn – Champions Cup

Frank Chatfield – Best Cod Caught on Lady Elsa (actually a whiting, there being no cod); Lake Cup

Chris Satow – Best Specimen Caught on Lady Elsa; Champions Runner-up; Combination Cup; Mixed Lakes Cup

Tony Tadd – Largest Fish Cup

George Dominy – Pier and Beach Cup

Unfortunately George Dominy was unable to attend this evening.

Then we moved onto the SMAC Awards for 2021 Season. Here are the full results, with a photo gallery of the winners below.

Plaice Cup – Mark Banks (2lb 10oz)

Bream Cup – Tim Andrews (3lb 13oz)

Bass Cup – Kev Johnson (8lb 11oz)

Cod Cup – Brian van Daal (15lb)

Champions Cup – Kev Johnson (Runner-up Tim Andrews)

Pollack Cup – Kev Johnson (16lb 15oz)

Ladies Cup – Eleanor Atkins (Bass 1lb)

Junior Cup – Ben Lumsden (Bass 4lb 11oz)

Catch & Release Cup – Kev Johnson (Mullet 7lb 1oz)

Best Specimen Cup – Tim Andrews (Bream 3lb 13oz)

Pairs Cup – Tim Andrews and Mark Banks

Species Hunt Cup – Peter Churchill (27)

Junior Species Cup – Jake Kelly (7)

Ladies Species Cup – Eleanor Atkins (7)

Cod Pool – Brian van Daal (15lb)

Nelson Mandela Cup – Tim Andrews (Cod 7lb)

Inter-club competition was won by the ECA

SMAC Cod Open Best Placed Member – Peter Churchill

SMAC Species Hunt Day Competition – Bill Arnold

Unfortunately Mark Banks, Jake Kelly, Tim Andrews and Ben Lumsden were not able to attend in person.

After an interlude so we could enjoy our buffet and a few more drinks, the next activity was the raffle. Thanks to Bill Arnold’s powers of persuasion we raised enough money from the sales of raffle tickets to top up the club coffers. The prize table included rods, reels and accessories, cash prizes and even a couple of bottles. You had to be in it to win it and it was a fun way to round off the evening.

Our thanks go to to Steve Kelly for all the work he does behind the scenes to make events like this go so smoothly; to Mike Otton for the music; to Rupert Bremer and Premier for their support; to Bill Arnold for the raffle sales; to the SMDAC team for folding several thousand ticket stubs, to the Marina Bar crew for their hospitality and most of all to all the members who turned out to help make this such a great evening. If you couldn’t make it this year do make sure you come along next year – a free drink, a free buffet, free music, not free but worth it raffle and plenty of free banter will be waiting for you.

Neville Merritt

SMAC Monthly Meeting May 2022

The SMAC monthly meeting was held as usual in the Marina Bar.

The club competition standings are listed below. This is at 10th May, including fish caught in the 1st May Bream competition. Team Atkins are starting the shake up the usual list! However, there are many months ahead…

Fish of the Month (for April entries) went to Stuart Newell with a bream of 4lb 3oz. Stuart wins a medal and £10.

This year’s Species Hunt Open Competition is scheduled for July 31st with reserve dates 7th August or 14th August. More details will be published nearer the date.

Our summer BBQ will be on Sunday 28th August. This usually starts at 3pm, food will be provided but bring your own drink.

Steve Kelly has been in discussions with one of the tackle brands to get sponsorship and prizes for the club. Watch this space and thanks Steve! This is Neville’s website where he hosts the SMAC page and club news reports. It’s awesome. If you get the chance have a look around. It’s chockablock with information about the waters we fish, the fish we catch and methods for catching target species and loads of other stuff. Neville volunteers to do write-ups on our club activities and competitions. With our help he also includes catch reports, photos and stories. If you’re lucky to land that fish of a lifetime please send a piccie in via his webpage, our WhatsApp group or the SMAC Facebook page.

