Exall excels in barbel bonanza

Chris Exall shows off his prizewinner
Chris Exall shows off his prizewinner

FIFTEEN barbel enthusiasts showed up for the annual Chris Humphry Memorial Trophy at Petworth & Bognor Angling Club’s stretch of the Rother at Coultershaw near Petworth.

This water holds some good barbel and the match finally had a winner – and to rub salt into the wound to all those who tried their hardest it went to Chris Exall who landed two.

His first barbel was caught within an hour of the start, and what a fish it was weighing in at 15lb 15oz. He was so shocked he failed to take a photo but the barbel was witnessed and weighed by Nelson Keet, who was fishing nearby.

He went on to catch another of 10lb 4oz – and this time a photo was taken.

Lynnette Humphry handed over the trophy for only the second time since 2011, when this charity match was first held. A sum of £190 was raised which Lynnette suggested should go to Prostrate Cancer UK, a very worthy cause.

Some welcome rain has lifted water levels and provided much-needed oxygen to rivers, ponds and lakes throughout the district.

Fish, like humans, tend to suffer in very hot weather and lack of shade and depth of water can claim valuable fish stocks.

One such victim but probably due to other causes was an Atlantic salmon, the remains of which were discovered by a member of the public along the riverbank at Pulborough.

The forked tail and mouth features identified this as a salmon that had entered the Arun and was probably not the only one. Sadly this river is not the chalk stream habitat it was seeking, but if we can reduce nitrate levels and continue to reduce pollution, then one day the salmon may return. If it can happen in the Thames, why not the Arun?

Fishing has been good this year. A welcome return of roach in the Arun has led to some good catches from the club’s water at Watersfield.

Dace and bream, the latter well-known as a favourite in the Arun, are being caught and with the fish passage installed by the Environment Agency at Hardham, fish can move freely between the Arun and Rother.

As a result anglers are finding a wider variety of fish from both rivers, and now the Arun holds some large barbel. Three were caught last week, again from Watersfield.

With the holiday season in full swing, why not get adults and children to go fishing together? We live in a lovely part of the country and are blessed with two main rivers, the Arun and Rother, and there are ponds and plenty of places to choose from.

We have good local fishing tackle shops where you can buy all the tackle and bait needed and at the same time join a fishing club, such as Arun Angling, Angmering; Tropikoi angling centre in Bognor and Southern Angling Specialists in Chichester.

All offer advice, especially to youngsters who would like to take up the pastime.

Full details at www.sussexangling.co.uk