Sea angling could become a bigger tourism draw on a 15-mile stretch of the Sussex coast after anglers and a council today (November 7) announced a new fishing festival and a voluntary code of conduct for angling on local beaches.
Earlier in the year Rother District Council talked to local anglers and businesses and decided that a code instead of amendments to byelaws, would be the best way to ensure all beach users could enjoy the sea all-year round.

Councillor Martin Kenward, Rother’s lead councillor for culture, sport and tourism, said it would be one of the first codes in the country produced jointly by a council and local anglers.

It clearly underlined how anglers and the council had worked together which had led to them creating the first Bexhill sea fishing festival.

The nine-day event (September 15 – 23) will include five open competitions for beach and boat anglers including one for angling kayakers, one of the fastest growing water sports in England.
There will also be an open boat competition, a five-day beach competition, a one-day beach competition and a hunt for the best bass caught from the beach.
Stalls on the new park and exhibition space on Bexhill seafront will give demonstrations  of fish preparation and cooking and sell fish dishes.  Individuals and families will be encouraged to try sea angling through coaching clinics.

“Rother and its sea angling community will be seen to be leading the way in good practice and sending the message that the council is angler-friendly,” Councillor Kenward added.
The sea angling code of conduct which will be posted on Rother’s beaches next year will ask anglers to:
*Respect all other beach users’ space and safety
*Fish elsewhere if the beach is crowded or people are swimming
*Use a shock leader, check all around before casting and keep rigs out of reach
*Take all rubbish away including unwanted tackle and bait
*Only take fish to be eaten and carefully place other fish back in the sea
*Take waste from cleaning fish off the beach
*Be considerate to local residents when parking or leaving late at night
For details of the fishing festival contact Steve Hanks at Hook, Line and Sinker, telephone 01424 733211, e-mail>