Mumbles Motor Boat & Fishing Club 
Sorry, but due to changes by the website host we are no longer able to keep this site fully up-to-date.

From Dec 2020 changes will only be made on the new MMBFC website.
Club Members Website

Hooked on Fish - Hooked on Fishing

Tight Lines All Round

   MMBFC Home      Fish and Fishing


2018 No Sea bass for recreational anglers:-
EU recreational fishing restrictions for Sea Bass in 2018 (including fishing from boat and shore)
The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) submitted revised advice for European seabass. 'That it is appropriate that one fish per fisherman per day may be retained in recreational fisheries taking place in October – December 2018'.
This as been adopted by the EU witn an amendment to the regulation.

a) from 1 January 2018 to 30 September 2018, only catch-and-release fishing for European seabass shall be allowed. During that period, it shall be prohibited to retain on board, relocate, tranship or land European seabass caught in that area;

b) from 1 October to 31 December 2018, not more than one specimen of European seabass may be retained per fisherman per day

Not yet seen the approval from Welsh Govermant Fisheries


In ICES areas VIIj and VIIk from 1st January to 31st December
Catch and Release only. From 1 January to 31 December
Marine Conservation Survey
Wed 12th July, cetacean survey, Gower- sw of Lundy: One whale, almost certainly Minke, twice seen briefly, in 50 minutes of waiting, but not interested in coming close enough to be identified; widespread groups of Common dolphin (166 in total, including two close to the Mixon, a small pod off Paviland, and, offshore, several small pods of adults with (very) young calves; Harbour porpoise were elusive but a smashing adult and calf within 30m of Swansea breakwater!
Rob Colley
Just a formal “many thanks” to skipper John Elvins, crew Richie & Vic lilygreen, for today’s (19 June 2017) boat trip. It was a really good day, &, if you can put up with us again, we look forward to finding the Minke whale.
We logged 239 Common dolphin (or, by Vic’s count: 6 dolphins, each seen 40 times!); 2 unidentified dolphin (probably Risso’s dolphin); 6 Harbour porpoise; 2 Grey seals; 820++ Manx shearwater; 4 Storm petrel; 20+ Gannets; !00+ Guillemots; 6 Razorbill; 1 Puffin; 3 Common scoter; 2 Sandwich terns; 3 Red admiral butterflies; lots of bacon butties.
Rob Colley

Photo by Alan Parfitt

 MMBFC Recreational Fishing Code of Practice
How we fish will have an effect on the future of Bristol Channel recreational fishing. Every member needs to take responsibility for helping to conserve fish stocks. The aim of our fishing is to catch a feed for oneself and family and, for a variety of personal reasons, to enjoy the experience along the way.
Please help keep the coast and seas clean by collecting any line or tackle you find and dispose  of it in a safe way, use marine tackle waste bins if available. 

Our evolving code of practice for recreational fishing aims to minimise the amount of snagged lines, lost tackle, fishing weights and monofilament line on beaches, ledges, rocky outcrops, sea beds and help to sustain the fish stock. To this end our members are encouraged to:

  • Catch fish for themselves and family, not for sale or financial gain.

  • Help conserve fish breeding stocks by returning excess and under-size fish alive to the water.

  • Take old fishing line, plastic bags and other rubbish to a bin for proper disposal.

  • Take care to avoid environmental damage.

Littering has a terrible impact on wildlife and habitats -  crabs can be tethered to the sea floor and others tangled by line and weights which couldd more than 500 years to breakdown.
To minimise lost tackle try to:
  • use 25-30lb breaking strain line all the way through when bottom fishing to feathering/spinning to allow the tackle to pull free.
  • use hooks that will straighten and biodegradable lie.
  • use extra long wire grip weights when bottom fishing and cast in excess of 50m to find sandy bottom.
  • reel in faster if you feel bottom or a snag and always increase your reeling speed as youget closer to shore.
  • fish in high water tides to minimise snags
  • use light, 2-3oz weights when spinning or feathering and avoid grip weights.
This practice should ensure you will lose less tackle and be more aware of taking bait and litter home - leaving Gower and its marine life free from the fear of entanglement.
MMBFC Conservation Policy
Commercial fishermen have a living to make by selling their catch. Recreational anglers do not, and that is what our conservation policy is all about. What our catch and release (recycle fish) policy is about is encouraging member anglers to return as many fish as possible back to the water alive and demonstrate that we are all responsible people who just want to go fishing. As a club we are pleased to make a statement that whilst our members might take fish home to eat and share with their family and friends, they don't kill all the fish they catch. We get pleasure by luring fish to our bait and from the 'fight' to bring the fish to the surface, but it's letting the fish swim back alive that gives us the biggest pleasure.

