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SMAC Presentation Night March 2024

Saturday 2nd March marked the culmination of the SMAC and SMAC Fishing Year – the Presentation of Awards! Members and guests crowded in to the Marina Bar, lured I expect by a free drink and the Big Raffle. By the start of the ceremonies the room was rammed. After a welcome by SMAC Chairman Steve Kelly, SMDAC Chairman John Wearn thanked everyone in both clubs who had contributed so much to our enjoyment in the past season. We had a lot to get through including some very special guests – more of that below. I’ll list the prize winners in turn, with a carousel of photos below each section.

First up was SMDAC, and prizes were presented by John Wearn:

  • Best Cod (or whiting) on Lady Elsa: John Calton
  • Best Specimen (Undulate Ray 15lb): Frank Chatfield
  • Most Species: Frank Chatfield
  • Silver Fish Cup: John Calton
  • Largest Fish From Lakes (Mirror Carp 24lb 4oz): John Wearn
  • Mixed Lakes Cup: Frank Chatfield
  • George Dominy Memorial Shield: Frank Chatfield
  • Pier and Beach Cup: Ben Munday
  • Combination Cup: Frank Chatfield
  • Champion Runner-Up: John Calton
  • Club Champion: Frank Chatfield

Or loyal band of helpers from SMDAC also folded 1,223 raffle tickets while they were waiting!

We then had a bit of a catch-up of monthly prizes and Angling Trust Specimen Fish Certificates which were presented by Rupert Bremmer from Southsea Marina:

  • Luke Scott – Fish Of The Month (Brill 3lb 4oz – August)
  • Kev Johnson – Fish Of The Month (12lb Bass – January)
  • Mark Banks – Specimen Bream
  • Stuart Newall – Specimen Bream
  • Neil Glazier – Specimen Undulate Ray
  • Peter Kinchin – Specimen Smoothhound

The next round of awards were for the SMAC annual cups also presented by Rupert, plus a new award which I’ll leave to the end because it is rather special.

  • Pollack Cup: Darren Price
  • Turbot/Brill Cup: Steve Tambling
  • Ladies Cup: Eleanor Atkins
  • Junior Cup: Jack Dickson
  • Catch & Release Cup: Peter Kinchin
  • Best Specimen: Kev Johnson
  • Species Hunt: Joint Winners Peter Churchill and Dan Lumsden
  • Junior Species: Jack Dickson
  • Ladies Species: Pam Eskersall
    (and it was Pam’s birthday so we all sang Happy Birthday)
  • Cod Pool: Runner up Tim Andrews, winner Dan Lumsden
  • Nelson Mandela Cup: Shared between Ray Plomer, Luke Scott, Peter Churchill and Dan Lumsden
  • Open Cod, Best Placed Member: Richard Pack
  • Open Species, Best Placed Member: Peter Churchill
  • Open Bream, Best Placed Member: Steve Tambling
  • Plaice Cup: Dan Lumsden
  • Bream Cup: Stuart Newall
  • Bass Cup: Kev Johnson
  • Cod Cup: Dan Lumsden
  • Pairs Cup: Dan Lumsden and Steve Tambling
  • Runner Up Club Champion: Mark Banks
  • Club Champion: Dan Lumsden

There was one familiar face (and voice) that was sadly missed at this Presentation Night – Bill Arnold, who passed away last year. However, great friends may be gone but they are never forgotten, and Bill will stay with us through a new Bill Arnold Memorial Trophy. This will be awarded to the member who has made a significant contribution in some way during the season. The trophy itself was made by Peter Kinchin from Bill’s old reel, Bill’s old oak and bronze bearings from Kev Johnson. We were very honoured to have Bill’s Mum, sister Mary and brother Eddie with us to present the prize. After a very moving speech from Mary in which she thanked the club for giving Bill such enjoyment and company over the years, she then awarded the trophy to Luke Scott.

