Rules & Constitution



01 June 2023 

General Club Rules (Excluding Piltdown)

  1. All Members must be in possession of a valid Environment Agency Rod licence if they wish to fish the Society’s waters.
  2. Access to the Society’s waters is by main entrances only.  Members must keep strictly to the paths and pass to and from the waters in a quiet and unobtrusive manner. Motor vehicles and cycles must be parked only in the allotted places. All gates must be closed.
  3. Where waters have permanent pegs or swims, fishing is only permitted from these areas.
  4. Members may not fish with any more than two rods at any one time. Both rods must be fished in the same swim and must not be left unattended. Competitions shall be fished with only one rod at any one time. The exception to this is for the designated 24hr carp-only competitions at Rowfant Mill where two rods may be used.
  5. Hooks must be barbless or whisker / micro-barbed
  6. All types of nuts are prohibited on Society waters.
  7. The use of lead leger weights below two ounces and lead shot in the size range SSG (Swan shot) down to  No. 6 inclusive are prohibited on all Society’s waters and Members must use substitutes for this range at all times.
  8. Live baiting (i.e., With live fish) is prohibited on all Society waters.
  9. All members fishing for pike and/or carp in Society’s waters must have both an unhooking mat and an appropriate sized landing net with them
  10. Any type of bait or ground-bait that is left over at the end of a fishing session must not be disposed of on the backside.
  11. Members may stay at a particular venue for a maximum of 24 consecutive hours after which time they must remove their tackle and leave that venue and car park and may not return until a further 24-hour period has elapsed. Camping is prohibited.
  12. ALL fish must be returned unharmed to the water from which they were caught. Trout may be retained in accordance with the appropriate byelaws governing size limit and numbers taken.
  13. The retaining of fish in keepnets for long periods should be avoided wherever possible.  If keepnets are used, carp and silver fish should be retained in separate nets. This includes all competitions. Any temporary change to this rule eg the prohibiting of keepnets in summer heat / low water levels, is at the discretion of the Committee and will be communicated via signs and/or the Society website.  Carp sacks are prohibited on all Society waters.
  14. All litter, waste line & other refuse must be taken home.
  15. Members are requested to report details of notable catches, specimen fish, suspected pollution or fish diseases/mortality to the Committee, or any officer of the Society.
  16. Members, when on the Society’s waters, must be able to show proof of membership via the Clubmate phone App and/or ID and produce this if requested by any Officer or Senior Member of the Society.
  17. Boating or bathing is prohibited on the Society waters as is the use of bait boats or drones.
  18. Fires are prohibited (except on organised working parties for maintenance purposes)
  19. Radios and/or musical instruments must not be played at the Society’s waters.
  20. All trophies (unless otherwise stated) shall remain the property of the Society. Trophies must be returned to the Competition Secretary by 1st March.
  21. Coarse Fishing Season
    • There is no close season on any of the Society stillwaters.
    • The coarse season on the river is from 16 June  to 14 March inclusive.
  22. Trout & Sea Trout Season
    • The trout season is from 03 April to 31 May inclusive.
    • The sea trout season is from 01 May to 31 October inclusive
    • Members fishing for trout or sea trout during the coarse fish close season shall only use artificial fly or lure (spinning).
  23. Where necessary/required on the day of a competition, the Committee has delegated any procedural decisions to the Competition Secretary (or his deputy running such competition) whose decision is final, including, but not limited to, any need to amend the location of, pegging approach, duration and use of keepnets.
  24. Competitions with 12 or more anglers shall be “pegged-down.” All competitions where a visiting Club/Society is participating shall be pegged-down”
  25. Any Member may attend the Wednesday competitions.  A separate pool/trophy may be run for Senior Citizens of 65 years plus.

