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



Thank you to all of you who joined or renewed your membership this year & for supplying an e-mail address as this does make communication with the membership much easier, enabling us to keep you up to date with all that’s going on & shows considerable savings in printing & postage costs. Please don’t forget to advise us if you change your address or any other details so we can update our records & keep you informed. If you haven’t supplied an e-mail address & would like to be included, just e-mail us at:, with “newsletter” as the subject & we’ll make sure you’re included.

After the disastrous slump in membership numbers back in 2012, we are pleased to say that things seem to have stabilised over the past two or three years and our situation now looks to be reasonably secure for the foreseeable future. Hopefully current members will renew in 2016, but we could still do with more, so if each of you could persuade fellow anglers to also join, we would be in a much better position to move forward & provide even more & better fishing for all members to enjoy. At the moment we are offering discounted subscription rates giving membership through to the end of April 2016 & from the 1st February, anyone joining & paying the full subscription will enjoy membership right through to the end of April in 2017.

Tim Crowdy & Clive Copeland both volunteered their services to the Committee during the year & were duly co-opted. Thank you guys.

This year’s weather has generally been pretty good, with the occasional rain in the summer months helping to keep the waters fresh and the annual problem of duckweed on the Cuckmere & Pevensey Haven didn’t manifest itself to any great degree. As usual, the fringe lily & floating pennywort on the marsh waters reared their heads, but it didn’t seem to be as bad as in previous years.

On the fishing front, our most popular venue at Curls Farm continued to provide excellent sport with carp, plenty of double figure fish being landed. Our thanks are due to the members who have been carrying out the ongoing maintenance work, by renovating the fishing pegs, cutting back the overhanging vegetation etc for all members to enjoy. Unfortunately the gate padlocks have been a recurring problem, requiring replacement several times due to malfunction or break in & even being stolen on one occasion.

Marle Green is also quite popular, with plenty of carp, but there doesn’t seem to be the skimmer bream present that there were 3 or 4 years ago. We don’t really know why & the Environment Agency carried out an electro fishing survey on the lake back in the summer, when lots of small roach, one or two perch & several carp were captured, but only 3 or 4 skimmers & these proved to be mainly roach/bream hybrids.

It seems few people have fished at Cinderford Pond. Shame really as it can provide marvellous sport with mainly small tench & crucian carp/brown goldfish. Sadly it’s all getting a bit overgrown now & will require some work to give it a tidy up for next year.

The Cuckmere fished well early in the season, with good tench, carp & bream being caught above Shermans Bridge, while further upstream at Arlington, some fine roach & perch were to be found, although catches seem to have dried up a bit later in the year.

We haven’t any news as to how the river is fishing at the moment & as is quite usual at this time of year, due to all the rain we have had lately, it seems to be in a perpetual state of spate.

If match results are anything to go by, the Wallers Haven is on the up, with the larger bream now featuring more in catches after an apparent absence of several years, although fewer tench seem to show these days. We haven’t heard of any large pike being caught so far this winter, but no doubt there will be a few twenties coming out before the season end.

We have received little news on the Pevensey Haven, although again, during the early season, good sport was to be found with some nice roach, with the odd tench thrown in for good measure. The large bream shoals which used to inhabit this water years ago now seem to be absent, but let’s hope they make a comeback, as they seem to be doing on the Wallers.

While it seems that most members are content to have a pleasant few hours fishing in beautiful surroundings, any news of good fishing can only help to promote the Association & it would be really nice if members could let us know what they have been catching on our lovely waters, preferably with a few photos. Just e-mail your news to: & we’ll see about including it on our website.


Water Maintenance   In addition to the excellent job being carried out at Curls Farm, the half dozen or so stalwarts who regularly attend the maintenance parties have carried out work on the waters as required. It’s a pity that it is left to the few to do the work for the benefit of all members, so next year, please volunteer your services & try to come along & help, the more persons that turn up, the more can be achieved, it’s all quite enjoyable really, you get to meet other members, learn about our waters, which can only improve your fishing & it’s all part of being a member of a fishing club.


