Club News

News November 2018

Badgers Wood and George Cragg update 2018

The weather gods were smiling on us when we carried out our Winter tidy up on Saturday 10 November. We managed to get through the whole day without a single drop of rain. As a result the entire site was strimmed and mown and the resulting cuttings were cleared from around the lake. Some of the tender plants were covered up to protect them from frost and we were also able to clear the encroaching reed s from Badgers Wood and George Cragg.

We will be going back next week to trim the hedges and replace some of the chicken wire on the swims in George Cragg. I would like to pass on my thanks to all who came along especially the catering team for the top quality mid morning snacks and hot drinks. At the end of the day there were a lot of tired bodies but the ponds look absolutely stunning.

We are always on the lookout for extra help for these large scale events so please keep an eye out on the website for future work parties. If you have an unwanted petrol strimmmer/ brushcutter sitting in your garage please give Tony Elkins a ring as it could come in handy on future work parties.

Oldmans Pond

The maintenance team met with the owner last week and had a very useful discussion about the future of the lake. He has a number of ideas one of which is to fence off part of the field to create a dedicated parking area. This will be useful in the summer months as whilst we can use the field for parking he has started to put cows in the field and we all know what they can do to a car ! We are also negotiating with him for some silver fish to add to Badgers Wood.


I am not sure how many of you are aware of the rumours about a large pike in the lake at Flintstones. One member mentioned that he spotted what he thought was a large log floating in the margins which suddenly swam off and we have also had a report of an angler having a small carp taken as he was landing it. We were planning a winter pike trip to see if there was truth in the stories but we are too late. The owner recently sent us a text with a photo of a 4 foot long pike that he found dead in the lake. It was stocked by the owner some 15/20 years ago so we guess it was a mixture of old age and the hot summer that was her downfall. As he originally put two pike in the pond there could still be another (if it wasn’t eaten by the 4 foot monster).


Thanks to everyone who attended and the evening went very smoothly without any major issues being raised. Allan Butcher who has been club President for 28 years has decided to step down and we would like to thank Allan for all he has done for the club. Allan nominated John Sach as his successor and we wish John every success in his new role.

AGM Minutes 2018

The 100 Club draw for October was made at the AGM and was won by Tony Smith; the November draw was one by number 4, Ian Burney.

Christmas Competition

Bookings are being taken for this year’s Christmas Competition to be held at Morehouse farm on Sunday 9 December. Numbers are restricted so if you want to take part please contact Dave Harper or Steve Pead. Once the match has finished there is a meal at Burgess Hill football club and we also have a raffle and present the trophies for the previous year. All club members are welcome to come along to the post match meal and at a mere £5 (meal only) it is good value for money. In the past we have had shepherds pie and chilli all served with crusty bread and washed down with a decent pint from the bar. It is a good social occasion so feel free to come along. If you are interested please get in touch with a committee member – full contact details are in the year book. You won’t be disappointed.

And finally................. Whilst the winter river season has not yet got off the ground it was good to see the quality carp on the website that was caught from the upstream stretch of the Adur at Wineham. It is surprising what fish are in these narrow stretches.

12 Nov, 2018

News October 2018

AGM News

Are you looking for somewhere to go on Friday 19 October ?

Well look no further as once again it is the highlight of the Mid Sussex Social calendar, the Hassocks and District Angling Society AGM at Burgess Hill Football club. Dress code is Smart Casual so if you have been fishing in the daytime a change of clothing would be appreciated. Aim to get there at 7.30 for an 8 o’clock start. It is usually a good evening with a superb buffet and a raffle (plus cheap beer). It is also a chance to meet up with other members and have a say in the running of your club.

On to more mundane matters.....


The lake has been treated with 1 ½ tons of siltex to try and reduce the silt levels and we have enough to treat again next Spring. What was encouraging was that one of the members fished it on Sunday, the day after the siltex had gone in, and caught 7 carp and a lot of silvers, unlike the seven anglers who fished the Friday before who only had one decent fish between them. Clearly the chalk ground bait worked.

