Club News

News February 2018

Pickwells Ponds

We were recently contacted by the owner of Pickwells pond to discuss the clubs fishing rights to the two ponds. He intends to create a carp syndicate fishery and there was a possibility that we would lose both ponds. However we are pleased to tell you that this is not the case. Unfortunately there is some bad news. With effect from 1 April 2018, the top lake will not be available to club members as it is being stocked with small carp for syndicate members only.

However there is better news about the lower lake. This will still be available to club members on a shared basis and a considerable number of fish have already been transferred from the top lake to the lower lake. At the moment we are not aware of any plans to put more carp into the lower lake. In addition the owner will take over the responsibility for future maintenance which includes the creation of a more permanent access track from the gate and he has agreed to improve the existing car parking area. If we get any more news we will let you know.

Frylands ponds update

The engineering team have been at work at Frylands to install a new overflow system and replace the existing rotten bridge from the main pond. It is amazing what you can do with a bit of old pipe, a couple of old tree trunks and a bit of hard graft. When the weather improves we will sort out the swims and do a bit of landscaping to get it ready for the new season.

Frylands 20 Morehouse Farm

The owners are concerned that members are using barbed hooks. As posted in the fishery office, "Barbless hooks only, no whisker or micro barbed hooks".

Situations Vacant

We are sorry to announce that Tony Morris, our Match Secretary, will be standing down from the role with effect from 1 April 2018. The match calendar for 2018/2019 has been agreed but we are looking for a replacement to take over the role after Tony officially steps down. As this is an appointed role any replacement will have to be formally voted in at the 2018 AGM but if you are interested in taking over the role until then please contact Tony Morris or Steve Pead for full details. Many thanks to Tony for the work he has done.

100 Club

A new face on the winners podium this month - Jon Webbon with ticket number 49. We will be starting a new year of the 100 Club on 1 April so if you are interested in taking part please go to the link on the front page of the website for full details.

12 Feb, 2018

News January 2018

Breaking News

As has been reported elsewhere on the website we no longer have access to Hickstead lakes. We have tried to contact the owner on a number of occasions with no success. On the plus side Morehouse farm is now available to club members so why not give it a go.

On the fishing front the still waters are proving to be pretty tough but there are still fish to be caught from the rivers. Pike are beginning to show at Wineham and there are plenty of chub and silvers to be had as long as you don’t mind roughing it. It is a bit of a throwback to the old fashioned style of fishing, just a rucksack with all your bits and bait plus a rod and a landing net. A 3lb chub from Flintstones river is well worth the effort but a word of warning, be careful as the banks are very slippery and if possible go fishing with a friend.

Frylands Ponds

The anti heron/cormorant measures look more like Christmas decorations but I am assured they will do the job.

Frylands pond

We haven’t seen any dead fish around the lakes so hopefully the crucian carp we stocked just before Christmas are thriving. Although we have a couple of jobs to finish off the ponds are not closed so pay them a visit when the weather warms up as there are plenty of small carp in the main pond and now crucians to be caught.

100 Club

The winner this month is Jean Fisher.

16 Jan, 2018

News December 2017

Breaking News

You should by now have received an email advising you of the recently acquired fishing rights to More house farm fishery. We are aware that some of our members do not have access to a computer so they will be advised by letter.

This is a great addition to our existing portfolio of waters but please ensure you read the notes carefully as we do not want to upset the owner by falling foul of the fishery rules. Give it a go (after 1 January needless to say).

Frylands Ponds

The initial stocking of 500 crucian carp has now taken place and rather than repeat myself there is a separate article on the website with a full update and lots of pictures. Looking good for next year.

Christmas Competition

Well done to those who braved the wind and rain on 10 December. Despite the dreadful conditions it was won with an impressive 84lb 7oz but unfortunately the winner couldn’t make it back to Burgess Hill Football club for the meal as his car broke down. Those who did come back enjoyed the usual hearty helpings of shepherds pie and chilli con-carne. Some even managed three portions to make up for those missing.

100 Club

The winner this month is Clive Everest.

It just remains for me to say, have a good Christmas and New Year and we hope to see you on the bank in 2018.

18 Dec, 2017

Frylands Ponds update December 2017

Most of the initial work to the ponds has been completed just in time for winter. We have dragged out as much leaf and silt as possible bearing in mind the margins of the ponds made it virtually impossible to use a digger and both ponds have been treated with siltex. We treated the main pond one week before the smaller of the two ponds and already the colour of the water has improved considerably.

Frylands 15

Although we haven’t received much in the way of rain both ponds are filling up nicely and the small pond, in the foreground below, is looking much better. We are hoping it doesn’t clear too much otherwise the local herons will have a great time feeding on our crucians.

Frylands 16

Lilies and the first batch of marginals have been planted and hopefully they will not have sunk too far into the silt. We will have to wait until next Spring and Summer to see how they get on and we will also see what naturally re-grows bearing in mind that the edges of both ponds have received a healthy dollop of good quality compost – the silt and leaf litter.

The Environment Agency visited recently to check the quality and depth of the water. I am pleased to advise you that they have very kindly donated 500 crucian carp which have gone into the ponds.. Many thanks to the EA for their support in this project and the plan is to introduce further fish next year.

