Club News

News October 2017

Where have all the big perch gone ?

As we still haven’t had the first blast of winter there is still time to target perch.

In the past Decoy, Wildings and even George Cragg pond have produced a number of perch over 2lb but this year they seem to be few and far between. If you have caught a decent stripey please send us your photos.

Once it does get a bit colder we are hoping that winter rains will scoure away some of the weeds that are clogging up the rivers. Then we can get down to some serious pike fishing. Last winter was a quiet time with very few double figure pike reported but we know they are in there and we have plenty of stretches of river for you to try. The Adur at Cemetary wood was looking particularly tempting when we strimmed it recently. This short stretch seems free of the weed that seems to plague the upstream sections.

Cemetery Wood Badgers Wood

The Environment Agency recently electro-fished Badgers Wood and took scale samples to ascertain growth rates. The results have not been received as yet but they were very impressed with the lake. The good news is that they were encouraged by the large numbers of small tench and roach (and perch !) but on the downside it does mean that if we want some of those to grow on to a decent size we should consider thinning them out to avoid the lake being over-run by small stunted fish. This is something we will be looking at next year but in the meantime it is a good sign that the fish we originally stocked are breeding.

The final piles of road planings have now been delivered and the plan is to spread these over the unfinished area of the car park in the near future. Once they have been rolled this will complete the works around the lake and create plenty of parking space for what is becoming one of our more popular waters.

On to more strenuous matters we will be having our annual mega strim at Badgers Wood on Saturday 18 November. Any volunteers would be appreciated and there is the offer of a bacon sandwich and a hot drink to tempt you ! Start time will be around 9 o’clock and if you are able to help please wear suitable clothing including work boots. If you don’t fancy strimming bring a rake or a pair of loppers or secateurs as there are always plenty of jobs to do.


We are meeting with the owner to try and improve the parking and access to the river. It may well be that we will have a work party to assist him and if this is the case we will put details on the website.

100 Club

The winner this month is Mike Webster so if you see him at the AGM the drinks are on him.

We hope to see as many of you as possible on the 20th October at Burgess Hill Football Club.

14 Oct, 2017

Frylands Ponds update October 2017

Thanks to all who have been able to help with the leaf removal and you can see from the photos that the main pond is looking much better following the work we have carried out over the last year or so. Unfortunately due to the narrow nature of the pond surrounds it has not been possible to use a machine so we have had to remove the leaves and fallen branches manually.

Frylands 4

After removing the trees from around the smaller pond it was taken over by duckweed which we had to remove but this is also looking better and a lot of the fallen trees have been taken out of the far bay.

Frylands 5

There is now sufficient depth in the main pond to enable us to move on to the next phase which will be the silt treatment. Following advice we will be applying “siltex” to the main pond. This is very fine chalk and we have it on good authority that it will help break down some of the remaining silt and leaves. It will not completely remove the many years build up of silt but it is an ongoing process with the initial application to be made this Autumn with a follow up next April.

Frylands 6

The margins have been planted up with yellow and purple irises as these are not likely to spread as much as reeds, and we have managed to obtain a number of water lilies (at no cost) which will be going in shortly. If anybody has a garden pond with any available marginal plants please contact Tony Elkins. No Canadian pondweed please as it took years of dragging to remove this from George Cragg pond.

Frylands 7

Following a meeting with the Environment Agency we have decide to drain the small/stock pond so we can remove any fish still in there. The intention is to replace these with pure bred crucian carp for growing on. When we drain it, we should be able to remove more leaf and silt to improve the depth.

The main pond already has a number of small carp and we will add tench and silver fish in the next year or so.

Things are looking good and once it is completed we hope our members will give it a go as it has been neglected and ignored for a number of years.

Frylands 8 11 Oct, 2017

News September 2017

100 Club

A double payout this month with the two winners, Mark Harmsworth (August) and Mick Burkett (September). Just enough to add a few bits to the tackle box for the winter season.


