Fresh Water Fishing

0191 437 3571


Northumbria Police Sports

& Social Club Ltd (NPSSC)

Fresh Water Fishing

The section organises competitions with a view to identifying those who will take part and represent Northumbria Police in both the Regional and National Fishing Championships.

The majority of matches are fished against Durham, Cleveland, South Yorkshire, North Yorkshire and Humberside, and more often than not are fished on well established fishing venues such as Woodlands, Thirsk and Lindholme Fisheries.

The section has 34 members of which only 15 or so are regular attenders.  Like most of the other sections at this time the majority of members are retired officers and I would estimate that these account for about 70% of the current membership.

Northumbria police Invitational Fishing Match

Thursday 28th March 2019

The first match of the 2019 season was held on The Match Lake at Brafferton Lakes, North Yorkshire. There was a good turnout with anglers from three forces (Durham, Cleveland and Northumbria) in attendance.

The weather gods were kind and it was reasonably warm with only a slight breeze. It was decided at the draw that this would be a 6hr match instead of the usual 5hrs.

The match started at 11am and the fishing was slow with just an occasional fish being caught. It soon became clear that two anglers were catching well.

Dave Watson (Cleveland) on peg 5 was fishing at 6 metres and also down in the margins, using pellet and sweetcorn he caught carp up to 6lbs

Graham Lowery on peg 45 was fishing long into the margins to his left and using sweetcorn caught carp up to 10lbs in weight.

As the day wore on the carp began to feed and everyone around the lake began to catch.

Some excellent weights were recorded.

1st Graham Lowery (Cleveland)                  134lbs

2nd Dave Watson (Cleveland)                     124lbs 8oz

3rd Julian Brown (Durham)                         98lbs

4th Ken Jackson                                          87lbs

5th Kevin Hood (Northumbria)                    84lbs

6th Paul Hunton (Durham)                          81lbs

7th Dave Brown (Northumbria)                   79lbs

8th Boyd Weddell (Northumbria)                69lbs

Well done to all concerned.

Durham Invitation, Brafferton Fishery

On Wednesday 10th April 2019 at 08:30hrs was the planned meet for the F1 match lake at the complex known as Brafferton Fishery, Nort Yorkshire.

Anglers from both teams are well aware of the venue, as all have had some very good weights on previous meetings. A fantastic turn out again from both teams, the weather was very cold with thick frost on the fields. The forecast was a very light breeze, sunny spells but temperature still below average for the time of year.

The draw was made, anglers started to unpack their vehicles and head to the allocated pegs and start setting up the required rigs. At 10:30hrs the “All in” was sounded, some anglers caught small F1 carp from the off, this was in the deeper waters, others, at the shallow end of the lake could not get a bite. As the day went on it was apparent the hard frost from the night before had put the fish back into winter mode and the bites were very hard to come. As the sun warmed the lake a few degrees the shallow end started to fish and the odd carp was now being caught.

At 16:30hrs “Time” was called and the end of a very hard match, although everyone caught, some had to result in picking up small gudgeon and roach. The top end of the lake (shallow) only came into play towards the last two hours, making the winning weight from this end.

Final result:

1st Paul Hunton (Cleveland) 23lb 9oz

2nd Julian Brown (Durham) 23lb 5oz

3rd Boyd weddle (Northumbria) 15lb 9oz

Well done to Boyd, showing the rest of Northumbria lads how to do it.

Next match will be again at Brafferton on Thursday 9th May 2019.


Durham Invitation, Brafferton Fishery

On Thursday 9th May 2019 the second match of the season was held at Brafferton F1, Match Lake.

The agreed meet time was 08:30hrs, unfortunately this complex does not have a cafe during the week, so it was to meet in the car park for the draw.

We were already aware the fishing was going to be hard, although it is spring, the weather had been heavy rain the day before and was forecast to continue throughout the day, the wind was also going to get stronger, the temperature was 7degrees. This was back to winter tactics.

With the draw completed, all anglers put their winter clothing on and headed to the pegs they had been allocated. First thing up was the brolly, and then it was time to look at the rigs and bait to be used. The ‘All In’ was sounded at 10:30hrs. Most people went on the pole and fished the margins but the odd angler went on the method feeder to the far bank.

