Migrants are highlight of Spring day afloat

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Keith Armishaw from Angling Book Specialists River Reads booked a days fishing off Ilfracombe on Bluefin skippered by John Barbeary. and sent me a brief report on an interesting day.

Keith tells me that The fishing wasn’t great a is often the case in Spring when the winter spurdog shoals have migrated away and the summer species have not arrived in any numbers. As they moved from mark to mark dogfish snaffled the bait in plague proportions.

But as is often the case the day was saved when John managed to locate a should of pollock that put a bend in the rods along with a few bull huss.

Days afloat are about more than just fish and Keith relays an interesting aspect of the day in that several birds landed on the boat.
Keith guessed that these were on migration to South Wales. They had 4 warblers (one actually settled on Lee’s rod whilst he was holding it), a blackcap and another ( caught a fleeting glimpse of was a redstart I think). Keith commented that it all added to the joy of the day. Great to be outdoors.

Putsborough Sands Open Fishing Competition 2018

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Combe Martin Sea Angling Club

Presents Our

Putsborough Sands

Open Fishing Competition 2018

Saturday May 12th

Fishing From 9.30pm to 1.30am

Book In From 8.00pm to 9.00pm

Weigh In By 2.00am

Cash Prizes Of £100 & £50

Sakuma, High Street Tackle,

And Many Other Donated Prizes

2 Rods, 4 Hooks, Specimen Sizes

Entry £5 plus £1 Pool Best Brace

Phone Nick 814703 Or Wayne 850586

For More Details Please Check www.cmsac.co.uk Or Our Facebook Page

Please Respect Putsborough & Remove All Litter

Fine rockling sparks ID debate

Combe Martin SAC member Kody Chugg landed this fine rockling of 1lb 10oz during a session at a North Devon Rock mark. Kody asked me to identify if the fish was a three bearded rockling or a shore rockling. My immediate response was that it is a three bearded rockling based on the colour of the fish and its size that would be a potential British Record if it was a shore rockling. As another angler muted the possibility of it being a shore rockling I referred to Alwyne Wheelers excellent reference book’ Key to Fishes of Northern Europe. The key distinguishing points are number of rays on the pectoral fins, the 3 bearded having 20 to 22 and the shore rockling 15 to 17. Having tried to enlarge the picture of the fin I can only make out around 17 rays. The eye position points to it being a 3 bearded. As there is small element of doubt I have sought expert advice and will report on findings later. This highlights the need to take numerous close up pictures if there is any doubt about a species of fish caught.

Kody also landed this bull huss on a recent trip.

Sea Angling Results Round Up

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Sea Angling sport is starting to slowly improve with several good fish boated by Appledore Club members in their boat competition. Dogfish are abundant from some areas of the shore line but fortunately scarce in other areas. Grey mullet are present in good numbers but are not feeding well. Warmer weather forecast for the coming days will hopefully raise water temperatures and trigger feeding amongst various species.

Michael Toogood won Appledore Shipbuilders Boat Competition with a fine bull huss of 13lb 5oz. In runner up spot was David Atkinson with a bull huss of 13lb 2oz.

Kevin Pike and Thomas Atkinson tied for third with bull huss of 12lb 6oz. Michael Toogood also boated a huss of 11lb 2oz. (Below)

Cameron Atkinson boated a fine smoothound of 11lb 4oz (Below)

(Above) Cameron Atkinson with a huss of 11lb 10oz.

Combe Martin SAC’s Spring Rover saw nine members fishing and the fish were hard to find. Rob Scoines won the competition with a dogfish of 2lb 3oz. Dan Welch was runner up with a thick lipped grey mullet of 2lb 2oz. The weigh in was held at The Rising Sun Lynmouth where members shared tales of the day over a delicious platter of sandwiches and chips.

Bideford Rover April 24hour  Rover
 1st Lee Watts dog 2lb 8oz 83.333%
2nd Phil Vanstone   Thornback ray 7lb 4oz  80.555%
3rd Andrew Clements spotted    3lb 3oz  70.832%
(Above) Phil Vanstone with a fine brace of thornback

Bass are about!

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Combe Martin SAC Member Chris Bonds fished a local mark to tempt this fine bass of 8lb 1oz. The fish took crab and king rag presented on a long flowing trace. The bass was returned alive in line with current legislation that allows no bass to be retained for the table by recreational anglers.

Jon treks North for giant Skate

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Globe trotting North Devon angler Jon Patten made the long trek to Western Scotland to target the huge common skate that dwell in the deep-waters. Jon was fishing aboard top Charter boat ‘Size Matters” skippered by Kevin Mckie and sponsored by Shimano. The team are working on a feature for Sea Angler Magazine due for publication later this year. The fish Jon is playing in the picture was brought to the boat and was estimated at 202lb and was subdued using 20lb class tackle and was hooked in 500ft of water.

Image courtesy of Ashley Clarke

It is fascinating and rather sad to note that huge giant skate like this were once tempted from the waters off Lynmouth. Over fishing wiped these magnificent fish out in our area. The populations in Scotland and Ireland are now protected and angling is strictly catch and release with the fish photographed after measuring before disappearing back into the mysterious depths. The anglers fishing for these magnificent fish bring a huge benefit to the local economy and help with important research into the species. The fish have no commercial value as a food fish and are very slow growing.

A few fish about!

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March and April are generally quiet months out on the coast but there are always a few fish to be found and its often good to just be out there in the fresh air. Combe Martin SAC member Ross Stanway fished an Ilfracombe Rock mark with his young son Charlie and they both tempted shore rockling with Ross landing a new personal best of 13.5oz. Between them they landed pollock, dogfish and rockling.

There should be very chance of bull huss from rough ground marks and the fisrt ray should be showing from local surf beaches.