Firstly – A few words about the weather.
We are experiencing an unprecedented spell of hot dry weather at the moment and as a result we are seeing low water levels on the Rother and at our still waters.
We would ask that anglers are extra vigilant and if they see any signs of distressed fish this should be reported immediately to one of our bailiffs or committee members. You can find their details in your handbook.
If fishing the Rother for big fish and in particular Barbel, take great care when handling and returning fish. Please allow the fish to fully recover before you release it back into the water. Also consider changing your quarry and perhaps give the bigger fish a rest while the hot weather continues.
The committee and our bailiffs will continue to monitor the situation regularly, we don’t want to have to close waters (some clubs have already) but if the dry weather persists then we might need to review the situation.
Another quick point here – please also remember to look after yourself and take plenty to drink and sun protection with you
As mentioned water levels are generally low, however there is still a reasonable amount of colour and flow.
The best Barbel so far this season is a magnificent fish of 17lb 15oz. Other anglers are having the odd Barbel here and there with a good range of sizes, fish from around 6lb up to mid doubles have been reported. However as mentioned above it might be a good idea to curtail your barbel fishing at least until we have had some rain and the river has been freshened up. As for other species, the big surprise from Coultershaw was a 6lb Tench landed by one of our Barbel anglers. There have been some reasonable Roach and Dace catches to stick float tactics and a couple of good sized Bream have been reported.
Shopham & Coates
A few Chub, particularly from the lower end of this stretch on the Coates bank with some good Roach and Dace catches on the stick float. Shopham up is producing some good Trout at the moment with fish to 2lb being inadvertently caught on maggot on the float. For those that enjoy fly fishing the Rother this area is well worth a go at the moment.
They are not the most exciting fish from an angling point of view but environmentalists consider that they are a sign that a water is in good condition and we have certainly seen a lot of them at Fittleworth over the last few weeks. What is he writing about I hear you ask, the answer is the humble Gudgeon, a number of anglers have said it was difficult to get through the Gudgeon to the Roach and Dace and their sessions produced getting on towards a hundred of them. There have also been good Roach and Dace nets and the odd Skimmer Bream has also put in an appearance. Most of these have been stick float sessions, if you can find a clear trot to a feature or in deeper water then feeding a few maggots each trot will soon bring the fish in. Unfortunately sessions can be quite severely disturbed by the Pike which turn up with monotonous regularity! I have not heard of any Barbel from this stretch of the river but again consider whether to give them a rest for a while.
Those that fish the float or the increasingly popular pole leger method are reporting good Roach and Dace catches with a number of double figure nets. Surprise fish of the season so far is a Perch of around 2¼ lb caught on sweet corn while Roach fishing. It is also good to see fairly regular catches of Skimmer Bream and they certainly seem a bit bigger than those seen last year.
Unfortunately no reports from Stopham are available. We know that a number of you fish the water fairly regularly and we would really like to know how you get on.
All three lakes are fishing well at the moment; however we do still have some problems with weed although not as much as last year. Keith our bailiff is going to organise a couple of evening weed clearing sessions. Please keep and eye on the website and the notice board for dates and times. I know Keith would really appreciate a few helpers.
The Tench Pond has been fishing really well with up to 30 Tench ranging from a few ounces to 4lb in a session. Meat seems to be the best bait and there is very little need for any loose feeding or ground baiting. The odd Crucian Carp puts in an appearance among the Tench as well. If you put a maggot on you are likely to be ‘bitted out’ by the Rudd which are very active at the moment.
Although the carp are dominating catches in the Middle Pond, there are now plenty of Roach, Rudd and Perch to be caught with the odd Bream and Tench as well. The Carp are responding to bigger baits such as boilies or big pellets while baits such as maggot, corn and worms are sorting out some of the other species.
The Match Pond is giving good mixed bags of Carp and Bream on bigger static baits, whilst the Roach that were introduced last year are responding well to maggot.
Walberton – Stemps & Cart
After a bit of a quiet winter, when we did experience some prolonged cold spells and also some visits from cormorants Walberton has woken up and is back on form. All the usual methods are working. For the Carp, fish to a feature; either the islands with a feeder and banded pellet hook baits or fish the inside features with a pole or running line and loose feed a few pellets and have a larger pellet on the hook. The Silverfish are responding well to maggot in the open water and you can sort the better sized fish out with small pieces of meat.
Not many reports from the canal but those we have are very encouraging. The platforms just along from Hunston are producing plenty of Roach and Rudd with the odd small Skimmer Bream and maybe a few Perch. You only need to fish an inside line so a 4 – 5 metre pole / whip or a small waggler rod is all you need. Further along by the depth marker; which is most easily accessed from Grosvenor Road, there have been reports of good Skimmer Bream nets, the fish are not that big, all in the 2 – 6oz range but plenty of them. Punched bread fished over liquidised bread or pinkie over ground bait seem to be the best tactics. There are also reports of a decent shoal of Bream (fish in the 2lb – 4lb range) being seen in the area of the barge and the odd Carp has also been spotted cruising the far bank.
Although the weather has been against us for Petworth Park, (we really need a brisk westerly or south westerly breeze for the best fishing) those that have fished a long feeder from the road bank have had some reasonable nets of Bream. There are plenty of small Roach and Perch not much more than a rod length out from the road bank and the odd Crucian Carp and Tench are showing up close in. The other area worth a go is behind the islands – you will find a deep channel about ⅔ of the way out and you can catch all sorts here.
The Granary has been fishing well for its two main species with plenty of carp coming to larger static baits, whilst maggots and sweet corn are good for the Rudd with some good sized fish being caught on corn. Maggots are also attracting the perch which are getting bigger although they have not yet reached the size we were hoping for.
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.
If you see fish in distress at any of our venues in the first instance contact a bailiff or committee member but please also send us an e-mail HERE.