Petworth & Bognor Angling Club’s match season has got off to a flying start.
With the rivers coming into their own, the chub are providing good weights and Mike Kitchener – known as Kitch – won a recent match with a remarkable 27lb from the Rother at Coultershaw.
Good catches were had by most competitors, made up again with chub and dace. They’d like to see more roach and perch in the rivers – they were being caught in large numbers several years ago but their numbers have declined in the past five years.
The club’s ponds are fishing well and the evening match at Hurston Lane Fishery, Storrington, was won with a 30lb-plus catch of bream.
Bream again took top weights at two matches at Petworth Park. Few tench were caught and it was the same with the crucians, a complete turnaround from last years results. Carp and silver fish won the two club matches at Stemps Ponds, Walberton.
Back on the river, the club’s popular stretch of the Arun at Watersfield was a great venue for a match which threw up three double-figure weights.
The first leg of the Rother Valley Shield was held at Hurston with Petworth and Bognor taking a five-point lead.
There’s no doubt the winter floods have had quite an impact on angling – and not all bad because the water tables indicate a much higher level throughout the region, leading to much more water remaining in still waters as well as rivers.
This allows water-basin weeds to grow without being burned off by the summer sun. The weeds hold the food for fish and deeper water means fish can escape the attention of predatory birds.
Silt and sand remain the biggest problem in the rivers, mainly the Rother, but silt traps installed by the Arun & Rother Rivers Trust are working well – but many more are needed, mainly upstream from Coultershaw Mill where most of the silt enters the river.
The fish population continues to improve but it takes time.