Well the season’s end on the rivers are closing in a bit too fast for my liking and the 15th March will see the banks empty until the same date in June. The close season is important and fish need a breather to hopefully spend a little time ensuring we have fresh young stock for the future. Nature can be be cruel as well as kind, but left alone it does a pretty good job, as anglers we have a role to play to ensure our two rivers the Rother and Arun are in good shape, the banks are kept clear of litter, line, tins, plastic bottles and other man made objects we seem unable to live without. Sometimes the simplicity of being a fish seems quite attractive !
It’s been a mainly good year for the Rother, mixed results from what can sometimes be a most difficult river, turn up one day and it fishes it’s head off, the next, nothing, it seems the fish have disappeared completely, but from the feedback I get it seems the quality of fish continues to improve, if the quantity did the same it would be even better. The barbel are getting bigger and let’s hope they continue to spread throughout the river, I know everyone heads for Coultershaw but they have been caught from Fittleworth and both upstream and downstream from Shopham bridge so I hope more barbel anglers will perhaps give Coultershaw a bit of a rest next year and target other spots, but as the clubs Press Officer I do beg you to send me any pictures of whatever, and wherever you catch fish. I promise not to give any unwanted information away, but please remember the club needs new members and nothing attracts them more then seeing actual fish and the Observer newspaper which accept my match reports are pleased to give priority to pictures and some news on lesuire angling, bearing in mind we are competing with other clubs for space on their sports pages. The tidal Arun is also holding some barbel as well as roach and of course bream which if you are lucky enough to find shoaling provide a very different kind of species to those in lakes and ponds, most Arun fish have rarely been previously caught so they all fight well and seem in good condition. Pike have again been caught from both Hardham and Watersfield where we hope we may get a new car park in the not too distant future.
We now have a lot more Bailiffs and we intend getting together to make sure we keep our members happy. The club, since the amalgamation of Petworth and Bognor clubs, both part of the old Alliance, is always seeking ways to improve and anything we can do to improve matters for our members is taken seriously so please talk to our Bailiffs and this will feed-back to the committee. There are plenty of lakes and ponds to fish during the close season, but please always check your handbook before setting out. Good luck and remember to take your rubbish home with you, plus any you find that some selfish person has left behind.