News February 2021

Winter Chill

With the blast of cold weather and the Covid restrictions it has been a bit of a quiet month. The still waters have been frozen regularly which does at least keep the cormorants at bay and apart from the odd pike the fishing has been very difficult.

Breaking News

We are currently negotiating to add another water to our portfolio in time for the 2021/22 season so watch this space. We cannot give too much away until the paperwork is completed but it will be completely different from anything we have at the moment and will definitely offer a new challenge for our members.


Still on hold for the time being but the jobs are racking up especially at Decoy. We hope to address the leak on the causeway shortly and we are also aware that there have been sightings of a mink by the island so we will deploy the mink trap. We still have a large tree to remove and there are a number of fence posts to replace.

Membership Update

It has been a very difficult time for everybody so thanks to all our members for your continued support over the last year. The online application process opens again on 15 March so we hope to see you all again next season and you will be pleased to note that for the second year in succession we do not propose increasing the membership fee.

Fish Stocking

In view of the weather the transfer of larger bream to Badgers Wood has not been possible but now it is warming up we hope this can be completed soon.

100 Club Winners

Hopefully I will have some actual news next month but to finish we have competed the last two months 100 Club Draw and the winners are:

January 2021 Tony Smith

February 2021 Harry Thistlethwaite

By coincidence both are Club Bailiffs so well done to the pair of you.

17 Feb, 2021

Mandy Bowley RIP

We were very sorry to hear that Mandy Bowley passed away recently and the Club President and Committee would like to pass on our condolences to her husband Ray. Mandy served on the Committee for a number of years and, as a mark of respect, we have reinstated the awarding of the Mandy Bowley Shield in her honour.

29 Jan, 2021

Please take care

Banks are slippery and dangerous

With all the rain, banks on all club waters can be treacherous, especially if you're fishing one of the rivers. A member reports that whilst fishing at Cemetery Wood, he was leaning over the edge of the bank to retrieve a lure that had become snagged when he fell in. He's 6ft 4 inches and was in completely over his head. He managed to climb out but wanted to warn other members to take extra care when fishing.

17 Jan, 2021

News January 2021


Once again the Angling Trust have come up trumps and were able to successfully lobby the Government to allow fishing to continue. As you may have noticed from the website we received mixed messages but the bottom line is that we can still go fishing. There are obviously some restrictions so before you go would you please check the news page on the Angling Trust website for the latest advice. We are in a privileged position as compared to some other outdoor activities so we would ask that you adhere to the guidelines. Unfortunately matches are not currently allowed but hopefully these will return in time for the new season in April.


We would like to pass on our congratulations to Jake Burel for his 27lb 7oz pike caught from Hamsey recently. It can be seen on the club website and we are pleased to confirm this is a new club record. Some good news for a change.


Some basic update of the waters can still be done but we are very restricted as although Fishery Management is allowed the advice keeps using the word “local”. As the maintenance team is based in Hassocks and Burgess Hill (plus one in Wimbledon !!) like anglers, we should not be seen to be flouting the advice so we are only visiting waters close to Burgess Hill. We are aware that there is a fallen tree at Decoy and it is a bit on the large side so a one man and a bow saw will not be enough plus it is not exactly local to this area. Also as it will need somebody in the water to help manoeuvre it we will wait until it has warmed up a bit but, rest assured, it will be cleared as soon as we are able.

That is about it for now and hopefully we will have some news about additional fish in February. In the meantime many thanks for those who left Christmas trees at George Cragg and Badgers Wood. They are now in the water so our new roach will have somewhere to hide from the cormorants.

17 Jan, 2021

100 Club Winners


It has been pointed out that details of the 100 Club have not been posted in the news. The draw is usually carried out at our monthly Committee meetings which have not been possible since September. However we have now completed the outstanding draws and the winners are as follows :

October - Richard Thorpe

November - Neil Harding

December - Keith Huggins

Congratulations to you all!

22 Dec, 2020

News December 2020

Fish Stocking Winter 2020

For varying reasons we have been looking to add fish to the two club owned waters in Hickstead Lane . We lost a dozen mature tench from George Cragg in the summer and it has always been the intention to replace these and also to take the opportunity to add fresh stock to the pond. Whilst 6 inch tench are readily available we were looking for fish in the 2lb region. The good news is that we have managed to obtain 40 to 50 tench of between 1 ½ and 2lb and they have been put into George Cragg.

tench for re-stocking
George Cragg tench

The fish were top quality and as they are only four years old there is every chance they will breed.

In addition as Badgers Wood is maturing it is capable of supporting a higher head of fish so we have taken the opportunity of adding some quality roach. We were hoping that the majority of the fish would be in excess of 1lb but it turned out that most were in the 10-12oz region. The fish were in prime condition and over 60lb of prime roach have gone into Badgers Wood with a few in George Cragg to add a bit of variety. As they were not as big as expected the provider has offered us some 2lb roach which he believes will be available next February. To have a still water with top quality roach will be a great asset for the club - I have never seen a 2lb roach let alone catch one.

Roach for re-stocking
Badgers Wood roach

Part of the cost of the fish was covered by donations from individual members and if you would like to contribute to the 2LB ROACH FUND please contact either Greg Brown, Club Treasurer or Tony Elkins, Maintenance Officer who will be happy to advise you what to do. Contact details are available in your club books.

We are also intending to add a number of bream in the 1 to 3lb range to Badgers Wood as soon as they become available. All these new fish will be a great addition to both of our carp free ponds in Hickstead lane.

River Adur Cemetary Wood

As mentioned in last month’s news the weir downstream from Cemetery Wood has sprung a leak which resulted in a loss of water in our stretch of the river. Landowners are responsible for the upkeep of weirs etc and having met with a couple of Henfield members recently they are under the impression the landowner will be carrying out the repairs at some time in the future. In the meantime water levels are still down by some two foot or so.

Arlington Reservoir

One of our members has contacted us as it was reported that Arlington Reservoir was stopping trout fishing and as a result may be available for coarse fishing. We are always on the lookout for new waters or even better a plot of land in the Hassocks, Burgess Hill area to dig our own lake. In this case we will not be pursuing the Arlington option but if anybody hears of anything suitable please make enquiries as to the availability and any contact points and then pass this on to any Committee member. We would appreciate solid leads rather than what may just be a fishing exercise (excuse the pun) so any information you can obtain would be appreciated.

Wineham Tree Planting

We recently completed a joint venture with the Environment Agency and Henfield Angling Club to plant trees on the floodplain alongside the river at Wineham. The Environment Agency were represented by Arnie Warsop who has helped the club out over the years with fish and other support so it was our chance to give something back. As well as six of our members Dave and Al from Henfield came along to lend a hand plus Dave Ansell the landowner. Between us we planted over 200 trees in the fields adjoining the river. Let’s hope they survive the winter floods!

Tree planting at Wineham
Christmas Trees

As a trial last year we put a number of discarded Christmas trees between swims at Badgers Wood. We were hoping that the branches and leaves would act as a fish refuge and stop the cormorants taking all our silver fish. When we went to pull them out in the Spring they were full of small roach so they clearly worked and we decided to leave them in as they make ideal spawning areas. One year on,as they are looking a bit bedraggled we have removed them but will need some fresh trees for this winter.

We need old Xmas trees

If you are having a real Christmas tree rather than take it to your local recycling centre please feel free to drop it off in the George Cragg or Badgers Wood car parks. Please remember to remove the baubles!

It only remains for me to say thanks to all our members for supporting us through these difficult times. Stay healthy and have a great Christmas and New Year.

Xmas holly

15 Dec, 2020