Bass and ray shore sport!

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Its been very quiet from the shore over recent weeks with poor weather deterring many anglers from venturing forth. The water temperature is up for the time of year and this could encourage a few fish close inshore to start feeding. Ollie Passmore found success landing this fine small-eyed-ray of 10lb 4oz. His good friend Kody Chugg also succeeded landing a fine bass of 8lb that was carefully released after a quick picture.

Shark Handling Best Practice

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As we enter the Spring and summer season it seems a good time to promote good practice when handling members of the shark family. Please take note of these guidelines handle all fish with respect and consideration. I will take this into account when publishing images on this site so please follow the above when trying to capture those memories.

South West Fly Fair 2019

South West Lakes Trust once again hosted the Annual South West Fly Fair at Roadford Lake. This popular fixture in the Fly Fishers Calendar is sponsored by Turrall and Cortland and attracted a good number of Fly Fishing Enthusiast’s despite gale force winds and an unfortunate clash with the Six nations Rugby.

Casting, cooking and Fly Tying demonstrations entertained the audience with numerous trade stands offering an array of flies, clothing, tackle and art. Conservation was high on the agenda with Westcountry Rivers Trust, Wild Trout Trust and South West lakes highlighting the issue of Invasive species. Fixtures like this are vital in bringing anglers together to share in enthusiasm for the coming months. A poster declared that; “Time is Precious Spend it Fishing”; wise advice in these turbulent times.

(Below) Charles Jardine always puts on a great demonstration of Fly Casting manipulating the fly Line effortlessly even when faced with gale force winds that would ensure certain tangles for the average angler.

( Below) In the warmth of the Fly Tying lounge a wide range of flies and lures were tied up to trick the wariest of fish.

In the Main Hall anglers mingled rekindling friendships and waxing lyrical about days at the waters edge both close to home and far away. Stands included Second Hand Tackle, Dry Fly Powder, Arundel Arms,  Homeleigh Angling Centre, Invasive Species, Turrall and Cortland, Snowbee UK, West Country Rivers Trust, Luke Bannister Split Cane Rods, Rawson Fly Rods, Robin Armstrong, Wild Trout Trust, Upper Teign Fishing Club, Crediton Fishing Club, SWLT, Virtual Nymph and Milemead Trout Farm were amongst those in attendance.

(below) Raising awareness of Invasive species.

(Below) Robin Armstrong with some of his works of art.

(Below) Ben Smeeth observes as Gary Champion gives a fascinating cooking demonstration explaining the method of marinating trout in lime with garlic and ginger – Ceviche is I believe the term. The resulting trout tasted delicious ; an ideal starter to try on friends.

(Below) West Country Based Snowbee UK

(Below) An array of flies from West Country Fly Firm Turrall

http://www.swlakesfishing.co.uk

North Devon Match Group Championship No.3 @ Wooda Lakes

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North Devon Match Group Championship No.3 @ Wooda Lakes

Results

1st James Grogan 37lb 8oz

2nd  Shaun Stenton 32lb 2oz

3rd Paul Elworthy 30lb 9oz

4th John Lisle 29lb 13oz

5th Neilsen Jeffery 29lb 11oz

6th Ian Brooks 28lb 8oz

7th Tom Downing  24lb 12oz

8th Pete Slade 22lb 2oz .

23 anglers fished . James Grogan drew peg 10 on lake 3 , he has fished around the margin reed beds on the pole, for around 20 carp and a convincing victory.  Shaun Stenton landed around 25 smaller fish on corner peg 6 on the top pool ,his second place fell to corn and paste on the pole. Maggot on the feeder tactics helped, consistent performer, Paul Elworthy into third place also on the top pool. Match organiser John fished with paste in the reed beds on lake 3 for 4th , top weight on the bottom pool and 5th overall was Neilsen Jeffery a pole and corn bag.

Blakewell – Catch and Release Fishing

Times are changing in the world of Stillwater Trout Fishing with more emphasis being put on quality time at the waters edge. A few years ago, there was perhaps an obsession with catching big trout and whilst there are still fisheries that cater for the big trout angler these are now in the minority. It seems that most of today’s anglers want to catch good numbers of fish relishing the key ingredients of trout fishing.

