Last month I touched on the fact that club membership numbers are up and it is the same again this month. That is the good news.....
We would like to welcome the new members but the increase in number does bring difficulties if the various reports we have received are anything to go by.
The two most common rules which members seem to be ignoring are:
Night fishing on all waters must be pre booked with the Club Bailiff
Maximum of two rods per angler from 1 April to 30 September inclusive
In a addition over the last month we have seen an increase in littering especially at Decoy and Masons (see later) plus the usual old chestnut of gates being left open at Decoy, Badgers Wood and Upper Hookers . All gates and height barriers should be locked after entering and leaving the lakes.
Non members were caught fishing the river Arun at Pulborough and we even had one of our landowners threatened by an angler ( no longer a member !)
Unfortunately unless we know who the individuals are it is difficult to do much apart from highlight these issues in newsletters and social media so I would remind all members that you are perfectly entitled to ask for proof of membership. You can then pass on details of any potential offenders (in confidence) to the club bailiff to consider what action to take.
It was well documented that we lost the rights to fish the lake and river at Flintstones because of the behaviour of members and we have also had night fishing taken away from us at Wildings, again because of the actions of a minority of our members. If we are not careful Masons could be going the same away.
The owner had already been in touch with us about littering at the lake and at the request of the owner we cleared it up. Unfortunately when two of the Committee went back to Masons again on 6 July another individual had left his swim (Peg 31)in a right mess. A pair of trainers had been left in the water, plastic bottles and litter was strewn on the banks and soiled toilet paper left hanging from the bushes. To rub salt in the wounds it was clear that the person involved had been night fishing but had not pre booked. Fortunately the Membership Secretary and her husband cleared it up before the owner became aware. If it had come to her notice it could have been another lost water and all because of the selfish behaviour of one individual. Unfortunately we do not know who it was but if anybody is caught littering etc we will take whatever action is appropriate including suspension of repeat offenders.
We are not a commercial fishery with a 24 hour presence so the bailiffs cannot be everywhere at all times. There is also an element or trust involved as we have had reports of members bringing along unpaid guests and on the question of littering it is simple and I would have thought pretty obvious – take it home. One of the reasons we have enjoyed a surge of members over the last few years is the quality of our waters and the maintenance of the surrounds . The Committee are all volunteers and there is plenty to do without having to go around clearing up after anglers.
It is good to see Oldmans is fishing well (including a rare 2lb eel) and the owner has asked me to remind members that there are toilet facilities in the car park by the main entrance. We are still on course to extend the lake later this year so we will keep you posted. It may well be that all or part of the lake will be temporarily closed while the diggers move in but we will let you know as soon as we have details.
The following was found in one of the swims at George Cragg recently. As the person who found it said” it would land the queen Mary”. I blame the Weetabix advert of the little girl catching a submarine.
I know George Cragg is a bit snaggy with lilies and reeds but this seems a bit over the top when the biggest fish is likely to be in the region of 5 to 6lb. Nice knees by the way.
Sorry if it is a bit of a rant this month but we have never had so many problems since I was involved with the club. I suppose we are the victims of our success and whilst we are grateful for the members who have decided to join us it does seem to have brought us more problems. I appreciate it is only a small minority but if you see any anti social behaviour let us know so we can deal with it.
And finally, I was delighted to see the barbel caught from Badgers Wood on 28 June. Not sure if Ben was aware but the club record is only 2lb 6oz and to my untrained eye unless he has a tiny net this fish looks a lot bigger.
What a lovely looking fish, Well done Ben !
As it wasn’t claimed and the fish is still in the pond why not go for it and get your name in the club records.
That is it for this month. Off to the pub for a long awaited pint .Tight lines (cliché !!!) and stay safe.
10 Jul, 2020
Despite all the recent bad news, if our membership numbers are anything to go by, it seems that fishing is a very popular way of getting out and enjoying the fresh air. It is especially pleasing to see the number of families taking the kids fishing. The only minor downside is that with all the free time we have at the moment the waters are extremely busy, even little old Frylands was full last weekend.
We have been actively looking to increase the club’s portfolio of fisheries and thought we had secured the fishing rights to 4 ponds near Henfield but at the last minute the owners decided to pull out. If you know of any local ponds or lakes which may be available to rent please feel free to make enquiries on behalf of the club. If the initial contact is positive pass the details to any committee member and we will take matters forward. Even better if you have 3 acres of land to sell (at a reasonable price) we would definitely be interested.