Specimen Fish   As seems to be the norm, so far this season we have received very few claims for specimen fish caught in our waters. We know that our venues contain some splendid fish & are fairly sure that some even get caught, but for whatever reason, the successful anglers seem to want to keep things secret. So come on guys get those claims in, you have until the end of February 2016 to qualify for this years awards.


Competitions   Our competitions continue to be supported by the faithful regulars & it is also nice to see a few newcomers as well as some of the old faces from the past returning to match fishing. All SAA members are welcome to participate, the matches are fairly light hearted affairs with lots of fishy banter, the pools are optional & even if you don’t place you are sure to learn quite a lot to improve your own fishing. Thanks to Chris Copeland, the match results are regularly published on our website for all to see.


Annual General Meeting   The 19th Annual General Meeting of the Southdown Angling Association will take place on Thursday evening, 11th February 2016, commencing at 8 p.m., in the upstairs bar area of the Eastbourne Fishermans Club, Royal Parade, Eastbourne, BN22 7AA.

Please note the change of venue. While we are extremely grateful to the Afton Hotel in allowing us to hold our meeting there in the past few years, the one problem has always been finding somewhere to park within reasonable distance of the venue. Indeed, we have heard of people intending to attend the meeting, but being unable to find a parking space & turning round & going back home. There is more than adequate parking space adjacent to this years venue, so that will be no excuse & although last years meeting was reasonably well attended, let’s hope this one is even better & even more members come along and have a say in the running of our angling club. The Fishermans Club is easy to find being on the seafront roughly half way between the pier & Langney Point.

Officer posts due for election this year, are: President & Treasurer, both to serve for a two year term of office & Vice Presidents who are elected annually. In addition, under Association rules, Secretary Mike Richardson, having completed three two year terms last year, should have retired from office then, but, with no nominations or volunteers for the role, to give the club time to find a replacement, he volunteered to carry on for a further year. So the post of Secretary is also up for grabs this AGM, to serve for a period of one year. Mike has said that he will definitely not be offering his services as Secretary this time, but would be happy to remain as a Committee member & be on hand to help & advise the new Secretary as necessary, so it shouldn’t be too onerous a task for anyone to take on.

Other than the Officers, we require a Committee of not less than 8 members, all elected annually & we really could do with some new blood helping in the management of our club & therefore need more members to volunteer their services. Many of the current management have been serving in one way or another for more years than they care to remember & could do with a break, we can’t expect them to carry on for ever. You never know, you might even get to enjoy the experience, at the very least you would gain an insight into the behind the scenes workings of the Association.

Our Rules require that any nominations for Officers, Committee, Life Memberships, proposals for changes to the Constitution or Rules, or Motions to be considered at the AGM, be received by the Secretary, in writing, duly signed by the proposer and a second member, before the 1st January previous to the meeting. However, this deadline is now extended to the 15th January 2016 & proposals may be submitted by e-mail, provided both proposer and seconder names are on the e-mail. If you would like to offer your services but can’t find anyone to propose or second you, please volunteer anyway, you will be welcomed with open arms & we’re sure we will be able to find someone to nominate you.

To save costs, this is the only advice that you will receive regarding the AGM & no further notice will be issued. Those members with e-mail facilities will receive the Agenda and Minutes of last years meeting nearer the date, for those without, copies will be available on the night. All members are cordially invited to attend & if you have something to say, so much the better, or even better still, how about offering to serve in some way.


SAA Web Site   Our website at has been up & running for a couple of years or so now & contains all the information on our fishing club. It is regularly updated with all the latest news & includes downloadable membership application & specimen fish forms etc. There is a sales & wants section for members to advertise any tackle surplus to their needs or perhaps to seek particular items that are no longer available new. There is now also the facility to join or renew your membership on line via the Polegate Angling Centre website. Sadly, despite our appeals, other than Chris’s match reports, we receive nothing from members for inclusion. What we need is your news, preferably with photos if possible. This could be about a recent fishing trip when you enjoyed a fantastic days sport, it may be about the capture of a personal best, club record or specimen fish, your success in a recent competition, or you may want to feature a specific club venue or tackle tip. Send us your pictures of fish you've caught or snaps you've taken of our terrific waters, whatever, it's up to you. Please try and get involved by sending items you are happy to share to: or to the Secretary at:


Health & Safety

With winter now upon us, please take extra care on the banks. Be aware of any slip or trip hazards & be especially careful on the Cuckmere. The river is very deep at the edge, in some places over 6 feet. Due to reed growth it's not always possible to see if a bank is safe, therefore, always have a prod & poke around with a bank stick before settling down.