We would like to thank everybody involved including the three anglers who kindly volunteered on the Friday to help move 120 bags of siltex from the main entrance to the lakeside.

Flintstones lake and river

The owner has mentioned that members have been ringing the buzzer on the gate at the main entrance to gain access. What made it more frustrating for him was that it was early morning so would anybody fishing Flintstones please use the second entrance along Cuckfield road. It is a metal 5 barred gate and is the entrance to the stable area. Full instructions are in the yearbook. On the plus side what a bonus it was to see the 3lb perch caught from the lake.

Wildings lakes

Unfortunately the owner has commented again about night fishing at Wildings. It seems that some of our members still seem reluctant to book up for night fishing so please make sure you pre book with the Club Bailiff.

Frylands Ponds and Masons

The owner of Frylands has mentioned that his pheasant shooting season started on 13 October and there will be shoots there very Saturday for the forseeable future. We can still fish the ponds but parking might be a bit tight. Whilst we have not received anything official from Masons it may well be that the same applies with them so keep an eye out for signs if you want to fish over winter.

Winter fishing

Hopefully we will have a bit of rain as most of the local rivers are very low at the moment. Comfortable fishing can be had at Cemetary Wood, Upper Hookers and Flintstones river with more challenging conditions at Wineham and Hamsey. Even more so than usual, safety is paramount and if you are fishing one of the rivers go with a friend or at least let somebody know where you are going. A lifejacket is advisable as some of the stretches are deep.

Last year was a bit of a struggle for the pike anglers so hopefully this winter will be a bit better.

Keep sending in the photos especially of any pike you catch and we hope to see as many of you as possible at the AGM.

The 100 Club draw will take place at the AGM so even more reason to come along !

15 Oct, 2018

News September 2018

Badgers Wood and George Cragg

It is that time of the year again when we ask you to dust of your working boots for a day out on one of our lakes. Once again we will be having a mega strim and general tidy up at Badgers Wood and George Cragg on Saturday 10 November. The main job will be to strim the banks so if you are up for a mornings hard work we would appreciate your help. If you have a strimmer or brushcutter even better. We may have some spare for you to use but if not bring along a rake as there will be quite a bit to clear up and we will also be trimming the hedges and a couple of other gardening jobs . The main thing is to wear suitable clothing especially boots.

As an added incentive we will be providing refreshments and it is a good way of meeting other members so why not come along. We aim to start at about 9 o’clock and depending on numbers should be finished by 2 o’clock before we adjourn to a local hostelry.


We are aware that the silt levels at Decoy have increased over the years and following a successful trial at Frylands ponds we have decided to treat Decoy with “Siltex”. This is finely ground chalk which is successful in reducing silt levels. We will be applying the siltex on Saturday 6 October and has to be done by hand from the back of a boat. We do have two boats available and as we don’t have the services of Plumpton College at the moment we may need a couple of extra hands to help load up the boats or if you are really keen you can get in the boat and apply the siltex. We hope to start at around 9.30.

All the waters above will be closed on the dates of the work parties.

If you are able to help out on either day please give Tony Elkins a call or text to 07981 760972.


Other News
Annual General Meeting 2018

This will be held on Friday 19 October at Burgess Hill Football club. It has been a very successful year for the club with new waters proving to be very popular and membership numbers up. It is your chance to find out what is going on in your club and pass on any ideas you may have for the future. As usual a full buffet will be provided and there is a bar for those who like a tipple or two.


We recently met the owner at the lakes and with his help managed to remove a lot of the old wood and metalwork from in front of the swims. He has mentioned that at some time he will be putting sheep on the land adjoining the lakes with a view to keeping the grass down. Please do not harass the sheep as they are not the most intelligent of animals and are likely to throw themselves in the lake if they feel threatened. We are also asking him about winter access and the possibility of sorting out a parking area close to peg 1.