And finally……

Presentation night is this Saturday 14th May 7pm onwards. We have a DJ, and buffet and one free drink for all SMAC members. We’ll also have a fantastic table of raffle prizes.

Next monthly meeting will be the first Tuesday in the month as usual: 7th June 7:30pm in the Marina Bar. All members welcome, do come along for a drink and some banter.


Steve A

SMAC Open Bream Competition 1st May 2022

After weeks of cold, strong easterly winds we were all delighted that the weather on Sunday was light, southerly winds. Who cared that it drizzled much of the day, many of us were fishing for the first time in months. The target was the heaviest single bream and hopes were high because the time was right for some large fish to move inshore.

A total of 76 entries fishing from 27 boats meant that the cash prizes were impressive – first prize was 60% of the total entry pool. We also had Ladies and Junior sections. There was a generous prize table of other prizes donated by Baits’R’Us; Fishon Bait ‘n Tackle; Cosham Angling; British Big Game Fishing; Premier Marinas; Sportsmans Knight; Anglers Edge and the Marina Bar for which we are very appreciative.

Fishing started at 8am finishing at 6pm, with the last weigh-in by 6:30pm. That meant 10 hours to find that big bream. Many boats headed east, fishing rocky marks around Bracklesham Bay, Selsey (Boulder Bank), Bognor, Littlehampton (Kingmere) and Worthing (wind farm). Others headed to Sandown, Bullocks Patch and other more local marks.

The fishing was terrific with everyone I spoke to reporting constant activity catching bream, the target species and also a wide variety of others also hungry for small baits. However, the only number that counted was the weight of the largest bream and there was an impressive number of good fish brought to the scales. (Note the freshly-painted, centrally-heated SMAC Weighing Station!)

At the presentation in the Marina Bar afterwards, our master organiser Steve Kelly and Commodore Tim Andrews who presented the prizes kept us in suspense by calling the winners in reverse order, but I’ll do the conventional thing here by reporting the final placings.

Winner overall was Jim Atkins (SMAC) with a stonking bream of 4.5lb – a clear pound heavier than the next heaviest. This also sets a new SMAC record for heaviest bream.

Second was Mark Argyle (ECA) with 3.5lb

Ladies Cup winner was Eleanor Atkins with 2.66lb. Is it a coincidence that both Jim and Eleanor were wearing their new  Fairtrade SMAC hoodies? I think not. If you want to win, wearing a SMAC hoodie clearly helps.

Junior winner was Jake Kelly with 2.3lb

Runners-up prizes were awarded from the prize table as follows:

3rd place Lee Swire 2.9lb

4th place Mark Oldfield 2.68

5th place Eleanor Atkins with her winning bream of 2.66lb

6th place Steve Kelly himself with 2.48lb

7th place Dan Lumsden 2.44lb

8th place Dick Stubbs 2.34lb

9th place Jake Kelly with his Junior Prize fish 3.3lb

10th place Mark Jackson 2.26lb

11th, 12th, 13th and 14th places tied with 2.22lb fish each: Nick Wallis, Jay MacKay, Kevin Johnson and Richie Shippin

This was a great event and we are very grateful to Steve Kelly for his hard work organising and promoting the event, the sponsors who donated prizes and all the competitors who turned out to make this competition so successful.

There is a very good chance we’ll run this event again!

Neville Merritt
SMAC May 2022

SMAC Monthly Meeting April 2022

We had another (nearly) full house for the April meeting in the Marina Bar – thank you to all that turned up. It was great to welcome new members and catch up with old friends who have been hibernating through the un-fishy months previously. Hopefully, April and May will see an improvement on the dogfish/pin whiting catches that we have had to endure on trips recently.

However – some people have been catching decent fish and this month we actually had to vote on Fish of the Month, unlike last month. And on that subject, we had to make a correction for the No Fish of the Month in March because Peter Churchill actually did catch a half-decent tope and for reason that escape me (because I wasn’t listening) the entry wasn’t put forward. Pete got his medal but I think his prize money had already gone into the RNLI envelope.