On 11th November, Luke was out fishing when he noticed smoke coming from a 58-foot power boat. He raced over at full throttle and was just in time to help the two crew members who had scrambled into a partly inflated life raft. Luke was able to pull them away from the blazing powerboat and kept the casualties calm until the RNLI arrived on scene to take over.  This dramatic rescue was later covered by local TV news. Luke certainly deserves recognition for his bravery in this rescue and I’m sure Bill would have been very proud that Luke was awarded the Bill Arnold Memorial Trophy this year.

Finally, after a break for more drinks, pizza and chips we reassembled for the final event of the evening: The Big Raffle. Dan Lumsden and Eleanor Atkins had done a wonderful job raising £1,223.00 in ticket sales and of course this was only possible through the generosity of all those present. We had a great prize table, from club hats to rods and reels plus prizes donated from SMDAC, British Big Game Fishing and John Jones.

It was a fabulous evening and it was great to celebrate all the successes and share happy memories from the past season. Steve Kelly did an amazing job of both organising the event and compering. The Marina Bar staff provided warm and patient hospitality and all members and guests joined in to make it a very memorable Presentation Night 2024.

Now the dials are set back to zero and it’s all to play for through the next season!


The SMAC Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held following our usual monthly SMAC meeting on Tuesday 6th February  at 7pm in the Marina Bar. This is our once-a-year opportunity to review or change our club rules, appoint or re-appoint club committee members and agree planned club expenditure based on expected membership fees. The current SMAC Rule Sheet is on the noticeboard, our SMAC web page and below.

The committee is made up of:

  • Chairman (all that Steve Kelly does)
  • Deputy Chairman and Competition Officer (Steve’s back-up. The current one is also writer-in-residence and cook)
  • Commodore (Club strategy, external relations, chairing major meetings, prize-giving)
  • Treasurer (watching what Steve does with club money)
  • Social Secretary (sending club notices around)

Sadly the position of Treasurer is vacant, as our late dear friend Bill Arnold who in addition to  raffle ticket seller extraordinaire and odd-job man was also our SMAC Treasurer.

If you would like to discuss any changes or support proposed rules and committee members, please come along to the AGM at 7pm on Tuesday 6th February in the Marina Bar. If you would like to propose any changes please could you message or email Steve Kelly in advance to give sufficient time to review before the meeting.

Annual Subscriptions of £20 per adult member will be due from February for the 2024 season. To be eligible for membership, you must be a berthholder, family member or guest crew linked to a berthholder member.

Catch Report July 2023

After record temperatures in May and June, we had an inconvenient Jet Stream up in the air somewhere that blocked the warm air from the Continent and channelled a string of depressions across the UK. Net result: wind, rain and very little fishing. A lucky few picked their moments carefully and made some trips out, often very early before the wind picked up. They gave us a taste of what we should all have been enjoying in a “normal” summer month in the Eastern Solent: bass, rays, the occasional wandering conger and bream. It’s very encouraging to see that there are larger bream staying on again this year giving good sport on light tackle. In previous years the fish worth catching swam off after breeding, leaving their little brothers to spend the summer nibbling away at baits too big for them. You may also be as skilled (or lucky) as Luke Scott and boat a decent brill – see the photo gallery below.

This year has also been good for mackerel so far, with plenty being caught by the boats that managed to get out. They don’t seem to be holding on the usually reliable marks so my advice is to just follow the gulls! They have been everywhere from the 100 foot deep main channel to 10 feet of water inshore.

One catch oddity was an Angel Shark reported just up the coast from us. Not really in our area but near enough to get the Species Hunters excited! And on that subject, don’t forget the SMAC Open Species Competition scheduled for Sunday 13th August, from Southsea Marina. Details here.

Have a look at our photos, thanks to Stuart Newell, Steve Kelly, Tim Andrews, Tony Dickson, Jim Atkins and John Dennis for contributing.

Catch Report October 2022

Rather a short report this month mainly because there isn’t anything particularly remarkable among local catches to report unfortunately. Although the occasional small codling has been boated, the flood of whiting we would have expected to arrive simply haven’t materialised. The weather and water temperatures remain warmer than usual for the season so that probably has a lot to do with it.

