Southdown Angling Association East Sussex Angling at its best
Southdown Angling Association East Sussex Angling at its best

25th March 2020



In view of the latest Government regulations to try and control the spread of the coronavirus epidemic and taking into account advice issued by the Angling Trust, all Southdown AA waters are closed until further notice.

There are no exceptions. This strictly only affects Curls Farm, Marle Green and Cinderford Pond, as all our other waters are currently subject to the statuary river close season. All planned competitions are likewise cancelled.

We will review the situation as advice from the Government and the Angling Trust is updated.

We had planned to hold our AGM and Social Evening on 1st May 2020, but this is now also cancelled, but we woulde hope to be able to hold a suitable replacement event at some time in the future once restrictions are relaxed / lifted.

We thank members for their continued support, trust you will all keep safe and well and will endeavour to advise you as soon as things return to near normality and we can all go fishing again.


While fortunately we don’t suffer greatly from litter left by anglers on our waters, most members acting responsibly and taking their rubbish home with them, occasionally a bad apple in the pack turns up to spoil this image.

One of our members was taking a walk along the Wallers Haven at Middle Bridge and came across a pile of rubbish left around the peg 4 area. It was about 15 metres back from the waters edge and clearly anglers litter as evidenced by a Copdock Mill bag and Breakaway tackle rig bead packaging. In addition, there were a number of Duracell batteries, empty plastic food packets and aerosol style gas cylinders, enough to fill two carrier bags which he thankfully took away and disposed of properly.

Such rubbish poses a serious danger to wildlife and livestock as well as being unsightly and cannot be tolerated.

While we cannot be sure that it was a Southdown member or members to blame as this water is shared with other clubs, please ensure that you leave no litter, if you brought it with you, then you can take it back home after finishing your session, after all, it should be much lighter by then and, if you do come across rubbish left by others, please clean it up and dispose of it properly.

Remember, responsible anglers leave no litter, only footprints!





A day when history was made!

Possibly the best ever weight on the Pevensey marshes in a match.

History maker was the man now known as

"The Slab Slayer" Mr Patrick Newman.

Fishing a club match on the Pevensey Haven and using a feeder with worm on the hook, Pat landed 24 bream to around four pounds, plus a tench a perch and a rudd

for a total match winning weight of 80lbs14oz.

Great angling fella!


With the new river season just under a week old, we are already hearing of some great catches.

A beautiful common carp of over 26lbs has been landed on the Wallers Haven at Ironbridge, which, if claimed for and validated will be a new Association record.

A couple of smaller carp have also being recorded and at last weekend’s match at Boreham Street, a competitor witnessed a lovely golden coloured common carp torpedoing out of the water on several occasions, its size being estimated at around the 20lb mark, while a couple of guys who were pre baiting on the Wallers before the 16th, witnessed at least two carp in the margins, estimated to be over 30lbs. Who will be the first member to land a 40lb Carp from this fabulous piece of our water? We are sure they are on there.

Two members night fishing near Hog Trough on the Wallers Haven enjoyed great sport by tempting over 12 bream apiece and 10 tench in total between them, while also on the Wallers, a member landed a bream of just over five and a half pounds. Who said the bream had disappeared from the Haven?

The match at Boreham Street was won with 8 bream and 2 tench and 7 tench were weighed in on the day.

Red eyed beauties (tench that is) are also showing at Pevensey Haven and the Cuckmere.

If you have any catch news from your start to the new season that you'd like to share, please send us any information and photos and we will post details on the website.

Tight lines for the coming year.

Marle Green Closure Dates

Somewhat late in the day, Sacred Earth has advised some changes to their event dates at this water. We advise members to treat these dates as closures as the site will be busy and parking space restricted.

This is the updated list of dates and supersedes those listed in the Year Book and previously on this website:

Thursday 13th to Monday 17th June 2019 inclusive;

Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd June 2019;

Saturday 13th July 2019;

Thursday 8th to Sunday 11th August 2019 inclusive;

Sunday 1st September 2019; and,

Monday 16th to Sunday 22nd September 2019 inclusive.

