Bury Hill Fisheries
Old Bury Hill
Tel: 01306 883621 (Bailiff/boat bookings)
Tel: 01306 877540 (Estate Office)
Fax: 01306 877545
Bury Hill Fisheries has its own website where up-to-the minute details can be found of what's going on at the fishery and who's catching what. The site is updated regularly and the latest news on catches, etc are supplemented with article from leading anglers. To visit the site simply follow this link.
Also, if you would like a free copy of Bury Hill Fishery's A5 full-colour brochure which sets out everything the fishery has to offer, please telephone 01306 877540 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bury Hill deserves its reputation as one of the country's most beautiful and prolific day and season ticket fisheries. Open throughout the year with the exception of Christmas Day, it is part of a 200-year-old estate which, although only 20 miles from London, lies in a secluded valley at the foot of the Surrey hills which is noted for its outstanding natural beauty and abundance of wildlife.
The fishery offers four lakes totalling 22 acres of water and includes a new Specimen Carp lake plus access to nearby Claremont Lake which is owned by the National Trust and lies in magnificent landscaped surroundings. Fishing on both Temple and Claremont lakes is available on a membership basis only and numbers are restricted.
Nationally renowned as a summer carp and mixed fishery, in the autumn and winter Bury Hill is one of the UK's top spots for pike and zander. Offering sport for pleasure, match and specimen anglers, fishing is either from the bank or from two-man punts.Whether you are after 40lb English carp, a three-figure net of specimen tench or a dopuble figure zander, you can find it here!
On-site facilities include all-weather car parks, a boathouse complex with shop and ladies and gents toilets, plus a cafe which serves home-made hot and cold meals, snacks, sandwiches, refreshments and confectionery. Full English breakfasts are served daily and can be booked in advance for visiting clubs.
The shops sells a range of end tackle, angling accessories and baits as well as live and dead bait for predator hunters after the pike and zander. For those choosing to fish from the banks, angling is from large purpose-built platforms which provide safe access to all swims and comfortable fishing.
The fishery is permanently staffed and is therefore suitable for younger anglers, OAPs and the disabled, all of whom benefit from concessionary day and season ticket rates.
Resident bailiffs are on hand to give help and advice, whilst newcommers to the sport or those looking to brush up on their skills can sign on for the fishery's 'Pro-Fish' angling courses. The courses run throughout the year and cover general coarse fishing, fishing for big carp, angling for father and son, and Pike and Zander fishing. In addition, private tuition is also available.
Club match bookings are welcome, although the numbers are controlled to avoid over-fishing. The boathouse can be used for making draws and announcing results whilst the cafe offers full sit-down catering for up to 50 anglers serving breakfasts, hot meals and snacks from 7.00am at weekends and Bank Holidays or earlier by arrangement. Full Bar-b-cue facilities are also available.
The fishery can lay on everything from simply a day's pleasure angling to staging a match or holding a more specialised Carp, Pike or Zander fishing day. Where less than 10 anglers are taking part, the fishery offers a special evening's carp fishing and Barbecue.
Arrangements can also be made for an angling celebrity such as Andy Little or Bob James to join your party to make your day an event to remember.
Click on the map to see a larger version.
sunrise to sunset at weekends and Bank Holidays.
Anglers must leave the water before dark.
using a boat on Sundays or Bank Holidays
OAPs can fish Monday to Friday for £6.00. Winter deals are also available for all anglers excluding predator. Please enquire for details.
from sunrise to sunset. Predator ticket (October 1 until March 14):
£105.00 adult (two rods)
£75.00 Junior/OAP (two rods)
Old Bury Hill
At 12.5 acres in size and with 75 fully-decked pegs, Old Bury Hill Lake is the largest of the four waters and offers everything from general mixed and match angling to specimen carp, bream, tench, pike and zander fishing. Indeed, this lake is one of the country's best known pike and zander waters holding pike to 30lbs and zander to about 17lbs. Pleasure bags of over 250lbs are not uncommon.
Bury Hill is hoping its reputation as a top predator water will be enhanced even further this winter following the stocking in Spring of more than 80 double-figure pike, 25 of which were between 18-20lbs and a further eight over 20lbs, the biggest being 28lbs.
Hand dug 200 years ago as a private estate lake, Old Bury Hill is deepest at six to 12 feet near the Boathouse whilst for the most part is only four to six feet. Along the Front Bank the bottom shallows gradually from six feet near the Boathouse to only two to three feet in The Jungle, an area only fishable by boat because it is surrounded by a protected nature reserve on one side and a private bank on the other.