But back to this month – Neil Glazier won Fish of the Month with a 12lb small-eyed ray which is 109% of the specimen weight. Other club competition standings are as follows.

On to other news: the weigh scales shed is about to be painted (in regulation Premier Marina colours), and a tube heater installed to keep the scales cosy. Apparently the scales get sleepy if they get too cold and they need to be on top form for the rare occasions when a fish worth weighing turns up.

After not much debate it was decided that the Awards Night will be held on the Saturday after the Open Bream Competition. If that seems vague, it gets worse because although the Bream Competition is scheduled for Sunday 1st May, it may get postponed to the following Sundays if the weather is unsuitable. I hope that makes things clear. I also hope the Marina Bar are following this because that’s where we will hold the Awards Night, whenever that may be. It seemed to make sense last night anyway.

Daven Newnham has donated this very nice Bream Trophy (heading photo) for the Best Placed Member in the Open Bream Competition. The competition prize list is very impressive, see details below. Angling Trust Boat Rules apply – maximum two rods, thee hooks in total.

Neville Merritt thanked members for their orders of SMAC hoodies, the first of which were distributed at the meeting. These hoodies are Fairtrade certified and sourced directly from the cotton growers, fabric makers and garment factories in India, so you know for sure that your money is funding the people who make them rather than the owners of sweatshops. You can buy online here, or if you prefer to pay cash talk to Neville, or more accurately give cash to Neville and he will organise a hoodie for you. Here’s Steve modelling his SMAC Hoodie.

If you have any photos, news of catches or fishy stories please send them in to Neville for inclusion in the next Catch Reports. Whatsapp, text, Facebook Messenger or email.

Next meeting will be on Tuesday 3rd May unless otherwise advised.


Neville Merritt

6th April

SMAC Monthly Meeting March 2022

It was wet. It was windy. Nobody had caught much. Portsmouth were playing at home. Folk were working. Kev was playing midwife to lambs. We thought it would just be Steve, Steve and me at the meeting but surprisingly we had a great turnout! Thank you everyone for coming along and thanks also to the Marina Bar for staying open for us.

Fish of the Month turned out to be…nothing. The £10 prize went into the growing RNLI jam jar and the medal went back in the box. Better luck next month hopefully.

The Species Competition fared very slightly better, slightly because it is only just more than also being zero. Jake Kelly surges into the lead in the Junior Species league with one fish and Peter Churchill rockets up the main Species Competition with two.

The new Bass Regulations 2022 are now in force which means that recreational anglers can take a maximum of two bass over 42cm length per day. If that sentence is too difficult to understand, the North Western IFCA have produced a helpful visual. I’m not sure what that says about their local anglers, but anyway.

The Annual Awards Night is likely to be held in the Marina Bar some time in April, COVID confidence permitting. Watch out for the notice. There will be prizes, there will probably be a drink, there might also be snacks. It will be a good night anyway. Bring family along too, to show them what civilised company you keep during the year.

We had a reminder of the Open Bream Competition, scheduled for 1st May 2022. The prize table is growing nicely with contributions already from Baits ‘R Us, Marina Bar, Premier and local tackle shops.

The Sea Angling Classic Prize Boat Reveal will be at 12noon on 19th March at Gunwharf Quay. This isn’t a SMAC event but as SAC donate prizes to SMAC competitions they deserve a mention.

The first SMAC Hoodies order will be processed on 9th March so if you want free delivery at the April Meeting please place your order here by 9th March and mark your order Click and Collect. You can order at any time if you want delivery to your home address with the standard delivery charge. If you have already paid Neville at the March meeting, these will be delivered at the April meeting.

Neville also reminded those present that he welcomes any catch reports, photos, stories, news and gossip for inclusion in the monthly Catch Report on the website. News has been a bit sparse lately because of a combination of the season and the weather.

