Regular visitors to our stretch of the Rother at Coultershaw will have met me at least once if not several times by now and most of you share my passion for the river. For those that haven’t yet had the pleasure you are bound to meet me at some stage when you visit what I believe is the jewel of the Clubs waters, particularly at the moment because you just never know what you will catch next.
It could be anything from a specimen Barbel to a Minnow. Incidentally even the Minnows seem to grow to an unusually large size in this stretch. Although some anglers regard minnows as nuisance fish, which admittedly they can be at times, I regard them as a sign of the health of the river. A healthy population of Minnows provides a good source of food for the anglers target fish such as Chub, Perch and Pike, with Minnows of this size no wonder our Chub are getting so big.
I always keep a record of any fish I catch, apart from species and weight I include date, time of day, weather, colour of water, baits, depth of water, etc.
I enjoy my Bailiffs duties on the Rother and put my modest successes down to the fact I have always taken the time to talk to everyone I meet and exchange information on what’s happening on the river. Information I have received from fellow members has certainly helped me and I’d like to think info I have passed on has done likewise for them. When you see me I’m normally carrying both my barbel rod and a float rod, this is because I use a float rod in new swims as a way of finding the deeper runs, weedbeds, snags etc ready to hopefully catch a barbel at a later date.
Over the last few weeks I have been watching a shoal of around 15 Bream plus a Common Carp which accompanies them. I have been feeding them freebies for some time in the hope of getting them to feed freely so I can hopefully bag up when conditions were right. Well last Sunday night I arrived to find the water had a nice colour and set about trying for them in the area I felt they were almost certainly going to be. It wasn’t long before I had my first Bream of exactly 4lb followed by another of 5lb 2oz (see pic below) before the shoal spooked, in that session I also had 2 Chub of around 3-4lb, not bad for just a few hours before dark! For those that haven’t had the pleasure of catching one of our Rother Bream then I must explain they are not like their stillwater counterparts, these Rother fish do fight and also have comparitively little slime. There are some very big hybrids in the Rother too which also give a very good account of themselves on the rare occasions they are caught.
Sometimes I will spend a few hours up there with just my float rod as I did the previous Saturday morning. It’s a good method not just for testing new swims but also a great way to find the fish too. In a couple of hours I had a chub of 3lb followed by a nice perch close to a pound and the biggest dace I have had there so far, also not far off a pound.
So far this season I have been fortunate and only had one blank, my tally is 3 Sea Trout, 4 Barbel, 2 Bream, 30 plus Chub and numerous Dace, Roach and Perch. My ambitions and goals for this season are to catch a winter Grayling plus hopefully beat my pb Barbel and land one of the 15 pounders that I know inhabit this stretch.
I look forward to meeting acquaintances old and new on the bank, you can tell me how your season is going. Finally for this piece, my advice to members fishing this stretch for the first time is, take light gear, roam and enjoy the environment you are in, because you just cant beat it!!!