After a short while it was clear the day was going to be difficult, very small roach and gudgeon were being caught with the odd carp falling to a line. People had to be careful not to put too much bait in their swim as this would kill it off. The disadvantage with the brolly up, people cannot see other anglers and find what methods they are fishing.

At 16:30hrsthe rain stopped and the shout bellowed over the lake “time”, this was the end of the match. It was nice to come from under the brolly and start to move about. Gear was packed away and the weigh net went to each angler.


1st Paul Hunton (Cleveland) 50lb 11oz

2nd Paul Hutchinson(Northumbria) 47lb 6oz

3rd Kev Hood(Northumbria) 42lb 13oz.

Next match will be Interservices match on Monday 13th May, held at The Oaks complex Sesay, North Yorkshire

Interservices Fishing Match

The first Interservices match of the season took place at The Oaks Fishing complex, Thirsk, North Yorkshire on Monday 13th May 2019. Twenty five teams of four had travelled from the length and breadth of the country to take part including teams from Scotland, Devon and Cornwall, Norfolk, PSNI and the West Midlands.

The anglers would be fishing across four lakes on the complex with Cedar lake hosting half of the field with the remainder split across Sycamore Lake, Ash Lake and Beech Lake. As usual the lakes had been fished hard in the run up to the match and everyone was expecting the venue to fish hard. It didn’t disappoint.

Those anglers drawn on Cedar Lake faced a long hard day. Only the occasional pockets of fish showed up meaning you had to make the most of every opportunity.

Things didn’t fare much better for those fishing the so called New Lakes. Those that decided to feed lots of bait struggled and the desired tactic was to starve them onto the hook.

Top team on the day was Humberside Fire and Rescue Service with a very creditable 16 points.

In second spot was West Midlands Police with 25 points.

In third place was the Army Black Team with 26 points

Northumbria Police came a very creditable 16th Position.

Out of the 100 anglers fishing top weight on the day went to Dave Thompson from Prison Service Orange team with 154lbs. Second was Neil Robinson Team HMRC with 139lbs. In third place with 130lb was Jim Hall Humberside Fire and rescue.

Best individual performer for Northumbria was Paul Hutchinson with 98lbs and a creditable 9th overall.


                                   Durham Invitational, Forest Lane Fishery.

The match that should have taken place on Thursday 13th June was cancelled due to high winds, heavy rain and severe weather warning around the country advising people not to travel.  This was re scheduled for Thursday 20th June 2019.

Again another fantastic turn out by both Durham and Northumbria anglers, all keen to catch fish,

The meeting was 08:00hrs in the cafe for a good home cooked breakfast and a catch up on the tactics for the day. Due to heavy rain the previous days we were told it would be a hard fishing day. The forecast was good, slight breeze and a promise of the sun would even make a rear appearance.

The draw was made at 09:00hrs and fishing would start at 10:30 until 5pm

The “ALL IN” was sounded and it took a while before fish was falling to the bait, due to the pegs being spaced apart anglers couldn’t see how others were catching or what method. After a slow start, fish were being caught on different methods, some sticking to method feeder, some on the pole, fish were tempted  to different baits and big double figure carp were caught on the pole close in.

At 5pm “TIME” was sounded and the odd shout of “fish on” was heard from deferent parts of the lake. The weather stayed dry and conditions good so everyone had a good day. After talking to other anglers they all stated it started very slow and the bigger fish moved in during the last hour of the match. A member of Forest Lane staff helped with the weigh in with the final result recorded as:

1st Kenny Kitchen (Durham) 73lb 9oz all caught on the feeder

2nd Roy Mclean (Durham)  70lb 10oz

3rd Dave Brown (Northumbria) 60lb 9oz

Next match Wednesday 3rd July Forest lane, fishing The Furlong .


Durham Invitation, Forest Lane fishery.

This match took place on Wednesday 3rd July 2019, held on a lake called The Furlong.

This lake is well known for its good bag of Barbel and some large carp. The meeting was at the complex cafe for a late breakfast.  A great turn out from both Durham and Northumbria anglers, all keen to catch some fish. The draw was held at 10:00am and fishing was agreed to start at 12:00 finishing at 18:00hrs. The weather forecast was supposed to be warm, light winds and cloudy.  They got that slightly wrong, it was warm, (very warm) with no wind and bright sunshine.