Frylands 17

We do not propose closing the water as one of the benefits of people fishing is that they add food to the water but in the meantime we will supplement any natural food by feeding pellets next Spring.

Frylands 18

The fish may look small but I can assure you the chap from the fish farm had very big hands !?! He is optimistic that they may start breeding as soon as next year and if so we will be able to use any surplus fish to add to our existing waters. We even had one bonus rudd in amongst the crucians.

We still have a couple of jobs to carry out before next April - the creation of some natural swims using logs and the replacement of the existing wooden bridge. We will also be putting in pipes for an overflow system. This will link both ponds and also allow excess water to flow from the main pond into a nearby stream. Rather than dig the overflow ditch by hand we may be on the lookout for a small digger. A job for next year I think !

09 Dec, 2017

News November 2017

Badgers Wood Mega strim Saturday 18 November

It’s that time of year again.

We will be holding the annual mega strim at Badgers Wood on Saturday 18 November. It is a good chance to meet with fellow members and we will throw in a hot drink and a bite to eat . We would ask that you wear suitable clothing and if you have a decent strimmer or brush cutter this would be useful. If not bring a rake (we have a few) as there is always a bit of clearing up to do. Any time after 9 o’clock and you will have the opportunity of using the brand new car park !

With regard to the car park we would like to thank one of our newest members who took time out over a weekend to spread and roll the surface. Unlike my road, not a pothole in sight !

BW car park

There is no truth in the rumours that we will be painting in parking bays although this might not be a bad idea having seen some of our members parking. We have noticed that some of you have been leaving cars just inside the gate so as to access the swims nearer the road but having spent a lot of time and effort to put in a track and car park could we ask you to leave your cars in the car park area. If not we will have to resort to double yellow lines !

Frylands Ponds

We a have had a bit of a job draining the small pond at Frylands as there was a lot more water than we bargained for. Decades of leaf and acorns from the surrounding oaks have resulted in a virtually lifeless pond but despite this we managed to net and move 21 small carp into the main pond. There were already a number of carp in the main pond so with a bit of luck they will grow on and provide good sport next year. There is a full report and pictures in an earlier news article.

Rivers update

One of our members has reported a 24lb pike from Wineham (downstream from the bridge) but unfortunately there was nobody with him to witness the fish . Hopefully it will feel hungry again soon and somebody else will be able to claim the club record.

We have also cleared the approach to Wineham upstream and created 6 swims for fishing including from the "berms". Initial indications are good with roach chub and pike having been caught. Watch out for the carp !

The stretch of river adjacent to Flintstones Manor is once again proving to be a hotbed for chub with plenty of fish between 2 and 3lb being caught.

100 Club

The winner this month is Jean Fisher.

And finally..........For those of you who were unable to attend, the AGM minutes are now available to download.. A riveting read for a cold winters evening !

11 Nov, 2017

Frylands Ponds update November 2017

Things have moved on since the last update and as mentioned we decided that we would completely drain the smaller of the two ponds. Rather naively we assumed we would be able to drain it, net the remaining fish and remove the leaf litter (by hand) in one day but it has not proved to be that simple. After two sessions of pumping the water level had gone down by a foot or so and we were only able to net four small carp.

Frylands 9 Small pond 31 October

In those two sessions we removed another huge load of fallen leaves and even managed to get down to the clay along the causeway bank. However it was clear that even if we managed to pump out the pond it would take us considerable time to clear the leaves and other debris that had fallen in the pond over the past 40 years or so.

Fortunately for us, on Friday 3 November, the 4 regular members of the maintenance team were reinforced by staff and students from Plumpton College. As a result we were able to drain enough of the small pond to net the remaining fish.

We managed to net a total of 21 carp between 1 and 3lb and all were transferred to the main pond. Apart from a few frogs there was nothing left in the pond – not even an eel slithering around in the mud.

Frylands 11

Another huge amount of debris was removed and apart from one corner most of the leaf litter has been removed. One more visit should finish it off.

Frylands 12

As there are no fish in the pond it means that we can stock with pure bred crucian carp with no fear of inter breeding with any existing common or mirror carp but before we do so we need a prolonged spell of rain to restore the water level. We have been promised fish in early December but we will only put the fish in if we have sufficient water. In the meantime we will be improving the fish habitat by planting water lilies and other plants and we also cut back some of the overhanging branches. It might look a bit messy at the moment but we know there are reeds already in the pond and with the plants we will be introducing, by next Spring it will look completely different.

Frylands 13 Small pond 3 November

The final job of the day was in the main pond and the staff and students of Plumpton College applied “siltex” (powdered chalk) to break down the existing silt. We have enough to treat the main pond again next April and we will also treat the small pond once it has a bit more water in it. Josh Kemble from Plumpton gave an interesting explanation on how the siltex works. It is totally harmless to fish and plants so fingers crossed it will do the trick by reducing silt levels and increasing water depth as well as making the pond healthier.

All in all a very successful day and big thanks to all who came along to lend a hand.

05 Nov, 2017

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