It was a combined passion and enthusiasm for fisheries management that lead to the creation of VS Fisheries in 2005 when Viv Shears and Simon Scott started their carp farming business.
In 2006 the pair met with Sussex farmers Richard and Mark Chandler and the business moved to the existing farm. From there the farm has grown and is now one of the largest CEFAS authorised carp farms in the UK that produces all its own fish onsite.
After graduating from Sparsholt College in 1995 Viv moved into fisheries management as Fisheries Manager with RMC Angling where he created and stocked many well-known fisheries during his five years there. In 2004, he returned to Sparsholt where he lectured for 11 years on fisheries management, practical fisheries construction and fish farming. During his 25 years in fisheries work he has carried out numerous consultancy projects with customers across the UK and Europe where he advises on all aspects of fisheries development and management. Having run numerous fisheries his understanding of practical fishery development means he can advise customers on realistic stocking plans along with sound technical knowledge.
As a life-long angler, Viv can be found fishing for a huge variety of fish species from crucians in Surrey, bass along the South Coast to monster halibut in the fjords of Northern Norway. For him now variety has certainly become the spice of life in terms of his angling... and of course carp farming!
As a very small boy Simon was completely fascinated by water, spending many hours newt and tadpole hunting around an overgrown garden pond! These adventures would frequently result in jars full of desperate amphibians and a little boy covered head to toe in black silt.. not much has changed!
Shortly after his seventh birthday armed with a new fishing rod and a bag of maggots Simon was taken by his father on his first fishing trip. One silvery rudd later and a lifelong passion for fishing was born.
Having successfully graduated from Sparsholt College Simon moved to the University of Plymouth to undertake a Master of Science Degree in Applied Fish Biology.
After working in fisheries consultancy Simon headed back to Sparsholt College as a lecturer within the Fisheries Department, a post he held for 20 years. During his time at Sparsholt he was involved in many fascinating projects, including netting many of the country’s top fisheries and spawning large numbers of carp from sources as varied as Redmire Pool, North Harrow Waltonians and Sutton-at-Hone.
Simon who remains a mad keen carp angler is retained as a consultant by Korda, the Essex based tackle giants and by Baitworks, the Cotswold bait manufacturer. Additionally over the last decade he has presented and co-presented a number of television shows including Thinking Tackle, Carp Crew and Predators, amongst others. Simon continues to work as a fishery consultant and manages several private ponds.
Richard and Mark Chandler
Richard and Mark are a farming father and son team, from a long established farming family. Both have an amazing understanding of the land and how it works. They run a diverse and immaculate farming operation. Their involvement in VS Fisheries is essential in terms of the land, ponds and their management.
We are very fortunate to have a great team to support us here at VS Fisheries. Martyn Rosier joined us full time in 2015, after many years of supporting us as a seasonal worker slaving away alongside us during the winter months.
In 2020 Martyn was joined by another full-time employee Dan Gale, who had worked for us for a couple of winters as seasonal harvest staff. Dan was a fisheries lecturer at Sparsholt College until 2019 so is a great addition to the team. Both Martyn and Dan are keen anglers with great fisheries experience so can offer advice to our customers when delivering their fish.
Sue Scott has been heavily involved since day one and works in all aspects of the farm. Most importantly, she is Simon’s right hand-man and stress coach throughout the spawning process!
We are also joined by seasonal staff during the long winter period when we drain, harvest and deliver our carp to their new homes.