The club matches scheduled for the 23rd June and 1st September 2019 will be re-arranged. Please contact the Match Secretary.

Sorry for any inconvenience but this is beyond our control.


Curl’s Farm; Water Bank Clearance & Vehicular Access

A couple of things.

We are aware that someone has recently taken it upon themselves to fell a tree in one of the swims. This is strictly forbidden and is behaviour that could lose us the water. Clearance like this is only to be carried out by our Water Maintenance Manager.

We/you are not allowed to drive down to the lake edge beyond the designated parking area near the barn and this is prescribed in our lease. On application, we are able to grant vehicular access to those members with restricted mobility by exception only. This is closely controlled and only those with specific permission are permitted to drive down to the water.

Please comply with these arrangements. Your membership will be terminated if you don’t.


Contacting you

We are not sending information out to members by post anymore.

If you are reading this on our website and you are a member or a prospective member, please register your contact details at It is easy to do and takes about 5 minutes. In case of any difficulty there are instructions on our website under Membership and Contact Details.

If you know other SAA members who haven’t registered yet, on our behalf. please nag them to register and if you have already registered, thank you, we have everything we need to contact you when we need to.


Our latest Newsletter has now been issued.

Please go to Newsletters 2019 to download a copy.


Our latest Newsletter has now been issued.

Please go to Newsletters 2019 to download a copy.


Wherever you are fishing on our club waters in the months ahead, please look out for hand lines or nets staked into the water. It seems some poachers are out and about and have been leaving these to snare fish, generally it seems on the rivers as recent reports include the Cuckmere and Wallers Haven.

If you come across any please remove and destroy or dispose of them in the right manner, making sure of course that you are safe on the river / lake side before taking any action.

Let us all be vigilant and stop these people taking fish from our waters.


We are sorry to have to report some unexpected bad news:

River Cuckmere at Arlington, Raylands/Churchlands Farm (East Bank)  and Raillands Ditch on the Pevensey Levels

Unfortunately we have been unable to secure the fishing rights on this section of the Cuckmere that initially Hailsham AA and afterwards SAA have held for many, many years and on Raillands Ditch on the Pevensey Levels. We know that these two venues were not fished that much, but were well loved by a few members, but nevertheless, this is very disappointing.

To be clear, on the Cuckmere, this is the part on the east bank that we previously accessed down the lane past the Yew Tree Inn, adjacent to Arlington Church (see page 12 of your Year Book) comprising the first field, the ne xt short field upstream and then the further two  fields upstream to Sessingham footbridge.

This has occurred because the original landowner sadly passed away and the new owner has exercised his wishes not to allow fishing anymore. Regrettably there was nothing we could do to persuade him otherwise and accordingly, all our signage has now been removed.

We now have no legal right to fish these venues, so members should desist from visiting these locations.

We are currently trying to renegotiate the fishing rights for the west bank further upstream that includes Sessingham Weir. Further information  will be posted as soon as things are finalised.

14th June 2018, The New Season on the Rivers

Thank goodness it's almost here, as after what seems like an eternity, those long thirteen weeks of the river close season are just about over and our minds focus on the new river season which begins on the 16th June.

The competition guys are gearing up for the curtain raiser of the season, for the ever popular Southdown Challenge Trophy, on Sunday 17th June, on the Boreham Street section of the Wallers Haven, with the draw at 8am ( best to try to get there at least 15 minutes beforehand ) with fishing between 9am and 2pm.

Last season the trophy was won with 36lbs of bream, with back up weights including catches of 24lbs and 18lbs. Large catches of tench, bream and other silverfish are always possible on this magnificent stretch of club water, where all tactics work, be it pole, whip, waggler or feeder. A number of very large carp and pike are also present in the water. Hopefully after a hectic time spawning during the close season, those bream and tench will be in the mood to feed and large weights are anticipated. Can't wait !

It's always nice to see new anglers joining in the club match scene, so if your aim this season is to join in, you'd be made most welcome. Entrance pools of £5 are optional..

You will find dates / details of all the club matches in your Membership Year Book and on this website under competitions.

Meanwhile, it’s back to checking and cleaning the gear once more, ready for the off.


