Nestled on the outskirts of St Leanords Forest, Horsham, Menards Carp Fishery offers a tranquil and peaceful setting in which to fish, with a surrounding of mature oak trees. Constructed on a 10-acre plot, the Specimen Lake is an out-and-out carpers delight. Originally being two specimen lakes constructed in the late 90’s and sympathetically joined together to create an enlarged, six-acre fishery. Since then, Menards Carp Fishery has flourished into a very mature and stunning venue, packed with carpy features. There is an abundance of overhanging foliage that makes the margins of the lake a very appealing prospect, as well as four islands, lily pads, bays, bars and plateau with variable depths to 12ft.
Careful stock management has been applied at Menards, where the fishery now benefits from a variety of different strains of carp. The fishery is extremely proud of its stock and has installed a sensible list of rules, aimed at protecting the fish, as well as giving anglers some practical guidance. One mirror in particular has surprised everyone at Menards, with steady weight gains since its introduction at 28-pounds. The fish is now the lake record carp, with its best weight in 2011 being a staggering 57lb 4oz. A large proportion of the stock were actually born on-site and the best of which are now reaching weights well in excess of thirty-five-pounds. These young fish have complimented our original stock and in some cases surpassed them in weight. In turn, this prolific fishery now operates a membership booking system to keep the fishery open and available to all anglers wishing to target these day ticket beasts.
Complimented by wood-chipped paths and swims, the lake is well-maintained, with good on-site facilities such as flushing toilets and a wet room to add the finishing touches to this big-fish venue. Whether you’re local or not, you need to visit this venue.
The vital information you need...
Biggest residents: Mirror 57lb 4oz, common 40lb.
Average fish size: Mid-twenty.
Rough fish stock: 200 plus.
Going bait: Sticky Baits Krill, Urban Bait Red and Spicy Fish
Takeaways: Rajkumar (01403 210104); Mekong House (01403260445) and Domino’s Pizza (01403 275553).
Local tackle shop: The fishery has its own, on-site shop: Menards Tackle.
Rod limit: Three rods.
Location: Horsham, West Sussex, RH13 6PG.
Contact: Menards Carp Fishery on 01403 243213.
Prices: Day Tickets range from £25 to £120 for a 96hr stay; membership £50
Facilities: Toilets, shower and tackle shop.
Best spring areas/swims: Swim 4 that commands the channel.
Bailiff's top tip: “Balanced hookbaits work really well.”