Upper Tamar Carp Catch

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Aaron Bunning has had a cracking session on Upper Tamar lake near Bude. Aaron caught 7 carp in a 24 hour session with the best being a common of 28lb 8oz. Aaron also had a 21.14 Mirror and 3 other fish over 17lbs along with two at 14lbs. All fish fell to 20mm Scopex Squid cultured boilie hookbaits over a bed of 18mm freebies.

Club Record Gilthead bream

Combe Martin SAC member Robin  Bond fished a mark in the lower Taw estuary and landed a new club record gilt head bream scaling 5lb. These hard fighting fish are being caught on a far more regular basis in recent seasons a possible result of climate change? During the eighties these fish were tempted from South Devon marks and seemed to begin to populate Cornish marks as the seasons progressed. They are now caught a across the South West, South Wales and from Southern Ireland and beyond.

Chasing Wily Grey Ghosts in Cornwall

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Grey mullet are a challenging species often referred to as the wily grey ghosts.  They have a well-deserved reputation for being difficult to tempt which is undoubtedly partially because they are one of the few fish in British waters that are often seen by anglers. Whilst stocks of mullet have declined, they are still undoubtedly one of the most common fish to be found around South Western coasts. They are also a fish that frequent a wide variety of coastal habitats from muddy estuaries, busy harbours to open coasts.

The National Mullet Club http://www.thenationalmulletclub.orgwere founded in 1975 and have since done a great deal of work to promote this sporting fish its pursuit  and its conservation.

I joined four keen fellow mulleteers and members of the Combe Martin Sea Angling Club on a club outing to the Fowey estuary in South Cornwall. Club Secretary Nick Phillips had kindly offered to drive and told us to “bring what we liked there is plenty of room in the boot! ” Never tell an angler that even a mullet angler. We bundled it all in just after 6.00am on a warm summers morning and set off on quiet roads full of optimism for the day ahead.

We started off in the lower estuary meeting up with a few members who had been there a couple of hours already and had landed mullet to almost three pounds.

The mark was at the mouth of a creek on the lower estuary opposite the China Clay works that has shipped Cornish Clay to locations around the world. The creek is host to a busy marina packed with a variety of boats with frequent to-ing and fro-ing of boat people.

The creek has a distinguished literacy legacy as it was once home to Kenneth Grahame author of the charming book “The Wind In The Willows”. And today we had our own Toad with us as club secretary Nick Phillips held the Nick name “Toad” during his school days.

Most of us started our day suspending our bread-flake hook baits beneath brightly tipped floats. Long rods gave good line control and some members opted to use centre pin reels for direct contact if they were fortunate enough to  hook a fish.

Over the next two or three hours we manipulated our floats as they drifted in the swirling currents remaining far too buoyant for our liking. We glimpsed a few mullet in the clear water and a few bites were missed. I was fortunate to hook the only fish of this part of the day a mini mullet that would have failed to make a pound in weight.

After a coffee in the marina café John Shapland and I broke ranks to try half an hour fishing from a Marina pontoon. With no success here it was time to make a move to our second venue of the day. The hamlet of Lerryn is a tranquil village nestled at the top of a wooded creek where the River Lerryn joins the top of the tide.

The creek is said to have inspired Kenneth Grahame who I mentioned earlier and the place oozes history and peacefulness despite the fact that it bustles with tourists on this summer day.

We arrive close to an hour before the flooding tide and enjoy a spot of lunch before assembling our tackles. We all elect to use feeder tactics here with a steady trickle of breadcrumb intended to attract the mullet to our bread flake offerings.

After discussing tactic’s, we all select our favoured positions and await the flooding tide with optimism. Swallows swooped low over the stream, children braved the stepping stones and paddled in the cooling water. Cream teas, ice creams and Cornish pasties were being savoured on the picnic benches in an idyllic scene of a summers Saturday.

