Fish Care

Fish care and safe handling is largely a matter of common sense and respect for your quarry. Use the following guides as pointers to safe handling of your catches.

  1. Ensure your line etc. is strong enough to land anything you may hook.
  2. If you have a dual mesh net, make sure the fish is in the bottom section before lifting from the water.
  3. Never handle a fish with dry hands.
  4. Return the fish with care. DO NOT DROP.
  5. Peg out keepnets correctly.
  6. FIXED LEADS: Ref. Bye-law 4.b.4. Do not attach leads to the line in a permanent manner, always ensure that the lead can detach itself from the line under moderate pressure.
  7. Never move a fish without first wrapping it in a sling or net, that it CAN NOT SLIP OUT OF.
  8. Never place a fish directly onto the bank, use an unhooking mat (Bye-law 4.b.2).
  9. The use of Carp/Pike sacks is prohibited on all Society waters.

Use of Fish Treatments

Fish receive knocks and scrapes all the time and any wound can be easily infected by bacteria that are present in all freshwater. Bacteria and Parasites all have the ability to kill fish if conditions are in their favour, we can help fish with any type of physical damage by applying an anti-bacterial solution to the wound. 

Treatments for fish care can be purchased from pet shops or your local tackle shop for around £6.00 so are relatively inexpensive, these ‘first aid kits for fish’ last a considerable length of time, please carefully follow the instructions in the kits, as application methods vary.

Such simple steps can not only help the treated fish, but can also prevent rapidly growing bacteria from infecting other fish, and prevention is always better than cure.

Please bring fish infections and diseased fish to the attention of bailiffs on the fishery or members of the Executive Committee.

Keep a constant watch AND report anything unusual.

The Environment Agency’s Hot line is 0800 80 70 60: a 24-hour free call emergency number or FAS numbers are in the handbook.

Fish You Wish to Weigh or Photograph

  1. Land the fish. LEAVE IT IN THE WATER, then find a flat level site where you intend to photograph it.
  2. Place an unhooking mat, large enough and thick enough to prevent the fish being damaged. (Bye-law 4.b.2)
  3. Prepare your camera and instruct someone in its use.
  4. Find scales and weigh sling (wet weigh sling) and place near mat, along with anything you may need to unhook the fish.
  5. Lift the fish in the net from the water and place on the mat, unhook it and move the tackle to one side.
  6. Slide the fish into the weigh sling and weigh.
  7. Lay the fish STILL IN THE SLING on the mat and make sure that the photographer is ready.
  8. Unwrap the fish, keep it as low to the ground as possible and photograph.
  9. Slide the fish back into the sling, wrap it up and carry it back to the water secure within the sling/net. NEVER CARRY A FISH WITHOUT IT BEING SECURE WITHIN SOMETHING.
  10. Hold your fish in an upright position until it is strong enough to break away from your grasp. Do not launch it away like a boat.

Check out the Photographic Competition page for more help on composing and taking pictures of your catch

Barbel Care

With the ever increasing popularity of Barbel fishing, many more members coming from the lakes onto the river and as a result we would like to make a plea to some of those anglers that are not used to handling these magnificent fish.

Firstly, we would remind all members that Barbel are not allowed to be retained in keep-nets, see byelaw 4.j. in the Handbook.  We would also request anglers to use a landing net with a small mesh that will help to prevent fin damage, especially to the leading edge of their pectoral and dorsal fins.

Barbel are renowned for their tremendous power and the fight that they put up before being landed, however in doing so they expend an enormous amount of their energy, as a result they must be allowed to rest for a few minutes before being returned or photographed. This may be done by facing them upstream in clean, fast running water, either in a landing net or by holding them.

When out of the water, always use an unhooking mat to support the fish and ensure that it is returned as soon as possible to the river.

If Barbel are released too quickly, they can turn belly up, float downstream and drown, this can easily happen in fast water, so when releasing them you should face them into the current and support them under their stomach. Gently holding the wrist of the Barbel’s tail and only let them go when they start to resist a light grip, this will ensure that they only return to the river once they are fully recovered.

Please ensure that you take care of the Barbel in our rivers, treat them with respect and they shall continue to provide you with an unrivalled ‘pound for pound’ fight.

Pike Care

Please ensure that you have read Bye-laws.

    1. Use only small semi-barbless trebles (size 8 or 10). See Bye-law 4.b.1.
    2. 15lb b/s main line on a spool
    3. 24″ (60cm) long pike traces made with high quality wire [minimum 25lb breaking strain]
    4. Large knotless landing net with 36″ long arms
    5. Large unhooking mat
    6. 12″ long artery forceps
    7. Side cutters, able to cut problem hooks when caught in the soft throat tissues or gill rakers.
    8. An adequate Carp/Pike weigh sling.
    9. When you get a run DON’T DELAY THE STRIKE, strike straight away.

Always return your fish, whatever the species as quickly as possible.

Catfish Care

When fishing for Catfish, use of the following is recommended:

  1. A minimum of 15lb main line.
  2. An abrasion resistant hook link e.g. Quicksilver.
  3. A minimum of 42in. landing net.
  4. A large unhooking mat.
  5. A sensitive and effective bite detector system which shows ‘drop backs’ as well as runs.
  6. Only a single, barbless hook may be used per rod.