Resources Section - club info and important news




This year's annual Club meetings

By Stuart Hitchman, Club Secretary

Please make time in your diary to attend this year's meetings. It's important members have their say in the running of our Club and the annual Game and AGM meetings facilitate this. We'll be posting more details in the coming weeks but the key information is here for you to make a note of.

Annual Game section meeting

Tuesday 19 March 19:30


Corfe Mullen Royal British Legion

80 Blandford Road

Corfe Mullen

BH21 3HQ

Annual General Meeting

Tuesday 26 March 19:30


Corfe Mullen Royal British Legion

80 Blandford Road

Corfe Mullen

BH21 3HQ

Bailey’s River Match - A Sign of Things to Come

By Stuart Hitchman, Club Secretary

It is not often these days that a river match outperforms a Stillwater, but that is exactly what happened on Sunday 6 January. Indeed outperformed is a somewhat weak description for the magic that transpired on this mild overcast winter’s day.


I knew something special was on the cards when I heard that Chris Burgess was catching a roach a chuck. On one of my numerous visits to observe his prowess he confirmed that it was a fish a chuck and more importantly 4 fish to the pound. Hugh Miles pegged immediately upstream was also bagging with what appeared a slightly larger stamp. However, his catch rate was not as prolific.

Chris Burgess with a gargantuan 33lb 12oz of Stour roach

A truly remarkable day’s fishing on the Wimborne Strour and evidence, if needed, that huge nets of roach are still possible from this valuable river

Hugh Miles with a fantastic back-up of 18lb

A second bite of the cherry

By Stuart Hitchman, Club Secretary

It is not often you get the opportunity to exploit a gift horse for a second time, but that is exactly what happened on Friday 23 November 2018.


The eagerly anticipated second round of electrofishing was to commence. Dan Gale, the class tutor from Sparsholt College had kindly agreed to support the Club in its effort to safely remove additional Carp from Poole park freshwater lake.

The electrofishing team in action

Sparsholt students display captured Carp in the holding nets

His students worked tirelessly throughout the day and despite the challenges, which included deep silt, were able to capture a further 75 Carp with a combined weight of 653lb.The biggest fish of the day was recorded at 18lb.


All of these fish were safely transported and released into the larger lake at Creekmoor. It is clear from the positive feedback on Facebook that members are already reaping the rewards from this stocking.

A few poounds short of the magical 20 mark

How important our wildlife is

By James Nash, Club Media Officer

Any true angler would be saddened to hear of any wildlife in distress, especially when it happens on one of our waters. Angling permits us to be close to nature and we need to respect the environment in which we follow our beloved pastime. The creatures that inhabit our lakes and rivers have more of a right to be there than we do.


Sadly, a member of the local community at Creekmoor was alerted to a distressed bird late at night a few weeks ago. A heron had become entangled in discarded carp fishing line and was heard making loud calling noises. The RSPCA were alerted and the bird was taken to a local veterinary surgery where it received treatment and rest. Thankfully the bird was safely released a few days later

The heron having been found by a resident

Early the next morning on arrival of the RSPCA

Damage to the birds leg

It is inexcusable to leave such line behind after a session. Most lakes have bins for us to use and we can always take any discarded kit home with us.


The heron was lucky to have escaped this and could so easily have died due to someone's negligence.


We urge all members to ensure they leave the banks clearer than when they arrived and to collect any rubbish at all they see on their travels. Anyone found to have left litter in this way will find themselves explaining their actions in front of the Committee and will almost certainly lose their book.


Please do your bit and keep our venues safe for our wildlife. It's extremely precious and deserves our utmost respect.

The offending line found wrapped around the birds legs

Club membership

By Mike Hirsh, Club Chairman

Chris Crompton, the Club’s Membership Secretary has been working on his end of year statistics.


Overall participative field sports are facing a decline in numbers. Fishing has not escaped that decline, which in some large measure is because getting young entrants to the sport has become ever more difficult. Part of the problem is one of leisure choices, angling now competes against a wide range of other activities and it is not just computer games. It also seems to me that the more frenetic way in which families organise themselves does not readily help a young person wanting to spend half a day to a day by the waterside. Leisure seems to be available in smaller bite sized chunks.


I find it odd that the freedoms I had as a boy, to go off fishing with friends, are no longer considered the norm.  The need to check up on the whereabouts of children on the one hand and the requirement to  be risk averse as a land owner, to avoid possible litigation on the other put stresses in the system that were not there sixty years ago.


It is, therefore, a real pleasure to be able to report that the youth membership of the Club almost doubled last year. The number of junior and minors has increased from 57 in 2017 to 100 in 2018.


