Members Article

Contact From Another Continent
From statistics supplied by our web hosting company we are aware that our website attracts visitors from all around the world. Occasionally someone from as far away as Chile or even New Zealand will contact us to share their angling experiences. Unfortunately it’s usually sea or game fishing they are interested in so it was a pleasant surprise when I got an email recently from an ex-pat in South Africa who actually used to fish one of our waters. He recalls how he used some local knowledge to tackle the wary wild carp that were the predominate species at the time.

I’ve reproduced the email below…

From: Trevor Porter


Sent: Wednesday, December 01, 2010 6:45 PM

Subject: Fishing tips

Good day From South Africa:

As a young man I fished the Chichester canal from about 1966 to 1968. My father and I lived in London and we used to drive down to start fishing at dawn.

I have a few old black and white photographs which show a very overgrown old tow path. The canal was then quite shallow and rapidly silting up. In the photograph on your website (from Hunston bridge) you can see the bank where we fished  by using a sliding bullet with a small stop shot about a foot above the hook. The trick was to cast right under the overgrown trees and bushes on the opposite bank, tighten the line until the float cocked and then wait for the run. You had to be very quick to get the fish out into open water! They were really wild carp. Nobody then ever seemed to fish but us. The fish were not large no more than 4- 5 lbs – but what they lacked in weight they made up for in fight

Anyway here’s the tip and it’s to use local knowledge to learn how to catch fish. We never caught fish in those days on the canal except by using wheat as a bait. We used to put the raw wheat in a thermos with warm water before we left home and it was ready when we arrived. We were told that the canal was used to take grain from the centre of Chichester by barge out into Chichester harbour where it was then transferred on to larger ships for transport around the coast. Bags of grain or spillage would often end up in the water and the fish became accustomed to feeding on that. This was, of course, long before the canal traffic ceased and the canal was stopped up.

This may (or may not) be true and the actual history of the canal is probably recorded or known by someone there.

Thanks for an excellent website not too cluttered!


Trevor Porter

I replied to Trevors email to thank him and also asked him if he wouldn’t mind sending us a couple of those photos he mentioned, which he kindly did.

He also asked if anyone can pinpoint where the photo on the right below was taken. Trevor thinks it is either at Hunston Bridge or Birdham Bridge. Personally I think it could be the one on the Donnington road, does anyone know for certain, if so please let us know.
Copyright Petworth and Bognor Angling Club West Sussex

Pictured above an overgrown canal and a group photo by a bridge – but which bridge?

Trevor recalls that the group in the photo included his sister and Dennis, an employee from Don’s Tackle Shop in Edmonton, North London, ‘who hand made the first fibre glass casting rod I ever had given to me for my 21st birthday. I still have it and a Richard Walker Mk IV carp rod I inherited from my late uncle. Both are still in use trying to catch carp, yellowfish (a cross something between an English barbel and a carp) and the inevitable catfish of which South African waters are full.’
Copyright Petworth and Bognor Angling Club West SussexThe young lad pictured  with the fish is Trevor (age 19 in 1967) the fish he is holding was a 4  pounds wild Common Carp, an average sized fish for the canal in those days.

I’m sure Trevor would be pleasantly surprised at how much work has been done by the Chichester Ship Canal Trust over the years since he landed that fish and also at the quality of the fishing in the canal today.

You can learn more about the work of the Trust by clicking HERE

I think the fact that Trevor took the time to contact us is testament to the influence angling has on our lives once we’ve become hooked. In this instance the interest traversed many years and indeed miles.

Thank you Trevor we hope you enjoy browsing our website for many years to come. ‘Tight Lines’ from Petworth and Bognor Angling Club