After the draw all anglers headed to their allocated pegs and started to set up. The “All In” called at 12:00 and due to the lake being a canal type, anglers could see fish being caught straight away.

Due to the heat and the bright conditions, the fish soon went off the feed and it was a long hard match.  At 18:00hrs “Time “was called and it was time to start packing up and asking other anglers what they had been catching on. Some stated it was caster, some said maggot or pellet.  But the good news everyone caught fish and in double figures and plenty of sunburnt heads and arms.

Eddie, Staff from the complex came to weigh the nets and the results were very close:

1st Paul Hutchinson (Northumbria) 74lb

2nd Dave Brown (Northumbria) 68lb 2oz

3rd Roy McClean ( Durham) 61lb 9oz

This was a good result for Roy as it was his father’s (Vic McClean memorial match, he won the shield, for the Durham lads,),

  PSUK Individual Event Barston Lakes, West Midlands.

This match was held on Thursday 1st August 2019 at Barston lake. It was an individual event and anglers travelled from all over the country to fish this match.

The weather leading up to the match day had not been good, with low pressure and torrential rain all over the country. However 67 anglers made the journey and fished the day. The draw was held 09:00 at the club house. Pegs on the left hand side of the lake were lucky as vehicles could drive along the small road and parking was available at the back of your peg, if you were on the right it was a long walk.

The “All in” was sounded at 11:00, the weather had changed and while setting up the sun was shining and a very slight breeze going up the lake.  A small shower was forecast for about 15:00hrs.

After an hour had past nothing had been caught on the right hand bank and the local lads that fish the lake stated it will not fish well due to the weather and amount of people fishing. All sorts of tactics were being used, pole fishing at 14mtrs, pellet waggler, method feeder, small bomb and even fishing the pole down the edge.  A few fish were being caught but nothing consistent.

15:00hrs, the clouds turned very black and as it was supposed to be a light shower not many brollies were put up, however the light shower turned into a monsoon and for just under an hour it never stopped. People were glad when the “Time “was sounded.  It stopped raining just in time to pack up, but by then everything was soaking wet.

The nets were weighed from each angler, some had done ok but some had not even had a bite. 12 anglers did not weigh in.

The final result:

1st Aaron Pugh West Midlands 83lb 12oz

2nd Steve Beard West Mercia 73lb:

3rd Ian Jones Hants 68lb 4oz

Although the weights were very low, all Northumbria anglers caught fish, the best weight from us was Gordon Parkin, he managed a very good 34lb 4oz.

Next year individual match will be held at Lindholme Lakes.

Durham Invitation, Brafferton Fishery, North Yorkshire.

On Wednesday 14th August 2019 another match was held on the F1 match lake, at Brafferton fisheries. The planned draw was to be at 10:00, fishing from 12:00 ending at 18:00hrs. However this was soon changed due to the poor weather.  The weather had been heavy rain the day before and more rain was expected.  A very good turn out from both Durham and Northumbria anglers, At the 10am draw it was agreed we would start to fish at 11:30 and finish at 17:00, as it was reported a very heavy storm was to hit our area just after 17:00.

The draw was made and anglers started to set up the gear for the days fishing, the wind was light and blowing towards the car park, this was a good sign for the people that drew on that area, however if it rained they would get hit with the worse of the weather. It was very cloudy and the temp could only hit 10c, it was said, we had better weather in April then we were having for this match.

The “All in” was shouted and it started to be a slow start, not many fish being caught so it was going to be a hard day. After about an hour the rain started, not just a slight shower as forecasted but torrential rain. (The forecast got it wrong yet again).  The Umbrellas went up, but due to the wind changing direction, everything got soaked.

The rain had put the fish right down and tactics had to be changed on the pole, deeper rigs were used and the odd carp and F1 was falling to hard pellet. Some anglers didn’t bother getting a pole out and sat with the method feeder, this proved to be the easier tactic.

At  17:00hrs “Time” was shouted, people was glad the match was over, the rain only stopped about 16:30 but the clouds got darker and more was expected. At least with this short window we could pack our soaking wet gear away in some comfort with the slightly drier conditions.

