Members Article

In Search Of A Rother Barbel

New Member Richard Donnelly describes below his first seasons experiences in search of a Rother Barbel.

I joined the club for the first time this season, mainly to try and catch my first Rother Barbel, but with a longer term aim of banking my first Sussex double! I then invested close on thirty short sessions at Coultershaw through the summer and autumn without any sign of a barbel, except for a couple I witnessed for other anglers!

Nonetheless I thoroughly enjoyed the beauty and quietness of the venue, the friendly and helpful attitude of other regulars on the stretch and the challenge of locating one of what seems to be a relatively small head of barbel amongst many chub.

Come the first floods, I changed my tactics from pellet/boilies to a large lump of good old fashioned luncheon meat and then had two fish in fairly quick succession. The first came at dusk on 23rd November and went 8lb 14oz.

Richard with his first Rother Barbel of 8lb 14oz

This was followed by a cracking 11lb fish on 5th December, this was witnessed and photographed by Rother Bailiff Mick Mills in the half light of a very rainy and cold late afternoon.

Richard with his first double figure Rother Barbel

I must explain that it wasn’t caught in darkness, under moonlight or in a snowstorm! The photo looks very strange due to rain drops on the lens creating what appears to be the moon and snow but I thought it was an interesting effect! Now I can’t wait for the snow and ice to clear so I can get back on the bank again.

Richard Donnelly