Venues Report

Fisheries Report For August 2016

Although water levels on the Rother remain generally low the river still continues to fish well and when we do get enough rain to freshen up the river then we have been seeing more of our bigger fish putting in an appearance.

Again dace catches tend to dominate for the float anglers although a good mix of other species have been caught.

We have had some minor incidents with canoeists over the last month, if you come across canoeists on our stretch of the river please make a note in the venue log books. It is only through regular incident reporting that we can hope to do something.

A few cormorants have been spotted on the Rother over the last month, again it is important that these are reported so we can build a picture of their movements.

We have also carried out an initial survey of potential sites for mink surveying with rangers from the South Downs National Park and hope to have survey rafts in position over the next couple of weeks. The rafts will be staked to the bank at various points along Shopham up, Coates and the Fittleworth north bank. We have tried to avoid obvious swims but if you do come across one of the rafts please leave it alone. You might also come across the National Park ranger who will be checking the survey points.


There has been a steady trickle of barbel from Coultershaw over the last month with fish varying from 4lb up to 15lb including a first ever barbel for one angler that weighed in at 8lb and was caught less than 2 minutes after first presenting a bait!

There have been chub from 2 – 5lb, a carp of 8lb and plenty of dace, roach, perch and gudgeon recorded

We have put a new stile in between the first and second field after the farmer decided to permanently close the gate. This follows an incident where because of low water the cattle decided to start walking upstream from the cattle drink towards the mill. Luckily an angler spotted this and we were able to get in touch with the farmer who rescued the situation. Remember if you see any animals, farm stock or otherwise in distress or where they shouldn’t be, get in touch with the bailiff who can sort out the situation via the appropriate channels.


Again a lot of perch have been reported from Shopham over the last month alongside the normal catches of dace and roach. There have also been quite a number of chub reported and 11 were seen all together on the outlet from Burton Mill stream, all good sized fish. One angler has been dry fly fishing on Shopham up and had a session where he caught three grayling and a number of trout.

Coates Castle

No real change from last month with good silver fish bags from almost any trottable swim. Of particular note have been the number of bream that have been coming out to static baits with fish up to 4½lb being recorded.


As with last month we have reports of the odd barbel at Fittleworth. The silver fish catches continue to be excellent and as with the rest of the Rother some good sized perch have been putting in an appearance.



We are still waiting for the meadows at Watersfield to be cut but due to the amount of traffic it is fairly easy to reach the swims at the top end.

We have heard of a couple of barbel coming out but the highlight from Watersfield has to be the tale of two fish one landed and one lost at the net. The fish that was landed was a roach of 2lb 1oz which was caught by one of our match anglers. The fish lost at the net was described as the fish of a lifetime, a perch estimated at around 4lb. There are plenty of smaller perch and roach to go for along with the dace and chublets and we are still seeing quite a few small bream / skimmers putting in an appearance. The odd bigger bream and some big eels have also been reported.

The first stage of the work to improve the path under the railway bridge has been completed and it is certainly a lot easier. We will allow this to settle for a couple of weeks before deciding whether we need to lay any material on the path. Many thanks to all those that took part in the work party on what proved to be a very warm and sticky day.


Reports from Stopham are a bit sparse although we know that this is a popular venue with a small group of anglers.


Hurston Lane Fishery

We now have our very own ‘blue lagoon’ or really a blue / green lagoon otherwise known as the match pond, but don’t worry the colour is due to the dyestuff that we have put into the water rather than the dreaded blue green algae. So far at least this seems to be working as there seems to be very little weed re-growth in the pond. If this continues to keep the weed growth down in the match pond then we will look at extending the scheme to the middle pond and maybe even the tench pond next year. Thankfully we seem to have lost the majority of the duck weed on the tench pond and regular raking by anglers is keeping a number of swims clear. There are a lot of carp moving in the middle pond but at the moment it is almost essential to rake before you fish.

As for the fishing at Hurston there have been quite a number of good mixed bags of bream and carp from the match pond and the fish seem to be more evenly spread out so you can get a good bag from almost any peg. The tench pond continues to produce reasonable bags of tench expect 4 – 10 fish per session if your bait is not intercepted by the rudd, if you fish a small bait like maggot then you can catch rudd all day. The odd crucian has been coming out and these are normally decent sized fish. As mentioned there are a lot of carp moving in the middle pond and again the margins are working well.

Stemps Wood

You have probably seen that we have had a problem with the roach in Cart pond at Walberton and unfortunately we have lost a number of fish but these are mainly small ones with just a few of the larger roach succumbing. We have had the EA on site and they have tested the water and have found that it is OK, they will be taking some fish away for analysis. Nelson has noted that the roach have spawned an unprecedented three times this year and he feels that this could just be a natural population adjustment. We have decided to keep the water closed for the time being and will continue to monitor the situation very closely whilst we await the results of the EA’s analysis. At the moment Stemps seen to have been minimally affected so we will continue to keep this open but if the situation changes we will close Stemps as well.

Chichester Canal

Plenty of small silver fish and the odd carp have been coming from the canal, pike can be a problem when fishing for silver fish and a number of anglers have reported encounters with pike on light tackle. We are yet to see any significant catches of tench that were stocked at the back end of last year and would be interested to hear from any anglers who has caught any tench on the canal.

Petworth Park

Petworth continues to fish well with the favoured middle swims on the roadside producing consistently.

The Granary

Plenty of carp and rudd depending upon your tactics and the size of your bait, anything small is very quickly snaffled by the rudd but larger baits are being picked up by the carp. The odd perch is being caught and these seem to have put on quite a bit of weight since they were stocked at the end of last year. There is a match on the Granary at the beginning of September with separate sections for carp and other species. It will be interesting to see what happens when the matchmen fish this format of match – look out for the results in the match reports

Please don’t forget to fill out the log books at our venues, it really helps us in compiling these reports. If you have any photographs of your catches that you would like to share please forward them to us HERE.