On 12 March 2005, members converged upon Oxstalls Indoor Tennis Centre, Gloucester to attend the 32nd Annual General Meeting of BASS. Unfortunately bad weather forced many to change their plans, but those who managed to brave the conditions, had a very enjoyable day out.

As has become customary on these occasions, the formal proceedings were kept to a minimum, allowing members more time to visit the trade stands, listen to some very interesting lectures, meet up with old friends and enjoy the ‘craic’.

image:photo of Veals Mail Order staff preparig their stand at the AGM
[photo – Veals Mail Order staff prepare their stand at the AGMphoto courtesy John Morgan]

John Leballeur, chairman of the Society and the BASS Restoration Project, as well as coordinator for the BASS tagging project, gave a very detailed report on the tagging program over the years. He described how the work of the BASS tagging teams has produced some very interesting results and has enabled the fishery scientists to obtain a better understanding of the European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax).

John also took the opportunity to thank Malcolm Brindle, who has stepped down from the committee as fish recorder and valued committee member, after many years of sterling service to the Society.

Tribute was paid to Peter Macconnell, who has decided to take a well deserved break from the committee, handing over the editorship of the BASS magazine to Steve Binckes. Peter has worked tirelessly for BASS for the last 7 years. The last four as editor and the previous three as BASS Treasurer. We hope he enjoys a rest, but look forward to his return to ‘active’ duty in the future, once his batteries have been re-charged and he has caught a few bass.

Malcolm Brindle’s lectures at the AGM are something of a legend and this year was no exception. Malcolm amused the members with one of his unique lectures on striped bass fishing in the States. It would appear that Malcolm, as well as being a striped bass fisherman of note, also has hidden depths as a Karaoke star! (It is reported that our American friends are calling for his return)

Steve Binckes showed some excellent photographs of his fly fishing for bass trips in both the UK and USA. Steve, together with Jamie Griffiths spent time demonstrating their superb fly tying skills, showing how easy it is to tie saltwater flies. Well they made it look easy!

One of the traditions of BASS AGMs is a talk by Mike Ladle, BASS veteran, film maker and well known angling writer. This year Mike had teamed up with Steve Pitts, his friend, film making colleague and a highly regarded BASS member. Both gave an interesting account of their recent fishing experiences in Belize. One of their ‘target’ fish was the elusive permit, which Mike managed to catch on bait, after Steve had spent many hours unsuccessfully with a fly. Better luck next time Steve, still it is an excuse to return!

Thanks must go to those members of the committee, who organised the AGM, not forgetting the team from Veals Mail Order, David Miller, who brought along a selection of his bass prints, Richard Storer of Oceanflies and Geoff Gonella of Anglers Bookcase who all gave up their time to provide the trade stands.

Another successful and enjoyable AGM.