Over the intervening years, participation in the sport of game fishing has waxed and waned in Coffs Harbour, characterised in the last couple of years by a lot more waning than waxing. The situation in 2018 is that both the original CHGFC and the SIGFC have experienced a creeping decline in active membership, and decreasing participation in game fishing activity to the point where both clubs have had ongoing difficulty maintaining a critical mass of anglers and competition participation, even to the point of being unable to field a quorum on regular game fishing days - something that was unheard of a decade ago.
Social activities have become more or less non-existent, and the two game fishing tournaments - the CHGFC's Hot Current Tournament, and the SIGFC's Heavy Tackle Challenge Tournament - are in trouble, having ceased to exist in the case of the former, or struggling to attract sufficient angler numbers and sponsors in the case of the latter.
The two club experiment has taken the better part of eight years to prove to be unviable in Coffs Harbour, and the writing is on the wall. The causes are many, including recent uncharacteristicly poor game fishing conditions, sub-optimal club management and administration, hubris, limited game fishing anglers in the area, a dearth of sponsorship, and plain old lack of interest.
So it was only a matter of time before amalgamation/merger of the two existing clubs became the 800lb gorilla in the corner of the room.
The President of the CHGFC recently wrote to the SIGFC proposing an amalgamation of the two clubs, and followed that up after some discussions with the SIGFC's President with a letter reproduced below laying out some of the essential elements that would have to be agreed upon for any merger to take place.
The letter from President Rob Lang is well thought out and objective. It discusses the fundamental differences between the two clubs' operations and rules, and leaves no ambiguity when it comes to the basic requirements for any merger to take place. I commend it to all Coffs Coast anglers, and specifically, members of the SIGFC, who should read this carefully, discuss what they see as the pros and cons of the issue, and discuss any matters stemming from this both here in this open forum, and at the Marlin Bar with other members and anglers.
No member should walk into the upcoming SIGFC special general meeting without having attended one of the information evenings (17th and 21st of February) being held by the SIGFC, or without reading Rob Lang's letter below.
This blog will remain active on this website until after the matter has been resolved at the SIGFC's upcoming special general meeting.