Our Bailiffs - Protecting the fishery

Our Bailiffs - Protecting the fishery

The purpose of this notice is to provide clarity to Bailiffs on the way in which the committee expect the bailiffing to be conducted and also acts as a notice to members on what they should expect from our Bailiffs.

Members are expected to respect the role of Bailiff and help and support them in whichever way they can.


Primary Responsibility

The fundamental responsibility of the bailiff is to ensure that the members receive help, advice and support whilst at the fishery to make their angling experience as memorable as possible. They are also charged with ensuring that the fishery is safe for our members and should report any defects immediately. They should also provide feedback to the fishery emergency coordinator of any issues that may impact on the fishery such as fish are gulping for air on the surface or there are dead fish floating on the lakes. These basic activities and checks are of the greatest importance.

Membership Checks

The bailiff is charged with ensuring that all anglers at Surrenden possess a current membership booklet. The approach that should be used is one of courtesy and firmness.

The recommended approach is by way of introducing yourself by name and informing the angler that you are a bailiff and that you would like to see their membership booklet. The expectation on the member is that they will share with you their booklet for you to confirm their membership status. Once the check is complete the booklet is to be returned to the member with thanks.

Rules Enforcement

The bailiff has the right to check all anglers to ensure that they are complying with the rules of the society. The committee recognise the expertise of our bailiffs and permit them to use discretion when interpreting the rules so as not to create conflict. The conversation with the member should always be courteous and should encourage compliance. The committee recognises that most members are not going to be experts on the rules, and on most occasions, the member will value the opinion of the bailiff and respond in a courteous manner also.


Examples of discretionary interpretation of the rules.


The rule states that keep-nets must be a minimum of 8 feet (2.45m) long and of knotless material. Should a member be using a keep-net that does not meet this criteria, the bailiff can decide whether it is safe for the member to continue using the keep-net for the current session. They will also then inform the member that the net is not suitable for any future sessions and should be replaced.

Tins and Bottles

The rule states that no tins or bottles are allowed on the bank side. It is reasonable for the bailiff to ask the member to place the tin/bottle into their tackle bag and remind them that they should remove tins/bottles from the bankside once opened and emptied. It is reasonable, for example, for a member to bring sweetcorn to the lakes in the tin that they are purchased in but once opened, the sweetcorn should be emptied into a bait box and the tin placed safely into their tackle bag.

Areas from where to fish

The rule states that a member must fish from the staging area provided. This is impractical as there are now pegs that no longer have stages and are simply identified on the bank. The bailiff has discretion to review the location from which the member is fishing and to employ discretion. It is acceptable to use match principles when enforcing this rule where the angler can position themselves within 1m of the identifiable swim.

Rig Checks

The bailiff has the right to ask a member to withdraw their tackle from the water to conduct rig checks. The bailiff will check for hook type and also the bait being used to ensure that both items are compliant with the rules.

Persistent and repeat non-compliance

Members who continue to fail to comply with requests from the bailiff should be reported to the committee for discussion and further action as required.

Our Bailiffs - Protecting the fishery