 Final result:

1St Julian Brown (Durham) 88lb 8oz

2ND Paul Anderson (Durham) 55lb 6oz

3rd Graham Colclough (Durham) 51lb

4th Paul Hutchinson (Northumbria) 46lb 5oz


 Durham Invitation, Brafferton Fishery

This match was held on Thursday 12th September 2019, at the complex known as Brafferton Fisheries. The lake fished was the F1 Lake and we had the whole lake with no other club fishing on this day.

A very good turnout for this match, with a 08:30 meet, the weather was dry and cloudy with a slight breeze blowing towards the car park, however it was forecast for strong gusts later in the day. The draw was made and all anglers walked to their allocated pegs, due to having the whole lake, there was plenty of room between anglers, this was  good as no one could see how each other would be catching.

10:30am the shout went out “ALL IN” within seconds you could hear fish splashing as they were guided to the landing nets. Some people went out on the method feeder, some on the long 14mtr pole and some stayed close in fishing only about 5mtres.  No one gave any indication on what bait they would be using.

Paul Hutchinson had a plan from the start, only fishing about 5mtrs, fishing shallow and using caster, then down the margin for the bigger carp fishing ground bait and expander pellet. This was a big risk as he hadn’t brought any other bait and didn’t bring a rod to go onto the method feeder.

Approx 14:00hrs the weather got it right, the wind changed direction and got very gusty, so much that gear had to be put away or held down. This also changed the style of fishing, due to the direction of the wind, people who had been catching in the morning had now started to struggle and the people who had struggled previously and now started to catch.

16:30hrs “TIME” was sounded and you could hear shouts from different parts of the lake “Fish On” The scales arrived and some had better days then they had expected. The final result recorded as:

1st Julian Brown (Durham) 133lb 12oz

2nd   Paul Hutchinson (Northumbria) 126lb 8oz

3rd Paul Hunton (Cleveland) 112lb 8oz

4th Vince King (Northumbria) 59lb 15oz

Some fantastic weights and all used different tactics and bait.

Next match will be the last one for the year and held at the same venue on Thursday 24th October.

North East Regional Freshwater Fishing Championships 2019 

Northumbria were to host this year’s regional championships and to accommodate other forces chose to fish at a venue that was central for all travelling forces. The chosen venue was Forest Lane Fishery in Alne near York.

The match was held on Thursday 26th September 2019 on Furlong lake. A water famed for its big bags of barbel. The weather in the days leading up to the match had been truly awful with torrential rain which normally puts the fish off the feed.

Following the draw, the anglers walked to their chosen pegs. Northumbria’s anglers had fished a number of practice matches at the venue to perfect their tactics for this match. Most had struggled but one of our finest Paul Hutchinson had had some good catches winning a previous match last month and was feeling confident.

At the start of the match everybody was into fish. It appeared that some good weights were to be had however the fish backed off and people began to struggle with only the occasional fish being caught.

Paul Hutchinson however was flying and catch a fish every put in. Dave Brown from Northumbria was fishing next to Paul using the same tactics and bait but was struggling. As usual with our matches this year with two hours of the match to go the heavens opened and we had torrential rain right up until the end of the match.

At the weigh in there was only going to be one winner and that was Paul Hutchinson with a magnificent 104lbs 4oz. Well done Paul you really showed your class today.

In second place individually was another of Northumbria’s stalwart anglers Boyd Weddell with 56lbs 5oz.

In third place was Neil Walker (Cleveland) with 51lb 5oz

Northumbria also won the Team event with Cleveland taking second place.

This is the first time since 1988 that Northumbria have won the team event and it is the first time we have ever won both the Individual and team event together.

Northumbria’s team for the event were Paul Hutchinson, Boyd Weddell, Ray Westgarth and Vince King.

Well done fellas and roll on next years National Championships.  

Westwood Lakes Festival 2019

This eagerly awaited event took place between 2nd October and 5th October 2019 at the fabulous Westwood Lakes Complex near Boston in Lincolnshire. Anglers had again travelled from all over the country to compete. The complex had endured several days of very heavy rain which resulted in the normally picturesque lakes looking like mud baths. The banksides and fishing platforms were treacherous, and anglers were warned to take care when moving around the lakes.