We are aware that there are problems with regard to access but unfortunately the owner will be keeping the gate locked all the while there are livestock in the fields. The stile has been cleared so you no longer have to clamber over the gate and we are also pressing the owner to build a secure parking area just inside the gate.


The owner has somewhat belatedly handed out a do's and dont's sheet to the residents of the campsite and he has also mentioned that he is proposing to repair the causeway during the winter months. As far as we are aware the middle gate is still unlocked so we can still drive down to the lakes. There was a good turnout for the Robin Wallace Memorial Match – thanks to all those who contributed and the club was able to make a donation to Paws and Claws.

Badgers Wood

As part of the ongoing management of the site we have trimmed the hedgerow alongside the track and are taking action to try and eradicate one of the more invasive water plants. There are two clumps of Norfolk reed which are in danger of running across to the central islands and the idea is to remove it completely and replace with a smaller rush or reed.

The Environment Agency have recently electro fished the lake and taken scale samples to check the rate of growth. We are awaiting the official report but the comments that were passed on during the day indicate that apart from a few small tench with damaged mouths the lake holds plenty of fish and they were in good health. The report should be available for the AGM.

Pickwells Crucian

It seems we are a bit reluctant in sending in our catch photos. I have been advised of a 3lb crucian caught at Pickwells which was checked, weighed and photographed so if you have the photo please send in to the website.

And finally.....

It is that time of year again. The highlight of the Mid Sussex Social calendar. Hassocks and District Angling Society AGM to be held at Burgess Hill Football club on Friday 20 October . Refreshments will be provided- Dress code Smart Casual. A night not to be missed so make a note in your diaries..

18 Sep, 2017

News August 2017

As we are in the middle of the Summer break the Committee has not had a meeting this month which means that for those of you who follow the 100 club there is no August draw but rest assured there will be a two draws next month.

The maintenance team have been busy removing trees from Pickwells lower lake. Once again the engineering expertise came to the fore with winches and pulleys involved but at the end of the day we were successful and two swims have been freed up for fishing again. A couple of the team are away at the end of August so if there are any jobs that need doing let us know and we will deal with them in September.

The Beginners day at Badgers Wood was spoilt by the weather but those who came along had a very enjoyable day with everybody catching fish. Full details can be found below.

Work continues at Frylands ponds and we have completed the tree removal phase and are now dealing with the water quality. As has been mentioned previously there is over 40 years accumulation of leaf in the ponds and because of the lack of access we have had to remove the leaves manually using an assortment of rakes. We have had a couple of sessions and must have removed at least a ton of leaves (by hand!!!) so it was good to see that the water levels are rising following the recent rain. The first marginal plants have been put in the far bay and it is starting to come alive at last.

And finally...Is there anybody who can help ?

We are still trying to finish off the car park at Badgers Wood but unfortunately the supply of road scalpings/planings has dried up and those that are available are ridiculously expensive ( £400 per load !). If there are any members who are "in the know" and know of a source at a reasonable price please contact Tony Elkins or send an email to the website for forwarding on to him.

Enjoy the rest of the summer.

18 Aug, 2017

Open day 2017

Although we didn’t have the numbers we were hoping for those who came along to our beginners day had a great time.

It was a proper family day with everybody catching some of the smaller tench.

open day 2017-2

One young guest caught numerous perch and his patience paid off when caught a very nice little crucian carp.

open day 2017-3

His mum managed to land a small tench after losing 3 in the lilies.

open day 2017-4

For some people it was the first time they had been fishing using a rod and line (or a whip) but the fish were very obliging with everybody catching.

open day 2017-5

Badgers Wood fished really well with virtually all of the species in the lake being caught, roach, tench, perch and crucian carp.

open day 2017-6

Many thanks to the organisers of the event and to all who came along to lend a hand and provide refreshments.