Fish catches

It is good to see the barbel coming out of Badgers and some nice crucian carp and tench from George Cragg . Wildings is producing a number of good carp although you seem a bit reluctant to send in your photos. The work that was put into restoring Frylands ponds is paying off with all of the introduced species now showing. Give it a couple more years and we will have a specimen crucian carp pond . Even now it is an ideal place to drop a float alongside the lily pads and one of our members had great fun catching the resident carp with a flatbed feeder.

100 Club

Two draws this month. The August draw was won by number 45, Richard Blackburn and the September draw by number 41, Trevor Church.

Please keep sending in the catch photos and hopefully we will see some of you on the work parties and/or at the AGM.

18 Sep, 2018

Fabulous Frylands

As you may be aware the maintenance team have spent a year or so restoring Frylands ponds. They were extremely overgrown and were in danger of becoming totally silted up. The project started in March 2017 when we were faced with a pond full of fallen trees and 30 years of leaf and acorns.

Frylands before.
Frylands before.

After a year of hard graft the ponds are now fully restored and have been landscaped and planted with lilies and other aquatic plants. What a difference a year makes !

Fabulous Frylands after.
Fabulous Frylands after.

The main pond was been stocked with crucian carp, tench, perch and rudd and we were aware that the main pond had a few small carp . All the hard work has paid off as the pond is fishing really well with all of the species being caught including some very pretty little mirror carp which are a bit of a bonus. Here is a sample of the fish caught recently. At the moment the fish are still small but they will get bigger and are top quality.

Crucian carp.
Crucian carp.
Common carp.
Common carp.
Mirror carp.
Mirror carp.

The carp that were already in the lake go up to 4lb but if you do hook one they will give you a run for your money as the ponds are very shallow after this dry summer. Why not give it a go before the cold weather sets in and definitely put a note in your diary to try it next year.

06 Sep, 2018

Robin Wallis Memorial Match 2018

We had a great turn out for the Robin Wallis Memorial Match, which was held on both lakes at Wildings Lakes. Cool weather with a light breeze and rain.

Congratulations to Rowland Smith on the Small Lake who convincingly won that lake with 2 nice carp, a good eel and silvers to total 18lb 7oz, with Hugh Neatherway also with a 5lb 6oz carp to total 8lb 14oz to gain 2nd place.

On the main lake winner Tony Morris landed a specimen carp of 17lb 13oz caught on the method with a wafter hookbait, together with a second carp and silvers to total 25lb 13oz. Les Hickman also landed an excellent carp of 13lb 9oz to gain a splendid 2nd place with a total of 15lb 8oz. Norman Cragg came third with a commendable catch weight of 11lb 4oz.

Finally a special thanks to Greg for a brilliant BBQ held at the conclusion of the match.

Thanks also to Richard for photos of the match winners and a few of the specimen fish on the Club website including Mickey Wells 1lb 8oz perch and a lovely goldfish caught by Lew Nightingale.

Match Winners
Left to right, Norman Cragg third, Tony Morris first, Les Hickman second and Roland Smith best on small lake.
Tony Morris with one of two good Carp
Tony Morris with one of two good Carp.
Micky Wells with a nice Perch.
Micky Wells with a nice Perch.
Lew Nightingale with the gold fish.
Lew Nightingale with "the gold fish".
03 Sep, 2018

Badgers Wood Open Day 2018

This year’s open day on 4 August was very popular and despite the distractions of holidays etc 34 people attended and at one stage we were in danger of having to use the George Cragg car park as an overflow. What was really encouraging was the number of children who came along and despite the extreme temperatures everybody caught fish.

Open day 2018 4 Open day 2018 3 Open day 2018 1

It was a throwback to the good old days with granddads bringing their grandchildren and dads introducing their kids to fishing for the first time. The expressions on their faces (and that was just the dads) when they caught a fish was priceless.

Open day 2018 7

We now have three qualified coaches and they were kept busy passing on tips to the anglers and after just 3 hours of training people who had never held a fishing rod before were casting out to the islands and catching and netting their own fish.

We set up a pump the previous day to oxygenate the pond and the fish didn’t let us down with plenty of perch, roach and tench caught with some of the tench a decent size.