Things seem to be improving on the Corvid 19 front but we would ask you to please keep following the advice about social distancing etc. In addition to the general guidelines which are on the signs at our waters the owner of Wildings has specifically asked that anglers use alternate swims. Unfortunately this is being ignored so we would ask once again that the owner’s wishes are respected as we do not want to have another Flintstones situation.
The question of security at our waters is an issue as a number of local councils have received warnings about the presence of travellers along the A23 corridor. We would ask that the gates and height barriers are locked at all times and not left open whilst you are fishing. You would think this was obvious but we have received reports of gates left unlocked at George Cragg and Decoy plus the height barrier was left open at Badgers Wood. In addition as a deterrent the farmers at Wineham have placed farm machinery inside the gates on the south side of Frylands lane. Unfortunately this includes access to Wineham downstream and the Cemetery Wood stretch. The gates can still be opened but access is restricted. We managed to get through the Cemetery Wood gate with the strimmers last week but best to travel light. It should be worth the effort on the 16th as both stretches were looking stunning last week.
You may recall that in last month’s news we mentioned the matter of rod licences. The Environment Agency have advised us that they will be carrying out spot checks at our waters in the very near future so please make sure you have purchased a rod licence and that you have it with you when you are fishing.
No photos from me this month as the best advert for the club is on the gallery page of the website. Despite the numbers on the banks the fish are being pretty obliging if the catch photos are anything to go by. I especially like the “ruddy tench” caught from Badgers Wood. Having been involved in Badgers Wood from the outset I can genuinely say that we have never stocked Badgers Wood (or George Cragg) with rudd so no idea where they have come from. Please keep sending the photos especially the more unusual species.
Finally, as mentioned above our membership numbers are very healthy so we would like to welcome those of you who are joining us for the first time and also thank those existing members who have renewed plus it is good to see some old faces returning to the club.
Your support in these difficult times is very much appreciated.
12 Jun, 2020
As a result of the ongoing campaign by the Angling Trust we were able to reopen our still waters on 13 May. A big thank you for their efforts in stating a clear case for angling to resume. We have put brief details on the club website but a full breakdown of the Angling Trust guidelines is available on the News Page of their website. Please bear with us as the guidelines seem to be changing daily and the main thing is that we are at least able to get out and do a bit of fishing. As an added precaution the owners of Wildings and Oldmans have specifically asked that members use alternate swims.Waters
Unfortunately the owner of Pickwells ponds has decided to extend the carp syndicate to include the bottom lake with immediate effect. We no longer have any fishing rights to Pickwells ponds. I can confirm that we are already looking at a possible replacement and as we would like to increase our portfolio if anybody knows of any ponds or lakes in the area that are available please contact a Committee member with details of the owner, location etc. Ideally we would, like a couple of acres of land to dig our own as we did with Badgers Wood, in the short term we are happy to rent.Badgers Wood
In anticipation of the reopening we have been around to the club owned waters to give them a spring haircut and Badgers Wood is looking particularly smart with not a cormorant in sight.
We will be visiting our rented waters over the coming weeks so please be patient if you see a couple of old boys with strimmers.Rod Licence
We have been asked by the Environment Agency to remind all our members that if you are fishing you must have a current EA rod licence. They are wary that with the recent lifting of restrictions on Angling there may be a number of newcomers to the sport who may not be aware of the legal requirements. It is a crime to fish without a licence and the punishments for not having a licence can be severe . A fine of up to £2500, Fishing equipment seized, A ban from fishing !
There is a common misconception that juniors do not need a licence but this is not the case. If you are under 12 there is no need for a licence. If you are between the ages of 13 and 16 you must hold an up to date rod licence if you wish to go fishing. The good news is that it is free. Over 16s –sorry you will have to pay.Record Fish
On to happier things we must pass on our congratulations to Dean Damario.
