A printable copy of the rules, in pdf format, can be downloaded here - Match rules
1. The starting and finishing times for the match will be as per the Club Card unless varied by the Organiser and Committee; and unless specified the duration for a contest shall be five hours.
2. The match must be a pegged down competition, with Pegs, preferably twenty yards apart and not less than sixteen yards on running water. These must be staked out and numbered prior to fishing. No competitor may move his/her peg or change his/her peg without the Organiser’s permission.
3. Each competitor on drawing his/her number shall proceed to the peg and only fish the peg drawn. The peg must remain in position until the weigh-in is completed. The use of barbed hooks on Club still waters shall result in immediate disqualification from the match and loss of club membership.
4. Every competitor must be positioned within one metre either side of his/her drawn peg. On flowing water, the competitor may fish in the direction of the flow at that time, as far as the next occupied peg. On still water anglers may fish as far as half the distance between their peg and the next occupied peg. When fishing lakes where pegs are not uniform, anglers must use common sense as to where they fish and should agree before the match starts with other anglers. If agreement cannot be found then it should be raised with match organiser. Where competitors have snagged tackle an angler must seek permission from his/her neighbour/s before moving from his/her peg to try and remedy the situation.
5. A competitor must not cause annoyance to, or seek to interfere with another competitor and should limit the use mobile phones unless related to family sickness, emergency or work during the course of the competition. Anglers should endeavour to set ringtones to minimum before the match commences.
6. No competitor shall buy more than one entry ticket for himself/herself. All competitors must be strictly restricted to one draw.
7. Competitors must retain all fish in keepnets which comply with the relevant EA Byelaws. Competitors must take every practicable step to keep their fish alive and, after weighing them, must ensure their careful return to the water. If fish are seen to be in distress, a competitor or match official may collect scales and have witnessed and weighed immediately and returned to the water during the course of the match. No more than 50lb in weight should be kept in one net at any time, inclusive to all club waters. (The exception being Ellingham lake where keepnets are prohibited – see Ellingham rule page.)
8. A competitor shall have in use one rod or pole, one line and one single hook at one time, but may have other rods or poles and tackle assembled for use in position behind him/her, if possible, providing that no such other tackles are baited.
9. Any bait, subject to local rules, can be used except live or dead fish, frogs spinning baits or artificial lures.
10. Before the starting signal no competitor must on any account groundbait or loose feed the swim but will be allowed to wet a line, plumb the depth and test the float, mix and wet groundbait, clear his/her ground of weed or obstructions and position his/her equipment. On no account must a feeder be used before the starting signal. A ledger weight may be cast to find depth and distance etc, but a no time must the line be left in the water whilst continuing to set up other tackle. No feeding of the swim using the polecup on a separate rig from that being fished with shall take place whilst fishing any other method
11. Competitors may receive assistance to or from their peg, or both, for themselves or their tackle.
12. All groundbait may be thrown in by hand, or by use of one or two handed catapults, throwing sticks, swim feeders, bait droppers and bait cups, but no other mechanical means of projecting groundbait is allowed. No bait shall be introduced with a pole cup or bait dropper attached to an extra rod/pole whilst continuing to fish.
13. Braid Hook lengths are not allowed
14. Maximum permitted length of poles is 16 metres
15. A competitor must strike, play and land his own fish but Junior landing assistance is permitted.
16. 16. Control of Elastics is only permitted via recognised pull-a-bungs. Hand-lining fish is not permitted, this includes handling elastics out the front of a pole.
17. Keepnets should be dry when arriving to fish Club Waters.
18. A competitor may wade provided that the water does not extend above the knees and that they can touch the bank with fingertips, When platforms are used, the water must not come over the knees when standing on a river / lake bed.
19. A competitor must cease fishing at the finishing signal. Should he/she still be playing a fish hooked before the signal is given, he/she will be permitted no more than fifteen minutes after time has been called to land the fish.
20. All fish caught are eligible for weighing with the exception of PIKE, but includes Trout and roaming sea fish on tidal waters.
21. All catches will be weighed to the nearest ounce.
22. Competitors are responsible for ensuring their pegs are clear of litter and no competitor may have his/her catch weighed in who has litter lying on the banks of his/her swim.
23. Any objection to an angler’s conduct, for whatever reason, must be lodged with the match Organiser. In all cases the objector shall inform the offender in order that he/she may speak in his/her own defence.
24. All the foregoing rules are subject to the byelaws of the Environment Agency, and any local rules applicable to a fishery. Any angler proved to have been in contravention of these rules will be disqualified.