Along the Long Bank the water again shallows from about six feet near the Boathouse to three feet at the far end.
Individual bags to over 200lbs are not uncommon during Spring and Summer with Carp and Pike to 30lbs; Zander to 16lbs; bream to 10lbs, tench to 9lbs, Crucian Carp to 5lbs, and roach, rudd and perch to 3lbs being taken fairly frequently.
A recommended technique is to fish a waggler four to six inches over depth with only a No 10 shot on the line about a foot from a size 18 hook. Shot the float right down in the water and spray the swim with about a dozen maggots every couple of minutes.
Every two to three minutes flick the reel handle to lift the bait off the bottom. Expect to get bites on the drop and once the bait reaches the bottom.
For those looking to get away from it all and explore the more remote areas of the lake - particularly The Jungle which is inaccessible from the bank - a punt is a delightful option.
The Jungle (above and right) is renowned for its huge bags of tench during Spring and Summer and here it pays to select a swim about six feet out from the overhanging bushes and bait with pellets and a few pieces of flavoured sweetcorn.
Fish a small waggler two to three inches over depth with just one No 8 shot about four inches from a size 14s hook. Hook a piece of sweetcorn through one corner and after the bait has settled wait for a bite, which will probably show as a lifting of the float. Feed the swim little and often.
Because the tench in Old Bury Lake run to over 9lbs, and because there is a good chance you may pick up carp in the process, the use of a 6lb minimum line strength is recommended when fishing this part of the lake.
Following extensive stocking over the past three years, Old Bury Hill Lake now holds some 450 doubles and more than 50 twenties, whilst at least two of the fish are known to top the 30lb mark.
In addition to giving something good to go for, this stocking also makes for relatively easy fishing with all areas producing on the day.
Local advice when fishing the Island or The Jungle from a boat is to select two swims and fish not closer than six feet from the bushes, baiting each swim with two handfuls of pellets. Using either a small waggler or peacock float fixed bottom only, set the float about six inches over depth with two BB shot lying just on the bottom.
Using strong Size 6 or 8 hooks, bait with fairly large pieces of luncheon meat which have been flavoured overnight. Alternatively, use about eight grains of flavoured sweetcorn strung directly onto the hook or attached with a hair rig.
Alternate between the swims feeding both little and often. Because at times you will be fishing in only 18 inches to two feet of water, keep a lookout for tails which tell when the carp are moving in and feeding on the bottom. Again, because the carp tend to be fairly large and powerful, a minimum recommended line strength of 15lbs is advised.
Renowned for its carp, tench and bream fishing in Spring and Summer, Old Bury Hill has a reputation to match in Autumn and Winter as a Pike and Zander water.
Predator fishing starts on October 1 and runs through to March 31st, during which time the fishery runs a full series of bank and boat matches including ACA qualifiers (please contact the Estates Office for latest details and dates).
Particularly favoured spots are pegs around the island for zander and in the jungle for the larger pike. Local advice is that the last two hours before dark are without question the best times for pike and zander. The fishery sells its own ready made-up float rigs which are specially designed for the water. Fish a small bait close to the margins or alternatively in the open water channels. A minimum line stength of 12lbs is recommended.
One of the features of Old Bury Lake is the prolific drag which requires anglers to fish over depth and to strike at the slightest twitch of the float or rod tip. The water does not respond well to groundbait and although a little can help at the outset, after that it is best to add small amounts of loose feed every cast.
Situated just a few hundred yards from Old Bury Hill Lake, Bonds Lake and Milton Lake were completed in 1990 since when extensive landscaping has been carried out. Already both waters have established a solid reputation for themelves and are equally as popular with anglers as the main Old Bury Hill lake.
Bonds Lake is the smaller of the two waters at two acres in size and has 20 swims. It is described as being a youngster's dream, holding plenty of carp to 8lbs as well as a good head of tench and roach, making it an ideal year-round fishery for both pleasure and club anglers.
Bonds is a comfortable water to fish, being only four to five feet deep throughout whilst where there are lilies the bottom is even shallower at between two and two-and-a-half feet.
Because of its depth the water is predominantly a waggler ot pole water, although waggler fishing is the most popular, particularly in the margins. Typical of the water's Mirror and Common Carp is this 4lb fish taken by Dean Dodge on float-fished bread flake.
The four-hour match record for the lake was broken twice in 1999 when a new competition record of 140lbs set early in September was sent reeling only a few weeks later with a new high of 165lbs.
During this event many anglers failed to get away from the lake until well after dark because the weigh-in took so long as a result of the large number of fish caught!
