Its an Ill wind! Brings in the cod!

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The stormy weather has coloured the inshore waters dislodging lots of food for hungry fish. Just after the storm is often the best time to get out and capitalise on conditions that sometimes last for no more than a couple of tides.

Kyle Blackmore landed five codling the  biggest just under 4lb along with plenty of eels all caught on squid and frozen blacks. Kyle is hoping that is a good sign for the months ahead.


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The estuary flounder season has been one of the best for several seasons with both quality and quantities’ of flatfish. Appledore Shipbuilders Christmas Competition attracted a field of 31 anglers. The winning fish was caught by Junior angler Max Peake who landed a fine flounder of 1lb 133/4oz. In runner up spot was Junior angler Cleo Babb with a flounder of 1lb 12oz. Cameron Atkinson took third and forth with flounder of 1lb 91/2oz and 1lb 91/4oz. Fifth was Jack Pike with a flounder of 1lb 83/4oz.

(Above)Junior angler Max Peake with the 1lb 13.75oz flounder that won Appledore Shipbuilders Christmas Competition

Dennis Toleman secured first prize in Triple Hook Clubs Flounder Open with a flounder scaling 1lb 93/4oz. Joan Cairns was runner up with a flounder of 1lb 71/2oz.

(Below) Antony Smith won Bideford Angling Clubs twenty-four hour Rover with a spurdog scaling 7lb 141/2oz. Nathan Clements was runner up with a dogfish of 1lb 131/2oz.

I expect to see some good fish caught from the Open coast over the coming weeks with spurdog, bull Huss, big conger and tope all likely.

Shore Caught tope 39lb 12oz

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Combe Martin SAC member Ian laird landed this stunning 39lb 12oz from a North Devon rock mark. This is the second tope caught this week and bodes well for the coming weeks with more anglers hitting the shoreline over the festive period. I will take this opportunity to remind anglers of the dangers of shore fishing with cold water, surging waves and big fish a dangerous cocktail.

Shore Caught tope for Ollie Passmore

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Shore caught tope are hard won fish that often require many hours of dedication to hook and land. Ollie Passmore has been targeting  tope this season and has been rewarded with this fine specimen of 32lb 2oz.

“All the hours,effort and money chasing tope this year, i finaly land one and a cracker at that 32lb 2oz🎣 very sketchy landing this fish in the swell with great effort from @chuggehh who tailed the tope but he got hooked up also, causing the fish to be unhooked below me! so quick desicion to jump down to the waters edge before waves would of washed it away. Luckilly after getting wet it was safe on the rocks. Quick weigh and photos and it went back strong. It’s a Dream come true and what makes me love being out fishing on this coast.”


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A mild breezy weekend saw flounder dominate local sea match results. There were plenty of flounder caught and some decent bass to over 4lb.


December Rover Results.

1st Dick Talbot bull huss 8 lb 3 1/2oz

2nd Graham Snow flounder 1 lb 3 5/8oz

3rd Terry Dymond flounder 1 lb 3 1/4oz


Eighteen anglers fished in Appledore Shipbuilders Monthly Rover and flounder dominated the results with lots of school bass also caught.

1st – James Atkinson – flounder 1lb 14oz

2nd- Jazza John – flounder 1lb 91/4oz

3rd – Josh Atkinson – flounder 1lb 75/8oz


1st – Jack Pike – flounder 1lb 47/8oz

Triple Hook Club – Ladies and Junior flounder Open


1st – Marilyn Wotton -flounder 1lb 157/8oz

2nd – Joan Cairns – flounder 135/8oz


1st – Ian Cairns – flounder 1lb 25/8oz

Combe Martin SAC – AGM

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Combe Martin Sea Angling Club held their AGM at the White Lion Braunton where fourteen members attended to hear a summary of the previous years fishing and to set ideas in motion for the year ahead.

2018 Club award winners:-

Best Specimen from the shore – Kevin Legge – conger 28lb

Best specimen from a boat – Rob Scoines – spur dog 18lb 2oz

Best specimen by a junior – Joshua Jeffery – thin lipped grey mullet 4lb 6oz

Best bass – Kevin Legge – 9lb 9lb 2oz

Best mullet – Joshua Jeffery – thin lipped grey mullet 4lb 6oz

Best flatfish – Matt Jeffery – flounder 1lb 14.75oz

Best wrasse – Ross Stanway – ballan wrasse 4lb 7oz

Best ray – Jonathon Stanway – small eyed ray – 11lb 2oz

Best cod – Rob Scoines 12lb 4oz

Best rockling – Rob Scoines – 1lb 9oz

Merit Award has been won by Daniel Welch for his success over a wide range of species from both boat and shore.

Top six specimens – Daniel Welch total – 646.737 Runner up – Ali Laird – 634.913

Top Six mullet –  John Shapland – 631.906

Subscriptions for the coming year are :- Family £15.   Senior £12.00. Senior Citizen – £5    Junior £1.00

The clubs full calendar of events will be formulated by mid December incorporating ideas from the membership at the meeting.

There was a full debate around a few suggested changes to specimen weight sizes and the following amendments were agreed.

Boat pollock to be reduced from 12lb to 10lb

Shore – spotted ray to be reduced from 5lb to 4lb 8oz

Shore – Thick Lipped mullet to increased from 4lb to 4lb 4oz

Shore – thin lipped mullet to be increased from 3lb 8oz to 4lb

The club are also introducing a new fish of the season prize for all club members.

A full report should appear before long on the clubs website. The club would like to thank Sakuma Tackle and High Street Tackle who have supported the club throughout the year.

For details on joining the club visit their website –

Bull Huss are about

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Combe Martin SAC member Ian laird enjoyed a hectic session on a local rock mark catching a brace of Huss numerous dogfish and a few small conger. The rough weather should encourage a few larger fish close inshore with the next set of bigger tides likely to bring in a few spurdog.

Coastal ponders

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Dan Walbridge headed to a remote rock mark on the North Devon Coast and enjoyed a successful session landing seven dogfish, a 6lb bull Huss, a bass, rockling, pollock, small conger and had a whiting bitten clean in half by something larger. Tope, conger or spurdog?

Paul Hutchings enjoyed a blank session but enjoyed the company of a cormorant that enjoyed feasting on scraps of bait. Paul tells me that the bird enjoyed blue and mackerel but declined squid strips. Whilst I find cormorants an unwelcome visitor on inland lakes and rivers I enjoy seeing them on the open coast where I feel they belong. There presence inland is a major issue but how much of that is man kinds fault in decimating baitfish numbers?

Saw a couple of gannets working off the coast near Ilfracombe I sight I do not normally see in late November. Would they be seeking herring?