15th May 2018 - Curls Farm

As we eagerly look forward to the new river season in a months time, which is now looming large on the horizon, it’s time for a reminder as to how well one of our stillwaters is fishing at the moment should you need to get an angling fix and get out on the bank before the glorious 16th June.

Several decent double figure carp have been landed from Curls Farm recently and in the match last Sunday some great sport was to be had. The winning weight was a tremendous 77lb 12oz, second place secured with 66lb 12oz, third 58lb and the total weight of fish caught on the day was a very respectable 333lb 4oz.

All baits and tactics seem to be paying dividends so why not venture down to this lovely venue soon and enjoy some of the action !

Annual Social Evening & Prizegiving 2018

A good night was had by all who attended the clubs annual prize giving evening which took place at the Eastbourne Fishermans Club, on Saturday 14th April, our very own "Night at the Oscars". Surely the clubs highlight of the year !

No speeches thank goodness, but lots of fun, the presentations to trophy winners, free buffet and a great raffle. If you didn't manage to attend this year please try and make it in 2019, you won't be disappointed.


The various trophy winners were as follows.



Southdown Challenge: Malcolm Faulkner, 36-1-0

Pole Shield: Steve Izzard, 4-15-0

Waggler Only Trophy: Chris Copeland, 148 points

Roger Weston Memorial: Nigel Parks, 55-10-0

Evening Cup: Gary Flint, 249 points

Roger Izzard Memorial: Peter Gabbitas, 24-2-0

Aggregate Weight Cup: Chris Copeland, 85-12-0

Knock Out Cup: Neil Post

Cuckmere Cup: Trevor Ramsden, 149 points

Marsh Shield: Chris Copeland, 243 points

Roy Andrews Memorial: Gary Flint, 25-11-0

Christmas Cup: Chris Copeland, 143 points

New Year Challenge: Tim Crowdey, 1-11-0

Percy Baron Trophy: Chris Copeland, 203 points

Bill Walder Trophy: Rod Brown, 4-1-0

Fred Glazier Memorial Shield: P Nest, 8-11-0


Specimen Fish Awards

Best Specimen: Clive Copeland, 7-0-0 Tench from the Wallers Haven, a new club record.

Best Pike: Clive Copeland, 21-12-0.

Best Carp: Tim Crowdey, 21-0-0, from Curls Farm.

Best Bream: Clive Copeland, 4-12-0.

Most Specimens: Clive Copeland, Tench, Pike & Bream.

2017 / 2018 Competition Season Review

The club competitions throughout the season continued to attract good attendances, even in the depths of winter. It seemed that from the start of November to the middle of March the weather has been very up and down as in general, most weekends we've had to suffer gale force winds and rain, or a biting easterly wind coupled with very low temperatures.

Remember the Beast from the East?, well, as this piece is being penned, we are awaiting the arrival of the Son of the Beast, another weekend of sub zero temperatures is forecast, with a chilly wind and snow showers and it's mid March !

Pleasingly, the regular match guys have enjoyed many great competitions throughout the year.

The first match of the season back in June at Boreham Street was won by Malcolm Faulkner with a decent bag of bream, Malcolm securing the Southdown challenge trophy with 36lbs of our slimy friends.

At the same venue a month later 27 anglers turned out for the Roger Weston memorial match, when the bream showed again with Nigel Parks romping home with 55lbs and Tim Relf at the next peg landing 53lbs while losing a further 8 fish. Chris Copeland won the night match at Middle Bridge with 24lbs of bream, and Neil Post had 15lbs of them in the first round of the Marsh Shield, again at Middle Bridge in August.

It's not only been all stretches of the Wallers Haven producing, decent weights were also recorded on stretches of the Cuckmere, with a number of good sized carp also being landed here along with tench and bream.

At Marle Green the carp are certainly putting in an appearance, Peter Gabbitas securing the Roger Izzard memorial trophy with 24lbs and in late summer Gary Flint the Roy Andrews memorial trophy with 25lbs.

Even during the winter months the weights on the Wallers Haven held up pretty well with 10lbs of roach and skimmers winning a match in January.