If I was going to identify one reason for this increase it is because the Club has actively organised days when families and children have been invited to come and try out fishing. The Committee intends to do the same this year, but it could not happen without Sean Harris’s extraordinary enthusiasm, as Welfare Officer, helped and cajoled by a group of individuals who all put in some real hard work. However, if there is one area where the hard work seems instantly worthwhile it is helping children to learn to fish; there is an infinite reward provided by the looks on faces of those who have caught for the first time.


We have been fortunate to also get help with bait and tackle for children to use; and our thanks goes out to local outlets and some generous benefactors too for their assistance. Money has also been raised by the sale of tackle donated to the Club and this is being ploughed back for the juniors.


If you know a family who might be interested in trying a fishing experience, give them Sean’s email address:

This year the Club also intends to run a trout fishing parent and child day at Winterborne Zelston, this will be open to the public but also open to Members and fishing juniors who would like to try catching a trout on a fly. Dates to be announced.

Thoughts on Stocking

By Brian Heap, Club President

Fishing the River at Canford before Christmas and struggling to keep my eyes in focus on the top of my float I was approached by a fellow angler who asked if any of the bream we stocked years ago were still to be caught.  I answered in the negative because much to our disappointment the bream had all but disappeared within the space of a year of their arrival.  After he had gone my thoughts drifted back to other occasions when we so carefully introduced fish and never saw them again.  How difficult it is I thought, to predict outcomes, when Mother Nature is involved in the process.


A long time ago, the inhabitants of a small island in the Atlantic had no Christmas trees for the festive period so some were imported from another place, but the trees had not been sprayed before delivery and they were infested with tiny mites. Soon the mites spread to the beautiful cedar trees on the island causing most of them to wither and die back.  Something had to be done, the mites had to go to save the remaining trees so the island government decided, rather than to use a pesticide, the best solution was to introduce a natural predator to eat the mites.  In other places tiny mites were a favourite food of the lady bug so great numbers of lady bugs were introduced all across the island, but the lady bugs soon tired of eating mites and moved to eating the islanders crops.  Something had to be done, the lady bugs had to go so the island government decided to introduce a natural predator in the form of a lizard that in other places, ate lady buds.  Small lizards already existed on the island and they were much loved by the islanders as they feasted on cockroaches but soon the little lizards were reduced in numbers by their larger imported cousins, much to the annoyance of the islanders.  Something had to be done, the bug eating lizards had to go so the island government decided to import a lizard eating predator in the form of a large bird that in other places fed on bug eating lizards.  The large birds soon tired of eating lizards and started to catch small fish and drove away the little blue birds that fished in the pools and were much loved by the islanders.  The islanders scared off the large birds at every opportunity and all over the island they placed out nest boxes for the comfort of little blue birds.  The island government was in despair and decided to abandon the idea of importing any further natural predators.  The lady bugs, lizards and large birds all still live quite happily on the island much to the annoyance of the islanders who hold the government responsible for their unwelcome behaviour.  The mites, well they died out eventually but then a strange thing occurred, many of the cedar trees that appeared dead were in fact just lying dormant, this being their natural defence to them coming under attack from tiny mites.  The following year the beautiful cedar trees started to grow new shoots and most have now recovered.


The following lessons were learnt by the island government:


  • Mother nature and hindsight are wonderful things.
  • Doing nothing may be not be popular but it may be the best solution.
  • Assumption is the mother of disaster.
  • If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

The Committee is being advised to introduce a predatory species into the top lake at Edmondsham, this to reduce the number of small fish and the inevitable result of our recent stocking of crucian carp.  I have listened carefully to the good advice from those who seem to know about these things and whilst some suggest chub is the best predator, others say we should stock perch.


Wish us luck with this one!

The new walkway at Zelston

By Paul Nicholls, Club Game Secretary

The new walkway at Zelston is now complete. May the Club offer a huge thank you to Bob, Paul, Tony and Gordon who's efforts have allowed this important improvement.

Stocking and the meaning of life

By Mike Hirsh, Club Chairman

As you will all know by now, the Club has put crucians and some tench into the top lake at Edmondsham. Last month the Club stocked this lake again with another 42 tench of between two and four pounds, which arrived on the 21 November which was on a day of cold showers and hail. This was part of the  stocking management programme for this lake, but had been delayed by the the warm temperatures of water at the fish wholesaler’s lakes, who with fish care in mind, wanted to minimise stress and ensure the fish came to us in good condition.


Tench are one of my favourite fish, quiet and unassuming with those captivating red eyes and as slippery as eels. Those great paddle tails give them real power.

Part of the Tench consignment delivered to the top lake at Edmondsham on the 21st.

David Lynch’s photograph taken on the 22nd November

After they all swam off strongly I and others there for the stocking felt another small milestone had been achieved.


