I arrived at the flats at about 9-30, passing the usual handful of fish on the Windmill straight in their regular Inaccessible swims, on the walk down.I'm sure these fish know that they are safe here.
I had a negative feeling about the flats right from the off.Nothing at all was showing, a larger than normal group of swans were being a real nuisance,which Irritated me,and after giving it an hour gradually moving down the stretch,I found myself heading back upstream with a sense of Impending defeat.
I had to make a decision.If I got my skates on ,I could probably make it down to the lower reaches of the river nearer Littlehampton, and maybe get half an hour before the flood set in.I started to walk back towards Arundel, but those damned fish on the straight just annoyed me.They were only ten yards away, but they might just as well have been in the next county.The flood banks here are absolutely lethal.Steep and slippery, there Is no way you can gain a safe footing and If you were to fall in ,it would be extremely difficult to pull yourself out again as the water is very deep close in.
I thought about having a cast from the top of the flood bank.I reasoned that if I hooked a fish I may be able to walk it 200yds or so downstream, climb over a fence, negotiate a sluice, and then steer it on to an exposed area of mud.What utter rubbish.There was no way I'd be able to do it.What was I thinking.
I packed up again and continued walking....and then i noticed it.About half way along the stretch there is a solid flat platform 5x1yd,which sits just above the low water mark on biggish tides.Also, the flood defence above it has a slightly different surface made up of plain concrete-still treacherously slippery, but a slightly better surface to clamber down.I've no idea what its there for, but there were fish about and it was the only place that i could possibly get near enough to perform a safe landing if.......I was lucky enough to hook one.
Gingerly, I made my way down to the deck using my net pole to steady me.The tide had virtually bottomed out so I reckoned I had less than 30 minutes before I'd have to leave.Fish were swirling in the murky water right underneath my rod tip and I just knew I was in with a chance.
The take came In the 29th minute,at least that's what it felt like.The water was lapping around my ankles but I managed to deal with the fish in the net as there was nowhere to put it down.Slipping the fish back and scrambling up the bank,I just managed to secure my escape in the nick of time, before the tide quickly submerged my precarious perch.It's under the cloudy water in the top pic.
An average Arun fish of 3lb, but it saved me writing up another blank on here.Finally I could pack up ,go home and get on with my day knowing that all was well in the world.