Last May (2019) Dean caught a 67lb 4oz catfish from More House farm. As this was the first catfish claim to date it is, by a long way, a new club record. So well done to Dean and we will ensure it is formally recorded in the 2021/22 Yearbook. With Dean’s catfish this means that during the 2019/20 season we recorded four new club records. Catfish, Common carp, Tench and Barbel. Hopefully we can have a few new club records this year.Happy Wednesday
The opening Wednesday was a bit manic and the owner of Wildings reported 17 cars in the car park at one stage. Unfortunately a number of anglers turned up at 4am which was a bit of a shock to the owner who has decided to impose a strict 6 am start time with fishing no later than 1 hour after sun down.
The other waters were a little less hectic with only three at George Cragg and one at the Electricity pond. Didn’t get to Decoy but can imagine it was pretty busy. Badgers Wood was quite empty with only 5 anglers, but there were plenty of fish being caught. Thanks to one of our new members, Dan Hellawell who sent us this photo of his son who caught his first fish at Badgers Wood. The perch didn’t let us down so hopefully another angler for the future.
A big welcome to all our new members and we would ask you (and existing) to have a look through your handbook and Yearbook when they arrive with you. We have built up good relationships with our landowners but this could all be spoilt by a couple of recent incidents. We do not want a repeat of what happened at Flintstones which we lost because of inconsiderate actions by our members. This included damage to the owners vehicles, ringing for access at 6am on a Sunday and leaving empty beer cans around the lake.
Therefore we would like to highlight the following:
We appreciate all the support we have received from you during these difficult times and as I have mentioned above we would like to welcome all our new members and thank all those who have rejoined again this year. The fish must be starving so when they jump onto your hook don’t forget to send in your photos for the fish gallery on the club website.
Tight Lines (a bit of a cliché) and hope to bump into you when we are doing our maintenance.
17 May, 2020
We are pleased to announce, all club still waters are open for fishing from Wednesday 13th May, except Pickwells.
It's very important that all members adhere to the following changes and restrictions.
Anyone displaying symptoms of COVID19, or who shares a household with any individual displaying symptoms, should not go fishing and should continue to follow Government advice on isolation.
11 May, 2020
When I typed last month’s news with the following “What a terrible way to end the 2020 river season” I had no idea that there was a lot worse just around the corner and a bit of winter flooding pales into insignificance against what we are all currently facing.
The situation is changing daily and we will update the website as and when we receive fresh news. The advice from Government is clear. Please STAY AT HOME and only go outside for food, health reasons or work. Closure signs have been put up at all the lakes and ponds so please follow the government advice.
For the avoidance of any doubt all our waters whether they are club owned or rented are currently closed. Members must adhere to these guidelines and in particular please do not contact landowners direct seeking their permission to fish. A few months away from fishing is a small price to pay. It is not a lot different to the “good old days” when the closed season also included still waters and we couldn’t fish anywhere between 15 March and 15 June.
On to more mundane matters we now have a new sign at Badgers Wood to go with the new notice board. Big thanks to Roy Fisher for his handiwork.
A number of people have been asking why there were a load of Christmas trees in Badgers and George Cragg. As we had a couple of resident cormorants we decided to put the discarded Christmas trees in some of the swims as fish refuges. I recently pulled one out from peg 9 at Badgers and was pleased to see that amongst the branches were at least 50 small roach. The roach were put back and as the trees are clearly working they have been returned but have been moved so they are now between swims. As well as acting as a safe haven it will also give the fish a habitat for spawning.
As the average age of the Maintenance team is over 70 and as the waters are closed we are having a break for now but we will be back out as soon as the waters are reopened. We managed to clear another fallen tree from Masons before we were grounded but we have had to put all other events and activities on hold.
After lengthy discussions we will re-open for membership applications on 1 May but until the existing restrictions are lifted and we receive clear and unequivocal advice from the Government and the Angling Trust ALL club waters will remain closed. Watch the website for further developments.
And Finally.............A Message from the Club President
We are going through extremely difficult times but I would like to pass on my thanks to those members of the Committee who are working away behind the scenes to keep the club ticking over. Thanks to their efforts over the last few years the club is well placed to see through this crisis so please be patient. We can all do our bit by staying at home unless absolutely necessary and rest assured the club will still be here once this is over.
Once we get the all clear from the Government and the Angling Trust we will be able to reopen our waters and we can all get out and enjoy our marvellous hobby. Keep healthy and keep using the hand gel (if you can get hold of any).
All the best
John Sach (Club President)
16 Apr, 2020
No fishing is permitted on any club water until Government travel restrictions are lifted
26 Mar, 2020