Southdown A.A. Management Committee 2015

President: Fred Clews,  Vice Presidents: Mike Sherlock, Jonathon Pang.

Treasurer: Grenville Weston,  Secretary: Mike Richardson,

Committee Chairman: Roger May,

Match Secretary & Trophy Steward: Steve Izzard,  Assistant Secretary: Chris Copeland,

Webmaster: Jon Cook,  Water Maintenance Manager: Tim Crowdy,

Committee Members: Peter Gabbitas. Tom Wood, Clive Copeland, Alan Law &

Alan Woods.

The Secretary can be contacted by:  telephone: 01435 812854,


Post: Southdown A.A., C/O Polegate Angling Centre, Unit 7, Birch Industrial Estate, Eastbourne, BN23 6PH.


Finally, we wish you all and your kith and kin,




Although reasonably dry most of the time, the weather since Christmas has not been that conducive for good fishing. We haven’t had that many hard frosts, but with the winds coming from a northerly direction for much of the time, temperatures have remained fairly low & all but the most hardy or dedicated anglers have preferred to stay in the warm. The Cuckmere has been high & fairly coloured for much of the time & the fish have been few & far between, but the Wallers Haven around Iron Bridge has produced good sport with plenty of mainly small roach & skimmer bream for the match fisherman, while those prepared to walk a little further have reported some outstanding fishing with the pike & tench, despite the conditions.

Membership, numbers last year were very similar to the previous two years, with subscription income likewise & we have managed to hold the rents we have to pay to levels we can afford. As a result, by continuing with the water sharing arrangements with other clubs, we do not anticipate any need to relinquish the fishing on any our current venues & subscription rates will remain the same as in 2014.

Thank you to all of you who have provided an e-mail address & who will have received this newsletter electronically. Well over 60% of our membership now receive communications this way & with standard second class postage now costing 54p, it does save us considerable expense & effort during the year, as well as enabling us to keep you up to date with the latest news & developments.

If you haven’t registered an address with us, but would be quite happy to receive information this way, simply send an e-mail to:, with “Newsletter” as the subject & you will be included for the future & if you change your e-mail address, please don’t forget to let us know.

This year we have updated & reprinted our Rule Book which you will receive as part of your membership package. This contains all the non time limited information on the Association, i.e. our Constitution, Rules, Fishing Rules, etc. Please read it so that you are fully conversant with all the conditions of your membership. In addition, instead of the previous membership card, you will receive a Membership Booklet for the year. This is your authority to fish the venues we control & contains details of the 2015 Management team, all the waters available to you as a member, the match fixtures, work party dates, water closure dates etc. Again, please read through it & take note of the contents.


Membership Renewals.  Your 2015 Membership Form is enclosed with this newsletter (attached if received via e-mail) for you to renew your membership for a further year. We hope that you will do so, as we feel that Southdown AA membership offers real value for money in the variety & quality of the waters we control, after all you would soon spend the equivalent of the membership subscription if you regularly visit day ticket fisheries.

As usual, you can renew in person at the Polegate Angling Centre in Eastbourne, Anglers Den in Pevensey Bay, Anglers Cabin in Hailsham, or by post & now also via our website. If renewing by post, please include a self addressed & stamped C5 envelope for the return of your  membership pack, complete the form as necessary & forward with your remittance, to: S.A.A. Membership, C/O Polegate Angling Centre, Unit 7, Birch Industrial Estate, Eastbourne, BN23 6PH. If you have access to internet facilities, please also include an e-mail address. The 2015 membership books should be available around the middle of April.


