Fishtytwo Challenge reaches its conclusion

Congratulations to Steve Dawe on an amazing year of fishing and fund raising for the stroke association. I have already ordered my copy of Steves book recording his amazing year of species hunting and will review it within these pages. Many thanks to Steve for writing the below report for North Devon angling News.

The challenge to catch 52 UK species in 52 weeks ended on December the 31stwith a final push to track down a 3 Bearded Rockling from a mark in Ilfracombe. Despite great advice on location and tactics from two very good North Devon anglers the species remained elusive although Pollack, Pouting and Congers provided a distraction. My final total for the year long challenge ended on 77 species when I finally got one of my nemesis species the Spotted Ray while fishing aboard Mike Webbers Teddie Boy out of Minehead. The Spotted Ray alone had taken 9 sessions across the year before I finally got the target, it does sum up the challenge that targeting a certain fish species presents.

Fish just don’t read a script and despite anglers I know catching the Spotted Ray with impunity if you don’t have a slice of luck to add to the time spent on the bank then that magic fish can prove difficult. Over the year the North Devon Coast and Bristol Channel have been good to me on the species front with, Conger, Spurdog, Bullhuss, Dab, Hounds, Cod and Flounder all ticked off the list from the North coast.

This was largely down to great skippers and unconditional advice from several of the North Coast’s best anglers, you guys know who you are, and I and the Stroke Association are extremely grateful. During the challenge I notched up over 7000 miles, 115 sessions, 52 sea species, 25 coarse and game. Out of that total 44, were personal bests, a statistic I am sure I will never match or exceed again.

I must also thank Wayne who does a sterling job of reporting and promoting fishing events and achievements through his pages. Wayne invited me to attend the Combe Martin Sea Angling Clubs annual fun day at Ilfracombe this summer, and it was a great few hours spent with future anglers catching mini species. This event alone raised £25 for the charity in coin donations placed in the charity box, typical of the generosity shown by anglers and their families this year. Many people I met this year know someone or have had a family member effected by a Stroke, this life changing condition can affect everyone young and old.

Last Saturday I was joined by my good friend and inspiration for this challenge Andy Adams, Andy was a dedicated angler who was hit out of the blue with a massive stroke. The stroke has left Andy wheel chair bound and in need of a full-time carer, what it didn’t take however was his fighting spirit. Together we presented a cheque for £1340.00 to Hayley Ali of the Stroke Association while at a lunch down in the port of Looe.

I was asked by several of the readers of my blog to consider writing a book of the year long challenge, I have managed to complete this to coincide with the cheque presentation. The book titled Fishty Two Weeks in a Yearis available from Amazon as a Kindle version and Paperback.

All profits from the sale of this book will also go to the Stroke Association, so anyone buying are helping this great cause. Although I may have been the figurehead of this challenge it was only possible due to the copious amounts of goodwill, professionalism and support of my fellow anglers and friends so I salute you all.

Black Swans for Paradise

Anglers Paradise has a unique and diverse range of species within their lakes .GoldenTench, Koi Tench, Golden Orfe, Koi Orfe, Golden Rudd, Goldfish,variousSpecies of Koi, Pike, Perch, 5 Species of Trout, Arctic Char, Chub, Barbel,Bream, Gudgeon etc. As well as carp to over 50lbs and Wels Catfish to over 100lbs .

The lakes are also a thriving area for wildlife and owners Zyg and Rose Gregorek have decided to add to this with two pairs of black swans. It is to be hoped that the majestic birds will breed and become another point of interest at this venue in the heart of Devons rolling countryside.

Anglers Paradise

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Happy New Year to all readers of North Devon Angling News many thanks to all who have provided me with new reports and images throughout the year. I was going to do a full review of 2018 but then news came in and I thought its all there on the site to see anyway. Looking back it was a good year if you were a flexible angler targeting the vast range of species available. I reported on big shark off Ilfracombe, big nets of silver fish, fifty pound plus carp and humble flounder. I intend to carry on doing the same next year.  The weather will of course play its part each season so lets hope we get a fair mix in 2019. No beasts and no droughts but if we do then just make the best of whats on offer. A special thanks to my sponsors below:-

Christmas day – Smoothound an Xmas Eve huss and a few thoughts.

Kyle Blackmore took advantage of the quiet shores on Christmas Day to tempt this smoothound. Not a large specimen but a thought provoking fish at this time of year. Catching fish outside of their recognised seasons has always happened but my gut feeling is that it is happening far more these days. There are many factors that impact upon fish and fish migration  climate is just one of these and as anglers we play our game on natures chess board casting our lines into ever changing waters.

