General Rules

The following rules are the general rules of the club and apply to all club waters. in addition there may be other rules specific to certain waters.

  1. Members must familiarise themselves with the general rules and with rules specific to certain waters before fishing (see below). These are detailed in the membership book which now incorporates proof of current subscription payment and as such should be in each member's possession when he or she is on a club water. Ignorance of the rules therein will not be accepted as an excuse when any of these rules has been transgressed.

Rules specific to certain waters


  1. All members over the age of 12 must be in possession of a current E.A Rod Licence prior to fishing. Details available by clicking on the card below.

2b. On all waters junior members under 15 must be supervised by an adult or  by one of the club's coaches.

  1. All members shall observe the bye-laws and regulations of both the Local Authority and the Environment Agency.
  2. Members must cause no damage to club property or leased waters and wherever possible are expected to prevent such behaviour in others.

5a. Members must at all times act in a responsible manner and cause neither conflict nor disturbance to any form of wildlife or to other water users nor must they act in a manner which may bring the club into disrepute.

5b. Any member or group of members making any threat to the club, any officer of the club or any other member shall, at the discretion of the committee have their membership revoked immediately.

  1. Each angler must willingly produce their membership book on request from club bailiffs or any other member who shows proof of their own membership or authority to so request.
  2. The close season varies from water to water and members should refer to the pages in their membership booklet featuring each water where the dates are given.
  3. The length and breadth of keepnets must comply with the current water authority byelaws. Only knotless keepnets and landing nets are to be used on club waters. For more details
  4.                    please click and visit the countryside code  
  5. download the pdf version
  6. Absolutely no trespassing onto  land adjacent to the club's waters. Such actions may jeopardize the club's relationship with its landlords and therefore its leases. Members are expected to follow the countryside code and leave all gates (through which they have permitted access) closed behind them. To learn more about the code click the link below.
  7. Lighting fires is strictly prohibited though judicious use of proprietary camping stoves for cooking is allowed. Such stoves however should not be left unattended when lit.
  8. The leaving behind of litter is strictly forbidden. It is unsightly, dangerous to wildlife and gives the club a bad name. Any litter on a peg is deemed to belong to the person currently fishing that swim. Take your own and any inherited litter home with you for safe disposal. Any members found leaving litter on club waters will be banned from the Club in the first instance for a period of one year. A second offence will result in a life ban. Any member found discarding fishing line will be banned from the Club for life.
  9. When using tinned bait (such as sweetcorn, luncheon meat, pulses etc.), remove the contents from the tin at home and take it to the venue in a bait box.
  10. All matches will be fished to the National Federation of Anglers Rules, any modifications will be announced at matches. (For additional local match rules, applicable to Club waters, please refer to the match angling rules section link below).

National Federation of Anglers Rules

Match Angling Rules

  1. No swimming will be allowed in Club waters.
  2. No forms of watercraft at all, including model boats, are allowed on any of the club's waters, except at the discretion and under the supervision of the committee.
  3. The use of live baiting in all forms is forbidden.
  4. The use of bent hooks is prohibited.
  5. The use of bloodworm and joker is banned.
  6. All coarse fish are to be returned safely at the end of the fishing session.
  7. No trout or other game fish to be kept in the nets.
  8. No poaching or firearms. Such action by others, if witnessed, is to be reported to the authorities and to the committee. Members are reminded to always put their safety first.
  9. The retention of carp in keep nets, whether match or pleasure fishing, is strictly forbidden (see match rules). Members are advised to return carp immediately but where it is felt necessary to retain a large fish (e.g. for photographing or witnessing) a proprietary carp sack must be used. The retained carp should be placed upright, within the sack, in cool, deep, well oxygenated water and the length in time of its retention should be kept to a minimum. Under no circumstances may more than one carp be placed in the same carp sack.

22b. All members specifically fishing for carp must use a designated unhooking mat for the fish's wellbeing. On those occasions when a carp is unintentionally caught by a non-carp angler, any carp angling member present on the water will be expected to lend assistance  and equipment to ensure the fish's safe return to the water. Where no such assistance or equipment is available, emergency improvisation is required. This could include using and angler's chair or splayed out, un-erected umbrella as a makeshift  unhooking mat. Or simply a soft grassy area. Under no circumstances should carp or other big fish be placed on hard, gravelly or sparsely grassed ground. Nor should large fish be left unattended to thrash about and injure themselves.

22c. Landing Nets must be used at all times for Large Fish.

22d. No coarse baits for Pike fishing/Pike anglers must have all necessary unhooking and fish care equipment.

22e. The length of time that fish are to be kept out of the water for the purpose of weighing, measuring, photographing or witnessing is to be kept to an absolute minimum. At all times, whether match or pleasure fishing, the fish's welfare must come first. The causing of undue stress to our precious stocks, either through ignorance, bad practices or deliberately, may result in disciplinary action. Rule 22 is included in these general rules to protect our valuable stocks and to engender continued good relations and understanding with the general public with whom we share some of our waters and without whose sustained support angling as a whole might be at risk.

A fish care code is included in our links above. Whilst not being cast in stone all members, experienced and otherwise, are requested to invest in the Club's future by observing the code and by encouraging others to do likewise.

  1. No encroachment into adjacent swims when using either single or multiple rod setups is allowed. On "open swim" waters each member should feel entitled to ten yards of bank to himself. And of course this area must extend into the water he (or she) is fishing.
  2. The reserving of swims by any member is absolutely forbidden. Leaving tackle in a swim for the purpose of reserving that swim is not allowed, nor is the reservation of a swim "by a friend". As a special dispensation it is permissible for a member to leave a club water with his tackle in the swim for a period of up to 2 hours to deal with personal business. However, rods, rod pods and bank sticks etc. must be removed from their fishing position and placed, for example, broken down in the member's bivvy or under his umbrella. If the member concerned has not returned within that time, the swim shall be deemed vacant by any other paid-up member who wishes to fish in it.