In the meantime anglers have been occupying themselves with catching the usual rays and bass which are always a feature of catches in the area. I have added an extract from the Shark Trust ray Identification Guide here.

Squid arrive here in larger numbers in Autumn, although you can catch them all year round. Most squid anglers fish from the shore but squid can be caught over rocky marks and wreckage if conditions are right. Judging by the reports from the shore boys, there seems to be a good run of squid this year.

In other news…not strictly from the Eastern Solent but as it features one of our club boats and some of our club members it deserves mention: SMAC member Stuart Newell of British Big Game Fishing has been very successful catching the amazing blue fin tuna off the Cornish coast under an official tag and release scheme. Kev Johnson and Lol Summers (both SMAC members) joined Stuart and their fish of a lifetime catches are featured in the photos below.

The SMAC Open Cod Competition has been rolled forward to allow more cod and whiting time to arrive. Watch out for updates on revised competition dates.

SMAC Open Species Competition August 2022

After being postponed from 31st July due to adverse wind conditions we were all delighted that the reserve date of 14th August held good, and the competition was ON! With executive direction from last year’s winner Bill Arnold, and ably organised by Steve Kelly, the competition attracted entries from SMAC, surrounding clubs and others.

The objective of the competition was to catch as many different fish species between 8am and 6pm, and proof of catch was a photograph before the fish were returned to the sea.  As you might expect, several anglers vying for a prize position caught the same number of species and in anticipation of that Steve had devised a clever scoring system which weighted the most likely species to be caught according to rarity. Mackerel, dogfish and pout for example scored zero as they pretty much give themselves up. Turbot on the other hand scored 10. We’d all like to catch more turbot!

Fishing ended at 6pm, the final count was closed at 6:30pm and the winners were announced at 7pm.

In reverse order, the overall winners were:

12th Steve Kelly 3 species 0 points
11th Eleanor Atkins 3 species 0 points ( Ladies Trophy winner)
10th Ken Farmer 3 species 5 points
9th Steve Andrews 3 species 7 points
8th Ray Plomer 3 species 7 points
7th Chris Ellis 4 species 0 points
6th Luke Scott 5 species 0 points
5th Lloyd Jones 6 species 0 points
4th Dan Lumsden 11 species 12 points
3rd Bill Arnold 11 species 22 points
2nd Pete Churchill 12 species 12 points
1st Wayne Comben 13 species 20 points

One of Wayne’s species was a 20lb stingray, a personal best and not a fish anyone expected to see on the list! Congratulations to Wayne Comben, Competition Trophy winner and also to Eleanor Atkins, the Ladies Trophy winner. There were no Junior entries.

It was a great day in glorious weather. We would like to thank all our sponsors for their generous donations of prizes: Victory Gas & Heating; Normark UK; Baits R Us; Fishon Bait and Tackle; SMDAC; British Big Game Fishing; Newnham Builders; Cosham Angling; Sportsmans Knight; Anglers Edge; Marina Bar.

Photos from Steve Andrews and Steve Kelly.

Langstone Report August 2019

July can be a bit of an in-between month in the eastern Solent area, and as a result catches can be unpredictable. Not that fishing is ever predictable! One day can be very productive, the next day can be very quiet. This year the fishing seems to be following a similar pattern. The spring and early summer run of species including plaice, bream and tope have been slowly moving away. Mackerel, once the reliable summer visitor providing fresh bait, food for the BBQ and fun for casual angers have been very patchy. One day can produce a boxful, another day just a few. Maybe they will arrive in greater numbers later on.

The huge variety of fish and fishing in this area means that there will always be something to catch, although you may have to adapt your tactics and locations accordingly. The Portsmouth, Langstone and Chichester harbours hold a good stock of large mullet. Heber Crawford and Luke Scott show the size of fish available, and they fight very hard on light tackle. The deeper harbour marks around wrecks and obstructions are worth trying for wrasse and you can find hard-fighting fish there as big as you will find on the reefs further out. Heber Crawford tempted this 5lb 2oz wrasse on a soft lure. If you know where to look, there are also seatrout entering brackish water and Heber Crawford tempted this impressive specimen with the traditional Mepps spoon.

