Its always far easier to get out of bed on a fishing morning than a work day morning especially on a February day with light Southerly winds forecast and a few sunny spells. Once again I was heading out of Ilfracombe aboard John Barbeary’s Bluefin this time on a trip organised by Keith Armishaw of River Reads bookshop. We had a mixed group of anglers on board most of whom I had met on previous occasions.
A large ground swell was running despite the light winds which was to bring on a touch of sea sickness for one or two anglers on board throughout the day. The steam out to the spurdog grounds around seven mile offshore was an enjoyable journey full of optimism for the day ahead and a chance to chat and catch up.
With the North Devon Coast line fading into the distance the engine note changed as we reached our destination.
This was deep water and with the tide still flooding close to 2lb of lead was required to take the baits to the sea bed.
It wasn’t long before the rod tops started to rattle as spurdog attacked our baits giving a good account as they were persuaded to the boat.
The tally grew steadily as the day passed and as the tide eased the catch rate increased with several spurdog on the deck at times keeping John and his assistant busy with the T-bar.
Whilst spurdog dominated there was the occasional bull huss with their vivid leopard spotted flanks.
By the time John suggested a move inshore out of a raging tide for the last hour we had boated in excess of fifty spurdog to 13lb, a few bull huss and a couple of small conger.