WHATSOC? USAS!

Ever wanted to catch a really big fish? Then the University of Southampton’s Angling Society (USAS) is for you.  We caught up with the President, Paul Chambers, to get the […]


Ever wanted to catch a really big fish? Then the University of Southampton’s Angling Society (USAS) is for you.  We caught up with the President, Paul Chambers, to get the inside scoop on angling, shopping trolleys and what this new society has to offer.

Can you start by telling us a bit about USAS?

We opened the angling (rod and line fishing) society earlier this year. We’re keeping our audience as general as possible, and aim to cater for anglers of all experience levels in all manners of angling, from boat fishing in the sea to fly fishing for trout and salmon in the British countryside.  Being in Southampton we are surrounded by good fishing, and getting people out and away from the stress of their studies for a day to enjoy our age-old hobby is very rewarding.

Why did you decide to set up the society?

I am a passionate angler, but found there were extra obstacles faced as a student angler. I started the Facebook group to meet people and share costs, which received heaps of support.  The University of Southampton needed an angling society, and I’d say starting it is the best thing I’ve done whilst studying here.

Do you have many female members?

Yes. Unfortunately it’s not 50/50 right now, but I would love for it to be!

Proof of at least one female member, Chloe, holding her first trout.

Proof of at least one female member, Chloe, holding her first trout.

What’s the biggest fish you’ve caught in Southampton?

I think a 5lb Pike is my best in Southampton, not huge but I’m sure that will change in the coming months.

Can you describe a typical USAS trip for us?

We like to try as many new environments as possible.  Our last was on the River Itchen, but our next plan is charter boat fishing in the Solent. It’s best to check the USAS Facebook page for latest information.

Alex Maydew, USAS Treasurer, holding a chub by the River Itchen

Alex Maydew, USAS Treasurer, holding a chub by the River Itchen

What’s the strangest thing that you, or another member, has ever caught? Any other funny events?

I caught a shopping trolley once, it took me an hour to haul it in; turns out the brakes were on!  Bad jokes aside, once you know the species, ‘strange’ fish are just ugly fish.  I’d say most eels are pretty horrid.

When I imagine angling, I think of Extreme Fishing with Robson Green.  Does USAS have any plans to go angling abroad?

It’s up to the members.  Our trips are based on what they want and are capable of, but there are no current plans for society “Extreme Fishing” style overseas adventures.

Paul Chambers, President of USAS, and perhaps the next Robson Green, holding a monster of a fish off the coast of Bermuda.

Paul Chambers, President of USAS, and perhaps the next Robson Green, holding a monster of a fish off the coast of Bermuda.

Is experience required to join USAS?

Not at all! First time anglers are very welcome, and we have recently received kit funding so all you really need to do is show up with an open mind.

And finally, Soton Tab or Wessex Scene?

Why, Soton Tab of course!

If you’re interested in finding out more about USAS, join their Facebook group here.