06 Aug, 2017

Committee News July 2017

The hot weather is continuing and although it makes for uncomfortable fishing the fish still seem to be feeding so, slap on the sun screen and treat yourself to a day out. We haven’t received many photos recently so don’t be shy about sending them in.

Wildings, Hamsey and Flintstones

We are aware there are difficulties at Wildings with the campers so we are having another word with the owner. It is bad enough that very young children have been seen wandering around the lakes unaccompanied but swimming in the lakes is unacceptable especially when there are anglers present.

We have also spoken with the owner of Hamsey as one of the tenant farmers has put a padlock on the gate. This is because , in the past, the gate had been left open and livestock got out of the field and damaged the crops in the adjoining field. The locked gate means there is limited parking and the only way to get to the river is via a stile or by climbing over the gate. The maintenance team will be clearing the stile so it should be easier in future. The parking issue is with the owner !

Bad news tends to come in threes and you may have read about the incident at Flintstones where one of the dogs ended up with a hook in its mouth. Please do not leave any tackle on the banks and in particular do not leave baited hooks lying around as the dogs at Flintstones have got used to sneaking up on anglers and helping themselves to meat, pellets and any other bait left on the ground. As we said in the last report please do not feed the dogs as this only encourages them to hang around fishermen.


After a narrow escape coming out of Decoy we have cleared the tree line so there is much better visibility when coming out of the entrance. We have an active strimming programme to keep the waters looking tidy but if you see anything that needs clearing, fallen trees etc let the Maintenance team know. Contact details are in the membership book.

Frylands Restoration

Phase 1 is virtually complete with the unwanted trees now cleared. There is a full report on the website complete with up to date photos . We are going back next Tuesday 25 July to try and remove 40 years accumulation of leaves so if you fancy getting muddy come along and lend a hand. Frylands ponds at 9 o’clock on Tuesday 25 July. Anybody who attends will get a free pint !

Burgess Hill fete

We decided to promote the club by having a stall at the Burgess Hill fete on 8 July. Two of our more glamorous committee members manned the stall and it seemed to work as we have had 1 new member and a family membership, all who joined directly as a result of us attending the event. Well done to the chaps who gave up an afternoon on the club’s behalf.

Beginners day 5 August 2017

We will be having a beginners day at Badgers Wood lake on Saturday 5 August so if you know of anybody who would be interested in coming along please contact Nigel Jackson (details in the club book) who is organising the event. All bait and equipment will be provided and refreshments will be available. Full details will be published on the website shortly. Any helpers would be appreciated.

And finally ........ The 100 Club draw for July was won by Nigel Jackson.

18 Jul, 2017

Frylands Restoration July 2017

Please can you help ?

As you may recall from last month we have been trying to clear the remaining fallen trees from the far bay of the main lake. It was virtually unfishable with very little depth of water.

Remaining trees

We have finally managed to clear the overhanging trees but this was not without problems as some had rooted themselves into the bottom of the pond and despite the best efforts of the three strongmen of the maintenance team we couldn’t shift one particularly stubborn tree. Fortunately the owner of Frylands managed to winch it out. As you can see it has now gone !

Trees cleared

Good news - the trees have been cleared , Bad news - the water levels are extremely low after the recent hot spell and there is 40 years accumulation of leaves in the lake which need to be removed. It is especially bad in the bay we have just cleared.

Leaves removed

We have made a start as most of the leaf has built up in the margins but we need to clear a lot more. Unless a club member has a portable dredger or a giant sludge hoover it seems we will have to remove the leaves by hand using long handled rakes etc.

This is where we need your help, please.

We are going back on Tuesday 25 July with rakes and forks to drag as much of the old leaf out of the ponds as we can. We will be starting at 9 o’clock so if you can spare a couple of hours please come along, bring a decent rake, fork or pitchfork plus old clothing as it is a bit messy. If you need any more information please call Tony Elkins on 01273 843726.

Look forward to seeing you on the 25th.