The icing on the cake was when a new member , Martin Hall, came along and wanted some advice on fishing a loaded waggler. Our coaches spent some time with him making sure it was dotted down correctly and the end result was his first ever barbel. Well done Martin, a nice 1 1/2lb barbel on float fished pellet ! As you can see a very happy angler.

Open day Martin Hall

Many thanks to all who attended and we hope to see some of you as new members. Once again a big thank you to all the committee members who organised the event and all who came along on the day to lend a hand, provide refreshments, take photos etc. Watch this space for more events in 2019.

06 Aug, 2018

News August 2018

What do bears do in the Woods ?

I think you know the answer to that one but it seems we have club members who may share the same habits. There is evidence that people have been using the woods at the end of the small pond at Wildings to relieve themselves (number twos !). I know we can all get caught short on the odd occasion but if you must do your business al fresco please bury it or cover it up. A small garden trowel in your fishing bag should do the trick. The landowner was less than impressed and it would be a pity to lose a water through the actions of one or two individuals.

Extreme temperatures

As a result of the extended spell of hot weather water levels in the ponds and rivers are very low so if you come across fish which are suffering the Environment Agency has a 24 hour hotline set up for incidents - 0800 80 70 60. By contacting them direct they can deal with the problem immediately. We have had a report of a fish with sores at Wildings but the Environment Agency put that down to general stress caused by the hot weather.

Excellent fishing

On a general note despite the hot weather all our waters are fishing well with over 200lb of fish caught by the top 4 at a recent match at Decoy. We have some of the best tench waters in Sussex with good fish coming out of Pickwells and George Cragg and as you can see from the gallery and above the barbel are starting to show at Badgers Wood. I know from speaking to members when we are doing our maintenance that there have been a lot of good fish caught this year. The picture gallery is the most visited section of our website so don’t be shy and send in your photos.

As there is no Committee meeting this month there is no 100 club draw but there will be a double draw on 14 September.

Enjoy the rest of the summer.

06 Aug, 2018

News July 2018

Training Day 2018

We will be holding a Beginners/Training Day at Badgers Wood lake on Saturday 4 August from 10 am to 2pm. If you have children or grandchildren who would like to try fishing feel free to bring them along. Also please pass on the message to any friends who may be looking for something different to occupy the kids (for free) during the summer holidays. They only have to bring themselves – we will provide all the equipment and bait plus we have three qualified coaches plus a lot of experienced anglers who will be there to help. Hopefully the weather will have cooled down a bit but hot and cold drinks will be available. If you are a member who is new to fishing come along to pick up some tips from our coaches – we are never too old to learn. Hope to see you on the 4th.

Open day 2017 Club Waters

We are receiving good reports on catches from our new waters, Morehouse and Oldmans. If you go onto the “ Waters” section of the website you will see that our website manager has updated a lot of the photos. When you see them all together you realise just how fortunate we are to have such a wide range of fishing available for our members. They all look very fishy so why not try somewhere different for a change. There are good fish in some of the most unlikeliest of places !

Illegal fishing

A Volvo Estate car AK07 LUV was spotted parked outside Badgers Wood recently with the owner fishing the lake. Needless to say he was not a member but had climbed over the gate. One of the club members asked him to leave but if you come across the car elsewhere please ask him for evidence of membership. All members have the right to ask somebody to leave if they are on club waters illegally.

100 Club

It is good to see more members taking up the 100 club membership. It is more like the 40 club but we are up on this time last year. The good news is, the more that are in, the bigger the prize. This month’s draw was won by Greg Brown.

And finally....

Lots of photos on the website but still waiting on the 2lb barbel and 6lb tench. Hopefully once the heat wave passes somebody will be successful.

16 Jul, 2018

News June 2018

The Glorious 16th

As I write this some of you will be on the riverbank for the first day of the river season. The maintenance team have been busy and have cleared a number of swims for those of you who like a bit of comfort. There are 15 swims downstream from the weir at Cemetary wood with 4 up stream and a bonus swim by the bridge across the mill stream (allegedly contains good roach and chub!). We have also created 5 swims within walking distance of the main gate in Wineham lane and 7 swims on the Upper Hookers stretch.