If members have not paid their annual subscription please can you do so as soon as possible, to Steve Kelly. If you for some strange reason don’t want to renew, please tell him that too.

Next meeting will be at 7:30pm on 5th April in the Marina Bar.

Neville Merritt

March 2022

New SMAC Open Bream Competition Announced

Here’s something to look forward to: Southsea Marina Angling Club have had such a successful run of Open Cod Competitions over the last few winters that we decided that we couldn’t wait until next season for another Open Competition so we are announcing our first Open Bream Competition for this summer. It will be held on Sunday 1st May 2022 from Southsea Marina. Sign in at the Marina Office, entry fee £10 per angler. Fishing from 8am to 6pm, weigh-in must be complete by 6:30pm and this will be followed by presentations in the Marina Bar at 7pm.

There will be generous cash prizes and a prize table to be confirmed. There will also be a Ladies prize and a Junior prize.

Put the date in your diary!


SMAC AGM February 2022

Thank you to everyone who came along to the meeting which was the best attended – and longest – of any of the SMAC meetings I can remember. Was it to hear the results of the nail-biting competition finale? Was it because a fight was anticipated over proposed rule changes? Was it because it wasn’t worth going fishing? Who can tell. Anyway, Steve Kelly opened the meeting and asked if anyone wanted to propose themselves to take on any of the Club Officer roles. Everyone was smart enough to keep very quiet and the current incumbents will continue their positions through 2022.

  • Chairman – Steve Kelly
  • Deputy Chairman and Competition Officer – Chris Evans
  • Commodore – Tim Andrews
  • Treasurer – Bill Arnold
  • Social Secretary – Steve Andrews
  • Publicity, Cook, strategic negotiator etc. – Neville Merritt

I can’t actually remember crossing the line between being coerced into writing Catch Reports for a now-defunct mag and having my name up there but hey, it’s all fun.

Next up was a reminder that fees are due for 2022, and you can’t enter any fish into competitions until you are a paid-up member. £20 each to Steve Kelly please, or more accurately, the cashbox.

The AGM marks the end of one club year and the start of the next, so the winners of the club cups were announced. The final tally is listed on the sheet below and the winners include:

  • Kevin Johnson – Champions Cup; Bass Cup; Pollack Cup; Catch-and-Release Cup
  • Tim Andrews – Bream Cup; Best Specimen Cup; Pairs Cup; Nelson Mandela Cup
  • Mark Banks – Plaice Cup; Pairs Cup
  • Brian Van Daal – Cod Cup; Cod Pool
  • Pete Churchill – Species Hunt (27); Open Cod Comp Best Placed Member
  • Bill Arnold – Species Hunt Day Competition
  • Eleanor Atkins – Ladies Cup; Ladies Species Hunt (7)
  • Ben Lumsden – Junior Cup;
  • Jake Kelly – Junior Species Hunt (7)

January Fish of the Month: out of nine entries, John Jones won with a conger of 70lb (feature photo) on the basis that a) it was  a good fish and b) he bravely risked losing his ear to it.

It was decided to roll the annual Presentation Night, usually held in February, forward to later in the Spring when hopefully COVID risks will reduce and members and families will be more confident about going to socials.

Chris Ellis proposed a Summer Open Competition to be held in August. Ross Honey from SAC is keen to promote the event and feature the SAC winning boat. Two options were discussed; a mini-SAC five-species competition, or a full species competition as organised by Chris last year. A members’ vote opted for the full species competition.

An Open Bream Competition will be held on 1st May. Club funds will be boosted by retaining 10% of the entry fee, the balance to be distributed as prizes.

Proposed Rule Changes: after much discussion it was agreed that Rule 9 restricting anglers to fish SMAC competitions from an annual berth holder’s boat could be waived in individual circumstances on the agreement of the Club Officers. The club Rule Sheet will be updated. In the interests of keeping things simple, other rule changes discussed were not adopted.

