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 Please read these rules carefully

 Day Ticket Fishery Rules

Barbless hooks only, maximum size 6

No keep nets

No night fishing  (dawn till dusk only)

No litter

Bait restrictions : No cat or dog meat

Only pellets (including feed and hook pellets) supplied by the fishery can be used on all Day Ticket waters, these pellets are available from the fishery office which is situated just past the Swan Pond.

The new building houses toilets, a shop and a fish hatchery.

Match Fishing Rules



Rule Change for Hollywood Bowl

With regard to the new Lake at Hollywood.

We are seeing the same issues with lip damage on the smaller Carp at Hollywood Bowl as occurred in the early days of Merry`s Pool and Hollywood Strip Lake.

We attributed this damage at the time to the constant pricking of the fishes lips associated with the use of Method Feeders, i.e. smaller fish do not always hook themselves against the weight of the feeder and constant pricking of the lip tissue occurs.

 Although some anglers disagreed with the reasoning behind this at the time, the problem was solved after the ban was introduced and the fish recovered quickly.

This problem does not seem to occur with larger fish and we intend to ban the use of self hooking methods, specifically METHOD FEEDER, IN LINE FEEDERS and IN LINE BOMBS until we deem that the fish are up to the size where mouth damage does not occur.

All feeders and bomb rigs must now be free running and of the paternoster type, with a minimum 12 inch hooklength and a 2 inch paternoster length.







Barbless hooks only, maximum size 10

Maximum match duration 6 hours

Anglers must not lift their keep nets from the water , fishery staff will be on hand at the end of your match to weigh all fish, this is to prevent damage to our fish stocks

No litter

Dead fish will not be weighed

Bait restrictions : No cat or dog meat

No floating baits, floating pole may be used providing the bait is a minimum of 12 inches below the surface

Popped up baits may be used provided that the bait is without any doubt below the surface.

Boilies may be used including wafters etc.

Only pellets (including feed and hook pellets) supplied by the fishery can be used on all Match Waters,

these pellets are available from the fishery office which is situated just past the Swan Pond.


Method bans : All methods can be used unless otherwise stated

Exclusions are : No self hooking floats allowed, including Numpty, Bagging Wagglers, Controller, Bubble type floats, slow sinking feeders or any variations of the above,  no spalsh discs.

All Wagglers must be of a standard bottom end only design with a maximum capacity of 12 grams including loading.

Please note that the shotting capacity of the float must be visible (i.e. not painted over) and floats which say 12 + any other amount are too big.

The maximum diameter of the visible portion of the waggler (i.e.that part which is above the surface) may not exceed 12mm in diameter, including any fins.


This rule is to prevent fishing matches from becoming one method only events as was the case in the past when large self hooking floats were allowed. This rule applies to all five match lakes

TRIPP LAKE is classed as a float only venue, float only means with pole or running line only, no ledgering or feeder fishing, this rule only applies to TRIPP LAKE

No dogs are allowed on any of our sites.

Please help to preserve the abundance of wildlife on our fishery by taking all litter and line home, you may not be around to see the results of discarded line but we are !

Please do not stand behind anglers who are competing in matches. They have a limited time in which to try to make a winning catch and you may reduce their chances of doing so.

A separate set of rules apply to the syndicate lakes which are provided by the fishery upon membership acceptance

Match Rule Change



An Explanation Of Our Rules

 Many anglers may question the need for our rules and restrictions, some are designed to protect the fish from harm or damage such as the barbless hook rule or the restriction of keep net use, some are designed to protect our wildlife such as no litter and the restriction of dogs at the fishery, some are designed to make the fishing matches more even by limiting certain methods or preventing a method such as floating baits from disturbing other anglers swims, but probably the most contentious of all are the bait restrictions, please read  our explanation below !