12 Jul, 2017

June 2017 News - The Glorious 16th

It is only a week or so until we can get back to the rivers and if you were not aware we have a few hidden gems available to our members. They may be small but they are full of fish so why not give them a go, after the 16th of June, of course. Locally we have 5 stretches of the upper Adur.


Upper Hookers news6-17-1

There are 7 purpose built swims from the weir at the top end of the stretch to the bridge over the road.


This is the view from the Bridge swim which is home to some decent sized chub and bream.


Cemetary Wood

The field approaching the river is now flat after being ploughed last winter and we have strimmed paths through the field alongside the river. As the river banks are both flat and solid we managed to create 12 swims. This is the view looking downstream from the weir.


Having visited this stretch very recently to take these photos I was amazed at the number of carp sunning themselves on the surface.



Flintstones River

Following clearance of the woodland there is a clear path to the river but it is better suited to the angler who prefers to travel light.


Parking can be a bit limited and with this in mind we have kept the number of fishing spots down to 5 swims. However it is well worth a visit in view of the quality of the fishing. The weir pool in particular holds just about every species of river fish.



Wineham Bridge up and down stream

For those of you who prefer wild fishing, this stretch has been left in its natural state to enable you to creep amongst the reeds and drop a bait on an unsuspecting chub or river carp. We have however cleared the path to the upstream section.



Arun at Pulborough

For those of you prepared to go a bit further afield we also have we also have a stunning stretch of the Arun at Pulborough



Ouse at Hamsey

A couple of miles of the river Ouse at Hamsey


Full details of locations, parking etc are available from the Waters section of the website. Good luck and if you are successful on the rivers don’t forget to send in the photos for the Gallery.

On more mundane matters, the June 100 Club draw was won by Tony Smith.

10 Jun, 2017

Frylands Ponds May 2017

Having cleared the bulk of the fallen trees from the main pond it was time to sort out the trees and reeds in the smaller pond. As you can it was very overgrown and as it has been neglected for a number of years was in danger of being taken over by the encroaching reeds.

Frylands pond 1

After a couple of sessions by the maintenance team and with help from the owner we have cleared the area along the causeway and part of the far bank and removed a lot of the reeds. It really is the same pond !

Frylands pond 2

A big improvement and although very shallow the plan is to use this as a stock pond and providing the water quality and depth are suitable it will be used initially to hold the existing small carp.

Looking ahead we will be able to use the stock pond to transfer any surplus fish from the main pond and prevent it from being overrun by huge numbers of stunted fish.

We still have a bit of work to do in the main pond, namely the clearing of the fallen trees from the far end. Not a job for the faint hearted as it is virtually impossible to walk out into the pond due to the considerable amount of silt. This is the problem we face with more wood in the water than out.

Frylands pond 3

We still have a major problem with the amount of silt in both ponds so once the trees have been removed we will check water quality and depth in both ponds . Rather than dredge the ponds the plan is to reduce the silt by treating with “Siltex” but this is a job for the Autumn. In the meantime we will keep you posted of developments.

29 May, 2017

News May 2017

Catch updates

It is good to see the photos coming in with tench being the main subject at the moment. In addition to our established Tench waters at Pickwells and George Cragg the tench in Badgers Wood are coming on in size with at least 2 fish of 3½lb having been caught in the last week or so. We have had a verbal report of a 12 inch barbel but no witnesses so no record yet.

Lots of carp being caught at Decoy and Wildings but no pictures of the big ones. It is also worth giving Masons a go but a word of warning. The wild carp do not succumb without a fight so make sure your tackle is up to it. You may also catch a bonus koi or goldfish as there were some exotic things swimming around last time I was there. There are plenty of roach and rudd but as mentioned watch out for the wild carp as they seem are just as partial to a small piece of bread punch as the rudd.

Please keep sending in the photos as it is all good publicity for the club. The website is available to the public and your picture might be the one that persuades somebody to join.

