News February 2019
Mother Nature has been pretty weird recently with plenty of rain and even some of the white stuff but as I write this the weather forecast is for temperatures in the mid teens so hopefully the fish will be getting peckish. The rivers are always a good bet at this time of year but for something a little different you might want to try Oldmans lake. As well as a healthy population of carp it has recently been stocked with 400lb of roach and bream and it can be quite pleasant if you can get out of the wind. One of our members had a successful day last week catching carp up to 9½ lb.
If you do go out please don't forget to send your fish catch photos for inclusion on the website.Mystery Maintenance Project
The maintenance team have been approached by one of our existing landowners to help clear some land alongside one of his ponds. The site is about half an acre and the initial work involves cutting down and removing the existing dead trees and scrub. Once the area has been cleared we will be sitting down with the owner to decide if he wants to:
- a) Extend the existing lake
- b) Dig out a brand new pond alongside the existing lake or
- c) Have the old and new lakes connected in some way
Whatever the owner decides it will be more water available for club members and to whet your appetite here are a couple of photos if you fancy a guess at where we have been working.
There will be more photos as the project commences which will give you a better idea as to the size of the proposed pond/ extension.
One of the cheery maintenance team or is it because the pubs have just opened !Swap Permits
As we received no requests from our members for swap permits in 2018/19 and only one was handed out in the 2017/18 season we will not be participating in the swap permit scheme for this coming season. This will be mentioned in the 2019/2020 Yearbook which you will receive when you renew after 1 April. As we do not reissue the Members handbooks every year any amendments to club and fishery rules etc will be on the Amendments pages of in the Yearbook so please check these carefully. For those of you who don't read the amendments we no longer have the fishing rights to the lakes alongside the Hickstead Hotel.100 Club
This month was won by ticket number 53 - Ian Fisher.
And finally...... We look forward to seeing you all again next season and you will be pleased to note that we have decided not to increase subscriptions for the 2019/20 season. The website will be open from 15 March for online renewals but our Membership Secretary will be happy to accept applications using the form in the back of the Yearbook.18 Feb, 2019
News January 2019
A Happy New Year to all our members. The hot summer of 2018 seems a long way off but there are plenty of fish to be had especially on the rivers providing you wrap up against the cold. The maintenance team have been particularly busy completing some of the winter jobs which makes a change from the never ending strimming during the summer months.Badgers Wood and George Cragg
Reports of a flock of white geese on Badgers Wood are untrue. To borrow a phrase from a well known opticians You should have gone to Specsavers.
These are, in fact, floats showing where we have placed three underwater fish refuges. Having recently introduced over 1000 fish to Badgers Wood we decided that we should put in some fish refuges to protect them against predation over the winter period. The refuges were made using materials provided by club members and full details of the design can be seen this video.
They have been placed between the two islands and we would ask that members do not cast in the area. With the higher winter water levels they are just under the surface but they are quite substantial – each one is about 4ft tall and 3ft diameter so you wouldn't want to hook one of them. The floats show where the refuges are located and for now temporary signs have been put up in the closest swims.
The swims close to the gate at Badgers Wood are very popular so we have a put in steps close to the road entrance. This will allow members to drop off tackle if they want to fish these swims but we would stress that all cars should be left in the car park while you are fishing - no parking by the entrance gate please !Flintstones river
Having spent a successful day on the river at Flintstones last week it was clear that the banks are a bit on the slippery side so the maintenance team spent a morning creating four safer fishing areas. This should make it easier for our members but for all (river) fishing we would strongly recommend a lifejacket. Automatic inflatable lifejackets are available for around £50.Upper Hookers
The wibbly wobbly bridge over the Adur at Upper Hookers was a bit worse for wear with a couple of rotten planks on the ends. Fortunately they were the ones which were on the banks and a swift repair has been carried out using wood from the Sussex Wood Recycling Project.Sussex Black Poplar Partnership
Shortly after we started on the Badgers Wood lake we were given a number of young Black poplar trees by Wakehurst Place. We were asked to participate in an ongoing project to reintroduce the Black Poplar tree to Sussex as they were becoming increasingly rare. As the preferred habitat is alongside a watercourse or pond the Badgers Wood site was identified as being ideal so a number were planted around the lake plus six were planted in the corner of the car park alongside the small run off stream . They are growing well so it is disappointing to see that somebody has decided to cut them back.
Whist I am sure that the actions were carried out with the best intentions we would rather members do not go around indiscriminately cutting down trees or bushes so we would politely ask that if there are any trees or bushes which you feel need trimming or removing, don’t take it into your own hands but please contact the maintenance officer or any committee member and they will decide what action needs to be taken. See General Conduct Rule 2(6) in the Members Handbook.
On a more positive note this month's 100 club draw was won by Matt Duckett.14 Jan, 2019
News December 2018Badgers Wood
As it is close to Christmas the Environment Agency have put on their Santa Claus outfits and have been giving out gifts. They have very kindly donated a number of crucian carp, roach, tench and small bream to the club. We received 500 Crucian carp with most going into Badgers Wood and a small number (about 60) added to George Cragg Pond. They also let us have a further 500 roach and 60 to 70 small tench and bream all of which have gone into Badgers Wood. All were free of charge so we would like to pass on our thanks to the Environment Agency for this generous donation and to Roy Fisher who managed to persuade the EA to let us have all the fish (We were only meant to have the crucians!)
Some of the crucian carp were close to 1/2lb so hopefully they will grow on in the next few years. It is imperative that Badgers Wood remains carp free as it will mean that the crucian carp in Badgers Wood will be true and not cross bred with carp etc. In time we hope to have a water that holds a good stock of 2 to 3lb crucians with hopefully the odd 4 pounder !Coaching
Nigel Jackson, our Junior Liaison Officer is now a fully qualified Level 2 Angling Coach and with our two existing Level 1 coaches we are well equipped for training and tuition. We will be setting up three tuition days to be held at Badgers Wood next year. Full details will be in the yearbook which all members will receive after 1 April 2019 and we will also publicise the events in our news letters , on social media and via the website. In the meantime if there are any members who would like some help or if you have children or grandchildren who need advice Nigel is available for one on one tuition. His contact details are in the yearbook.Christmas Competition
Well done to those who braved the elements on 8 December at Morehouse farm. The Christmas Competition was won by Nigel Jackson and looking at the weights it looks as if it was quite difficult fishing.
We also combined the post competition lunch with the prize giving and a free raffle. There are a number of trophies all of which have to be engraved so it is a pity that some of the winners did not come back to the football club and more than half of the trophies were not collected. Those who did turn up had a good time so thanks to Sharon at Burgess Hill Football club for the shepherds pie and curry which went down well on a cold Winters day.100 Club
The winner this month is Allan Butcher.
It just remains for me to say, thank you for continuing to be a member of our club and for those of you who help out your support is appreciated.
Enjoy Christmas and hopefully 2019 will bring record fish and personal bests for you all.
This is the closest I have to winter scene. Badgers Wood in 2012. No trees, lilies or reeds ?17 Dec, 2018
News November 2018Badgers 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.Flintstones
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).AGM
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.
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 2018AGM 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.....Decoy
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 2018Badgers 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.Decoy
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.
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.Wildings
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
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.
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 !
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.
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.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.
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.
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.
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 2018What 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 2018Training 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.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 2018The 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