It is one of life’s realities that sweet moments of minor triumph such as this stocking have a habit of being of being put in perspective. In this instance it came in an email from Club member and friend David Lynch. David is a good angler, and one of those people who is a keen observer of what is happening on our waters. David sent me an email attaching a photograph taken on the afternoon of the 22nd. It showed a signal crayfish head and claws left on the cut stump of a tree by the hut at Edmondsham about 20 metres from where the tench had been put in the lake the day before. It was as if the otter who left it was putting us on notice that it was about.

The Committee are aware that otters run the River Crane and indeed we understood that downstream there had been reports of an otter and cubs. We had debated what we should do and our Club Secretary, Stuart Hitchman had applied for a grant to include money to subsidise the erection of an electric fence along the riverside to deter otters getting to the lake, but it was a timely reminder of their presence. Of course otters do like small and easily caught prey and there are reasonable number of signal crayfish in the River.


The hot news is that the Club has been awarded the grant application by the Angling Trust, for predation control. So our work is already being prioritised for 2019.

Precious tench and crucians

By Hugh Miles, Club committee member

Our club is now the provider of prime tench and crucian fishing at Pinnock Lakes and to protect our valuable stocks from predation, your committee have decided to close the top lake at Edmondsham from October to April in order to completely net the lake and keep the cormorants off. There will also be a temporary electric fence to protect our fish from otters.


This will hopefully ensure that when the summer fishing starts our stocks will be plentiful and in prime condition to be caught.


The club’s website and Facebook pages will inform you when the lake is open for fishing again, hopefully early April when the cormorants have left for foreign parts. After more than two years of hard graft and considerable investment by the club to create this fishery, we hope you will applaud this initiative and enjoy the good fishing that it will provide in the future.

Chris Yates with one of our lovely new tench, taken on the opening day

Club Secretary Stuart Hitchman getting stuck in

Stuart Hitchman getting more stuck in....

Angling - relaxation in a fast-paced world

By James Nash, Club Media Officer

We go fishing for a myriad of different reasons. For some it’s a passion, for others a simple way to escape the frenetic pace and trials and tribulations of day-to-day life. Whatever your motivation, it’s something many of us love to do when time permits. Fishing brings us joy in a variety of ways. It’s a fantastic way to enjoy the great outdoors and get some fresh air in our lungs. Wetting a line at the water’s edge gives us a sense of purpose and a reason for being outside.


Our ancestors spent all day outside with no choice in the matter. We, in the modern world often suffer the constraints of spending the majority of our time indoors. Being outside and enjoying the stunning scenery this country has to offer surely cannot ever be a bad thing.

A lovely photo of the Stour, entered into our annual photographry competition

For some, angling is the perfect excuse to be closer to nature. To see the dipping and darting of a Kingfisher. To witness the new life that blossoms and emerges in spring. Opening your eyes to sights you simply don’t see on a normal day. Being at one with nature is at once powerful and additively hypnotic.


It can be a time to reflect and think things through. The peace and quiet allows us to settle our thoughts, to contemplate our lives and to make important decisions. It’s much easier to do this when you’ve taken a step away from the noise and clamour of daily life. The quiet time can allow your mind to refocus and to relax – again a rarity in the fast-paced world in which we live.

Wildlife is abundant in Dorset when you make the time to see it

The rare white deer at Kingsbridge, image kindly provided by a Club member

For others being on the bank offers  a chance to spend quality time with like-minded people. Socialising whilst fishing ticks numerous boxes. Enjoying a brew, or even a cheeky beer on your favourite venue with your favourite people takes some beating. ‘Chin wags’ that put the world to rights - we’ve all had them and likely always will do. For people that have never fished or have never had the desire to, these reasons may not register on their radar. Why would they? On face value, we dangle a line, get cold and wet and often come home fish-less. Those of us who’ve been bitten by the bug though, have a much deeper understanding of why we do it. Fishing can take us into new, undiscovered worlds.

Another beautiful entry into the Club photo comp

Maybe you know someone who needs a little ‘headspace’, or someone having a tough time at the moment. Ordinarily you might go for a coffee or out for a drink. Maybe a nice walk. Perfectly logical and kind things to do. But perhaps just a few hours fishing though could be life changing for someone you know. If you know someone who might appreciate the thought, take them fishing for a few hours if they’re up for it. Not necessarily on a club water, anywhere that you can. A thermos flask with a hot brew, a chair by the water and a friendly face to enjoy it with. You might make more of a difference than you ever realised you could.

2019 here we come

By Mike Hirsh, Club Chairman

I was re-reading the AGM minutes from the 27 March 2018. It is part of planning for next year’s AGM, which is to be held on the 26 March 2019 at the British Legion Corfe Mullen.

A few things struck me about that meeting and what was said.


The first was that nobody from the membership stepped up to offer themselves for election to the Committee either as an officer of the Club or as a Committee Member.

