SOUTHDOWN A.A. WATERS ON THE RIVER CUCKMERE
The Cuckmere is a natural river with it’s headwaters starting as small, fairly fast streams flowing out of the Sussex Weald in the Heathfield area. The middle and lower reaches where the SAA control some of the fishing have been extensively modified, with several structures in place controlling the levels and flow. Water is extracted from the river at Arlington to fill the nearby reservoir.
Although fairly narrow, the river can be surprisingly deep, with plenty of lily pads, weed beds, reed lined banks, bushes and trees providing shelter to the fish, which can be surprisingly large for what appears to be a relatively small water.
The river holds Bream, Tench, Roach, Rudd, Perch, Eels, Pike, some Carp, Dace and Gudgeon and is subject to the statuary annual close season from 14th March to 15th June inclusive.
Although summer flow can be negligible, winter can be a different matter, with good flows, the river often being up and over the fields should there be an excess of rain.
The Shermans Bridge stretch, both upstream and downstream of the A27 is up to 15 metres or so wide in places with depths up to around 3 metres in places. Generally slow flowing except in the narrower stretches or below the gauging weir just upstream of the bridge, there are some superb fish present for those prepared to make the effort.
The river at Churchlands, adjacent to Arlington Church and upstream to Sessingham footbridge is similar, although becoming narrower as one moves upstream and is a popular venue for an enjoyable pleasure fishing session in really pleasant surroundings.
The Raylands Farm stretch above Sessingham footbridge is somewhat different, as the river is quite narrow and shallow for much of it, with a weir situated towards the top end and as a result, flow is generally higher, although the short length above the weir offers deeper slower water and has yielded many fine fish over the years.
a sketch or Google map of the Cuckmere waters, please click on the relevant tab on the left.