Annual General Meeting 10th February 2014.  22 members attended the meeting at the Afton Hotel near Eastbourne seafront, the meeting being chaired by Vice President Mike Sherlock due to the indisposition of our President Fred Clews.

Treasurer Grenville Weston presented the accounts for the past year. With membership numbers & hence subscription income slightly higher than in 2014 & by keeping expenditure much the same as last year, particularly water rents, there was again a slight surplus over the year, a good sign indicating that the Association were now in reasonable health & giving some cushion for the future. The accounts had been scrutinized by member Richard Sherlock & were duly approved by the meeting.

The Secretary presented a written report & thanked all the Officers & Committee for their efforts over the past year.

The Management team remain as last year plus two additions & were duly elected en bloc, with Mike Sherlock & Jonathon Pang again confirmed as Vice Presidents, Jon Cook, Chris Copeland, Peter Gabbitas, Steve Izzard, Roger May & Tom Wood all being prepared to again serve on the Committee, plus the two volunteers in the shape of Alan Law & Alan Hills, both of whom have carried out work at Curls Farm to renovate some of the pegs in the past year.

Retiring Secretary Mike Richardson had now completed three continuous two year terms in office & was therefore technically not eligible for re-election as Association rules state that; “The Secretary & Treasurer shall not serve in the same capacity for more than three consecutive terms of office.” However as it was obvious that no one was prepared to take on the position, Mike volunteered to carry on for a further year, the situation to be reviewed at the 2016 AGM.

Sadly, other than via the retiring Committee & the two Alans, as usual, there were no nominations for officers or committee, or motions from members to be considered at the AGM. This is a shame, we shouldn’t rely on the same guys doing the job year after year. We are all getting that bit older & can’t be expected to go on for ever. It would be nice to see some new blood with fresh ideas & enthusiasm involved in the running of our angling club. Should you, or perhaps someone you know, feel that you could contribute & would like to get involved, please have a word & we’ll take it from there.

With the formal business over, lively discussion then took place on various topics for consideration by the Management Committee during the coming year.


North Farm Pool, Marle Green.  As last year, due to other activities taking place on the site, there will be occasions when this venue is closed to Association members. The closure dates for this year will be shown in your 2015 Membership Booklet, on the website, notices in the local tackle shops, by a notice on site & are also repeated here for your information:

Saturday & Sunday April 18th/19th, Saturday May 23rd to Wednesday May 27th inclusive, Saturday & Sunday June 27th/28th, Friday September 11th to Sunday September 13th inclusive & Saturday & Sunday September 19th/20th.


Change of Match Venue.  Please note that as Marle Green will now be closed to fishing on the 19th April, the Club Match originally scheduled for that date will now be fished at Curls Farm.


Social Evening & Prize Giving, Saturday 25 April 2015, Afton Hotel, Cavendish Place, Eastbourne, BN21 3EJ. 7:30 pm.

All members, prospective new members & partners, are cordially invited to this years Prize Giving & Social Evening at the Afton Hotel, when the various recipients of our many trophies will be presented with the rewards for their efforts last season. Last year’s event was a great success, well attended & enjoyed by all present. There will be a Raffle, free Buffet, a Quiz & as usual, the opportunity to renew your membership for the year. The Afton is a superb venue, is easy to find, being almost on the seafront opposite the pier & if last year’s do is anything to go by, it should prove to be a very good evening. 

The winners of the various trophies are as follows, Peter Gabbitas having a particularly good year, winning no less than five trophies:

