RNRMAA Veterans Sea Angling Club by Trevor Sutch
Fishing hit the Covid buffers for the newly formed Royal Navy and Royal Marines Veterans Sea Angling Club at the start of 2020. However, that didn’t halt the efforts of Club Administrator Trevor Sutch from Fareham, Hampshire, who recruited 36 comrades during the year, some 25 years after leaving the service himself.
Huge advances in social media helped the Club locate sailors through Facebook and WhatsApp, many now retired again after second careers, interested in returning to sea angling as a form of exercise and recreation which they so enjoyed during there senior service days.
With get together meetings banned under Tier and Lock-down 1 and 2, a Most Species Competition was introduced from August until December which allowed members to fish and register catches when exercising locally, thus improving the morale and the mental state of Veterans. 23 rose to the challenge and caught a total of 244 fish in that period, represented by 31 different species from the boat and shore.
154 were landed whilst boat fishing by 17 different Veterans, and 90 from the shore by 16 Veterans. 18 of those were specimen fish, 14 from the boat and 4 from the shore and more importantly all fish were returned alive to the water as we promote a catch a release policy, whereby nothing is retained unless intended for the table.
LT CDR Steve Clements RN from Weymouth won the Boat Most Species Competition with 18 different species. (Black Bream, Bull Huss (13lb 4oz, 6.010kg at 110.4%), Conger, Dogfish, Red Gurnard (2lb 1oz, 0.935gram at 165.0%), Tub Gurnard, Mackerel, Plaice, Pollack, Pouting, Blonde Ray, Thornback Ray, Scad, Tope, Turbot, Whiting, Ballan Wrasse and Cuckoo Wrasse).
CPO Pete Hegg from Portland won the Shore Most Species Competition with 25 different species. (Bass, Black Bream, Gilthead Bream, Bull Huss, Cod, Conger Eel, Dogfish, (2lb 8oz 12dms, 1.155kg at 101.8%), Garfish, Grey Gurnard, Red Gurnard, Tub Gurnard, Mackerel, Red Mullet, Pollack, Plaice, Pollack, Pouting, 3 Bearded Rockling, Scad, Shore Rockling, Smoothhound, Sole, Trigger Fish, Whiting, Ballan Wrasse). Both winners won £100 cash prizes.
The Clubs Best Specimen Fish was a Spurdog of 23lb 8ozs, 10.659kg at 196% caught by WO1 Tom Worthy from Plymouth, which was also the 2nd best Boat Specimen fish caught in the country during 2020. The event was hailed a tremendous success by all members and put the Club into the Top 20 Angling Trust Affiliated Clubs in the country in our first year. Recruitment and the Most Species Competitions continue in 2021.
The Club continues to seek sponsorship and financial help to improve the morale and mental state of Veterans through recreational sea angling and ask anyone wishing to offer support to contact the Club Administrator Trevor Sutch on 07786-962540 or via email at