If you want to fish the matches, the competition guys are a nice friendly bunch who will gladly welcome you along. All fixtures are listed in the annual Membership Booklet and on this website, with details of times and venues. Pools entrance is optional, but if you like to enter the pools, the cost is generally £5. Matches are held on most Sunday's during the season, including several away matches fishing against other clubs. We also have a series of Evening Cup competitions during the summer along with a night match and a further evening match for the Pole Shield.

If you'd like more information please get in touch with either Steve Izzard or Chris Copeland whose contact details can be found in the Membership Booklet.


With many tackle shops closing down these days it’s nice to see a new one starting up.

Green D.I.Y. on the Bellbrook Industrial Estate in Uckfield are setting up a fishing tackle section, opening on the 3rd March and will be offering a 10% discount to Southdown A.A. members on production of their current membership booklet.

We wish them well in their new venture.


Recently the Association had a match scheduled for upstream at Ironbridge. On arriving early on the Sunday morning the competitors were greeted with the sight of four night shelters/bivvies set up in the first field. Fortunately on the day, we did not have a vast number of competitors and we were able to peg around them, however on another day we could be fishing against one or more other clubs with a much greater attendance and this could present a problem.

The Fixture List in the Membership Year Book clearly requests that on the day of matches the water specified should be left clear, so if you are planning a trip to one of our waters on a Saturday night or Sunday, please remember to check your Year Book or the website for match fixtures before deciding on the venue.

We of course want everyone to enjoy their fishing, but please choose a venue to fish that is not involved with a competition, we have plenty of other excellent waters for members to enjoy a days angling.


Saturday 22nd April 2017

All members, partners & prospective new members, are cordially invited to this years Prize Giving & Social Evening in the upstairs bar area of the Eastbourne Fishermans Club, commencing at 7:30pm, when the various recipients of our many trophies will be presented with the rewards for their efforts last season. There will be a Raffle, free Buffet & as usual, the opportunity to renew your membership for the year.

There is more than adequate parking space adjacent to the Fishermans Club, so there’s no excuse for not coming along. Although last years event was reasonably well attended, let’s hope this one is even better with more members turning up. The Fishermans Club is easy to find, being on the seafront, roughly half way between the Pier & Langney Point.

The winners of the various awards are as follows, Gary Flint having a particularly good year in the matches, winning no less than four trophies:

Match Results, 2016/2017

Aggregate Weight Cup:   C Copeland 96-2-0     F Glazier Memorial: P Stradwick    28-0-0

Bill Walder:                       G Flint       11-14-0     Cuckmere Cup:       C Ramsden   151 pts

Pole Shield:                      G Flint         8-10-0     Marsh Shield:          G Flint           244 pts

Roger Weston Memorial:  I Wicks        4-12-0     Waggler only:          C Copeland   153 pts

New Years Challenge:      C Ramsden   4-6-0     Percy Baron:           R Brown         189 pts

Southdown Challenge:     M Faulkner    6-8-0     Xmas Cup:               S Davey        150 pts

Roy Andrews Memorial:    T White     11-14-0     Evening Cup:           C Copeland   240 pts

Roger Izzard Memorial:     P Gabbitas  4-15-0     KO Cup:                  G Flint

Specimen Fish Awards, 2016/2017

Pike: Clive Copeland    21lb 10oz          Carp: Mike Hamill    20lb 14oz

Bream: Clive Copeland    5lb 4oz      Tench: Clive Copeland    6lb 7oz

Best Specimen: Clive Copeland with his tench being 96.3% of the Association record.

Most Specimens: Clive Copeland with his pike, bream & tench, plus a carp of 12lb 4oz.



9th February 2017

19 members attended this years meeting at the Eastbourne Fishermans Club.

The Treasurer presented the accounts for the past year, showing a modest surplus, suggesting that the Association was in good health & giving some cushion for the future.

Mike Sherlock & Jonathon Pang were again confirmed as Vice Presidents, with the management team otherwise remaining much as before.

