Author – Peter Foster
The tenth Chris Humphry Memorial Barbel Fish-in was held last Sunday at the usual venue, Chris’s local and much loved stretch of the Rother at Coultershaw. Chris would have been pleased, I’m sure, to see that 16 anglers had turned up in his memory, especially as one of them was young Drew Allan, brought along by his dad Alastair who had fished this event last year for the first time. Good to see a young angler pitting his skills against some of Sussex’s finest barbel hunters! On this occasion, though, the specialist anglers didn’t do so well. Sixteen anglers fishing (most of them) from one o’clock until nine in the evening couldn’t catch one barbel between them. Fish were caught, it has to be said. Martin Cornish and Mick Mills both had chub approaching the four pound mark while 14 year old Drew was pleased to tempt three bream to four pounds to his net. If this had been a conventional match he would have been the winner.
As it was, there being no barbel caught, Dan Bolton was able to hold on to the trophy as last year’s winner. Speaking of previous winners, Dave Chambers experienced a reversal of his fortunes at previous draws by pulling out number one, and so walked off full of optimism to his current favourite swim. Much good it did him, though; the barbel must have known who was fishing there and so gave his bait a wide berth. Three days later, the 2014 winner, Chris Exall, was in the self-same swim and demonstrated how fickle fortune can be by pulling out two barbel weighing four and seven pounds – an encouraging sign for the future that fish of this size seem to be coming out more often lately.
At the end of the day, anglers met up as usual at the cattle drink for refreshments and chat, where they were joined by Lynnette Humphry who presented each of us with a Chris Humphry bottle opener to mark the occasion. Many thanks must go to Lynnette for her continued support and hospitality.
Although on this occasion there was no trophy winner, there was some good news, in that £205 had been raised for this year’s charity the British Heart Foundation. So thanks, too, to everyone that fished and made a donation.
Participants: Alastair and Drew Allan, Dan (Gordon) Bolton, Dave Chambers, Peter Chase, Martin Cornish, Chris Exall, Peter Foster, Matthew Goody, Nelson Keet, Dave Kinchett, Mick Mills, Christophe Pelhate, Clive Pester, Victor Shepherd and Alan Todd.