Rules Summary 

(This is not the full set of society rules merely a subset for easy access. For full rule listing refer to Club Handbook which can be found here also check before fishing to ensure that a water does not have a any water specific rules in place).
Fishing is an active, outdoor activity and you should be mindful of your safety at all times.

All members must abide by Environment Agency Bylaws, and be in possession of the appropriate rod licence(s)
Members may use two rods from April 1st to 30th September except where specified otherwise under water specific rules. Three rods are permitted on all Society still waters from 1st October to 31st March, except Layer Pit, Olivers Lake, West Mersea and Brookhall. 
No angler shall leave a baited rod unattended in or out of the water. This is a legal by-law. 
At any time when a restriction order is imposed as a result of an outbreak, such as foot and mouth disease is in operation and affects land abutting Society waters, there shall be no fishing until the order is cancelled.
A 48hr time limit exists on all of our waters, you must not return for 24hours after leaving. Please note where multiple waters exist on a complex eg Bovington, Mersea, Brakes, Inworth each individual lake is considered a seperate water and as such you can move to the other lake on the complex once your 48hours is up on one water.   
Where locks are fitted to access gates these gates must be kept locked after either entry or exit. Gates left open will result in a Ban for the offender.
Bivvies, tents, umbrellas and tackle etc, must not block access around the fishery.
Any member vacating a swim for more than 90 minutes must remove all their tackle to free the swim for other member. Members may only occupy one swim at any time. Marker Floats may be used provided that they are reeled in after baiting and casting the baited rod. On no account are they to be left out whilst fishing.
If you do not have a night ticket, you cannot fish before 6.00am and must stop fishing by 10.00pm.You must then leave the water and cannot stay at your peg overnight.
When Fisheries are closed for Matches or Work Parties anglers must be packed up and vacated the Car Park by 7.00am at the latest. In the case of Work Parties only anglers who have been at the Work Parties may fish afterwards until midnight that day. When Matches are fished the pegged areas are closed until 5.00pm.

Dogs, Guns, Wildlife & Property

No angler shall under any circumstances, be accompanied by a dog, or carry a gun on Society waters (unless specifically authorised in writing). Society Bailiffs may, whilst carrying out their duties, can be accompanied by a dog. The bailiff is to be totally responsible and liable for the behaviour of the dog and it must be on a lead at all times.
Members must not leave gates unfastened, walk or park vehicles on cultivated land, no crops to be crossed. Only approach or leave the waters by the recognised footpaths and entrances. Great care must be taken not to disturb game or wildlife or damage fences or hedges or property belonging to the owner.
Under no circumstances shall members light fires, (except using cooking stoves) unless engaged on official Society business. For the avoidance of doubt disposable barbecues are regarded as a fire.
Members are not allowed to cut down bushes and trees to clear swims, they may clear weed from the swim. New swims can only be created on official work parties or by permission of the Committee.

Baits, Groundbaits and Application

The use of all nuts including Tiger Nuts as hookbaits or loose feed is banned on all waters.
All groundbait (including loose feed) must be thrown in by hand or by use of catapults ,throwing sticks, swimfeeders, bait droppers and spods/bait rockets.
Use of Floating baits, such as Dog Biscuits is limited to 5kg per day.

Noise, Disturbance and Litter

The playing of media equipment may only be used in conjunction with headphones.
Radio controlled and  WI-FI driven equipment is forbidden on all Society waters.
No member shall leave any form of litter, plastic bags or fishing line on Society waters. Any member fishing any peg is responsible for all litter at that peg and if proved that this rule has been disregarded the member will be Banned for Life.


Anglers are not permitted to fish within restricted areas adjacent to overhead electric cables and must be at least 30 metres away from any source of electricity, and must not fish in any roped off areas.
Members must not interfere with or abuse Society lifebuoys located on Society waters. These are for emergency use only.
No boats of any type to be used on Society waters other than those used by official working parties (special safety restrictions apply).
Wading past knee height is not allowed on all Society waters, with the exception of returning and photographing large fish, this should only be done with another member present and no night photos to be taken in the water. 
must be left in the Fishery Car Park or pushed to the members swim. Cycling round waters is prohibited.
Alcohol & Drugs Bailiffs are authorised to confiscate the membership card and permit of any permit holder who is considered to be endangering their own or other members safety by being under the influence of alcohol, drugs, solvents etc, and to remove them from the fishery.

