The Bailiff Team
Farnham Angling Society (FAS) has a large team of Bailiffs that number around 70, currently headed by Simon King as Chief Bailiff, working closely with the Deputy Head Bailiff, Terry Young. Who in turn maintain close communication with the Head Bailiffs on each fishery, each of which has their own team of bailiffs in place that operate on a rota system. The Executive Committee, at the recommendation of the Chief Bailiff, approve all Head Bailiffs.
All FAS Bailiffs carry an identification card and should show you this before asking to see your Handbook. Remember that you will be asked to leave an FAS fishery if you do not have your current FAS handbook with you when asked to produce it by a bailiff, so please do not make this mistake. Ensure that you have your current FAS handbook with you before you start your fishing session or visit our secure fisheries such as the Badshot Lea Complex, Mill Lane, Stillwater Lakes & Winchfield Court Farm Pond.
If you would like to assist Farnham Angling Society by becoming a Bailiff for FAS, we may have an opportunity for you. Providing that you are a Senior member, please give Simon a call on 01252 – 341845 to find out more.
The bailiffs undertake inspections of the fisheries, generally on a daily basis, checking that those fishing have valid FAS Handbooks and are obeying the Society’s Byelaws and Rules, and will make a note of both your permit number and swim that you are fishing. As well as checking your permit, the bailiffs will generally be able to offer advice on the fishery itself, so just ask them.
Whilst the bailiffs will usually check for litter whilst en-route around the fisheries, and pick up any that is seen, please remember that FAS do not provide bins and that you are required to take all your rubbish home with you. If you have an unkempt swim, with litter around you whilst fishing, you will be asked to clear it up by bailiffs. Litter is simply not tolerated on our fisheries, and anyone found to have dropped litter will be dealt with on the bank by the bailiffs and later by a Disciplinary Sub-Committee. So please, keep it tidy, take it home and keep your Handbook.
Bailiffs will encourage Members to maintain the cleanliness of our fisheries and remind them that they are responsible for a swim once they decide to fish it, whether there was any litter in it before they started becomes a matter for the new occupier to address.
The Bailiffs are generally very experienced anglers on the waters that they patrol and will be able to offer a wealth of advice and information in relation to the fishing and how to try and achieve the best results in order that you enjoy your time on the water. If you wish to call a Head Bailiff to seek their advice on how to fish a water or see how it is currently fishing, call them on the phone numbers listed on the fishery pages in the FAS Handbook, but please remember not to do so after 8pm unless in an emergency.
The most common breaches found are in relation to litter (byelaw 4.h), the use of barbed hooks (byelaw 4.b.1 - Hook checks will be carried out by the Head Bailiffs), the lack of an unhooking mat (byelaw 4.b.2), dogs off their leads (byelaw 4.f), fishing beyond the half way point (covered by byelaw 2.a), the use of unsafe rigs (byelaw 4.b.6), the use of BBQ's at Lodge Pond or Frensham Great or Small Pond (byelaw 4.o.) and unattended tackle and swims (byelaw 4.q).
To reduce any risk of spreading any types of diseases, please ensure that all of your wet fishing equipment is thoroughly dried between fishing trips, as Members seen arriving with wet gear (byelaw4.b.4), will be asked to leave: this applies to all FAS fisheries.
Please make sure that you take the time to read Byelaws in your Handbook, it is surprising how long some anglers spend on the bank fishing, only to declare when found breaking the rules that they had not read them. It will not take long to read both the byelaws and fishery pages so that you know what is allowed and what is not. It is time well spend and will avoid embarrassment and confrontation, which as after all the last thing that we all want, so please read, understand and abide by FAS’s rules.
Bailiffs provide the Society with water reports that give both the Executive Committee and the Membership a good general overview of how a venue is performing. Bailiffs can submit their water reports on-line with this form.
If a Bailiff does find that a Member is found to be breaking the Byelaws or Rules on any fishery, the Bailiff may decide to issue a Verbal Warning, a Written Warning or Confiscate a Handbook.
If a new member is found to be breaking the rules, the Bailiff will explain the problem, point out the page in the handbook that explains the byelaw or rule and make a note of the ‘Verbal Warning’ in their handbook if necessary.
If a member is found to be breaking the rules and should know better (i.e. not a new member or one that has already received a verbal warning), they will have a ‘Written Warning’ entered on the ‘This is for Bailiffs use only’ page in the back of their handbook. The written warning will remain valid for 2-years and will be taken into account if other warnings or disciplinary action is taken against them within that time.
Confiscation of Handbook
A Member whose handbook is confiscated by a Bailiff will receive a written receipt and the member will be asked to stop fishing, pack up their gear and leave the fishery. If the Member does not do so, their actions will be taken into account at the disciplinary that will follow.
Once the Executive Committee have been advised of the confiscation, a date will be set for the Member to attend a Disciplinary Sub-Committee meeting, at which the matter will be fully addressed. This involves both the Bailiff and the Member being spoken to separately before a considered decision is made, and if a Member is found to have committed an offence, then either a Suspension or an Expulsion will follow.
When a Member is ‘Suspended’ they may not fish any Society waters for the prescribed period, attend an AGM or access FAS property (any fenced fisheries), however they may automatically rejoin Farnham Angling Society when the suspension ends. If they are found to have breached FAS rules after they rejoin, they are likely to be Expelled.
When a Member is Expelled, this means that they may not fish any Society waters for a prescribed period, attend an AGM or access FAS property (any fenced fisheries). At the end of the expulsion period, the former Member must apply in writing to rejoin Farnham Angling Society, though there is no guarantee that their application will be accepted.
The Executive Committee takes disciplinaries very seriously, and whilst not wishing to Suspend or Expel members, will do so in order to protect the Society’s assets, the fisheries, the fish stocks, our Members, our Bailiffs, the natural environment of which we are a guardian and of course the good name of Farnham Angling Society.