This change in angler’s approach has resulted in an increase in catch and release or sporting tickets. Blakewell Fishery near Barnstaple has after careful consideration moved to meet this demand offering a sporting ticket that allows anglers to retain a brace of fish for the table and then continue fishing on a catch and release basis for the remainder of the day.

I joined with Snowbee Ambassador Jeff Pearce for a mornings fishing at Blakewell that fortuitously coincided with a break in the stormy weather. After a chat over coffee in the tea room we headed out on the lake to try our luck.

Walking out to the lake we took a look around and elected to fish the bay with Jeff fishing the point whilst I fished the inner bay. I elected to fish a gold head PTN on the point with a spider pattern on a dropper. I extended the line across the water and on the second cast after allowing the fly to sink I saw the point of the fly line twitch. I instinctively raised the rod whilst pulling on the line with my left hand. There came that pleasing feeling of life and resistance as a trout erupted in a flurry of spray at the end of a tight line. Whilst I was using a 5wt rod I had taken the precaution of using an 8lb tippet ensuring I could bring any fish I hooked to the net quickly ensuring the fish could be slipped back quickly. The use of light leaders when catch and release fishing should be discouraged as trout should not be played to exhaustion.

Over on the point Jeff was putting a new Snowbee Spectre Fly line through its paces with impressive results punching small imitative patterns into a stiff breeze with ease. It wasn’t long before Jeff was also into a hard fighting rainbow. The fish was held briefly above the water for a quick photo before being slipped back into the water.

The next couple of hours passed by all too quickly with several trout falling to our offerings in the clear water. In the past I have often fished for trout and been almost disappointed when I have caught my bag limit for the session. Catch and release removes that perception that some anglers have in that they must catch their bag limit.

Catch and release offers anglers the opportunity to savour time at the water’s edge at a reasonable cost. It is however imperative that care is taken to ensure that a high percentage of fish survive to perhaps grow bigger. Barbless hooks are essential, fish should be unhooked in the water whenever possible and only held briefly to capture the moment.

It is advisable to use as strong a leader as practical to ensure fish are brought to the net quickly. Fish should only be handled with wet hands and should be steadied in the water for a few moments if they show any sign of fatigue.

Those anglers who do not wish to practice catch and release can of course elect to purchase a standard five fish ticket for the same price enabling them to take home all they catch. The two options cater for the vast majority of anglers. Over the next couple of months Richard and John plan to stock Spartic trout and a number of big brown trout.

Spring is a marvellous time to be at the water’s edge as green growth signals the onset of spring. The first swallows and martins will soon be swooping low over the water feasting after their long migration from warmer climes. The trout will also be rising setting those delightful rings upon the water. A carefully placed fly will be sipped down in that delightful moment of deception to be relished by the fly fisher.

As the morning grew to a close it was time to enjoy the first BBQ of the spring. A hot sausage in a fresh bread roll was the perfect end to a great mornings fishing. Jeff took advantage of a new clearing to demonstrate the art of roll casting.

Stafford Moor Carp Latest Catches

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Adam Atkins banked five carp up to 22lb 4oz from the Summer hut swim on Beatties lake all caught on Sticky Baits Manilla dumbbells and buchenberry pop ups.

(Below) Arron Fisher who fished on Lodge lake on the dam wall in wet/windy conditions they had eight fish out to a top weight for Arron was 25lb 8oz and Kev’s was 23lb 8oz all caught on CR1 Boilies, CR1 crumb , hemp & our house pellet.

(Below)Nick Stevens banked four fish out up to 26lb 1oz in a 24 hour session up on swim 2 on lodge lake all caught on Sticky Baits 20mm Krill boilies /cloudy Krill liquid with hemp & maize using pva bags.

(Below) Stephen Best  had six carp out up to 23lb from the inlet swim on Beatties lake in a 24 hour session all caught on Mainline toasted almond pop ups.

(Below) Jack Gattiker caught seven carp fish  from Albert Square swim 15 up on lodge lake all caught on home made boilies.

Shane McCune  fished up on swim 3 on lodge lake and had five carp out in a 24 hour session including his new personal best of 24lb 15oz all caught on DNA baits.

Another Furzebray Forty !

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What an amazing fishery Furzebray has become with its huge resident carp that are amongst the best looking carp I have ever seen.

Steve Renyard is having an amazing first trip to Furzebray landing one of the venues top carp in the shape of DROPSCALE at a massive weight of 45lb 8oz!

Steve also banked a stunning mid thirty!