The position of Association Secretary was in some doubt as no nominations for the post had been received & as Mike Richardson had completed three continuous two year terms in office back in 2015, he was technically not eligible for re-election. He had carried on for a further two years to give time to find a replacement, but was now not prepared to serve for a further term.

Fortunately however, although they were unable to attend the meeting, two of our younger members, Laura Angell & her partner Jonathon Monk, had volunteered their services & as a result, Laura becomes our new Secretary, with Jonathon coming on board as Assistant Secretary. Laura has been a member of the Association since a child, initially as a junior with the old Compleat Angler club, where her father Neal ran matches & coaching for the juniors.

In recognition of his services over many years, to both the current club & the previous Hailsham A.A., Mike was awarded Life Membership of the Association.

Our new Secretaries’ initial task will be to take over the membership side of the club, with Mike now serving on the management team as Committee Chairman & he will continue with some of the secretarial duties for a while longer to ensure a gradual transition of the workload & “on the job” training for the new incumbents. However there will inevitably be one or two hiccups during the changeover, so members are asked to be patient should there be any problems

Changes to Angling Rules

Current Southdown A.A. Angling Rules limit members to the use of two rods only when fishing our waters. The Environment Agency have now introduced a new three rod license & it was felt that some members would wish to take advantage of this, particularly when fishing the Wallers Haven.

However we still feel that members should be limited to two rods when fishing the still waters, but the use of three rods will now be permitted on the Pevensey Levels fisheries.

In all cases, all the rods must always be positioned within easy reach of the angler.


Current rules also state that camping and the pitching of tents is not permitted on Association waters.

This rule still applies, however, with the arrival of the modern angling bivouac, there is some confusion over whether a bivvy is a tent or not. While we do not allow night fishing on any of the still waters or downstream of Iron Bridge, at the moment it is permitted on all our other waters and bivouacs are used by some members. The use of bivvies is therefore permitted and we have decided that the definition of camping would be a period exceeding 24 hours & fishing sessions be limited to maximum period of 24 hours, after which the angler must vacate the water.

The changes to these rules are clearly shown on the inside front cover of the 2017 Membership Booklet & the Angling Rules page of this website.

End of Season Fishing Report

Sadly the 2016/2017 season on the rivers has now come to a close, however we are pleased to report that the end of the season on the Wallers Haven in particular has been very productive for tench and bream. Several anglers have been successful at Middle Bridge, the tench being in the mood to feed, with up to 5 recorded on a number of days, the biggest, a beauty of 6lbs 1oz. Bream to 4lbs 5oz, eels to 2lbs 4oz and a nice bonus small carp of just over 8lbs have also turned up and plenty of great sport has also been enjoyed by those fishing the waggler, for good catches of roach, rudd and skimmer bream.

From time to time we hear anglers suggesting that the Wallers is long past its best, but the end of season catches are proof indeed that the Haven is in fine form. In fact, all our rivers have produced well over the season, with good catches also being recorded on the Cuckmere and Pevensey Haven.

Specimen fish reported during the year include a carp of 20lb 4oz from Curls Farm, the Wallers Haven producing a pike of 20lb 10oz, a tench of 6lb 7oz and a perch of 3lbs, with the Cuckmere at Shermans Bridge also weighing in with carp of 19lb 4oz and 12lb and a bream of 5lb 4oz.

We are sure that many more fine fish are caught but not reported, please let us know of your catches, better still, enter them for the specimen fish awards every year.

Let’s all hope that we can look forward to this good fishing continuing into the future.

Roll on June 16th and the new season.


Non Fishing Parent/Guardian

Junior members under the age of 14 usually join the Association via the membership of their father, granddad or uncle etc, paying a subscription of just £2. However, we have had juniors wishing to join in their own right, without an adult membership involvement, although a parent or guardian would always accompany them when fishing. We obviously wish to encourage juniors, after all, they are the future of angling, however, for safety, insurance & behavioral reasons, our rules specify that juniors may only fish Association waters when accompanied by a responsible adult member

We have therefore introduced an additional membership category, paying a £10 nominal subscription, of Parent/Guardian (non fishing) to enable the parent or guardian of a junior, to accompany and be responsible for that junior when fishing on Association waters, even though the parent or guardian doesn’t fish themselves. As members, both will then obviously be subject to Association rules & covered by third party/civil liability insurance.


