BLUNHAM & DISTRICT ANGLING CLUB
Blunham AC Secretaries Report 2015/2016 Season
A good year for the club with plenty of positives although we had a set back at Halls Pit with otter damage. The membership grew this last year and this helped reflect a healthy financial balance at the end of the year. Our new lakes had positive reviews and were heavily fished with some surprises especially with the tench in Hitchcocks achieving weights of over 10lbs plus one or 2 carp around the 20lb mark these being resident fish certainly not stocked by the club. Daisleys produced a number of carp which although not big were not stocked by the club so a few surprises from our 2 new waters. A lot of effort was put in to get these 2 lakes in a state where they could be fished and thanks go to all those on the work parties and also "Angling For Success (A4S)" who put the swims in at Daisleys. We stocked Daisleys with a 100 10 inch tench in December and it will be interesting to see how these grow on, the same day Halls Pit got a stocking of 13 C4 carp averaging 9lbs these are the same strain we always use from Priory Fisheries of Cullompton Devon. As a club our charter is to provide recreational angling at a sensible price for all. This includes providing venues catering for all the different types of coarse fishing which entails both lakes and river. The end of season chub fishing on all our river venues was excellent with 6lb plus fish from the Gt Ouse and the Ivel producing one at 7lbs 4oz on one of the club sections. The perch in the rivers are being caught at a very good size with plenty of fish over 3lbs probably down to the numbers of signal crayfish now in the river systems.
The Washpit one of our least fished and mentioned venues produced a lot of carp to 20lbs and has become popular with a few who want to get off the beaten track. It is a shallow weedy lake but offers something for everyone as it has a very good head of silver fish.
The Bombhole although our smallest water at under an acre is very popular with our day anglers and again offers carp to an average of about 6lbs with one or two surprises plus a big head of rudd for our younger members who just want to catch something. The water levels here are back to their best allowing access to all the platform swims.
Barford Lake has a lot of rules associated with it but given the times and access are limited during the year still produces some very good fish and has its devotees who like the big water and the challenge.
Hitchcocks produced a number of small double figure carp which given they have only been stocked for a year going in at an average of 5.5 lbs looks very good for the future. The club will increase the stocking of carp here next December using C3 fish.
Halls Pit despite the otter problems produced some good carp to 35lbs with one angler landing 5 different 30s plus a host of others. The club took the step of installing an electric fence around the perimeter of the pit and this was no simple task with a vast amount of tree and ground clearance work. We had to get permission from the land owner to install the fence as one side of the pit is on private land. He was very cooperative in this and the club owe him a lot of thanks for the positive way he agreed to what we wanted to do. The fence has been operational for nearly 4 weeks and how effective it will be time will tell. The 5 bars give off 7kv pulses and it is well known the first thing to get a shock touching it was me the club secretary when testing it.
Finally Dovecote which continues to see the carp pack on size and weight. "One Eye" as she is known achieved 45.5 lbs late in 2015 and was caught over Easter at 44lbs so is going well. Added to this a number of different big thirties came out last season together with many fish in the 20lb plus mark. These fish are relatively young fish are from Priory Fisheries and the initial stocking of C3s was back in October 2006. As I am writing this I have been told a 42lb common has come out, the sources are reliable it may be rumour but who knows anglers keep these things as secretive as possible.
The rivers now the least fished of all the venues on not just Blunham but most other clubs venues. It seems only barbel can draw in the crowds.
Willington Gt Ouse is by far our most popular river venue with the easy access to the swims. Some very big fish are in the river along with a good head of silver fish. Dace have made a remarkable comeback in the Gt Ouse no one really knows why but I suspect the reduction in cormorant predation has helped. Matches are held along this section most weeks and we had 2 visiting clubs plus opens and club matches along here.
Barford Gt Ouse is surprisingly under fished but offers some excellent fishing for many species.
Oakley our only Upper Gt Ouse venue has a very big head of silver fish and provided 3 of the top 5 weights in the Bedford Hospitals Cup match. The winter chub fishing here saw a lot of 5lb plus fish with the biggest reported at 6lbs 10oz. Perch to 3lbs 10oz were also reported and our small venue on Oakley Weir was prolific this winter for roach and perch.
The Ivel is always an enigma and is so weeded in the Summer that only the intrepid venture out to find a suitable pitch. However when to Winter arrives then the tough get going and some very big fish are present such as the 7lbs 4oz chub I mentioned earlier.
Thanks to Mick Milman our bailiff who helps with the servicing of the toilet facility at Dovecote.
Thanks to Bob McLennan who has kept the match scene alive, Blunham is one of the few clubs that now has a regular match circuit.
The Club sponsors and runs the Beds Hospitals Cup the one last big river match around for miles. Thanks to Alex Hayward a Blunham member who puts in a lot of time and effort to ensure this event takes off, it raises over £700 each year for the Hospitals Charity.
The club has good relationships with other local clubs, the Environment Agency, Angling For Success (A4S), Marston Vale Trust, Wold Farm owner Dax Miller, IPA and our affiliations with Abbey Cross and Queens Works.
The club prides itself on good financial management and runs a policy of keeping membership costs down to the lowest practical numbers to ensure it is affordable to all with no additional costs.
Again thanks to all who attend the work parties this truly helps to get things done and also thanks to A4S who have done a lot of work on behalf of the club. This past year A4S have repaired the tracks at both Willington and Halls Pit and installed extra swims at Daisleys.
The Committee have worked extremely hard on behalf of the members and my thanks go out to all of them.
Finally thanks to the members who support the club.
Graham Palmer Hon Secretary