Jeremy Wade – To Visit Torrington

Jeremy Wade in Great Torrington

book signing and more

 

Jeremy Wade will be in Great Torrington, Devon, England on 4th August to sign his new book “How to Think Like a Fish” at the Plough Arts Centre. (Books will be available to purchase on the day)In addition, we will be screening one of his latest programmes Dark Waters.

Jeremy will open with a short presentation at 10.30am before the book signing begins which will be until 12.30pm in the gallery at the Plough. The screening will be from 1.30 and there will be an opportunity for any questions and answers after the film finishes.

We look forward to seeing you on the day.  Tickets are available from the Plough for £5 per person to enjoy both sessions and guarantee your seat at the film. The Plough Tel No is (44) 01805 624624 Web details are www.theploughartscentre.org.uk

The event is organised by River Reads bookshop so please contact them if you require any further information, or would like to purchase a signed copy of Jeremy’s book and are unable to attend.

South Molton Angling Club – Boat Trip

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South Molton Angling Club enjoyed a trip out of Clovelly with Independent Charters on a dry, bright and sunny allowing them to venture to the waters West of Hartland Point where they  caught Pollack, dogfish, pouting,black bream,Huss,smoothound,tope and a ballan wrasse.
As always Eddie Rands reported good banter and everyone enjoying themselves.

A room full of memories – Looe Sharking

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The Cornish town of Looe has a rich history as a fishing port and during the 1940’s and 1950’s the sport of shark fishing in the UK became popular primarily among the wealthy members of British Society or the upper classes. The book, “Shark Angling In Great Britain” by Brigadier J.A.L Caunter documents this early period and is a fascinating read.

My own connection with Looe stems from annual holidays with my parents during the late sixties and seventies. To a large extent this was where my lifelong passion for angling was formulated with many happy hours spent float-fishing for mackerel, garfish and grey mullet.

Each evening the shark fishing boats would return to port with their catches. Back then in less enlightened times virtually all shark were slaughtered and brought back to the weighing station of the Shark Angling Club of Great Britain where their bloated carcasses were hauled aloft in front of masses of tourists. As a young boy I gazed in awe and dreamt of days when I could set sail to do battle with these beasts of the deep.

Looking back the wanton slaughter was misguided and undoubtedly contributed to a steep decline in numbers. Fortunately, all shark caught today are carefully released and their numbers are increasing once again. Shark fishing is an important part of Looe’s history and the recreational fishery is vitally important in supporting Looe as a fishing port as commercial fishing declines due to competition from larger ports and other factors.

The Old Sardine Factory on West Looe harbour front recently opened as a heritage centre and Restaurant. The centre hosts regular events and recently held an evening to bring together members of the shark fishing community and share memories in a memory café style event.

Seeing the advert on their Facebook page I could not resist attending and took the opportunity to have a one night break in my childhood haunt with my wife Pauline. I am so glad we made the effort for we were privileged to meet anglers and skippers from an earlier era. I am sure many memories and friendships were rekindled on that summer night. The vast array of black and white photos on display told of a bygone age that was full of larger than life characters.

The shark fishing of that era was seen as adventure on the high seas. It would be wrong to condemn the practice of those days for many believed that the seas fish stocks were inexhaustible. Today we know this is not true and methods and practice have changed to ensure that these splendid fish can be released after being brought to the boat. Anglers share many of the conservationists concerns regarding the oceans and should work in harmony to ensure both the survival of the shark and the shark angler.

One of the nights highlights was to meet Pat Smith aged 95 who travelled to the event from Leicester and still radiated enthusiasm as she recalled those golden days when she caught a huge porbeagle of 369lb.

Much of the credit for the evening goes to Rachel Bond, Dave Clarke and John McMaster.

Below is the short introduction to the event as delivered by Rachel on the night.Many thanks to Rachel for allowing me to reproduce the manuscript on these pages.

Living timeline – Written by John McMaster and Rachel Bond 

Welcome to the Old Sardine Factory Heritage Centre and welcome to our Sharking Legends event.

This event is all about catching up with old friends, meeting people who you thought you might never meet and sharing stories, pictures and other Sharky stuff.

I already know that many of you are well known to each other but by way of introduction and also to give us an opportunity to thank you all let me just mention a few names.

Sharking is littered with successful lady anglers so its tremendous to be able to welcome Pat Smith who has come all the way from Leicester to be with us tonight. Pat is the last surviving Ladies British record holder for shark which she holds for a magnificent 369lbs Porbeagle, caught out of Looe in 1970.  Pat is one of an elite group of lady anglers, many who like her have held and some still hold British and World records. Names like Hetty Eathorne, Patsy McKim, and Joyce Yallop to name only a few. No ladies list would be complete without our own Looe ladies legend, Daphne Case. Sadly, these ladies are no longer with us but I am pleased to say that Judi Berry, Daphne Cases daughter is with us tonight and has brought along her mothers scrap book which you must find the time to have a look at this evening. 