If we want to continue to enjoy this excellent sport then we must be prepared to adopt a responsible attitude to fish conservation. The days when it was common to catch 100's of fish are long gone and due in no short measure to excessive commercial fishing. Our policy of 'responsible take' means that when we have caught enough fish to satisfy our immediate needs then the rest go back alive. We do not justify the cost of our fishing trips by trying to fill the freezer. We are sport anglers and we want to be able to enjoy many more successful fishing trips, dead fish do not breed. Any fish we keep are for our own consumption only, it is illegal to sell any fish that have been caught from any private boat or any charter boat that dose not have a commercial fishing licence.

Minimum Size
By practising 'Catch & Release' we are assured of a great feeling seeing fish swimming away when we had the power of life or death over them and chosen to give them life. Our minimum fish take size and bag size policy ensures there will always be fish for our sport tomorrow.It will also help not to keep a fish during its breeding/spawning season.

Bag size: The advised number of fish per angler per day of any single species or a combination of species is 3 fish. Unless the species is protected by conservation regulations.

Minimum Landing Size (MLS)
Minimum landing sizes are used all over the world and are just one of a number of tools used to manage fish stocks. This was an easy concept to understand and favoured by recreational anglers with an interest in conservation and sustainable management of fish stock.  Unfortunately, the EU ban on discards now means the EU MLS can no longer apply and replace by Conservation References Sizes (MCRS).  The current MLS set by the EU only apply to motorised vessels holding a commercial fishing license and not to recreational catches. However, a number of countries apply the EU MLSs to both commercial as well as recreational fisheries. Some countries have MLSs for recreational fishing above the EU MLSs while commercial fisheries follow the EU MLSs, usually with regard to bass fisheries.
MMBFC strongly recommends applying a voluntary MLS which exceeds the EU's and allow all fish to retained the chance to have  bred at least once.
The Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities  (IFCA) have considerable responsibilities for managing fish stocks out to 6 miles from shore.  While the IFCAs still have to adhere to the rules laid down by the EU Common Fisheries Policy they are able, through byelaws, to set MLSs that exceed the EU's and apply to all fish retained - including those caught by recreational anglers.
Fish Recording Schemes
Warming seas, and human activities are all affecting our marine environment. Records of marine life are needed to inform decision-makers, to track changes, to find out why things are changing and, let's not forget, because recording is fun! It is widely recognised that recreational sea anglers have a wealth of invaluable local knowledge and information with regard species populations and distribution. As part of the Welsh Fishing Strategy we are building a working relationship with the Welsh Assembly Government and its fisheries units in order to build a better understanding of species around our part of the Welsh coastline. We are involved with a number of monitoring programmes that are in place and being developed to gain a better understanding on the population of fish species around Swansea and Gower.
Evidence and knowledge-based management:
MMBFC believes Fisheries and conservation management should be evidence-based rather than advocacy-led.  Flexible and adaptive management will only be possible with a well-informed understanding of the marine environment and the ways in which we interact with it.  The MMBFC stands ready to play an active role in projects concerned with research and monitoring designed to provide the necessary data sustainable management.
(Please see our conservation sub-pages for more information on recording schemes)

Bangor University

The Fisheries & Conservation Science Group is based in Menai Bridge, Anglesey. With the collaboration of the fishing industry, research institutes and government the group is working to gather scientific evidence to ensure the future of fisheries in the UK and abroad.
Participating in ensuring the future of sea bass

European Fishery Fund / Bangor University Fish Stock

This is a new opportunity to participate in the live conservation of our local fish stock

This project aims to describe sustainability of fishing in Wales.  It is supported by MMBFC and the above web link will provide all the details.  Members can get involved by supporting the surveys, to ensure the research provides sound information for future management of fish stocks, in particular sea bass.
Please contact our Trevor Mellard, with any questions, comments, fishing records and suggestions and he'll feed them into Giulia Cambie the Club's link person at Bangor University.