Finally, Neville Merritt showed the SMAC Hoodies from Fairtrade brand SU-stainable, with sample sizes to try on. Due to the high level of interest from members, the company will set up a dedicated ordering page accessible from the SMAC website page. Delivery will be to home addresses for a fixed delivery fee, or for the first batch of orders delivery to the marina for collection will be free of charge. More details will be circulated when the ordering page is live.

Next Meeting: Tuesday 1st March, 7:30pm in the Marina Bar.

Neville Merritt




SMAC Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the club will be held at 7:30pm on Tuesday 1st February in the Marina Bar. Results of all the annual competitions will be announced. Also on the agenda is an Open Bream Comp, Open Species Comp, Presentation Night, voting on Club Officers, Rule amendments plus any other subject brought up by members present.

Subscriptions for the year will be due from 1st February: £20 per person, concession for Juniors.

I will also be bringing samples and try-on sizes for the 2022 SMAC draw-string hoodie so if you are interested you can see the quality and try for fit. These are made to order in batches so we need to have a few folk interested before we can commit to supplying them.

See you there!


Farewell Moonshine

January 2022 marks the end of a significant era: the charter boat Moonshine will no longer be seen around the eastern Solent skippered by Pete Churchill. Pete and Moonshine have been together for 31 years and together they built a tremendous reputation in the charter fishing community.

Even if they don’t know Pete Churchill, many boat anglers will be familiar with the blue and white 10metre Starfish charter boat which would often be seen on the usual marks, fully booked with parties of very happy anglers. Moonshine was based in Southsea Marina and Pete Churchill has been active member of the Southsea Marina Angling Club.

Sadly, all good things come to an end and when Pete decided to finally retire from chartering, it was also time for Moonshine to go to a new home.

In early January, Moonshine was loaded onto a transporter for the journey to her new owner in Grimsby. This was rather fitting because the SMDAC boat Lady Elsa, often berthed alongside Moonshine came to Southsea from Grimsby. Maybe they compared notes.

It is sad to see Moonshine go and it must be a real wrench for Pete, but we will still see him around Southsea Marina. He has bought Seabiscuit with SMAC member Bill Arnold. We look forward to following their joint fishing adventures and I’m sure they will carry on competing with each other for the SMAC competition prizes as they have done so successfully before.

Here’s one of many testimonials from happy Moonshine customers:

“Moonshine is a 29ft starfish skippered by Pete Churchill, in my view one of the better skippers around. Pete and Moonshine are responsible for plenty of big fish including two 80+ Tope one a British record breaking 84lb, Blonde rays over 38lb, many Smoothhounds over 20lb, lots of 20+ Cod, massive Plaice, lots of tea, and the list goes on. He even caught a juvenile Thresher shark on Mackerel feathers!” – FishyNige

Mandela Cup Competition 15th January

The SMAC Mandela Cup is a light-hearted, club-only competition which we try to fish (weather permitting) over the Christmas break. Often it is postponed, and sometimes the weather is so bad it gets to the point that we have to fish something, somehow before the end of the Club year and end up dangling hooks in the marina. I kid you not: one year absolutely nothing was caught so the cup was shared between the oldest and youngest competitors.

I digress. The weather didn’t permit us holding the competition over Christmas this year but 15th January promised suitable weather and the date was fixed. The competition is simple: winner takes all, one prize for the largest cod and if no cod are caught, the prize goes to the heaviest whiting.

Whiting have been very obliging this season and plenty of good-sized whiting were stashed in cool boxes in anticipation that they might be eligible.

Hopes for a whiting victor were dashed when Tim Andrews, fishing with John Evans messaged that he had boated a 7lb cod. This turned out to be the only cod and therefore the winning fish, so Tim was presented with his winnings in the Marina Bar afterwards by John Evans. Congratulations Tim.

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