Rediscovering the joys of fishing
A visit to Furnace Brook Fishery, East Sussex
My first experience of Furnace Brook Fishery in April 2017 was so enjoyable that I have returned on numerous occasions since, usually accompanied by my wife Annette who is a keen birdwatcher and nature lover. We found at Furnace Brook a mature fishery, surrounded by beautiful countryside teeming with wildlife. The main stream fed lake is around 5 acres in size.
The friendly welcome we received from Diane Gould, and helpful comments from the Bailiff Simon Dole have made the experience very positive. Until April 2017 I had not been fishing for over ten years, and this experience was exactly what I needed to encourage me to take up this wonderful hobby again.
East Bank April 2017
The website had promised several different types of fish including Carp up to 20lbs & “a few surprises”. Between April and August this year I have caught Common Carp between 5lb and 16lb, Bream, Tench, Roach, and some hybrids. After giving up on fishing with maggots because I was only catching small roach and hybrids, and due to limited success with float fishing in the first few weeks (mainly due to my own inexperience), I changed to an inline method feeder and enjoyed experimenting with different types of method mix and hook baits; I have not looked back!
The view from Peg 24 (West Bank) with the Island to the left of the picture
Greatest success in catching the Carp to date has come with either plugs of luncheon meat on a hair, or with banded bloodworm fishmeal pellets, each combined with meaty groundbait mixes laced with corn and various attractants. In my experience the Bream have taken the widest variety of baits. Tench have sometimes taken other baits but seem to love bread and sweetcorn the most.
At present there are 24 swims available (some others at the North West end of the lake have been temporarily closed whilst landscaping works and general improvements are carried out there). I have tried fishing from six different pegs around the main lake and while I have caught fish from each location I have had most success near to the island and in the shallower waters.
A very lively 9lb Common Carp caught on a method feeder in August 2017
Catch ‘em young
My three year old grandson Jack visited the lake in late August. Whilst I was having a relatively quiet morning because of (as the Bailiff informed me) the very high air pressure that day, he managed to catch his first fish by scooping the water at the edge of the bank with my landing net. A very happy day for him. Well they do say catch ‘em young!
The facilities at the Fishery includes a small lodge building with disabled friendly facilities (toilet, shower, microwave & wash up area) and there is a gravel surfaced car park very close to the lake. The well-defined swims and paths are generally well maintained with recycled wood chipping / bark finish, allowing good access around the lake whatever the weather.
Another catch from Peg 24….It’s not all just about fishing!
Because the main lake is surrounded by trees, shrubs, reeds, and tall grasses, and is adjacent to open farmland, there is a profusion of wildlife. The variety of birds that my wife Annette has spotted in the last three months around the lake has been extraordinary and has included, for example, Kingfisher, Bullfinch, Goldfinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Wren, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Green and Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, and Swallow. There are ducks, geese, and moorhens on the water and we have also seen a Hobby, Buzzard, Heron, and Cormorant flying over the lake.
Other wildlife that we have spotted during the last few months included deer, rabbits, field mice, and even a small snake swimming in the water! Butterflies, damsel flies, dragon flies, blue darters, and water boatmen abound.
Fishing is the main attraction for me of course but I have to say that even when the fish are not biting if you want to spend a day out in a beautiful rural environment surrounded by nature it would be difficult to beat Furnace Brook Fishery.