The aim of the project is to generate information on the distribution of the fishing activities from boats fishing off the Welsh coast and sea anglers from the shore.  It would be most helpful if members could pass on information on fish catches from personal and Club catch records/log books.  This information would provide valuable indicators on the state of the fish stock over a number of past,present and future years.  One particular focus is on sea bass angling activity.  New technology will be used to develop data collection in out points so that clubs and individuals can enter relevant data and in so doing make a contribution to future marine policy development.  It is hoped to develop individual kits for biological data collection, a web page for real-time data collection and applications for smart phones.

You can help by getting involved and sharing information about your usual fishing grounds (past and present), your perception about the trend in the catch and abundence of the species, the location of key areas for the species and the economic costs of the activity.  If you catch sea bass for personal consumption, you can give some biological samples of fins, guts, gonads, scales and information on length and weight by area.

You can help if you have time related data collected over a number of years about your fish catches, the length and weight of sea bass caught, your fishing effort etc., by sharing this essential information. Analysis of this information will help to understand the changes in catches, abundence and in the size of the specimens caught over time.

You can help by actively contributing to the improvement of the sea bass in Wales.  So please play your part in ensuring bigger bass for future generations in Wales.
Due to the socio-economic importance of both commercial and recreational fisheries, inshore fishers and sport anglers represent important stakeholders that need to be taken into account to achieve a sustainable exploitation of the stock. Moreover the deep knowledge they have on the sea bass ecology and distribution is an added value that can help scientists to gain a more comprehensive picture on the current state of the species in Welsh waters. For all these reasons we plan to strongly involve the inshore fishers and the sport anglers in generating valuable information on biological and ecological aspects of the species, as well as in providing indicators on the current state of the stock. In the future the detailed information will significantly contribute to improving management initiatives for a sustainable use of this resource.


The minimum landing size (MLS) of 36cm was introduced in 1990 to protect the stock, along with a range of other measures. Recreational anglers have since them been campaigning to increase the MLS for bass to at least 45cm. This is because female bass do not breed until they are at least 40-46cm and the MLS to 45-46cm will help ensure that more females can breed before they are caught. However, such a change in the legal MLS would have economic implications for some commercial fishermen.  Negotiations on the introduction of technical measures to preserve bass fish stocks have been ongoing in the EC since 2012 and there is now, October 2014, consensus amongst interested Member States to significantly reduce targeting of bass across all sectors exploiting stock. Rather than MLS they are considering the introduction of Total Allowable Catch (TAC and input controls aimed at protecting juvenile fish, alongside entry limits into the offshore fishery.
So it is up to recreational anglers and clubs to have their own MLS  of around 46cm for female bass.
As recreational sea anglers we are also co-operating with the small-trawler inshore commercial fishermen to work for the common cause in saving the bass stocks of the Bristol Channel.
Some three years ago dedicated bass anglers, both boat and shore, came together to voice their concerns over large inshore trawlers and their effect on the Bristol Channel, especially within the six-mile limit.
Approximately four vessels held grandfather historic rights as 15-metre-long vessels which allowed them to trawl almost up to the high water mark. For many years there has been a decline in the Bristol Channel of the larger bass, and while it may seem unfair to put the total blame on these trawlers, they must have made a considerable contribution to the reduction of the bass stock, plus other species such as plaice, dabs and rays, which also seem to have declined in stock.
These vessels operated with little or no enforcement as the view of the then South Wales Sea Fisheries Committee was that they were operating quite legally and that there did not seem to be any need for enforcement.
While that was the opinion of some at that time when bass and inshore commercial boats got together because of their concerns about the decline in the number of species, their complaining brought about a very limited amount of enforcement that did result in prosecutions.
Since the lobbying of recreational sea anglers and commercial inshore fishermen, the Welsh Assembly Government responded by issuing a consultation process under the heading "Review of the Exceptions to Regulations Regarding the Maximum Lengths of Fishing Boats in the 0–6 nm zone".
The vision of the Wales Fishery Strategy published in 2008 is to support the development of viable and sustainable fisheries in Wales as an integral part of coherent policies for safeguarding fish stocks and the marine environment.
Part of the regulation in place, to assist with the achievement of that vision, involves the prohibition in certain areas of the 0–6 nm zone of boats that are in excess of certain size limits.
Moody International undertook an MSC assessment report for the Bristol Channel bass trawl fishery, which also took in species such as rays. Their assessment concluded that the fishery was unsustainable.