Frylands Ponds

During our work at the ponds we have noticed evidence of a few carp in the main pond. In order to get a better idea of any remaining fish stocks a preliminary survey has been carried out. Actually I went up there last Saturday with a loaf of bread to see what I could catch. Not as easy as it sounds as they were reluctant to come out from the cover of the fallen trees which we are currently removing but I did manage to catch a couple of very small carp off the surface. They were in perfect condition apart from the fact that I didn’t see or catch anything that weighed more than 2 to 3lb.

Once the last few fallen trees have been pulled out of the ponds there will be an update with more pictures showing what we have done to date.


A considerable amount of work has been carried out by the maintenance team to improve the swims on the far side but unfortunately the lack of safe access means that we have advised our members not to fish from the swims on the car park side. We have made our concerns known and will be meeting with a representative of the owner to see if they are prepared to improve access.

100 Club

May’s draw was won by John Grimes. Many congrats and there is still time to join. The more of us who are in the club the bigger the prize !

15 May, 2017

News April 2017

Spring Into Fishing

A big thank you to everybody involved in setting up and helping out at the event. There was a steady trickle of participants (victims) and although the weather wasn’t kind most of those taking part managed to catch a fish or two. Our fears of major traffic jams because of over subscription were avoided but this did enable our coaches to devote more time to those who attended and we know of at least 3 new members who have joined the club following the event. Although this event was “organised” by the Angling Trust we now have sufficient equipment to hold an event of our own later this year. If you are interested in helping out we will publish full details nearer the time.

Membership renewals

As you know the new membership year starts from 1 April and although you can renew up until 30 April you can only fish the club waters if you are a member. If you join after 30 April you can only do so as a new member and will have to pay the joining fee. So the answer is, get your renewal off before the end of the month.

Frylands Ponds

The Frylands restoration is continuing and rather than go into great detail there are regular updates on the website. The unwanted trees have been removed from the main pond and it already looks bigger. Having tried to walk out to a sunken tree in my waders there is a major silt problem (mainly leaves) but we have a plan! We will keep you posted with regular monthly updates.

What goes around comes around

Conflicting fortunes for one of our members, John Sachs. Fishing at Pickwells lower pond he managed to catch a stunning 5lb 2oz tench but unfortunately there was nobody to witness the fish as there were no other anglers present. On the plus side, John has recently joined the 100 Club and in his very first participating draw he won!

100 Club

This is now open to new members and it is simple enough to join via the website. There is a monthly draw with a cash prize to the winner and for those of you who follow the 100 Club the March draw was won by Joe Price. As mentioned above congratulations to John Sachs our April winner.

18 Apr, 2017

Frylands Restoration April 2017

While Plumpton are off on their Easter break, our maintenance team with the help of the owner, made a start on the far bank of the main pond. The first step was to cut down all the Willow hanging over and into the pond.

Willow to remove

Although it is a great fish habitat it didn’t give you much chance if you hooked one of the small carp in the pond. We had a bit of a problem as some of the willow was bigger than we realised. Although the owner had a winch attached to his 4 wheel drive buggy, at one stage it was in danger of being lifted off the ground. Fortunately there is a bit of weight in the maintenance team. We managed to pull one of the trees out by sitting a couple of us on the bonnet to keep the wheels on the ground.

Pulley system

The largest tree needed a bit of innovation from the engineering team. With the aid of pulleys and by roping the buggy to a tree, we were able to raise enough of the tree out of the water so we could get to it with the chainsaw.

As you can see from the picture below, having cut back and burnt the offending trees it has opened up the far side of the pond. It was a bigger job than we thought so thanks to all who lent a hand.

What a transformation!

Trees cleared

Although the pond looks a bit bare at the moment the long term aim is to plant it up with aquatic plants including lilies, iris and other marginals to create a suitable habitat. The next job is to remove the sunken branches in the far bay, a job we have earmarked for the Plumpton College students when they are next available.

12 Apr, 2017