We have also cleared the access to Wineham upstream and have left this and Hamsey in a semi wild state for those of you who like to go creeping around in the reeds and bushes..... Having spent a few hours working on the riverbanks you might want to consider wearing a lifejacket as the ground can be very uneven and there are a few high banks. On the positive side apart from a lack of water on a couple of the stretches of the Adur they all look very tempting so Good Luck !

In view of the recent weather everything is growing quickly so strimming is being carried out at least twice a week. Often the decision to strim is made at short notice as it cannot be done in the rain and it is not always possible to give advance notice. If you have the bad luck to be fishing when the maintenance team turn up please show a bit of patience. At the end of the day it is for the benefit of the club to have the waters looking tidy and the work is done on a voluntary basis.

Fish Stocking

35 Top quality common carp have been introduced to Decoy lake. Although only small at the moment (up to 3 1/2lb) they will grow on and will introduce a new strain of carp to the lake. In addition the owner of Pickwells ponds has added a further 25 carp to the lower lake. We are considering other additions later in the year subject to availability and, of course, cost.

Car Parking at Hamsey

At long last the corral at Hamsey has been completed by the farmer. There is a double gate system and full details are available in the Notices Section of the website. There is enough space between the two gates to park a few cars so this is an option, rather than park by the river and run the risk of your car being nibbled by any resident livestock.

Wildings Lakes

All the lakes and ponds are fishing well at the moment but Wildings has thrown up something a little different. We all know it has a good head of decent carp but over the years the resident bream population have been feeding on the surplus carp food. If you want a good days silver fishing you could do a lot worse than trying the main lake at Wildings. There are Bream to 4lb being caught on a regular basis and in some numbers plus plenty of roach, rudd and skimmers. For some reason there is no longer a dead period between 12 and 3 and it is not unusual to catch over 50lb of silver fish. The only downside is the campers who have access to the lakes – the owners choice not ours !

100 Club

Due to a technical issue May has been re-drawn and the winner is number 30 Chris Kitcher. June has been won by number 53 Ian Fisher.

And finally

Please send in your catch photos. I especially liked the 2lb perch from George Cragg which shows they are still in there. Waiting for the first 2lb barbel from Badgers and a 6lb tench from George Cragg.

18 Jun, 2018

News May 2018

It has only been three weeks since our last meeting and news letter so not a lot has happened apart from a mini heat wave over the May day bank holiday. Hopefully you were able to get out over the long weekend and tempt a few fish. All the lakes and ponds are fishing well at the moment as evidenced by the latest batch of photos. The perch are out in force at George Cragg and Badgers Wodd so time to move away from the red maggots which did so well in the early part of the season. We were wondering what had happened to the surviving bream in Badgers so it was good to see a couple of 2lb bream caught in the recent match.

Fish Stocking

The Environment Agency approved the transfer of tench from Badgers Wood so 40 small tench have been introduced to Frylands pond with a similar number to be added later this year. Many thanks to the match anglers for catching the fish.

Watch this a space for further fish stocking news !!!

Car Parking

Despite the Badgers Wood car park being bigger than most you find outside a Tesco Express store some members still do not appear to have got the hang of parking around the edges of car parks. We do not want to go down the route of having designated parking bays or double yellow lines so please do not leave cars in the middle of the car park and definitely do not park directly in front of the access path to Badgers Wood.

Wildings Lakes

We are once again having our regular discussion with the owner of Wildings with regard to the campers and children running around the lakes. Unfortunately as has been said before we have no control over what the other residents get up to but we have asked if suitable signs can be erected. Wildings are very popular lakes with our members so we will keep you advised.

100 Club

This months winning ticket is number 41.

14 May, 2018

News April 2018

A big welcome to all our new members and we would also like to thank those of you who have rejoined this year.