Bait restrictions and why they are present

The effects of large quantities of indigestible material passing through a fish into the water really has to be seen to be believed. To give you an example of the effects of this we lost over 1000lbs of fish "yes 1000lbs of fish", in less than one hour due to the water deoxygenating. The reason for this was large quantities of cat food being introduced over a very short period with up to 20 tins per angler being used. The indigestible nature of this cat food caused a huge increase in bacterial activity as the ponds own natural clean up system burst into action. The result was that all of the oxygen in the pond became consumed by the bacteria which were eating the waste bait and a large fish kill followed

The same effect can occur with high protein and high oil pellets. We have found that as anglers cannot guarantee and in some cases do not care about the quality and nature of the pellets they bring, we are obliged to restrict their use to those we can verify and have confidence in.
We used to allow anglers to use their own hook pellets until we found certain individuals bringing two to three kilos of what they described as hook pellets but which they were actually feeding in during the matches. This left us with no alternative but to extend the pellet restrictions to cover hook baits as well.
All of the Fishery Pellets are priced to encourage anglers not to break the Fishery Pellet only rule. We feel that it is in every angler’s interest to protect the water quality and therefore the fish stocks, please help us to do so.

Please note : We do check and enforce our rules so please adhere to them at all times !. We feel that these rules are in no way draconian and are in place to protect the fishery and fish stocks, they should not detract from your enjoyment during your stay at the fishery. If you are found to be breaking the rules then you will be asked to leave the fishery. If a match angler is found to be breaking the rules during their match then this is deemed to be cheating fellow competitors as well and a ban may follow.

Please remember that the quality of the fishing that you enjoy is a result of good fishery management and the enforcement of these rules, we do understand that some may disagree but they are necessary to protect and preserve the future of your fishing.

Thank You.

Whist it has always been our policy not to become involved in angling forum debates, a misleading post in June 2012 on the talk angling web-site has left us with no alternative to respond.

For those not wishing to wade through the many replies elicited by this post, the gist was that I had searched through peoples fishing tackle, supposedly looking for illegal baits in order that I could disqualify the anglers even though they were not actually using the said baits. As can be seen from the reply below this was not the case.

Included in the “debate” (???) was a suggestion of double standards. Supposedly, during the 2012 Fishomania qualifier, Steve Ringer was found to be fishing with non-fishery pellets and merely advised that he could not use them. Steve replied on the forum, denying that this was the case and I can vouch for his version of the events after sitting with him during the match.

(Original Post) Messingham Sands – bait checks 24th June 2012

Just thought I'd share this with anyone who visits this venue. For those who do you'll no doubt know that the rules state that fishery feed and hook pellets must be used, which is fair enough. However, we had a match there yesterday and Kev the owner came round checking pellets and kicked two of our lads off for having other types of pellets visable in their holdalls. Neither angler was using them and indeed had fishery pellets either on the hook or in a band but his attitude was that "they shouldn't be brought onto the complex".
Fortunately, my holdall was closed when he came round as I, like I'm sure many others, would have shared a similar fate. I would add for a bit of balance that he did also kick a couple off for using other pellets and one for using different feed pellets (on another match) but I don't know about anyone else but I can probably count on the fingers of one hand how many times I clear out my bag each season. The word "petty" springs to mind, no where on his signs or website does it state "don't bring other pellets on the complex", don't use them, yes and I have little sympathy for those caught using them but for just having them in your bag is totally OTT in my opinion!!
I won't be going back and I suspect neither will our club so you have been warned, clear out your bag or make sure it's shut at all times when you are fishing!!

Messingham Sands bait rules reply (talk angling forum 14 Dec 2012)

I will try to keep this as brief as possible as I feel a little aggrieved at some of the comments made and could go to great lengths to answer many of them individually.

There are no restrictions regarding the possession of any bait at Messingham Sands Fishery.

An angler may carry in his vehicle or bait bag as many sacks of non Messingham Sands Fishery pellets, tubs of hook baits, or tins of cat meat etc as they so wish.