Thankfully, most anglers behave responsibly and our waters are free from rubbish.

However, one of the competitors at the recent Christmas Cup match at Middle Bridge, noticed a Swim Stim Carp groundbait bag discarded and thrown in the water near the bankside reeds. Having made his way down to retrieve it and empty the water inside, out popped a worm tub and empty cigarette packet which then also fell into the river.

If by chance you’re the idiot who left his rubbish there, please remember, if you took it with you, for goodness sake take it home and dispose of it properly! It's people like that that can cost clubs to loose waters.


The 2016 fishing season on the rivers has got of to a cracking start with some good fish reported from the Cuckmere, including a cracking bream of 6lbs 2oz from Shermans Bridge and weighed in as a specimen. Tench to over 6lbs have also been recorded from various sections of the Wallers Haven, plus a 2lb Perch caught in an Association competition at Ironbridge. Take a look at our Recent Catches & Gallery pages for more information and photos.

Remember, if you catch a specimen fish on Association waters, just send in a specimen form and a photo and you could win a trophy at the end of the season.

News and particularly pictures of good catches on this website are a great way to promote our club and hopefully encourage more anglers to join us. In turn, if we gain more members and hence more funds, we can look at possibly leasing additional waters. Try and help us if you can by emailing your news to or

PRIZEGIVING & SOCIAL, 24th April 2016

Another great night was enjoyed by the 30 or more members, family and friends who attended this year’s Annual Prizegiving and Social at the Fishermans Club in Eastbourne.

Those present had fun with the "heads and tails" game along with the annual quiz, both events raising funds for the club. In the fun packed and entertaining evening the club trophies were distributed to the deserving winners, more funds were raised with the raffle and an excellent buffet was enjoyed by all, helped of course by the odd glass or two of alcohol!


Trophies were awarded as follows, Chris Copeland having a very good year, winning no less than six trophies:

Aggregate Weight Cup:               Gary Flint                         129lb-11oz

Bill Walder Trophy:                       Gary Flint                           14lb- 6oz

Pole Shield:                                  Peter Gabbitas                     4lb-8oz

Roger Weston Memorial:              Pat Newman                     22lb-12oz

New Years Challenge:                  Malcolm Faulkner                 4lb-4oz

Southdown Challenge:                 Chris Copeland                   17lb-0oz

Roy Andrews Memorial:                Steve Davey                       10lb-9oz

Roger Izzard Memorial:                Trevor Hoad                        10lb-3oz

F Glazier Memorial:                      Steve Davey                         8lb-2oz


Evening Cup:                               Trevor Hoad                      250 points

Cuckmere Cup:                            Trevor White                     152 points

Marsh Shield:                               Chris Copeland                 182 points

Waggler Only Trophy:                  Chris Copeland                 151 points

Percy Baron Shield:                     Chris Copeland                 198 points

Christmas Cup:                            Chris Copeland                 144 points

Knock Out Cup:                           Grenville Weston


Specimen fish trophies were won by Chris Copeland with a bream of 4lbs 6oz from the Wallers Haven at Boreham Street, Alan Woods with a carp of 18lbs 12oz from Curls Farm, while Clive Copeland weighed in four specimens; a pike of 21lbs 4oz, an eel of 2lbs 4oz, a bream of 4lbs 5oz and a tench of 6lbs 11oz, a new club record, all from the Wallers Haven.

Clive therefore also collected the Best Specimen Trophy for his tench and also the award for the most specimens, which he has won for the past four years.

We know many specimen fish are caught in our waters but not officially recorded. Please help us to promote the Association and the fine waters we control, by letting others know of your catches, submit a specimen form and you could also win a trophy and help the club.

Finally, many thanks to Steve Izzard for collating the results, looking after the trophies, including cleaning them in some cases and also obtaining raffle prizes. Thanks also to Clive Copeland for organising the games and quiz, and Elaine Watkins for presenting the trophies.