If the catch reports are anything to go by it looks as if the 2018/19 season will be the best yet with a lot of good fish reported already. There are plenty of carp being caught including the first 20lb fish this year from Wildings and a cracking double figure fish from the new Oldmans pond. George Cragg and Badgers Wood are providing plenty of sport with tench of up to 4lb and crucian carp of 2lb. Decoy is as reliable as ever with double figure carp being caught by a variety of methods and, again, a number of crucian carp up to 2lb. Let’s see if we can set a few club records. The first 2lb barbel can’t be far off.

Fish Stocking

Contrary to rumours being put around by disgruntled (ex) members there are new fish being added to our waters. The lower lake of Pickwells has recently been stocked with carp of between 2 and 10 lb. This was done by the owner and hopefully it will not impact on the decent tench in the lower lake. A number of roach, rudd and bream have also been transferred from the upper to the lower lake.

The stocking of Oldmans pond has been completed with a number of carp to 16lb and silver fish added. As you can see from the gallery page of the website this is already paying off.

We are seeking approval from the Environment Agency to transfer a small number of tench, perch and possibly roach from Badgers Wood. The quality of the habitat has meant the original fish have bred and Badgers Wood is over populated with small tench (and perch!) which would be ideal to put into the restored Frylands ponds. These will be added to the existing carp and the 500 crucian carp which were stocked last winter. Some of the mirror carp are already growing on- here is a chunky little 3 pounder caught recently from the main Frylands pond.

Frylands Carp

Whilst it is good to introduce new fish we should not fall into the trap that filling lakes and ponds with fish will always improve the quality of the fishing. Sometimes it is better to take some out to enable the remaining fish to grow on to a decent size.

Bad News

On a slightly negative note could we remind members to take their rubbish home after a days fishing. This includes cigarette ends. I know it is a bit of a fag but your co operation would be appreciated.

There have been two examples recently of gates being left unlocked so when you leave would you please make sure the gates are padlocked and the numbers scrambled. We have had issues with fly tipping in the past so don’t make it any easier for unauthorised people to gain access.

Pickwells ponds

We are aware of issues with regard to the car park and also the unfinished repairs to the track from the entrance to the car park. As mentioned in previous newsletters the owner and his associates have taken over the maintenance of the ponds etc. The current condition of the track and car park makes it very difficult unless you have a 4 wheel drive or an off road vehicle. We will be speaking with the owner to make sure both are fixed as soon as possible. No point in stocking the lake with fish if we can’t get to it !

Good News

Congratulations to Nigel Jackson who is now a fully accredited Level 2 Fishing coach and we would like to thank the Angling Trust for the financial assistance which made this possible. We now have 3 qualified coaches so watch out for some spectacular summer training events!

100 Club

This months winning ticket is number 26. We are still taking on new members for the 100 club and the link on how to join is on the home page of the website.

We would like to see as many catch photos as possible especially from new members so send them in and good luck to you all for the new season.

26 Apr, 2018

News March 2018

Oldmans Pond Laughton

Even more good news.

Oldmans pond has become available and will be a useful addition to our existing portfolio of waters. It is situated in Common Lane , just off the B2192 , East of Ringmer. Full details will be included with the 2018/19 Year book and we have been advised that the owner is introducing a number of fish including carp to 16lb to the existing stock.

Oldmans pond A Winter Wonderland

George Cragg and Badgers Wood looking stunning in the recent cold snap. Don’t worry about the two chaps stuck out on the islands. They are well wrapped.

Snow 2018 Memberships 2018/19

Memberships will be available on line from 15 March for the 2018/19 season and we hope to see as many of you as possible again this year. If you are an existing member you have until 30 April to renew, otherwise you will have to apply as a new member and you cannot fish any of the club waters until you have renewed. With the two new waters of Oldmans Pond and Morehouse farm plus the restored Frylands ponds we hope you will enjoy the new challenges. As before please send us your catch photos for all our waters but it would be good to get some early feedback on the new lakes and ponds.

100 Club

This months winning ticket is number 18 – Greg Brown. This will start again from 1 April so if you wish to take part please follow this link on how to join. You have to be in it to win it (so why have I never won ?)

Good luck for the coming season.

13 Mar, 2018