Young angler Jack bouyed by barbel success

Jack Winslade with his prize catch
Jack Winslade with his prize catch

Having won Petworth and Bognor Angling Club’s junior barbel challenge, 15-year-old Jack Winslade was invited with his dad Dan for a day’s tuition on a stretch of the Rother with members Dave Chambers and Christophe Pelhate, both excellent anglers.

Pelhate developed the ‘bangon’ fishing system, a unique and unusual fishing rig, and Chambers has special bait that has brought him great success, especially for the elusive barbel.

Despite rain, Jack caught a 5lb 13oz specimen barbel – needless to say he was ecstatic. He certainly learnt a lot. There were tips on rigs, fish behaviour, and the care needed to make sure the fish are returned safely to the river.

More followed and Jack’s enthusiasm gave him the chance to win some fishing tackle and some of that special bait.

It was a day to remember for Jack and may encourage more youngsters to try their hand at fishing.

The club held a similar event earlier in the year on the club’s pond at Walberton. The look on the children’s faces when they caught a fish showed how much they enjoyed it – and once again the proper way to go fishing was carefully explained.

In February the rivers had burst their banks, fields and homes were flooded and, for anglers, the outlook was bleak. Where would the fish go?

Well nature has an odd way of showing us how sometimes we know very little, because both the Rother and Arun are fishing very well.

Some good catches of chub from the Rother and now sizeable barbel from the Arun are giving club members some memorable days.

The warm weather seems to be hanging on but eventually it will turn colder. Rain is a good thing for anglers as the water in ponds and rivers needs oxygen and the fish take advantage of the higher water level and the natural food it brings.

Match anglers are always busy and the club would welcome some fresh faces. Details can be found at www.sussexangling.co.uk – it’s a lot of fun.

With Christmas not far away, if stuck for an idea for a gift, why not buy a fishing club membership and some fishing tackle? There are some good tackle shops in the area and most sell club memberships.

ROGER POOLE