If members didn't make it along this year, please try and attend next year, we’re sure you'll go home having enjoyed a very good evening.


During the rivers close season we hold several work parties to tidy up the waters and make them more fishable for members to enjoy.

Planned sessions for 2016 are: 10th April at Cinderford Pond, 1st May on the Cuckmere at Churchlands Farm, Arlington, 8th May at Curls Farm; 22nd May at Iron Bridge downstream and 5th June on the Pevensey Haven. All are Sundays, meet on site at 9am. The work involved is mainly scrub clearance, so tools required are saws, shears, loppers, forks etc and a pair of gloves.

Please contact our Water Maintenance Manager, Tim Crowdey, telephone 01323 841851, to volunteer your services, or just turn up on the day, armed with suitable tools & clothing.


February 2016

Several years ago, before the credit crunch, we approached the Environment Agency to do something about the silting up of the Wallers Haven at Boreham Street, which had resulted in the first field & parts of the second becoming unfishable. Then along came the financial crisis, EA funding was severely cut & it didn’t seem that anything could be done to improve the situation.

However, it seems that we hadn’t been forgotten & thanks to some funding from the sale of rod licences, during the month of February, the river has now been dredged to remove the silt that has built up over the years. Gone are the days when dredging meant a complete clean out of the water leaving the banks devastated with a 45 degree slope & no safe access for anglers. Instead we have now got fishing swims sympathetically created every 20 yards or so, with much of the existing bankside vegetation between the pegs left undisturbed to the benefit of the wildlife & the fish.

It remains to be seen what effect this work will have on the fishing. Last year, despite the state of the river, this stretch of the Haven fished really well, so let’s hope it will now be even better.

Our sincere thanks are due to the Environment Agency staff & contractors who have carried out this work. We often hear anglers complaining about the EA, saying "what do we get for our licence money." This project should show all the moaners that some of the money does indeed get ploughed back into angling to improve the fishing for all to enjoy.



Saturday 25th April 2015

This year some 30 or more members, family and friends attended our annual Prize Giving and Social evening at the Afton Hotel, Eastbourne, when substantial quantities of alcohol & a generous buffet were eagerly consumed by all present, in what turned out to be a great evening.

Association Treasurer Grenville Weston proved the winner of the “Heads or Tails” game, while the “Grumpy Old Men” team, comprising Richard Sherlock, Association Vice President Mike Sherlock & Secretary Mike Richardson were victorious in the quiz. A raffle of various donated items, ranging from a night’s stay in the Afton for two, bottles of wine, boxes of chocolates etc resulted in the prizes being fairly evenly distributed between all participants.

Recipients of the many trophies on display were:

Peter Gabbitas; Pole & Marsh Shields, Roger Weston Memorial, Knock Out & Southdown Challenge Cups.

Trevor Hoad; Aggregate Weight, Roger Izzard Memorial & Evening Cups.

Grenville Weston; Roy Andrews & F Glazier Memorial Trophies.

Chris Copeland; Waggler Only Cup & Percy Baron Shield.

Trevor White: Cuckmere & Christmas Cups.

Patrick Newman; Bill Walder Trophy.

Tim Crowdy; New Year Challenge Cup.

Clive Copeland: Best & Most Specimen Cups, Best Pike, Bream, Tench and Eel.

Kevin Dunkeld; Best Carp.

Unfortunately, for some inexcusable reason, your reporter failed to get a photo of Peter Gabbitas, the most successful match angler last year. Apologies Peter, we are sure however that you will feature prominently in next year’s results.

Thanks are due to Gill Copeland for presenting the trophies, to Steve Izzard for organizing the evening, collating the results, looking after all the trophies, scrounging raffle prizes etc, to Clive Copeland for arranging the games, quiz & liaison with the Afton & finally the hotel, for providing the beer, buffet & allowing the Association to hold our evening on their premises.


21 January 2015.

We have received the following interesting email from Sebastion Flynn, an ex Compleat Angler member from some 40 years ago. If anyone can help him in his search, please contact Sebastion direct at


Dear All at Southdown Angling Assoc,


I am a former member of the Compleat Angler Fishing Club from the early seventies when I lived in Eastbourne and have now lived for nearly twenty years in Brisbane, Australia.

