Two recent Petworth & Bognor Angling Club matches produced very different results.
The first was the second leg of the club’s Chris Humphry Barbel Fish-in held during the last week of sunny weather at the Coultershaw stretch of the Rother.
This is a charity event and raised £180 towards having an oak bench made by Mike Kitchener to be sited at the club’s Hurston Lane fishery.
The remaining money, plus proceeds of future matches, will help form a bursary to help young club members make their way in the angling world.
The result did not match the enthusiasm of the 12 anglers who turned up. Perhaps the weather was against them but while no barbel were caught, fishery manager Nelson Keet hooked one but lost it as he was chatting to another angler.
A further 16 anglers turned up for the Committee Cup at Bernie’s Match Lake, Ashington, and it was a very different result.
Renowned for its varied good quality stock of fish it was Mike Kitchener who, fishing from a corner peg, easily won with a mixed bag mainly of carp who weighed in with 23lb 6oz.
From another corner peg Keith Hughes caught seven carp on the pole to finish second with 18lb 8oz.
Poor Steve Speller broke one of his pole sections, switched to a feeder and caught 17 carp, weighing in at 16lb 6oz to take third.
The Committee cup was won by treasurer Phil Tubb, who caught 15lb 15oz fishing the pellet on the pole close to the island.
Autumn has arrived following heavy rain which left the rivers very high and in some cases over their banks. They are now carrying leaves and twigs and everything else that floats downstream.
The levels have finally dropped making them interesting for those prepared to give them a try - using maggot feeder the smaller fish are there in healthy numbers.
Fittleworth is probably showing the best results: roach, dace and the occasional good chub are all active, look for overhanging shrubs and trees and fish the margins where fish rest from the fast flowing mainstream seeking food.
Eels lie in wait. Fish with meat and there’s a good chance an eel will end up on the end of your hook.
To find out more about where to fish and planned matches see www.sussexangling.co.uk
Be aware river banks are slippery in these conditions - try not to fish alone and take extra care.