Water levels on the Rother have been dropping over the month and the water has generally lost a bit of colour.
We have reports of excellent dace catches from every stretch of the Rother and virtually any swim where you can run a float through is producing fish. It seems that you can put together a good bag of silver fish with dace being predominant from almost anywhere.
Work has started at Fittleworth Mill on the fish easement which will allow free passage of fish upstream from Fittleworth into the Coates section. This will mean that fish can move freely all the way from the Arun to Coultershaw.
The EA carried out their annual survey at Coultershaw and Fittleworth towards the end of the month and it will be interesting to see what they found
As well as the roach and dace quite a few chub have come from Coultershaw over the last month, along with quite a number barbel. On the barbel front it is good to see that these are not all double figure specimens; there have been a number of fish in the 6 – 9lb bracket which shows that the fish are recruiting. One angler fished the mill pool and managed to put 8 species under his belt in one session he had; chub, roach, dace, perch gudgeon, bullhead, minnow and a small pike!
As well as the dace and roach catches, of particular note at Shopham have been the number and size of perch with fish up to 1lb 8oz being reported.
A group of members that regularly fish Coates are reporting good silver fish catches from all along the stretch with the fish being caught on simple trotting tactics with maggot as bait. I also have a report of a carp of just under 10lb coming to one of our barbel anglers.
We have a couple of barbel reported from this stretch over the last month and as last month there have been quite a few gudgeon coming from Fittleworth. Also of note have been some good sized perch with the best being reported at around 1lb. Of particular interest have been a few skimmer bream, these fish range from probably two / four years old and show that the species are naturally recruiting in the river. Possibly the smallest ever caught, one member reported a 3” pike taken on a maggot!
Levels in the Arun are fairly standard, the meadows at Watersfield have yet to be cut so access is not the easiest, although there are already well worn paths to the favoured swims particularly in the top section.
The highlight from Watersfield over the last month has been a very big carp caught while barbel fishing, there have also been some good roach and of particular interest have been a number of skimmer bream in the 8oz to 1lb range. There are currently a lot of bleak around and it is difficult to get a float fished bait through them
As at Watersfield .there are a lot of bleak at Stopham at the moment and it is virtually impossible to get a float down through them fast enough for them not to intercept your bait. If you can get through them then you should be rewarded with some good roach. Some anglers recommend giving up with the float and adopt a feeder approach.
We are working on a new solution to our perennial weed problem at Hurston so don’t be surprised if the water in the Match Pond looks a bit blue. This is due to a dye stuff that we have added to the water to reduce weed growth.
Those that regularly fish the tench pond seem to carry a rake with them and the first thing they do is give their swim a good raking as a consequence there are a good number of swims available to fish. More of a problem is the duck weed and the only real answer to this is to scoop it out with a landing net. We could do with a few days of decent wind to blow the duck weed into the margins from which it can be removed. There have been reasonable mixed bags of tench and crucians reported over the last month.
The middle lake has been fishing well for carp and in particular the margins seem to be holding a lot of fish. Again most swims benefit from a rake before you start.
The match pond has produced some excellent match and pleasure bags of bream and carp but smaller fish are more difficult to find.
Fish pretty much anywhere on the two ponds and if you adopt light tactics with small baits you will get a good bag of small fish with plenty of bites. Go for a more robust approach with big baits such as pellet or meat and you are very likely to catch a carp. Top swims for carp on Stemps are still the old favourites of 1 and 15 although it is worth having a look at peg 11; however you do need some fairly heavy gear here as there are a lot of snags. One angler recently lost five and got one out, the one he got out weighed in at just over 9lb and he reckoned this was the smallest!
Fishing seems to have picked up on the Chichester canal and we reported last month that there seemed to be more carp around compared to the last few years. A number of pleasure anglers have reported encounters with carp and this seems to have ignited some interest from carp anglers who have been giving the water a go; the first time in quite a few years that I have heard of anglers specifically targeting the carp in the canal.
The bream seem to have woken up with good pleasure and match weights being reported. It seems that the bream are sitting closer to the road side swims and can be reached using a long pole, float or a gentle lob of a feeder.
The Granary continues to fish very well for carp with anglers reporting multiple fish catches with individual fish weighing up to around 10lb. We have also seen a few of the bigger rudd coming out and our perch seem to be making a showing.
Please don’t forget to fill min 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.