At three acres in size and with 40 natural pegs, Mill Pond is a spacious and attractive water with plenty of bankside cover, bays and an island to fish to. At just two to four feet deep at the entrance end and shelving gradually down to about seven feet around the island, it is an easy water to fish with pole, waggler or ledger.
A water with a bowl-shaped bottom, Mill Pond has no special holes and an even bottom which makes it easy for anglers to fish more than one swim without having to alter their float settings and rigs.
Stocked with common, mirror and ghost carp which range from a few ounces to 25lbs, crucian carp up to 2lbs, roach to 2lbs which are caught regularly, perch known to run to 4lbs 8oz and averaging about 2lbs, and tench to 9lbs and averaging between 4lbs and 5lbs, Mill Pond is a rewarding as well as attractive water to fish.
As for the silver bream - it is believed there could even be a new British Record in the water. Neil Hulme's current record fish was taken from between the trees from Peg 21 since its capture several other specimens have been caught which have come near to the record. Neil was pole fishing and is believed to have used 2lb line straight through to a 20s hook, 0.6gr float with a red and white maggot bait.
Mill Pond is popular with pole, waggler and for those who want to get far out into the water, feeder anglers, with maggots, casters, sweetcorn, luncheon meat and bread flake doing well for all species. The bigger perch also like a bunch of maggots or worm baits.
As one would expect, those after the carp and bigger tench and bream favour either large pellets - up to 20mm for the carp - luncheon meat, large paste baits or bread, although boilies are not permitted. In summer when the fish are on the top it is also worth taking either dog biscuits or an unsliced loaf and using pieces of floating crust.
Another popular method for those after the carp and other larger fish is to use a pva bag stuffed with particles and samples of hookbait. Anglers fishing this technique are recommended to use a 6lb line fished straight through.
Because of its even bottom there are no particular hot spots on Mill Pond although many anglers like to fish toward the island. Fishing the margins is also productive and should not be overlooked, and with a day ticket covering two rods it often pays to fish one bait in open water and have a second rod ledgering the margins.
Mill Farm is bailiffed by Adrian Brown, himself a keen angler, who is always happy to give help, advice and and up-to-date information on what and where are fishing well at the venue.
Mill Pond is also a great place for newcomers to the sport and younger anglers to cut their teeth. Being only shallow and full of fish, it gives them the opportunity to learn whilst at the same time offering them a good chance of catching plenty of fish whatever their stage of learning. it is also a good place for more experienced anglers to test new techniques and baits.
Mill Farm Fishery's Specimen Lake is four acres in size and has 18 well-spaced natural pegs. Featuring two islands, it is slightly deeper than Mill Pond with four feet of water at either end running down to six and seven feet out from the banks along the centre of the lake. The deepest water is to be found between the two islands where there is a channel which runs between six and 10 feet deep.
There are few fish in Specimen Lake under 10lbs and the water holds a fairly even mix of some 300 double figure common, mirror and ghost carp, more than 50 of which are known to be over 20lbs with several now approaching or topping the 30lb mark.
The biggest common caught in 2010 is a 32lb 0oz fish whilst the largest mirror of 2010 weighed in at 34lbs and the largest ghost carp an impressive 32lb 0oz.
Although boilies are not allowed, pellets prove just as effective and popular with a favoured technique for bottom fishing being to use pva bags stuffed with hook samples. Many anglers also use 20mm halibut pellets hair rigged with between three and six freebies on a pva stringer.
Another popular technique, particularly in warmer weather, is to fish dog biscuit or bread on the surface, either in open water if the fish can be seen coming to the surface or close in by the edge.
Whichever technique you are using, it is recommended anglers fish at least a 6lb line and a size 8 hook. Although a 6lb line may seem on the light side, there are few snags and a lot of open water on Specimen Lake so most hooked fish can be played quite far out and only brought to the bank once they are ready to net. Unhooking mats should be used once they are on the bank.
Although halibut pellets are known to work well, other flavours are well worth a try and successful on their day, particularly scopex and fruit flavours such as strawberry and raspberry.
Naturally, more traditional baits also work well with worms, plain and flavoured varieties of sweetcorn and bread probably heading the list of most suitable alternatives.
Bread works well both when fished as flake or as bread paste and whilst a good bunch of maggots are usually effective everywhere they will tend to pick up the smaller nuisance fish.
Mill Farm Fishery's newest water, opened at the beginning of 2002, Hammer Pond is a large and straightforward venue which offers pleasure anglers a third alternative at the venue.
Built in 2000 and allowed to settle for a couple of years, Hammer has been stocked with similar stamp and size of fish to those in Mill Pond with the silver fish making it a good year-round water for anglers. As with the other waters, keepnets are not allowed on this lake.
As one would expect, fishing the pole and waggler are the most popular techniques, although fishing the feeder also works well.
Whilst many of the roach are currently around the 6oz mark, they run to just over 1lb. The perch average 8oz and to 1lb, the silver bream between 6oz and 1lb. The stocks of crucian carp and tench are somewhat bigger with the crucians averaging about 1lb and going to 2lbs and the tench nearly all weighing in between 3lbs and 4lbs.
The mix of fish makes this water ideal for younger anglers and those looking to practice techniques or baits.
How to get there...
Mill Farm Fishery is situated just off the A29 at Bury about three miles south of Pulborough in West Sussex. Leave Pulborough on the A29 heading towards Chichester.
After passing through Watersfield take the right turn onto the B2138 signed Fittleworth and Petworth. Almost immediately is a road to the left signed West Burton, the entrance to the fishery is about 300 yards down here in the left. Click on the link for more detail.
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