I still dream across the world of the College Ponds, an idyllic little wilderness in Dallington Road, Hampden Park, near the Hydney where I used to fish. It was a set of three small ponds, one larger oblong and two square, which were, I think, originally clay pits dug pre-war to make bricks. The area became incredibly overgrown and the pools contained old and somewhat stunted wild and Crucian Carp and some great Tench, as well as moorhens and were virtually covered in lilies etc.

I did have one or two photos which are long lost and I have literally trawled online to try and find one, but to no avail.

I did however write to Eastbourne Borough Council some years ago and was kindly sent the attached aerial photo from 1947, taken from an RAF plane, in the early days of the clay pits, presumably before they were fully flooded. They are to the left of picture, as well as the larger two brick ponds to the right of the photo, which became almost unfishable due to refuse and junk.

I also received a couple of interesting stories, one about a giant pike that a young guy had caught in the brick ponds and accounts from one or two anglers who also fished there, but no photos of fish or of the ponds from my own fishing era around early seventies, at which time the access was under the auspices of the Eastbourne College Angling Club. I think the Compleat Angler Club were eventually able to net it and redistribute the fish to, I think, the Pevensey Haven, before they were sadly filled in to build the Lottbridge Industrial Estate.

If anyone has a photo of the ponds or fish caught there I would be delighted to see it, or hear of others' experiences there. I had one absolutely memorable opening day one year after weeks of prebaiting with Weetabix and caught 4 or 5 lovely Tench on Weetabix paste!

It remains an idyllic place in my memory and I would love to hear of any other recollections and am hoping for a photo. I would greatly appreciate if you would circulate for me to see if any kindred spirits amongst your anglers.


Thank you, kind regards, Sebastian Flynn.      Email:



At one of our matches at Iron Bridge on the Wallers Haven during January 2015, members collected a snap tackle from a branch which was easily accessible for the person who had cast and left it there, and then one of the white geese present at this venue had somehow managed to get a lure stuck in its mouth!

With the anglers having hatched a plan to try and save it, fortunately the bird finally managed to free itself, but not before temporarily getting the lure stuck on it's chest. All very sad and worrying at the time but luckily it all ended well. Generally most anglers are responsible and really care about all wildlife; it just takes the odd one or two to spoil things for the rest of us.

If one of the many walkers who pass by had seen this bird going frantic for some time, we dread to think of what they would think or say about us anglers.


Prize Giving & Social Evening, 19th April 2014

Some 35 members & guests attended the annual prize giving & social at the Afton Hotel in Eastbourne, enjoying a silly game, quiz, raffle & buffet before the presentation of the many Association trophies to last year’s successful anglers, Peter Gabbitas being the most prolific, winning the Marsh Shield, Aggregate Weight, Evening, Cuckmere & Xmas Cups. Chris Copeland took the F Glazier Memorial, Waggler Only & New Years Challenge, Michael Wood the Pole Shield & Southdown Challenge & Tim Crowdey secured the Percy Baron & Roger Weston Memorial trophies. while Steve Brown won the Bill Walder, Graham Shinkfield the Roy Andrews Memorial, Dennis Ramsden the KO Cup & Grenville Weston the Roger Izzard Memorial.

On the specimen fish front, SAA Secretary Mike Richardson won the Roach Cup & Best Specimen trophy, with his fish of 2lb 1oz, a new Association record, from the Cuckmere, Doug Izzard the Carp cup with a fish of 16lb 10oz from Curls Farm, that man Peter Gabbitas the Bream cup with a fish of 5lb 6oz, again from the Cuckmere. Ian Wicks landed the best Tench of 5lb 11oz from the Wallers Haven while Clive Copeland again took the trophy for most specimens, weighing in with no less than four species, a pike of 17lb 6oz, a tench of 5lb 10oz, an eel of 3lb 2oz & a bream, all from the Wallers Haven.

Sincere thanks are due to Clive Copeland & Steve Izzard for all the organisation of the evening.

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