The Wharf Lake Rules

The following rules have been decided by The Wharf Fishery. Please read and observe these rules, if you believe that these rules are not appropriate then please do not apply for membership.

If you infringe them, the management reserves the right to suspend or terminate your licence to fish The Wharf, or otherwise to deal with you as is considered appropriate.

Please follow The Wharf Fishery’s Code of Conduct, especially with regard to fish welfare: handling, the retaining of fish and “killer” rigs.

The management reserves the right to add to and/or amend the rules from time to time, and will notify you of any changes.

  1. Fishing outside of County Hall is NOT allowed from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. You are not allowed to set up a bivvy during these times. Fishing this area during the no fishing period will result in an instant warning.
  2. Anyone under the age of 18 need to be accompanied by an adult
  3. NO fishing the fountains area
  4. NO fishing the canal feeders
  5. “Fish at all costs” – Fish welfare comes before hooking them… If you are fishing over thick weed beds with little hope of landing them then do not fish for them. Please do be upset if you’re asked to reel in a rod.
  6. Permit holders are entitled to fish the water for the period for which their permit applies, except for dates when the fish are spawning. Such dates will be posted on the Committee website and social media sites.
  7. Fishing opposite each other – the person who was there first commands 2/3 of the water, therefore leaving 1/3 to the angler who has just arrived.
  8. A single angler may fish with a maximum of three rods provided that he/she is in possession of the appropriate E.A. licences.
  9. No swims may be altered without the consent of a bailiff.
  10. Climbing of trees is not permitted.
  11. No rowing boats of any description are allowed on the water other than the authorised use of a boat by the bailiffs in the course of their duties.
  12. Strictly no wading. The dock bottom is very unpredictable. Work parties – If waders are required for maintenance work, then people are to work in pairs.
  13. Please leave a minimum of 1.5m gap on the pathway so that pedestrians with pushchairs can pass. This 1.5m rule also applies to the business shop fronts underneath the columns. Please do not be upset if you are asked to re-pitch your bivvy.
  14. Take all litter home, anglers are responsible for any potential litter found in their chosen swim.
  15. All anglers must carry and use a good quality unhooking mat. Most cradle, beanie & combi style mats are perfect. Please do not be upset if told to buy a more suitable unhooking mat. Anglers must also be in possession of a weigh sling and antiseptic treatment. Sacking of fish is permitted for a maximum of 1 hour.
  16. Carp Care Kits – every angler must have one
  17. The mass use of nut baits is not permitted, any use of nuts including hookbaits is only permitted under the approval of management.
  18. No guns, crossbows or weapons of any kind are allowed on the property.
  19. No open fires to be lit on the property.
  20. Any person fishing the waters must hold the relevant E.A. licence.
  21. No swims can be reserved by any means. Anglers considered to be reserving swims, especially communicating by mobile phone with anglers not already at the lake, risk being banned from the fishery.
  22. While you’re fishing: Unruly or abusive behaviour (verbal or physical) between individuals or groups of anglers, towards the fishery management property or personnel, other wharf users or members of the public will be deemed to be a gross rule infringement. All members must (at the discretion of the bailiff) conduct themselves in a sportsman-like manner, with respect to all dock users, and observe good angling etiquette.
  23. An angler may be absent from his/her swim for a maximum of 4 hours and off site for a maximum of 2 hours in any 24hr period. Please note: stalking whilst occupying a permanent swim is allowed with one rod only and only when space permits. This must not interfere with another anglers fishing and is allowed at the bailiff’s discretion.
  24. No angler’s baited rods must be left unattended. This includes ‘walking out’ of lines to clip up, if other lines remain in the water. It is not acceptable to leave rods under the control of another angler who is already fishing.
  25. Wound-in rods must not be left unattended without the hook bait being removed.
  26. Fishing in areas which are out of bounds or in swims which are closed is prohibited.
  27. The management shall have the right to inquire into, and take the appropriate action in the event of an alleged infringement of the rules in accordance with the current bailiff guidelines, which are published on the fishery website.
  28. Rule infringements. Annual permits holders warned for rule breaking could have their permit withdrawn.
  29. Random checks will be made with regard to permits, memberships, licences, rigs and bait. Please do not take offence if you are asked for a rig check by a bailiff.
  30. Your permit remains the property of The Wharf Fishery and is non-transferable.
  31. Should you lose your permit a replacement will be supplied following payment of a 5 Pound administrative fee.
  32. All permit holders are expected to attend at least one work party out of the planned yearly work schedule.
  33. Anglers must show respect and not interfere with other water users
  34. One off sports, charity or social events may take place at The Wharf during the year. During this time fishing zones may be changed to accommodate the event. The management will post event information on the fishery website and on social media sites prior to these events.
  35. Minimum line diameter 0.35 mm , exception to this rule will be 12lb allowed for floater fishing
  36. All leaders are banned which includes all leadcore, safety zone and fluro leaders  (ie no knot above the hooklink), tubing is optional
  37. All leads must be on a lead drop off system , lead clips are fine. The only exception to this rule is running leads, which must have no bolt rig setup stops above the lead.

Pike Specific Rules

  1. Pike season runs from 1st of October until 31st of March
  2. A pike ticket is only valid between the 1st of October until the 31st of March. You can only use one rod on this ticket and is only valid during daylight hours. If using two rods then a normal days only or night ticket will be required.
  3. Minimum 15lb breaking strain for live/dead baiting and lure fishing (spinning) this is to insure line breaks are avoided.
  4. An up trace should be used when live baiting this should be no less than 6 inches longer than the hooked trace (snap tackle) to avoid bite offs by pike.
  5. Minimum length of trace for lure fishing (spinning) 12 inches (300 mm). We recommend that snap tackle trace for live/ dead baiting should be 16 inches (400 mm)
  6. The use of high quality shop brought traces /swivels /clips /hooks /braid is recommended.
  7. All treble hooks must be barbless or semi barbed (crushed barbed) this will allow for easier unhooking and less damage to the pike.
  8. Handle all pike caught with care, an unhooking glove is recommended, never use a pike gag.
  9. All pike anglers must be in possession of an adequate unhooking mat. landing nets must be assembled and have at least 36” arms.
  10. When unhooking use the forceps and hand technique. Lay the pike on its back slip your gloved hand through the gill cover. Firmly hold the lower jaw, the mouth can be opened very easily, use long nosed pliers or forceps to remove the hooks.
  11. When returning a pike to the water never hold it up by the chin always support the body of the pike with your other arm. Once in the water let the pike recover fully by holding it until it swims off, this allows its swim bladder and oxygen levels to stabilize.
  12. Strike early, do not wait for the pike to swallow the bait as this will result in a deep hooked pike, if the hooks are difficult to remove use strong cutters to cut away hooks and remove the trace, remember a deep hooked pike will soon become a dead pike if the snap tackle is not removed! If however you cannot see the hooks DO NOT cut the trace. Leave this attached and release the pike. When the pike is re- caught a more experienced angler may be able to remove the snap tackle. The safety and well-being of our fish is of the utmost importance and there is no shame in asking for assistance.
  13. Live baits to be caught from the Wharf ONLY!