General Club Rules (Piltdown Only)

Piltdown Rules are unique to Piltdown and are determined by the Committee and may change from time to time. These Rules are shown on the Society website.  Currently these are:

  1. No litter. Anglers are responsible for removing litter found in their swim.
  2. No fires/BBQs. No swimming, boating, noise, illegal drugs or alcohol.
  3. No cutting of trees and/or vegetation
  4. Vehicles must only be parked in the official car park.
  5. ALL fish caught shall be returned unharmed to the pond as soon as possible.
  6. Keep-nets/keep-sacks are prohibited, unless on an official or sanctioned match.
  7. Official Match dates will be shown on the Society website. The pond may be closed to other anglers on the day.
  8. No lines in the water unattended.  Maximum 2 rods per angler.
  9. Baiting with live fish is prohibited.  No killing of fish for use as dead-bait.
  10. Carp and pike anglers must use an unhooking mat. No pike gags.
  11. Maximum 24hrs angling/stay on the island. No return within 24hrs.
  12. Anglers must respect wildlife and follow the countryside code of conduct.
  13. Anglers must hold a valid Environment Agency Angling Licence.
  14. Health & Safety
  15. Emergency: 07540 350334 or 07776 305454 EA Hotline 0800 807060

Club Constitution

  1. The Society shall be called “The Copthorne & District Angling Society”
  2. The objectives of the Society shall be to:
    • Provide for its Members facilities for fresh water angling
    • Promote fair angling & a spirit of good sportsmanship amongst its Members
    • Honour & promote the countryside code & the preservation of wildlife
    • Protect & preserve angling facilities for our future generations.
  3. The business of the Society shall be managed and conducted by an Executive Committee.
  4. The Executive Committee (the Committee) shall consist of a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 8 Executive Officers. This shall include a Chairman and a General Secretary.
  5. The non-executive officers of the Society shall be the President, Vice-Presidents, Water   Bailiffs and any Members appointed by the Committee, from time to time, to assist with specific administrative and/or operational tasks/roles.
  6. Unless otherwise advised by the Chairman, meetings of the Executive Committee will take place on the first Thursday in each month at 7.30 pm at the Society’s headquarters.
  7. Any Executive Officer who is absent from 2 consecutive meetings without reasonable excuse and apologies shall be retired from the Committee and then rule 10 shall apply.
  8. The Executive Officers, the President and Vice-Presidents of the Society shall be elected by the AGM. All Executive Officers shall have served a minimum of 2 consecutive years as a Senior Member before being eligible to stand for election by the AGM. The non-executive officers of the Society shall be appointed by the Committee.
  9. All officers of the Society shall be Honorary Members during the period of their appointment.
  10. If an Officer retires during the year, the Committee may co-opt another Senior Member to fill the vacancy until the next AGM
  11. Unless otherwise advised, the AGM shall be held at 7.30 pm on the first Thursday in April each year at the Society’s headquarters. A special general meeting may be called at any time by the Chairman.
  12. Voting at any AGM or Special Meeting shall be on a simple majority basis. Only Senior Members of 2 years standing may vote.
  13. No changes shall be made to the Society’s rules unless adopted by resolution passed at an AGM or Special Meeting.  Proposals for change from Senior Members must be with the General Secretary a minimum of 60 days prior to an AGM.
  14. On match dates, Members are reminded that those Society waters or sections of waters designated for a match on the official fixture list may be closed to anglers that are not participating in the match.
  15. The Committee shall have the power and authority to suspend or expel any Member for Misconduct or for breaking any Society rule.
  16. Fishery management including stocking and fish removal shall be the responsibility of the Committee.
  17. Notice boards: From time to time individual or temporary fishery rules may be introduced by the Committee. Please read the notice boards before fishing.
  18. The Committee have the power & authority to deal with any issue not covered by the Society’s rules.
  19. Senior Members may purchase a guest permit for one guest per day providing such guest is accompanied by the Member. Permits must be purchased before fishing begins and they shall expire at midnight on the date of issue. No guest permits are available for competitions shown on the official fixture list.  Guest Permits may be purchased on-line by Members via the Society website.
  20. Membership: The Society shall consist of the following types of Member: –
    • Senior Members (including senior citizens of 65+ years)
    • Junior Members (aged between 16 and 18 years) and those that remain in full-time education up to the age of 21 years.
    • Junior Members (under 16 years)
    • Note – Junior Members under 16 years must be accompanied by a Senior/Life/Honorary Member at all times
    • Life Members
    • Honorary Members
  21. Membership Subscriptions & other Fees:
    • Membership subscriptions and other fees will be determined by the Committee and advised to the AGM. Unless otherwise determined by the Committee, membership applications shall be made on-line via the Society website.
  22. Members reaching the age of 16 years or 18 years on or before 01 June must take up the appropriate next level of membership category. Likewise, Members in full-time education must take out Senior Membership upon reaching the age of 21 years or upon cessation of being in full-time education prior to reaching the age of 21 years.