Matches and Trophies

Members are not allowed to fish on match lengths on dates published in the fixture list.
Trophy holders shall return Society trophies to the Match Secretary one month before the end of the season. Trophy holders failing to return their trophies within the period shall not be eligible for future trophies for a period of two years.
In matches on still waters, Carp over 10lb, bream over 8lb and tench over 7lb should be weighed and released straight after capture and not placed in keepnets.

Fishing Rods - General byelaws The number of rods allowed depends on the water and species you are fishing for, see waters page on our website.
You must make sure the distance between the butts of the outer most rods is not more than 3 metre's when fishing multiple rods
and most importantly it is illegal to leave a rod or line in the water unattended or over which you do not have significant control.

Fish Handling, Retention and Welfare

a) All anglers unhooking or handling a fish on the ground must use an unhooking mat with minimum dimensions of 100cms x 70cms x 2.5cms or Carp Cradle,no other device may be used. An unhooking mat must be used under the weighing nets/slings etc. to place fish on before,during and after the weighing
All nets, weigh slings and unhooking mats must be completely dry before use on CAPS Ltd waters. Non compliance with this will be treated as a very serious offence.
b) Fish must not be retained in polythene bags.
c) The minimum size of keepnets to be used is 3 mtrs long by 45 cms across.
d) No Carp to be kept in keepnets, unless constructed of ‘carp safe’ material for at least the bottom two rings and the full length of at least one side and shall not be less than 3mtrs long by 50cms across 
e) No fish over 5lb to be kept in keepnets except on Society controlled matches in Stillwater.
f)  All Society bailiffs are empowered to inspect and insist that members remove fish from their keepnets should the enclosed fish show distress. 
g)  Baliffs and Officers of the Society are empowered to and may carry out random checks of bait buckets, bags and Terminal tackle etc to ensure Members are compliant with Society Rules. 
h)  All anglers must be in possession of a suitable sized landing net. 
i)  The use of long shank bent hooks and injurious terminal tackle(such as fixed rigs where the lead/feeder cannot be ejected on the main line  breakage) is prohibited. 
j)  No member is allowed to introduce / remove any fish to or from Society waters, except when carried out by Society officials for fishery management purposes. All fish/Eels must be returned to the water alive after capture. Fish/Eels must not be killed, or taken away from the fishery, to do so may give rise to a civil prosecution under schedule 1 section 2 of the theft act. 
k)  Carp may be retained in ‘carp sacks’: for up to 30 minutes and then released,(one fish per sack). 
l)  At the request of the Head Baliff any Company Director has the Authority to Close a water for as long as deemed necessary whilst Fish are Spawning. 
m)  Any member that wishes to photograph any fish that they catch must not be standing with the fish.They should be knelt down with the fish over the unhooking mat at all times.  All fish to be returned in a controlled manner.

Pike Fishing rules
Fishing for Pike allowed from October 1st to March 14th.
Please check individual water pages for any specific water rules,e.g. Brakes Long pit No lure fishing for pike.
Live baits only to be used from same water and caught in same session Pre frozen deadbaits Coarse Sea are permitted.
Freelined static Deadbaits are banned.
Main Line 15lb Minimum or 0.35mm Braid.
Wire trace 30lb Minimum and 18inch minimum length.
Large rubberised landing nets only to be used.
Anglers must be in possession of ; Side cutters minimum of 11inch For removing/cutting treble hooks. 
Only Barbless or semi-barbless(one micro barbed point and
2 barbless points to hold the dead bait to be used) .
Appropriate size unhooking mat must for the size of Pike that are likely to be caught. Mats with sides are preferred but not compulsory. The use of Pike Gags is prohibited
The club reserves the right to close swims to Pike fishing if it is felt that certain pike are being repeatedly caught in the same swim.
A notice will be erected in the swim if this circumstance should arise