The tide trundles slowly up the muddy creek bringing with it a new found flood of life. We sit quietly on the banks watching the water intently. A few handfuls of mashed bread are tossed on the mud, feeders packed and hooks loaded. Slowly the water rises and with it come the welcome swirls as fish seek food in the warm water.

John Shapland and I have set our stalls on the grassy bank opposite the busy village centre. I watch John Avery, Nick Phillips and his son Jack a hundred yards down the creek and I am pleased to see John with a bent rod and Nick wielding the landing net successfully.

This bodes well I think and its not long before Johns quivertip plunges over and a hard fighting 3lb plus mullet fights the rod and line before being engulfed in the waiting net.

After their initial success further down the creek our three fellow anglers on the far bank move opposite with bites becoming less frequent as the fish move up higher in the creek. Its not long before John Avery is again in action hooking a mullet of a couple of pounds within minutes of relocating.

Our attention is focused upon our rod tips that tremble and shake as mullet sample our hook baits. It’s very much a case of sitting on your hands waiting for that decisive movement on the tip before lifting the rod and setting the hook.

I begin to wonder if I will get that positive bite and lift the rod without connecting a couple of times, perhaps a little too hastily. Eventually there is  a serious lunge of the tip of my right hand rod just as I am rebaiting the left the rod. I grab the rod and find myself connected to a hard fighting mullet that pulls the scales to 3lb 8oz.

I am pleased to look across the river to see young Jack engaged in an epic battle with a mullet that seems determined to head down river to Fowey. The fish of 3lb 8oz is successfully netted fifty or so yards further down.

For the next couple of hour’s, the rod tips tremble frequently occasionally plunging over to result in a hooked fish or a cursed miss.

John Shapland and I settled on the grassy bank are able to fish in peace watching the summer scene before us as families gather on the village green, barbecues are lit, canoes and Kayaks are paddled in the calm waters. Several swans drift majestically on the tide within their midst a lone white goose.

A small steam boat sounds it whistle to add a surreal feel to the afternoon. John Avery as always seems to attract a succession of curious onlookers who ask the same old questions. “ Caught any ?” , “what you fishing for? “ “good eating?”. John replies with his normal polite response. “We have caught a couple, grey mullet we put them back”. “Taste earthy don’t they” “Soft mouths” “Uncatchable!” . And the questions and statements flow in an irritating drivel.

As the tide ebbs away and the stepping stones once more begin to show its time to pack up and head to the charming town of Lostwithiel for Fish and Chips followed by a couple of ales in a local pub with fellow members of the National Mullet Club. The fifteen members fishing had caught over 25 mullet to 3lb 14oz.

The drive back to North Devon was full of future plans and stories of past glory’s.

Stafford Moor Open – Result

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1st place was Tom Downing Team (Baitech /HC Floats )with 261lb  6oz from peg 11 on a Woodpecker lake

2nd place was Paul Morris with 184lb 3oz from peg 14 on Tanners

3rd place was Vic Bush ( MOSELLA UK) with 143lb 12oz from peg 4 on Woodpecker lake

4th place was Martin Heard ( MOSELLA UK) with 155lb 5oz from peg 10 on Tanners lake

Bideford and District Angling Club Coarse section July’s monthly competition @ Tarka Swims

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Bideford and District Angling Club Coarse section July’s monthly competition @ Tarka Swims


1st Stephen Craker 12lb 10oz

2nd Peter Slade 9lb 3oz

3rd Mike Snudden 8lb 8oz

4th Dean Silford 5lb 4oz

5th Martin Turner 3lb15oz

17 fished . Hot still conditions meant that Tarka proved quite tricky although a few of the better carp had a nibble. Stephen Craker followed up a victory from last week with another. His catch from peg B and included 2 good carp on the pole on bread. His neighbour on peg A , Pete landed a nice net of small carp plus a larger bonus one on the pole on bread for second.3rd spot went to our new member Mike Snudden on peg R who had 2 good carp. Dean Siford managed 4th spot unluckily lossing a good fish on the final whistle,