This rule, like all others, is a general rule and applies to all Club waters. But it has specific significance to Big Waters and has been drawn up to counter past problems on there and also to cover the fact that there has been a recent upsurge within the membership of carp anglers but no corresponding increase in carp fishing bankside space.

The committee continues its quest to acquire quality waters but with such bankside space at a premium, members are expected to recognise the equal right of all fellow members to fish Club waters, irrespective of seniority, status or species sought.

Rule 24 is a common-sense opportunity for carp and other long session anglers to maintain the status quo. The very last thing the committee wants is to have to enforce restrictions on specialist or long-stay anglers. But if all members are not given equal consideration the committee will not hesitate to bring in more draconian measures to protect the more casual angler. Such measures will almost certainly include rod restrictions, session-length restrictions and a limit on the number of bivvys or night anglers at any one time. Therefore it is in your best interests to comply with rule 24 and other relevant rules and to engender harmony with all fellow members.

  1. Baited rods must not be left unattended. Anyone wishing to go "walkabout" must first wind in their rod(s). Under no circumstances should anyone ever be more than one swim away from his (her) baited rod(s). (On "open swim" waters this can be up to 25 yards away).

Leaving baited rods in the charge of another member whilst answering the call of nature is acceptable. Any infringement of this rule will be harshly dealt with as it puts our stocks at risk. Any member who leaves a Club water with his baited rods still cast out will be banned for life.

  1. Guest anglers will be allowed at the discretion of the committee. Applications for guest tickets must be made to either the Club Secretary or Treasurer.
  2. Fish deaths or incidents of suspected pollution on Club waters should be reported without delay to the Club Secretary or Treasurer.
  3. Some members like the company of radios, many don't, therefore the use of head phoned (e.g. Walkman-type) radios or cassette players is permitted. Standard radios may also be used but only if the member is alone on a Club water or where he (or she) has sought and received the express permission to do so from ALL other paid-up members fishing at the time. members using standard radios or cassette players should consider all other water users when doing so. Complaints from other members of the Club or the general public will result in ALL radios being banned.
  4. No alcohol or drugs are NOT allowed on ANY club waters. Any persons caught under the influence of these substances or in possession of them will be asked to stop fishing and will appear before the committee to explain their actions. 


These common-sense general rules have been drawn up to protect each members' enjoyment and to preserve the much valued and hard earned leases on our various Club waters. Angling is many things to many people and there is no room in this Club for those with no consideration for either their fellow members or the Club's long standing reputation both in the community and with our various landlords. The committee will take whatever steps it deems appropriate to preserve good fishing and good relations, and anyone transgressing any of the general rules or those specific to certain waters can expect to be dealt with harshly.

Reasonable responsible anglers have nothing to fear and are most welcome additions to the membership. The committee remains totally approachable and as such invite any constructive suggestions designed to improve the overall package offered by the Club. It is the committee's sincere and primary wish that all B.W.A.C. members continue to enjoy success on all Club waters and elsewhere.

These are the recognised  General Angling Rules of the Big Waters Angling Club.

Match angling rules section

All Club matches (as per rule13 of General Angling Rules above) will be fished to the NFA rules, copy of which is available for inspection from the Match Secretary on Match day.

Additional local rules

Dissington Pond

  1. The footbridge will be out of bounds on match day/evening to eliminate excessive disturbance to adjacent pegs.


All Waters

  1. All Carp (except crucian carp) are to be weighed and returned immediately. In matches where carp could possibly feature, weigh slings and unhooking mats will be provided and Anglers drawing scales will be given instruction if necessary in their use.
  2. Blood worm and Jokers are banned.
  3. All match anglers are requested to observe the fish care code in the handbook, in particular the correct handling of fish and usage of keep nets. to repeat point 1 within the code "At all times the welfare of the fish should be your first consideration".
  4. Ground baiting: some restrictions are placed on the amount of permissible ground bait. Please refer to Club waters section in the handbook for details relating to a specific venue.

Entrance into any B.W.A.C. Club Match is deemed an acceptance of both the National Federation of Anglers and Local Angling Rules.

Rules specific to certain waters

Big waters / The Links / Little Big Waters

Rod Limit
3 Rods Max reducing to 2 when 10 or more anglers are on the water.
4 rod max after November 1st and reducing to 3 when 10 or more anglers are on the water.

1lb dry ground bait limit on the Links.

Close Season
Angling for Pike Season 1st Oct - 30th April

Anglers not allowed into nature reserve.
Fish only from the Eastern end of Big Waters,



Rod Limit
2 Rods Max reducing to 1 when 10 or more anglers are on the water

1lb Dry groundbait

Close Season

Park in the Car Park ONLY
Only fish from Pegs


Marden Quarry

Rod Limit
3 Rod Limit At All Times

1lb Dry Groundbait

Close Season

Night Fishing is Brolly Only Bivvies not allowed. Night Season MUST be off the water NO LATER then 9:30AM. No Artificial Baits.
Barbless hooks Only.
No Fires of any Kind except small stoves.
Park in Car Park ONLY.
No Cars To be drove down access road too access water.




Rod Limit
3 Rod max on MILL
2 Rod max on SKELLEY

1lb Dry Groundbait

Close Season
Angling Season for pike 1st Oct - 14th March

Park In Car Park Only and Please Display Your Permit