Bury Hill's Milton Lake has been described by angling personality John Wilson as: "One of the top tench and Crucian Carp waters in the country."
At three acres, Milton is larger than Bonds Lake and can accommodated 30 anglers. It is noted for its huge stocks of Crucian Carp and tench as well as decent stocks of rudd, Golden Rudd, skimmers, roach, Golden Orfe and chub. This mix provides good year round fishing with exceptional Spring, Summer and Autumn angling when 250lb pleasure bags and 100lb match weights are regularly reported.
As reported on Channel 4's 'Go Fishing programme, Milton can produce big bags of tench and Crucian Carp from just about any swim. Also, with a depth of between two and five feet, although slightly deeper in the centre, it is a straightforward water to float fish on either pole or waggler. Fishing close in can pay dividends as there is a shelf which runs to about two metres out and fish can often be found patrolling this.
Once the water warms up, John recommends using flavoured sweetcorn or small meat cubes fished under a waggler set slightly over depth. Trout pellet paste also makes for a good hookbait in warmer weather.
As with fishing for carp on the main Old Bury Hill Lake, prepare and alternate between two swims - one staight off the end of the platform or to the side against the lilies or reeds, the second two to three rod lengths out.
Having prepared the swims, fish a size 12 or 14 hook to 2lb 8oz line. Hook your corn or meat through the corner and, as with the other Old Bury Hill waters, keep feeding little and often.
Whilst sweetcorn and meat are good baits during the warmer months, in colder weather it pays to turn to smaller hookbaits such as caster or maggot fished over a bed of hemp.
Situated directly behind the old lake alongside mature parkland, Bury Hill's new Temple Lake, which opened for angling in 2004, has far extending views over the surrounding countryside. Designed specifically for large specimen carp, the lake is four acres in size (1.6 hectares) and has four islands running down its centre dividing the two fishing banks. Hundreds of underwater features have been created on both the banks and islands creating fish holding points.
Depths vary between 2.0m and 3.5m along the main channel with all swims having access to a choice of water depths to suit all weather conditions.
To ensure each angler has plenty of space between swims, the new lake has just 15 purpose-built swims which have been set a minimum of 25 meters apart, which is less than four swims per acre, measuring 4m by 4m. These are large enough to accommodate even the biggest bivvy and all the required equipment.
Constructed from wood, the swims jut out into the lake to ensure a good depth of water right to the edge to allow the safe landing of big fish. The swims are free draining and have been lined with bark for comfort. The lake has been extensively planted with suitable marginal and deepwater aquatic plants whilst the surrounding banks have been planted with hundreds of semi-mature trees.
The initial stocking consisted of about 80 to 100 authenticated English carp ranging from 20lb to 45lb-plus. These included commons, mirrors and linears. A further stocking of 120 fish between 20lb and 30lb took place in the winter of 2004. To ensure the fish remain healthy and continue to grow on, the 120 brought the lakes stocking to its targeted 30 fish per acre.
To help deter theft, and to enable the history and rates of fish growth to be monitored precisely, all of the carp have been tagged with microchips which are identical to those employed on dogs, cats and other animals. The microchips are harmless, permanent and invisible, but their unique 16-digit code numbers are revealed when a special hand-held scanner is passed close to the fish. In addition to the bio-security and biological monitoring benefits, there will be no doubt about the identity of each fish or its previous capture history.
Additional works have included a new access path from the boathouse to and around the new lake, a new toilet and kitchenette situated close to the new lake and a shower unit, which is located in the existing boathouse. The new lake is not accessible to visiting day ticket anglers and instead operates on a membership basis, with anglers paying an annual membership fee and a day and night ticket to fish. Advance booking is required for Temple Lake.
Membership is limited to adults only (anglers aged 18 and over) although juniors are able to fish with an adult under a shared membership ticket, provided that both fish from the same swim. All anglers applying to join are carefully vetted to ensure they have the suitable equipment and the necessary experience to handle big fish. Part time Bury Hill bailiff, Martin Colwell, a keen carp angler himself, has been appointed as the new lake's manager and Martin will work under the fisheries manager Chris Willmont.
The £350,000 project has resulted in the creation of a prestigious, purpose-built lake stocked with extremely large carp. Anglers interested in becoming a member of what is one of the country's big fish waters should contact the fishery.
How to get there...
Bury Hill Fisheries can be found just off the main A25 Dorking to Guildford road less than a mile out of Dorking town centre. The entrance to the fishery is clearly signed on the right hand side when travelling from Dorking, just look for the brown tourist sign.
There are also frequent train services from London and Horsham to Dorking station which is a short bus or taxi ride from the fishery.