Bideford Angling Club Mid Week Match

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Evening match @ Tarka Swims 15 fished

1st Kevin Shears 14lb 5oz

2nd Colin Gorman 6lb 14oz

3rd Martin Hawker 6lb 4oz

4th Martin Turner   6lb 1oz

5th Ian Owen 5lb 6oz

6th lan Sedgwick 2lb 14oz

The penultimate match in the 10 match series was won by Kevin Shears on peg S ,he has landed an early carp on the pellet waggler then backed up with a net of bream on the pole on soft pellets. Colin Gorman , on the next peg has also had a carp and some bream on the feeder for best of the chasing pack. Martin Hawker has drawn the shallower peg B and landed carp plus tench on the pole on pellets for 3rd . Martin Turner has drawn peg N and caught a net of small fish shallow , this keeps him 6 points clear in the league with 1 match remaining.

Stafford Moors Mid Week  open match on Tanners and Woodpecker Lakes 

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Stafford Moors Mid Week  open match on Tanners and Woodpecker Lakes

1st place was Paul Morris with 190lb 4oz from peg 6 on a Tanners lake

2nd place was Vic Bush ( MOSELLA UK) with 177lb 6oz from peg 15 on Woodpecker lake

3rd place was Andy Dare with 154lb from peg 10 on Tanners lake

4th place was Paul Casson with 153lb 3oz from peg 13 on Woodpecker lake

Carping In Paradise

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George Holder caught his first ever twenty at Anglers Paradise – a stunning 25lb 15oz Mirror from the Main Carp Lake which also won him our Fish of the week competition. George’s shared – “We got up early in the morning to fish the Main lake which was my first session at Anglers Paradise. There were a variety of swims available so I chose a swim where I saw fish feeding. I targeted an island which had many features so I knew fish would be around there. At around 3pm my rod screamed off and I was into a fish. I had to be careful as there were snags all around the 5C’s island. Although when I was about to net the fish he dived for the reeds and the fight was on!

Finally I netted the fish and what a stunner it was. Tipping the scales at 25.15 blew me away as this was my first Anglers Paradise fish and to catch one of this size was unreal. I caught the fish on a mainline high leakage pineapple wafter fished on a hair rig KD style. Thank you so much to Anglers Paradise for the great fishing and help in the tackle shop, I’ll be back soon!”

(Above) Dave Smith had a session on our day ticket Xanadu Lake and caught the beautiful Xanna at 28lbs which is less than she normally is after spawning in May.

Dave has only been Carp fishing for 6 months so as you can imagine, he was absolutely over the moon to catch Xanna!! Dave caught the beauty on a Manilla bait with a white pop up snowman style.

Luke Cornforth, 19 had a nice surprise when he landed this beaut of a Common Carp at 25lbs from the Specimen Carp Lake. Luke shared –

‘Before arriving at Anglers paradise last Saturday my cousin Kieran and I had the idea of fishing the Specimen Carp Lake later in the week. We walked around the lake in the evenings and found a few carp holding up in the pads and the potamogeton and on Wednesday evening we set about baiting a few spots for the following morning.

We were at the lake at first light on Thursday morning and fortunately there were a few signs of carp on our spots, a few hours after getting the rods out Kieran lost one under the rod tip in the potamogeton. Although this was frustrating, especially with a relatively low stock of fish, it gave us hope that the location was right and pre baiting the night before might have put the odds in our favour. The day was quiet but with more and more fish frequenting the dense weed growth to my right we felt confident going into the evening.

My chosen tactics were solid bags filled with a few 2mm pellets and gs crab boilie crumb from Oxford carp baits with a trimmed down gs crab wafter on a simple rig with a size 4 hook and a few handfuls of whole, chopped and crumbed boilies over the top.

Just as the temperature began to drop at around 6:30 in the evening my right hand rod closest to the pads pulled up tight and after a short fight through the dense potamogeton a stunning common of 25lb rolled over the net cord. A lovely fish and the highlight of my week !’

Anglers Paradise