The plaice have moved to the summer marks and John Evans shows what is out there. You need bright colours to attract plaice, and John has taken this literally. There are still some good tope around although not in the numbers we were catching earlier.  Richard Shirazian shows a 48lb fish which is good for this time of year. We will probably be catching a lot of small pack tope through the summer.

The reliable local species are smoothhound and rays. Team Crawford were out again, Archie shows a junior specimen of 14lbs and brother Heber Junior holds a very pretty undulate ray. Dad Heber Senior really needs to take up photography as a career, his photographs are superb. There are plenty of bass around but not so many turbot, and they managed to bag both.

Further out on the mid Channel wrecks and reefs boats are finding bass and pollack. Kev Johnson, Mark Banks, Tim Andrews and John Jones show pollack to 14lb and bass to 8lb. Every summer, thresher shark are sighted and with much perseverance, some are caught. This one caught by Vince Rogers was estimated at 65lb and quickly released.

As regular readers of this report will know, we celebrate the angling achievements of the entire age range. Levin Bellinger, aged only 5, caught this 2lb 14oz bream which I am embarrassed to report is bigger than any I have caught this year.

Meanwhile, the Southsea Marina Disabled Angling Club continue to show that experience counts. They fish from their boat Lady Elsa, and to accommodate the less able-bodied they also fish from piers and in lakes. As this is a sea angling paper we will draw a discrete veil over their freshwater activities and show you John Leythorne’s nice undulate ray.

Next month I’ll let you know whether we managed to catch enough mackerel for the Southsea Marina Angling Club BBQ!

Two from Philip

Roland and I went out early on the previous Sunday with a range of baits. Initial thoughts to see if there was any Bream about. First stop was in Bracklesham Bay – a couple of marks providing very little so off we went to  Boulder Bank.

Over the space of the following 3 hours of the Ebb Tide we had 5 Smoothies on crab to 12lb, the ubiquitous Dogfish, and a few Bream bites giving just the one around a pound.

We went back to Bracklesham to see if there were any change – but no, nothing and the cold wind had increased, so went in. Note to self- don’t go out in T shirt and shorts and leave the warmer clothes in the car! Still, the smoothies gave some good sport and we’ll go back again soon to see if the Bream are easier.  Above is Roland with one of the Smoothounds.

Next Sunday Roland and I went out again (with appropriate clothing as it took half the day for the cloud/mist to burn off) . As last week we headed west from Hayling towards Selsey

With a range of fresh baits – bit costly as freezer broke in the week and I lost a load of bait – so had to buy new we headed out reasonably early. Early for us but with a  dozen boats over at Selsey before us, we were not alone and not really early either. Luckily found one of my marks still free amongst the raft of charter boats.

Fishing the Ebb all day on the Boulder we had about 15 bream to 2lb and 9 Smoothies to just under 15lb. The bream were active all the time during the tide and the reason we only caught 15 is more due to ineptitude than the fish not biting.

The smoothies were a range of sizes the smaller ones taking squid, the 5 larger ones, all double figure fish, taking crab. Add in a couple of dogs each, not too many luckily and in general a reasonable day. All spawning bream returned to provide future years sport hopefully and the smoothies tricked in all day but had 3 in 10 minutes as the tide dropped off and we managed to lose a couple as well, bit over eager on the striking.

So good day and got back in time to cut the lawn and keep the FPO happy (well relatively).


Connor – 27th October

We headed out to the Overfalls with a fresh northerly F4 behind us. The sea was lumpy as we waited for the flood tide to strengthen and put us over our bank. Once the tide began the sea settled and I had a small blonde ray – my first. The anchor gave us some trouble but we re-positioned and were soon back on the fish. I had a large edible crab, my first huss at 14lb and two spurs, also a new species. Weirdly, my dad blanked while I was bringing these fish over the opposite gunnel. We ended the day with a lovely drive back into Chichester over a glassy sea, great day out.


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