In that context it was highlighted that the Club needs help with the work of Treasurer. Brian Heap is currently both Club President and Treasurer. The Club needs somebody Brian can share that work with and ultimately take over the reins. It is suitable work for a numerate person with an understanding of spreadsheets. There is no need for any financial qualification (although naturally that would be an advantage). Of course like any Club Committee Member or Officer the work does mean you would need to attend a Committee on the first Tuesday of every month. Twelve months after election such a post is entitled to free membership under the terms of the amendments to the Constitution also agreed at that AGM last March.


A third of the Committee must retire and be offered up for re-election, but in practice all Club officers are, in theory, up for change at the 2019 AGM. [See Rules 5(a) and (b) of the Constitution]. Committee Members and Officers have no right to be there if the Membership want change and of course that includes me too.


In the post-AGM wash-up the Committee agreed that the Meeting took too long. In part this was because there were reports about improvements and a great deal had been achieved. I had thought this might have been a one-off, but actually this last year has also been remarkably productive.  So I promise the Committee reports will be slicker and shorter!


Secondly, last year at the AGM we reported on stocking some terrific carp from Poole Park Lake to Club waters. With the help of Sparsholt Agricultural College a working party on the 24 November again moved 75 carp from Poole Park to Creekmoor, the large lake.  The total weight was over 650lbs and the largest fish was 18 lbs.  Real teamwork is needed to co-ordinate this sort of work with every fish being checked, weighed and recorded before being moved. This is the sort of history I enjoy see being repeated.


Stuart Davison has resigned as the Club’s River Officer. I am sad to see him go, but it was largely to do with work/life balance; Stuart has got other priorities for the time being.  Stuart has done sterling work for the Club, being the catalyst that kick-started improvements to the website, since taken on by James Nash, and being a fanatical advocate of River fishing. He was among those who helped bring back the matches on the River Stour last winter.  Nick Churchill, already a Committee Member and a keen River fisherman, has agreed to take over this role and I am sure he will do a good job.

A new walkway at Zelston

By Mike Hirsh, Club Chairman

Over the last two years Zelston has been targeted with Angling Trust grant aid, along with Edmondsham, Kingsbridge and Creekmoor. There is now a container for storage and three refurbished platforms. However, work continues, largely due to the motivation of a small dedicated group of Club members, supported on occasion by a wider group including your Head Bailiff who recently masterminded the removal of a fallen willow from the spillway behind the weir, which was threatening to re-grow and block this outflow.


The long hot summer and dry autumn has seen the lake at its lowest for several seasons and stocking has been delayed. However, every cloud has a silver lining, because it meant that the long walkway in the south east corner fell under scrutiny of, in particular Bob Spurgeon, Paul Baker, the latter because he actually went through a piece of the old walkway that had rotted from underneath.



The old walkway with Paul Baker about to fall through it!

The new walkway structure under construction.

Whilst Bob conceived the design for the new structure others, myself included got involved, to debate the merits of it. Paul Nicholls, influenced the scheme because it is always important to make best use of materials available and his wife was determined to get rid of the planks of recycled plastic wood cluttering his garage left over from the fishing platform work! Tony Tueber also became involved because his skills had previously come into play cutting this hard and unrelenting planking. The ever present Gordon Moss, took time off from the routine maintenance, volunteering to put in the concrete blocks and bed them in concrete to support the framing where it runs onto the level ground.

The work has required new vertical support members on the landward side to be piled into the ground and then cross-members bolted to support the framing structure.


The good news is that the level of the water is now rising and the water is now high enough to be stocked. Also with the structural members in place, even if the water rises rapidly there is no further work to do that will be water-level dependant.


The hardest work was taking out the old walkway hidden underneath the walkway being replaced. I did not realise it was there! My greatest sadness is that the elderflower bushes that flanked the old walkway have been lost for ever. I had to admit the despite my desire to keep them  these bushes were obviously helping to decay the old structure by keeping it damp and pushing against it.

A lovely catch of Stour roach

By Hugh Miles, Club Committee member

Excellent roach fishing on the Stour at Bailey's this month, lots of fish up to a pound with a total catch of 9lb 8ozs in a few hours, trotting a float with red maggots as bait over plenty of groundbait.


I'd highly recommend members to go down there and give it a go - it's really enjoyable angling.

Hugh's net of Stour roach


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What's happening over the coming months....

>>  We're delighted to announce that the Club now has access to five day tickets at both Orchard Lakes Fishery as well as Revels Fishery. See our venues page for more details.


>>  Our new for 2018 Annual Photography Competition has now launched. A designated page on the website is now live. Get your entry in for the chance to win a free annual membership.


>> Have a look at our new fish safety section from the main menu. Designed to provide  fundamental information on how best to target and land large fish. Have a read and if you think we can add any info, please get in touch.