Another new season has arrived and i would like to extend a warm welcome from the directors, officers, committee members and bailiffs of the association to this seasons members. If you are a new member, we sincerely hope you the fishing at our venues and hope to see your name on the members register for many years to come. If you are a renewing member, welcome back.
Without doubt the last year or so has been one of the most extraordinary periods in British history since the end of world war 2!
When Covid-19 pandemic struck in March 2020 we had little idea how events would unfold and what a devastating impact the virus would have on everyone. However as time passed it became clear that our lives needed to be re-assessed. The majority of adults had to stay at home, whether working, furloughed or unable to work, our lifestyles would change dramatically. We, as anglers were extremely fortunate that we had the support and guidance of the Angling Trust to make a unified and structured representation to the Government to allow anglers to continue fishing. I’m absolutely sure that without them angling would have been banned under the governments new regulations. The Angling Trust deserves a massive pat on the back from all angling associations and anglers. Very well done A.T. you’ve helped prevent anglers up and down the country from going stir crazy.
As well as the covid pandemic we’ve experienced a summer drought, late autumn flooding, and a January/February freeze up. Our fishing waters have probably suffered more during the 20/21 season than at any other time since LGCAA’s inception in 1952. Reflecting on this and coupled with the fact that I have been a member of the association for several decades, I realise just how much fishing has changed over the life of the club we now call LGCAA. It’s hard to imagine that the sport we anglers enjoy today bears little to no resemblance to the pastime that angling provided to our founder members. Probably the only constant that has survived over the last seven decades is the fact that the object of the exercise is to catch a fish using a rod and line with a baited hook attached. Our intrepid early members would have more than likely cycled or walked to Poppy Hill (then known as Black Squirrel Lakes) taken a single rod and reel, a pocket full of terminal tackle, some bait and sandwiches. In the majority they would have fished during daylight hours, volunteered for almost every workparty and put away their tackle every March 14th for three months for the closed season.
Times have changed. We have become a more affluent society, we almost all have access to a car, technical improvements to both tackle and baits have advanced year on year and the growing number of commercial fisheries has dramatically increased the anglers chances of success. Even individual monster fish can be specifically targeted if you are lucky enough to obtain membership to one of the many privately owned syndicate waters that operate in almost every corner of the country. You can now at many fisheries park your vehicle behind your swim, setup 3 rods, use your GPS guided bait boat to position your baits where it is impossible to cast, then sped 2 or 3 days self catering in your bivvie waiting for a fish to bite. Progress is hard to measure when so much has changed.
I’m confident that the Association will be fully subscribed again this season and I would like to take this opportunity to ask all members to be respectful of other anglers, comply with the rules printed in the membership book and continue to be aware of and obey any guidelines issued by the government that may be introduced because of the ongoing Covid pandemic
Please remember to close all gates, leave no litter, no alcohol, obey the club rules and current government regulations.
But above all, enjoy your fishing and stay safe.
Paul Dalrymple – Chairman