If you have a yen to fish offshore, you enjoy some social camaraderie, a bit of banter, and you’re a current and financial member of Club Forster, Dennis Cheetham, President of the Club Forster BlueWater Fishing Club, explains that he may just have the solution for you …
What’s your position with Club Forster Bluewater Fishing Club?
I am currently the President of the Club Forster Bluewater Fishing Club and have been since January 2014.
When and why did you first join the club?
I joined the Fishing Club in 2005. My reasons for joining were to meet more people in the Forster area and to learn about offshore fishing.
Share some of the club’s history with our readers. The club has been established for over 30 years.
Our oldest member is 92.
We currently have three Life Members, Peter Smith, John and Rose Newland.
Most of our members are from around Forster/Tuncurry, with some from Newcastle, Maitland and Port Stephens.
Our current male champion is Martyn Barry and female champion is Dale Hall.
What are the aims of the club?
The aims of the club are: • Promote deep sea fishing; • Promote safety at sea; • Promote friendship between all members and their partners.Our goal is to sign up as many new members as possible and have a strong fishing club that Club Forster and the whole Forster community is proud of. The more members, the stronger the club.
Describe your current membership requirements … Is membership open to any age, and is any skill/experience and access to own fishing equipment required?
The only requirement is that you are a current and financial member of Club Forster. Having a good sense of humour and an attitude to having fun and socialising would be an advantage.
We currently have 93 members: 71 male and 22 female. Membership is open to all ages, male and female.
We do not currently have any junior members. It is preferred, but not essential, that new members have a boat, tackle, and all safety equipment suitable for fishing offshore.The cost to join our club is $10, with a yearly renewal fee of $5. A fee of $5 is payable each month when members go fishing or attend our monthly luncheon.
When and where do club members generally meet?
Quite a few of our members meet for an informal social gathering at our major sponsor, Club Forster, on Friday nights at 5-6pm and on Sunday’s at 4-5pm, when our Fishing Club conducts the weekly raffle on behalf of Club Forster. We also have monthly luncheons at Club Forster after fishing.
What outings/activities do club members generally take part in?
We fish offshore at Forster on the weekend of the third Sunday of each month. Fishing times are 6am Saturday to midday Sunday. The weigh-in is conducted near the Forster Boat Ramp at midday on the Sunday. Points are allocated for the number of fish caught by individual members and the overall weight. There are also prizes for the heaviest of various species of fish caught.
A luncheon and monthly prize presentation is held at Club Forster “242ate Bistro” at 2:30pm on the Sunday.
We conduct an annual competition between our Club and Newcastle Bluewater Fishing Club every Easter. We fish on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday and have a Presentation and Luncheon on the Sunday. This competition has been running for 28 years, with the trophy kindly donated by one of Newcastle Fishing Club’s past secretaries, Rowley Kay, in 1987. Forster has won the shield 7 times and Newcastle 13, with a few competitions washed out.
Our Annual General Meeting is held in early August each year, where office bearers are elected and we present our yearly prizes and trophies for the most points for fishing and the largest of some species caught during the year.
A very good luncheon, subsidised by the Fishing Club, is held at Club Forster on that day.
The Fishing Club has an annual Christmas party at Club Forster each year in December, where approximately 70 members and partners attend. This is also subsidised by the Fishing Club.
As our club is one of 17 intra clubs under the control of Club Forster, our committee meets every month to discuss past fishing outings and present individual reports of our club’s progress and financial details. All members are welcome to attend these monthly meetings.
We all love a great fishing yarn … share a story about “ the one that got away “ or perhaps one that didn’t get away…
Both our current club champions, Martyn Barry and Dale Hall, were involved in separate incidents in the past year, and I also became a bit disorientated one day.
Martyn went out fishing and caught a few fish, but during fishing he got a large hook stuck in his finger; he returned to Forster Harbour and went to a doctor to get it removed.
The hook was removed quite quickly, with a bit of pain.
Martyn later attended the weigh-in, where he subsequently won the monthly prize for the most fish points. Having only fished for a couple of hours, it was a great achievement.
Dale Hall went out fishing with her husband, Wayne, and upon returning to Forster Harbour noticed a small boat in the channel needing assistance by way of a tow. Wayne asked Dale to tie the tow rope on to their boat while he took the controls to tow the other boat to safer waters.
As Wayne was moving both boats, Dale’s third finger became caught around the tow rope and tore part of her finger off; it is now at the bottom of the channel. Her finger is now 2 cm shorter.
I was out fishing with Peter Rayner and was drifting for Flathead and catching a few. After a couple of hours, we both realised that we had drifted a fair way north and were not sure where we were.
We headed into shore, but soon realised we were not at Forster, but just off Hallidays Point. It took a bit of time for us to return to Forster Harbour, regularly checking the fuel gauge on the way, hoping we had enough. We returned safely to fish again.
Where can readers find out more info about the club if they’re interested in joining?
Our Fishing Club welcomes all new members, and the contact details are. Dennis Cheetham – President, Club Forster Bluewater Fishing Club. Mobile: 0412 010 925; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Applications to join our club are also available at Club Forster.
This article was from issue 101 of Manning-Great Lakes Focus