I have never, nor will I ever, ask anyone to leave the fishery simply because they have in their possession baits which contravene our rules, as I feel that in the true spirit of match angling everyone should be trusted until they prove otherwise.

However, if an angler transfers any of the said baits to his bait waiter or tray, then I feel that it is reasonable to assume that there is an intention to use these baits.

If a Fisheries rules state that certain baits may not be used in a fishing match and one angler flouts these rules, either intentionally or in ignorance, then in my opinion he is in fact cheating those competitors who are actually adhering to the rules.

Is it unreasonable to protect the interests of the other anglers by disqualifying anyone caught cheating (in any shape or form) whether intentionally or in error?

During the considerable number of years that our rules regarding baits have been in place I have had the misfortune to have to disqualify a number of anglers from their fishing matches.

I try to do this as quietly and as reasonably as possible and also try to let the club secretary know why I have done so.

In the majority of cases, anglers have simply not taken enough care in understanding the rules (despite large and prominently positioned signs, sheets posted in the fishery office, copies supplied to match booking secretaries and also posted on the website).

In the main I have found that most anglers are embarrassed and behave in a reasonable manner in these situations. A small minority however seem to think that it is the fishery which is at fault and usually decide to let us know vociferously that they will never come to Messingham Sands again.

My view on this has always been that if an angler arrives and reads the rules, if he/she disagrees with them then he/she is perfectly within their rights to turn around and leave. I have every respect for other people’s right to decide what is and what is not ok with them and don’t expect everyone to have to agree with my thoughts on how to run a fishery.

However the time to argue about the rules is certainly not after having been caught breaking them.

For the few who, when caught, say that they will never come to the fishery again, I would say that if you decide that you won’t go somewhere unless they allow you to cheat, then it says more about your character than about the way the fishery is run.

This season we have had very few problems with anglers using pellets other than ours, probably because we price ours very competitively in order to try to encourage their use (£2-00 per 900g).

Because of this I can clearly remember the incident and club in question.

I actually went to peg 1 on the Islands Lake to have a chat with the angler there and to see how he was doing (I did not know him). I was extremely disappointed to find that he had a tub of non fishery hookbaits on his bait waiter and told him that he was breaking the rules and would have to pack his gear away. I went to the club secretary, (who I knew well) and explained what had happened, only to find that he was also using non fishery pellets. After having to tell a man I have always got on really well with that he was disqualified I then felt that in fairness to these two anglers I would have to check everyone on the match and found to my disappointment a total of four other anglers breaking the rules, all of whom were disqualified. Most were as gutted as I was and a couple of them apologised for their transgressions and have since returned to the fishery on numerous occasions and been made welcome. One individual decided that the fault was ours and that he wouldn,t be coming back (please refer to my previously stated opinion).

There is absolutely no truth in the statement that any of these anglers were disqualified for simply having non fishery pellets in their possession, each and every one had bait on their bait stands, which in my opinion displayed the intent for their use, after all why would anyone go to the trouble of taking bait from a vehicle or holdall and placing it on a bait stand if it was not intended to be used.

With regard to the statement that Steve Ringer had non fishery pellets with him at the Fishomania qualifier and was simply told that he couldn’t use them, what a load of rubbish.

Should the person who made the claims regarding Steve Ringer wish to contact him personally to clarify the situation, I am absolutely certain that he won’t have a clue what you are talking about, as what you have suggested is a figment of your imagination, (along with accusation that we search through anglers bait bags – something we have never done).

Do you imagine for one minute that any of the elite anglers would jeopardise their reputations by breaking any fishery rules, let alone in front of a crowd of other anglers and with sky TV filming them?

I must say that it was refreshing to read some of the more reasoned comments in the forum; it just goes to show that not everyone believes everything that they read.

My final comment to the individual who made the original post, this was  a really good example of what the gutter press would describe as not letting the truth get in the way of a good story.

Kevin Johnson


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