Members Article

Highlights Of My Season On The Rother

As the weather has been so awful recently and the rivers in constant flood I have had plenty of time to reflect on my season’s fishing so far. Below are photos and a bit of info on some of my better fish this season.

Copyright Petworth and Bognor angling Club West Sussex
23rd July 2013 – This chub of 4lb 2oz was a new PB for me. Caught from Coultershaw I also had two smaller chub in the same session.
Copyright Petworth and Bognor Angling Club West Sussex
3rd August 2013 – Having only joined the previous year and despite lots of sessions I struggled to catch a barbel in my first season but was eventually rewarded with an 11lb 2oz beauty. The one pictured above was my next barbel, the first of the 2013 season for me and weighed in at 4lb 10oz, not huge but at least I hadn’t had to wait as long for this one.
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4th August 2013 – After putting in some bait at the end of my previous trip I returned the next day, baited up again and then gave the swim a rest. Although it was piping hot, my hookbait had been in place less than half hour before I was playing this barbel of 7lb 14oz, two barbel in two days, result. (I thought I must be doing something right now!)
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23rd August 2013 – This next one was an interesting take, I was re-arranging my bank sticks when I felt a tap on the line, next thing I know my hand is halfway up the rod trying to stop it going in. What a great fight it gave for a 6lb 6oz fish. Some of the regulars on the Rother will probably recognise this one as it had a bent spine.
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14th September 2013 – By this time I was offering people advice on the river for the barbel, despite the blanks I had learnt a lot in the past year.  This session though was somewhat annoying, I had a great take and it felt like a heavy fish, unfortunately it came off after a short fight. Thinking it had thrown the hook I wound in to see that the knot had pulled on the rig. I quickly set up again got it back out and within 10 minutes had another great take but this time the power of the fish just took me straight into the snags and snapped me clean off.

I baited up the swim, walked away cursing my luck and returned 40 minutes later. After recasting I only had to wait 10 minutes before I had another fish on. I thought, I’m not giving this fish any slack, and it soon gave up when it couldn’t get in the snags, it weighed 6lb 5oz. Although I was was happy in the end, I often wonder how big the two I’d lost were.
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18th September 2013 – Having dropped my unhooking mat on my way to the swim I started this session trundling up and down the river. Whilst looking for my mat I got chatting to a guy, he told me he had been baiting up a certain swim all day, although he had never caught a barbel from the Rother he was just about to give the swim a go. I wished him luck and went upstream to try and get a fish from a couple of swims I fancied.

Having had no luck it was near to leaving time when I thought I’d drop into the swim the guy I had been talking to  had been fishing, as I had seen him leave earlier. I cast a bait tight under a tree and was just touch legering, within 5 minutes I felt the bait getting hoovered up and before I knew it the rod was bent round and a powerful fish was bombing downstream.

From the way it fought I suspected this was a good fish and was relieved when I finally got it under control. As I slid the landing net underneath it I could see that it was indeed a good fish. But it was not until I lifted the net out the water and put it on the unhooking mat that I could see its real size. I was overwhelmed when the scales registered 12lb 8oz another PB from the Rother. I walked back to the car feeling elated that night!
Copyright Petworth and Bognor Angling Club West Sussex
20th October 2013 – Having done most of my fishing at Coultershaw this season I thought I’d give Fittleworth a go as it had been quite a few months since I last fished there. I chose a swim where I’d caught numerous fish from by just touch legering bread.

After a few casts I felt something take my bread and after what felt like a very unusual fight, a mirror carp eventually came to the surface. I was really pleased as this was my first carp from a river and weighed 7lb 8oz.To sum this season up it was not a bad summer fishing on the Rother for me, apart from the fish I’ve mentioned I had numerous smaller chub and several sea trout.

I also had a lot of enjoyment stalking and spotting chub in the shallow waters, feeding them liquidised bread to try and tempt them. Although the weather has curtailed fishing recently if conditions improve enough there is still time for a bigger barbel this season! If not then there’s always next season!

Stephen Gray