Levels in the Rother have recovered a bit from recent rainfall although frankly it would be nice to see a bit more water in the river.
We continue to see barbel from the well known swims and the recent barbel challenge was won with a fish of 7lb 7oz Dan (Gordon) Bolton was the captor. The best time to catch the barbel appears to be early morning or late evening. However please remember the off times for the water. You need to be in the car park by the ‘off time’ at the latest and you should not arrive in the car park before the ‘on time’ A lot of good sized bream are falling to barbel tactics during the days together some good chub. A number of bream in excess of 6lb have been reported in the last few weeks.
Stalking tactics continue to be the most productive if you are after the chub at Shopham. If you decide upon a static approach then your best bet is to trot for the silver fish using maggot hemp and caster. A sea trout of between 6 & 7lb has ben caught on the Shopham stretch by Andy Thomas who as well as being a member and keen fly & lure angler is also the Conservation Officer in the south of England for the Wild Trout Trust. Long time Rother chub expert Ray Newnham had a recent session at Shopham down which resulted in three chub, the best being around 3lb and a surprise 10½ lb mirror carp.
The trout have not been as prominent over the last month or so and tactics similar to Shopham seem to be best. It is well worth trying the swims on the riffles as some good sized fish have been seen moving in this general area.
Quite a surprise was in store for Eric Whisson when he landed an 11oz flounder using worm as bait on Fittleworth. There was one reported last year (perhaps the same fish). A couple of members of long standing remember that many years ago flounders were quite common at Fittleworth and the best that they recalled was close to 2lb. On a more conventional front Fittleworth continues to fish very well for silver fish with some good nets of roach and dace being caught. There have also been some reasonable perch reported from the top end of the stretch.
The Arun is obviously less affected by the lack of rain and flow continues to be reasonable.
Of particular note are the big roach that are coming out of Watersfield at the moment. Those fishing for barbel using static baits have been catching roach up to 2lb. The fish caught using running line tactics are not quite as big but nevertheless fish of close to 1lb have been reported. One angler has also found some bream which seem to have been missing for a while.
Those that are fishing Stopham regularly continue to report good silver fish and perch bags, particularly to feeder tactics.
There has been a massive amount of work done at Hurston over the last couple of weeks and the middle pond is now easily fishable as most of the weed has been removed. The carp are proving quite active and plenty of fish are being caught from the middle pond. If you can get their heads down you can take a really good bream catch from the match pond and sessions with up to a dozen fish giving a total weight in excess of 30lb have been reported. You are also quite likely to find one or two carp in among the bream. Those that go out to catch the carp from the match pond are also reporting good sessions with plenty of fish being caught. The tench pond continue to produce good tench and crucian catches.
A top match weight in excess of 40lb was recently taken from Stemps pond and on the same day a weight in excess of 25lb was taken from Cart. We recently held a Junior Tuition event on Cart pond and literally hundreds of small fish came out on maggot with the odd better roach or skimmer among them.
There are plenty of fish to be caught in the canal. One angler who has fished a number of sessions and all in different areas has had plenty of roach, rudd, perch and skimmer bream. Of all the sessions fished the best fish have come from Grosvenor Road with some good roach and proper skimmers being caught from this area. There is a lot of boat traffic on the canal at the moment with the cruise boats doing 6 or more trips a day and although as the boat passes through the fish are put off they soon still settle back in again. Pinkie is the preferred bait although bread punch and maggot also score.
Some good tench, bream and crucian nets have been reported from the road swims or behind the far islands. There are also plenty of silver fish to maggot.
The best carp being reported at the moment are in the low doubles, although there are undoubtedly some better fish to be caught. Plenty of rudd to small baits and we have an unconfirmed report of a crucian carp being landed.
Reports are sparse from Bethwins, so if you have anything to report please let us know.