Skylark Lake – 2nd October 2019

The normally prolific Skylark lake was our venue on day one. With all festivals it was important for anglers to get off to a good start to be in with any chance of winning the event. The weather forecast was not good with showery rain forecast. What we actually got was a deluge, it tipped it down for almost the entire five hours of the match. The rain did not dampen the fish’s spirits however and carp were being caught all over the lake. It was clear that some good weights were on the cards.

1st place on the day went to Rob Smith (Westwood Lakes) with 128lbs 15 oz

2nd Paul Hutchinson (Northumbria) who carried on his recent good run of form and weighed in 116lbs 15oz

3rd Julian Brown (Durham) with 108lbs 1oz

4th Dave Brown (Northumbria) with 104lbs 13 oz

Hawk Lake – 3rd October 2019

The weather gods decided to be kind to us and although it was cold overnight with a touch of frost, we had light winds and a bit of sunshine for this match. Normally this lake is prolific for catching barbel but the barbel didn’t really show up in any numbers. Paul Hutchinson showed that his drawing arm was as good as ever and pulled out peg number 1(a known flier) with Dave Pritchard (West Midlands) pulling out the other flier peg no 20. Paul didn’t disappoint and put together a good run of fish, Dave Brown on peg 4 and Julian Brown on peg 19 were doing their best to match him. Midway through the match a loud splash was heard from peg 20, it transpired that Dave Pritchard had somehow fallen in whilst playing a fish. He was found waist deep in the lake still playing the fish which he eventually landed. At the weigh in Paul Hutchinson had used three keepnets and told everyone he had split the fish he caught between the three nets. His first net weighed 52lbs and his second 43lbs 4oz. He pulled in his third net to find it empty and when examining it found it had a large split in the bottom. Westwood lakes has a policy that you must use their keepnets and landing nets for matches and it was a lesson learned by Paul to check all nets thoroughly before using them. But would this affect the final placings on the lake. Julian Brown weighed in 83lbs 1oz and Dave Brown weighed in 77lbs.

So after two days the standings were as follows;

1st Paul Hutchinson (Northumbria) 3pts

2nd Julian Brown (Durham) 5pts

3rd Rob Smith (Westwood Lakes) 5 pts

4th Dave Brown (Northumbria) 7pts

Swallow Lake – 4th October 2019

This was the first time that this lake had been used in this event and no-one was quite sure just how it would fish. Numerous different methods were used, Kenny Kitching (Durham) caught well using the method feeder as did his teammate Roy McClean. Paul Hutchinson was one of the few to fish up in the water feeding 4pts of maggots to keep the fish coming.

First on the day was Paul Hutchinson with 95lbs 15oz.

2nd Rob Smith with 82lbs 4oz

3rd Roy McClean (Durham) with 77lbs 2oz

4th Vince King (Northumbria) with 71lbs 13oz

This meant the standings after day three were as follows;

1st Paul Hutchinson (Northumbria) 4pts

2nd Rob Smith (Westwood Lakes) 8pts

3rd Julian Brown (Durham) 13pts

4th = Dave Brown (Northumbria) 14pts

4th = Roy McClean (Durham) 14pts

Falcon Lake – 5th October 2019

There were several retirements prior to the last match of the festival. Graham Colclough (Durham) with a chest infection, Dave Brown (Northumbria) with a severely swollen knee and Kenny Kitching (Durham) back injury were unable to take part.

The weather which had been kinder chose to make it difficult and it rained on and off during the match. This appeared to affect the fishing with fish being caught in patches.

First on the day was Julian Brown with 97lbs 3 oz.

2nd Rob Smith with 80lbs 11oz

3rd Roy McClean with 75lbs 15oz

4th Paul Hutchinson with 63lbs 13oz

This meant that the final standings were as follows;

1st Paul Hutchinson 8pts

2nd Rob Smith 10pts

3rd Julian Brown 14pts

4th Roy McClean 17pts

Another excellent event and well done to Paul who is in an unbelievable run of form at the minute. Special mention must go to Dave Pritchard who was presented with a 25metre swimming certificate after falling in during Tuesdays match.