VS Fisheries Ltd

About Us

The company consists of four directors who all have a direct input into the farm and its management.

Leading the company are Viv Shears and Simon Scott who originally started the carp farming business back in 2005. In 2006 Viv and Simon met up with the father and son team of Richard and Mark Chandler and the farm moved to its current location. From then on the business really started to progress and expand as a working partnership until April 2010 when VS Fisheries Ltd was created where all 4 became directors.

Collectively, Viv and Simon have over 45 years of fisheries experience and both have been responsible for stocking numerous carp fisheries, including many famous and renowned ones, over the past 20 years or more.

It was this passion for creating the fisheries of the future that lead to them forming VS Fisheries Ltd. The market had been crying out for a carp supplier that offered something different both in terms of the fish available and customer service.

It is this experience as a customer, like yourself, that we pride ourselves on. We strive to ensure that you not only get the fish you have always wanted but also with a great level of customer service and aftercare. We all run our operation with the motto that 'If we wouldn't stock it into our own specimen lakes then it's not good enough for our customers!'

Despite the growth of the farm over the last few years it is still managed firmly on the principles the business was set with in 2005, in that we strive to produce superb fish for the very critical specimen market.

Viv Shears

Viv Shears Viv has been a lifelong angler and has fished for most species that swim in the UK. This love of fish saw him study at the UK's leading Fishery studies college, Sparsholt College in Hampshire, where he achieved a Distinction grade on the Higher National Diploma (HND) in Fish Farming and Fishery Management in 1995. While studying at Sparsholt he was awarded College prizes for the 'Best overall student' and 'Best practical Fishery Management student'.

After graduating in 1995 he then undertook 18 months of work with the Environment Agency in Hampshire where he worked on the River Test & Itchen Salmon Rehabilitation Programme as a Fishery Scientist assistant.

In 1996 he returned to Sparsholt as a Fish Technician taking responsibility of the Trout and Atlantic Salmon Hatchery. In addition to his hatchery work he also began teaching both practical fish farming and fishery management to students along with managing the trout nutrition trials run by the College on behalf of Trouw UK Ltd (now Skretting).

Despite a lot of his early employment being around salmonids Viv's true passion was with fishery management. He moved into this field in 1999, taking up the role of Assistant Angling Manager (Fisheries) at RMC Angling, the country's largest portfolio of pleasure and specimen carp fisheries. Whilst at RMC Angling he gained a wealth of experience and was involved in the creation of some of the most well known specimen fisheries in the UK today, including Sandhurst, Kingsmead 1, Thorpe Lea and Burghfield Blue Pool. In addition to this he started the RMC carp-farming project producing fish for their waters from the famous Sutton at Hone strain.

In 2004 he was lured back to Sparsholt in order to become a full time fishery studies lecturer where his specialist areas include fishery management, angling, estate construction and fish farming. He finally hung up his lecturing shoes in late 2015 in order to focus on the business and other fish related projects.

Throughout his time in the fishery sector he has carried out many private fishery consultancy projects in the UK and in France where his practical and logical approach to developing quality fisheries is highly regarded. He has also spoken on carp fishery management issues to various groups including the Irish Government and has sat on a number of groups related to the welfare of fish and carp in the UK. He produced 'A Guide to the stocking of Recreational Fisheries in the UK' on behalf of the Fisheries and Angling Conservation Trust (FACT) that is publicly available to all involved in fishery management. Viv has organised 'The Coarse Fish meeting', which is held every September at Sparsholt, for the previous 10 years and this has now grown into one of the best attended events in the coarse fish farming and fishery industry.

Simon Scott

Simon Scott As a very small boy Simon was completely fascinated by water, spending many happy hours newt and tadpole hunting around an overgrown garden pond at his family home! These adventures would frequently result in jars full of desperate amphibians and a little boy covered head to toe in thick black silt! The 'strip off and hose down' was a regular routine outside the backdoor before tea in the school holidays!

Shortly after his seventh birthday armed with a new fishing rod, a bag of maggots and bucket loads of excitement, Simon was taken by his father on his first fishing trip to the river that flowed less than a mile from the front door. One small silvery rudd later and a lifelong passion for fishing was born.

Having struggled with the mainstream subjects through his schooling, Simon arrived at Sparsholt College in 1989, to embark upon the Higher National Diploma in Fish Farming and Fishery Management. The move to more vocationally based training suited him perfectly and in 1991 he graduated with a Distinction grade.

Following his success at Sparsholt, Simon moved to the University of Plymouth to undertake a Master of Science Degree in Applied Fish Biology. During his Masters Degree he studied carp nutrition and was involved in projects to investigate alternatives to fish meal as a protein source in the diets of farmed fish. He graduated from Plymouth in 1992 with a Distinction grade.

In 1993 Simon took up a position with MacAlistair, Elliot and Partners, a Fisheries consultancy based on the South Coast. During his time with this company he was involved in compensation calculations for fish farms that had been involved in pollution events. The most notable being the salmon farms on the West coast of Shetland that were oiled following the sinking of the super-tanker the MV Brear.

After two years work with MacAlister, Elliott and Partners, Simon headed back to Sparsholt to take up a course tutors position within the Fisheries Department at the College. During his time teaching at Sparsholt he has been involved in a huge number of fascinating projects, including netting many of the countries top fisheries and spawning large numbers of carp from sources as varied as Redmire Pool, North Harrow Waltonians and Sutton-at-Hone.

Fish that Simon has selected and grown while at Sparsholt have been stocked into a wide range of fisheries, including the former record carp water Wraysbury Number One. To date his most successful stocking into one venue has seen five fish top the magical forty pound mark, so he has clearly got an eye for the growers!

Simon remains a mad keen carp angler and during the summer months when time allows still tries to head out fishing for at least a couple of nights every week. Simon is retained as a consultant by Korda, the Essex based tackle giants and by Baitworks, the Cotswold bait manufacturer. He regularly contributes to both website and magazine content for both companies. Additionally over the last decade he has presented and co-presented a number of television shows including Thinking Tackle, Carp Crew and Predators.

The Rest of the Crew

Our fish farming sites are situated on farming land run and managed by Richard and Mark Chandler. Both Richard and Mark are hugely experienced stockmen with a fantastic understanding of the land and the water that flows across it. Their farm is run with military precision and they have won several national prizes for conservation and environmental management. Richard and Mark's pride in their farm is reflected in their management of the fish farm sites ensuring that the environmental conditions within the ponds are superb.

In early 2015 Martyn Rosier, a Sparsholt graduate, joined the team on a full time basis having worked for us during the harvest period for several seasons. Richard and Martyn provide the essential day to day management of the farm under the guidance of Simon and Viv.

Sue Scott gets well and truly stuck in during the harvest and the rest of the year where she helps with spawning and water quality monitoring to name but a few things. We have also been very fortunate in finding some fantastic seasonal staff that join us during the very busy winter harvest period from November till March.

'Getting involved'...

'Getting involved'...

Every reason to smile

Every reason to smile

The Copse Lake

What we like to see!