It’s also great to have Jackie Gould with us tonight who has brought along some of her pictures and I am sure some stories to share with us as well.

Sharking was not just about skippers and anglers as it also brought revenue to many businesses as well. Here in Looe names like the Salutation Inn, the Hannafore Point Hotel, the Portbyhan and the Jolly Sailor and many more welcomed anglers and their families to Looe.  One of the most influential of those businesses was of course Jack Bray & Son. In the early days the cost of sharking fishing tackle put it beyond the reach of many. By hiring fishing tackle for the day, Jack made the sport accessible to many people, which helped tremendously with the growth of the sport and the SACGB.  Jack Brays was a weigh centre and sharking trips could also be arranged via the shop and while sadly, Martin has been unable to make it tonight, Martin has an invaluable wealth of knowledge of the sports history.

And last but certainly not least we have our skippers line up which I can best describe as a, living timeline, with us tonight.

 

We have Alan Dingle who skippered the Lady Betty when Pat caught her record Porbeagle and when Joyce Yallop caught her record Mako. We have John Kitto, and Bill Cowan from Polperro. We have Ernie Curtis and Mally Toms, Ian King from Lyme, Richard Butters, Paul Greenwood and Graham Hannford from Plymouth.

No sharking skipper gathering would be complete without mentioning some of those legendary characters who are no longer with us but the memories of them won’t ever leave us. Skippers like Ivan Chaston, Bonzo, Edgar Williams, Bill and Jack Butters, Bert Dingle Robin Vinnicome, Phil Gould and some many many more.

Then of course we have the “younger skippers”!! Well, I had to call them that to get them to come. We have Murray Collings, Pete Davis, Dave Bond, Phil Dingle, Phil Curtis, Dan Margetts  xxxxxxxx

I would very much like a group photograph of all of you at some point this evening and if any of you would like a copy let me know and I will arrange to send you one.

I would also like to say a couple of last thank yous, firstly to the Shark Club for their assistance in curating this exhibition and loaning us some fascinating items, and secondly to John Mac, John  has been my go to shark expert, exhibition and speech writing consultant, photo mounting expert, coffee provider, and general fountain of all knowledge and has been a huge support to me throughout the lead up to this exhibition, so thank you.

We aim to close the event around 8pm but in the meantime we have cider at the bar, and please do say hello to our volunteers with cameras, who will be trying to capture the event and your wonderful memories and stories for us.

This heritage centre runs on donations, so anything you can give towards us being able to put on events like these would be hugely appreciated. Dave Bond guaranteed me that he and the other skippers would whack a tenner in each…

Finally thanks very much for all your input and I hope you enjoy the event.

Below are a few photos I captured on the night with the kind permission of those displaying the images.

Big tope wins Lynmouth Open Competition

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Twenty anglers competed in Combe Martin Sea Angling Clubs week long competition to catch the best mixed brace of specimens. The event was held in conjunction with the Lyn Sailing Club with  proceeds split between Combe Martin SAC and the 1st  Lyn Scout Group. Several anglers invested a degree of effort into seeking out specimens from both boat and shore.

The presentation was held at the Ancient Mariner at Lynmouth as part of the Lynmouth Maritime Festival. The winner of the event was James Fradgley Gubb who boated a fine specimen tope of 50lb and a blonde ray of 12lb 12oz a combined rating of 210%.

James was also presented with a special prize from Ardosia Slate for the best specimen fish caught during the week.

Prize winners at Lynmouth

Results – 

1st James Gubb Fradgley – tope 50lb & blonde ray 12lb 12oz    210%

2nd – Dan Welch – smoothound 10lb 2oz &  blonde ray 11lb 14oz  200.208%

3rd – Rob Scoines – rockling 1lb 10oz & small eyed ray 8lb 6oz

Dan Welch – blonde ray – 11lb 14oz
Dan Welch – smoothound – 10lb 2oz
Rob Scoines- blonde ray caught off Minehead on Osprey
Rob Scoines – rockling 1lb 10oz
Dan Welch – Bull Huss 6lb 2oz
David Jenkins – small eyed ray 10lb 5oz Caught on Osprey off Minehead
Rob Scoines – bass caught on Osprey
Rob Scoines – ballan wrasse

Paul Lorrimore – small eyed ray caught on Osprey off Minehead