The huge ‘slabs’ at Stan­bridge View can be found right un­der your feet...

Angling Times (UK) - - WHERE TO FISH -

IN AN angling world dom­i­nated by hun­dreds of com­mer­cials, it is of­ten those that of­fer some­thing com­pletely dif­fer­ent to their ri­vals that con­sis­tently thrive.

Gone are the days when pil­ing in huge num­bers of carp and F1s into a muddy pool will suf­fice. The vast ma­jor­ity of an­glers are now on the hunt for a fresh chal­lenge.

On the face of things, Sus­sex’s Stan­bridge View Fish­ery has all the hall­marks of a typ­i­cal com­mer­cial.

Sev­eral is­lands within pole range are dot­ted around the 32-peg com­plex, with solid wooden stag­ings in place to launch your at­tack.

But when the float goes un­der there is ev­ery chance that you are go­ing to latch into a fish that a spec­i­men an­gler would be proud to slip the net un­der.

Carp to over 20lb are present, but it is the healthy stock of bream to dou­ble fig­ures that are mak­ing the head­lines.

Marukyu and Middy-backed an­gler Rus­sell Ship­ton has had his fair share of the qual­ity slabs since first sam­pling the com­plex ear­lier in the year, and he said: “You ex­pect big bream to be found in large reser­voirs or rivers but they are thriv­ing in Stan­bridge and keep pack­ing on the pounds.

“I’ve had them up to 8lb, but I know they run big­ger and I have friends who have landed them.”


The word ‘com­mer­cial’ in­fers that a venue is run for the sole pur­pose of turn­ing a profit, but Stan­bridge is run in a very dif­fer­ent man­ner.

Thou­sands of pounds are raised each year from day-ticket fees, but rather than stick the cash straight into a bank ac­count, a large per­cent­age of it is pumped back into the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

Ju­nior fish­ing events form part of the project, and fam­i­lies were in­vited to a re­cent bon­fire and fire­works dis­play that was funded by fish­ery pro­ceeds.


When it comes to the fish­ing it­self, the lake is packed with fea­tures, both above and be­low

the sur­face.

Most pegs have an is­land within reach and you’ll also be able to see sev­eral tree stumps be­low the wa­ter­line that of­fer ad­di­tional cover dur­ing the colder weather.

If you’re not con­fi­dent about get­ting close to these, reach­ing for the plum­met and work­ing your way around your swim will re­veal lots of dif­fer­ent op­tions.

Deep near­side mar­gins that are cov­ered with dy­ing reeds are of­ten home to a few bream, as are the open-wa­ter spots lo­cated close to deeper holes or ledges.

“Peo­ple in­stantly think they have to fish long on the pole to find the fish but they could be right un­der your feet. Never ig­nore the mar­gins, as they could be up to 4ft deep – enough to hold fish all year round,” said Rus­sell.


Get­ting bites is fairly easy at Stan­bridge but the chal­lenge lies in seek­ing out the big bream. Stacks of fish in the 3lb-5lb class are present but the 7lb-10lb lumps take a bit of thought to track down.

While wait­ing for these fish to find the bait, you’ll be kept oc­cu­pied by small carp, tench and skim­mers, al­though there are also gi­ant rudd to 3lb that could put in a win­ter ap­pear­ance.

On what was ar­guably the wettest day of the year, Rus­sell bat­tled against the el­e­ments in front of the Angling Times cam­eras and pro­duced a stun­ning catch in less than ideal con­di­tions.

Sev­eral qual­ity slabs to 6lb graced the net dur­ing the ses­sion to give ev­ery­one a taste of the true po­ten­tial of this fish­ery.

“The own­ers have gone to great lengths to cre­ate a fish­ery that is like no other. The stock­ing pol­icy of­fers the chance to land some very spe­cial fish re­gard­less of the con­di­tions,” con­cluded Rus­sell.

PRICES: £8 on the bank CON­TACT: Call Andy on 01444 461266 LO­CA­TION: Stan­bridge View Fish­ery, Nurs­ery Lane, Warninglid, West Sus­sex, RH17 5JS RULES: Bar­b­less hooks only, no larger than size 12, no nuts or boilies

...and they go much big­ger than this!

Suit­able end tackle for big bream.

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