Match Results:   Aggregate Weight Cup:             T Hoad               332-1-8

                              Evening Cup:                            T Hoad               251 pts

                             Bill Walder:                                 P Newman           0-13-0

                             Cuckmere Cup:                         T White              149 pts

                             Pole Shield:                               P Gabbitas            9-3-0 

                             Marsh Shield:                            P Gabbitas        249 pts

                             Roger Weston Memorial:          P Gabbitas            2-9-0 

                             Waggler only:                             C Copeland       151 pts

                             New Years Challenge:              T Crowdy           10-10-0

                             Percy Baron:                              C Copeland       153 pts

                             Southdown Challenge:               P Gabbitas          20-8-0

                             Xmas Cup:                                 T White              147 pts

                             Roy Andrews Memorial:           G Weston          14-14-0

                             KO Cup:                                     P Gabbitas

                             Roger Izzard Memorial:            T Hoad                   8-0-0                       

                             F Glazier Memorial:                  G Weston            15-5-8

Specimen Fish:  Despite our efforts at making the reporting of specimen fish easier, only two members have bothered to submit claims during the year, namely regular Clive Copeland & his fishing buddy Kevin Dunkeld, Kevin catching a carp of 16lb 2oz from Curls Farm while Clive weighed in with no less than four species, a pike of 24lb 2oz, an eel of 2lb 4oz, a bream of 4lb 4oz & a tench of 6lb 9oz, all from the Wallers Haven, the latter constituting a new Association record. Clive therefore takes the best specimen trophy & once again the trophy for most specimens. The 2014/2015 specimen year ended on the 31st January & since then, Clive has upped his own record by the capture of an even bigger tench weighing 6lb 11oz, again from the Wallers. Maybe we’ll get a seven pounder reported this coming year.

We are sure that there are many more quality fish caught by members which go unrecorded, so come on guys & gals, let’s give Clive a run for his money, this coming season, if you catch a worthwhile fish, please submit a specimen form, we would love to hear about it.


Web Site.  Our website at is now fully operational & is regularly updated with all the latest news, match reports & information. If you haven’t visited it yet, please take a look & let us know what you think. We feel that in this day & age, an active, current website is an essential tool in promoting the Southdown A.A. & are determined to give regular, up to date, topical information via the site & have included a “Sales & Wants” page for members to advertise any surplus fishing equipment they wish to dispose of, or to possibly acquire some other tackle item that is no longer available. You can now also join or renew your membership of the Association via the Membership page.

This is where you can help. Please send us YOUR news for our features. Your report could be about a recent fishing trip when you enjoyed a fantastic days sport, it may be about the capture of a club record or specimen fish, your success in a recent competition, or you may want to feature a specific club venue or tackle tip. You can also send us pictures of fish you've caught or photos you've taken of our terrific waters, whatever, it's entirely up to you. Please try & get involved by sending us any items you are happy to share with the wider fishing world, by e-mail to: or to the Secretary at;


Water Maintenance.  Every year we arrange work parties at various venues to carry out maintenance to enable anglers to fish in relative safety & comfort. The work is nothing too strenuous, trimming back the undergrowth, clearing the banks, removing the odd branch or two, weed clearing etc. Every year we ask you the members to help, by giving some of your time, but unfortunately, most seasons, we get very little response, with the usual 6 or 7 members, mainly Committee & match fishermen, doing as much as they can, so it would be nice to see some new faces helping out this year. We meet at the venue on a Sunday morning at about 9 am & spend about 3 or 4 hours working & one does as much or as little as one feels able. You don't have to come to every one, just any that you fancy & the time spent is up to you, even an hour helps. It's generally good fun, there's a good deal of "fishing talk" taking place, it enables you to meet other members & maybe even learn something which will help your fishing in the future. If you want your favourite water to be safe & ready to fish this coming season, please try & help if you can. It’s no good complaining if you favorite swim has become overgrown or filled with weed if you haven’t volunteered to help. The more members that turn out the more can be achieved. The dates arranged so far for this year are: 12 April at Marle Green, 26 April at Curls Farm, 10 May at Boreham Street & 24 May at Pevensey Haven. All are Sundays & if you can help, please contact our Water Maintenance Manager, Steve Izzard, telephone 01323 848722, to volunteer your services, or just turn up on the day, armed with suitable tools & clothing.


Padlock Codes.  As usual every year, In order to prevent access to all but current bona fide S.A.A. members, the lock combination will be changed on 1st May on all our waters which are secured by padlock, the new code being shown on the front of the 2015 membership booklet. Disabled members & those authorised to drive down to the water at Curls Farm will be advised of the new code for the track gate by separate communication.

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