At Christmas and the New Year we often indulge in looking back and forth in time and social media has introduced an instant world that undoubtedly has its up and down sides. It is a fact that social media reflects good and bad in people so rather than condemn it as the new evil best to accept it as it is; taking the good with the bad as we always have in life.

On North Devon Angling News I try to report in a positive way to promote angling and the enjoyment of angling. I started the website back in 2016 when I saw that traditional papers were in decline ( The North Devon Journal stopped rewarding their angling columnist), I still write the column in the Journal because I want angling to have its place in North Devon News but feel that most people get their news on line these days. I hope readers enjoy what I try to do on this site and I welcome any features on local angling that you may be inspired to write. Please keep sending the news and images I do not reveal marks unless they are large easy access ones as I know this is a contentious area for sea anglers.

Fish conservation and habitat are all factors that impact upon anglers and I try to promote good practice within my pages on this site. In many instances anglers are at the forefront of conservation efforts espeicially on our rivers with grace concerns regarding salmon and sea trout stocks.

As I type this a latest report has just come in from Ian Laird ( Below) who landed this 9lb 8oz bull huss from a North Devon Rock Mark. One observation on recent months is that I am getting good numbers of qaulity pictures from anglers fishing the shore line during day light hours. I have fished plenty of after dark sessions to be plaged by small dogfish and strap eels.

If you would like to advertise/sponsor North Devon Angling News please get in touch. I try to give good value to all my sponsors. In the next few weeks my Intention is to add a few new features to the site giving more information on venues and whats on offer to anglers visiting North Devon.

LOADSA MONEY TO GOOD CAUSES FROM PARADISE

Anglers Paradise are very proud and pleased to share with you that they have just given away £8500 to the following local charities :-

Devon Air Ambulance – £2500

Food Banks Okehampton and Holsworthy-£2000

Black Torrington Surgery Elevator – £1500

Exeter Hospiscare – £1000

Halwill Primary School – £1000

Halwill Parish Hall – £500

We’d like to thank all our customers for their generosity throughout the year. All year we continue to raise as much as we can at Anglers Paradise through doing Raffles, Quiz Nights, we also raise most of the money during our annual Netting week through events like Archery, Bingo Night, Race Night, Quiz Night, Treasure Hunt, Tombola, Pool and Darts competitions etc.

Pictured is Zyg and Rose Gregorek and Daughter Zenia, Brian Kneebone of Devon Air Ambulance, Sally Hill from Blake House Surgery, Head Teacher of Halwill Primary School Ruh Alford, Sarah Gainsbury and Roger Young of Holsworthy Food Bank, Reginald Harnel of Okehampton Food Bank and Jill and Paul Voaden of Hospiscare.

Anglers Paradise

Big Perch from Stafford Moor

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Stafford Moor is renowned for its Specimen Carp and bumper Match fishing nets but is also holds a good head of other specimen fish including perch and huge eels. Neilsen Jeffery is a well known Match angler but enjoyed a great pleasure session on Beatties Lake landing several bream and this stunning perch of 3lb.

Stunning double figure Koi

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AMAZING PB KOI CATCH!!

If Carlsberg made Fish I think they’d look like THIS!! Brett Davies had a day on the famous Koi Lake with his girlfriend Derian and they had a fantastic day of nonstop catching including this stunning 11lb 7oz Koi making it a new personal best for Brett!

Brett shared with us –

“I stalked this fish for 45 minutes. There were multiple failed casts, a good few rejections of the free-lined dog biscuit, and a lot more whispered swear words. Then on probably the tenth cast, the bait dropped just on the fishes’ nose and it came up sweet as nut and gulped the biscuit down.

The fight was absolutely mental, probably 3 or 4 minutes of dogged power, mostly right under the rod tip. I did forget to say that even though I had 12lb line straight through to a size 8 hook, I was using one of the light lure rods I had with me for the lure weekend, and it was bent double.

I eventually slipped the net under and I knew it was biggest Koi I’d personally seen at Angler’s Paradise in more than 20 years visiting, shaking like a leaf I was.

Seeing the scales spin around to well over 10lb shocked me. A new PB Koi at 11lb 7oz and it’s also one of my many favourite Angler’s Paradise experiences. Lovely.”

Anglers Paradise