A few codling from the beach

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Winter time is traditionally cod time and there are a few about from beaches close to the estuary mouth. Very few are being tempted from the open coast which is a mystery as codling continue to be caught from up-channel marks from Minehead and above.

Paul Hutching fished Westward Ho! beach with Andrew McKenna, and had a great session over low water beaching several coding to 4lb  on squid and crab wraps.

Winter Trout at Exe Valley – Catch and Release a great option

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Anchor Lake has started 2019 in glorious style with more beautiful sun rises and producing some stunning fish. John Gilmore from Willand caught five cracking fish and also released four fish with his heaviest fish weighing in at around 6 1/2 lbs. John said ‘Great day again Sue. Very good quality and hard fighting fish’. John was joined by four other anglers and between them had 26 fish making an average of over 5 fish per person.

Ben Cheeld has continued his success. On his recent visit he caught 8 fish up to 7lb and is currently on his third permit on the new permit offer (more details below).

Winter Permit Offer

We have been thrilled by the number of anglers taking up the Winter Permit Offer and are keen to see which angler earns the first free permit. Full details below.

WINTER PERMIT OFFER – Buy 4 permits and have your 5th outing on us!

Don’t forget our Winter Permit Offer starts on the 27th December 2018

We are pleased to be able to announce a Winter Fishing Permit Offer *(subject to T&Cs) to those of you who would like to support the fishery when the fishing is great … but the weather isn’t the most pleasant!

From Thursday 27th December 2018 to Sunday 31st March 2019 inclusive BUY 4 PERMITS & GET THE 5th PERMIT – FREE!!! You are free to choose whatever 5th permit you like … the deal is you must visit and pay for 4 full price permits within the allotted time published above, that’s it!

* Terms & Conditions 1) Pre-paid gift voucher permits DO NOT qualify for this offer. 2) All permits MUST be completed in full to register as a visit. 3) Return slips MUST be completed at the end of each session to register as a visit. 4) A permit purchased and not matched to a return slip will not be counted. 5) ONE FREE PERMIT of the anglers choice (C&R, 2, 3, 4 or 5 fish) will be issued after 4 full price visits subject to the T&Cs 6) The FREE permit will be valid for one visit only which must be taken by 30th April 2019 7) This offer can be enjoyed more than once between 27/12/18 & 31/03/19 – e.g. Fish 8 times and receive 2 FREE PERMITS 8) The FREE permit is non-transferable and has no cash value.

Pre Order Food

I have been asked several times about bacon rolls/food since Christmas and am pleased to say that I am now offering a small pre-order menu through out the winter opening hours. If you are planning a trip to Exe Valley Fishery and would like something from the menu on arrival or during the day then please contact me to organise.

Many thanks for reading this post and I hope to welcome you to the fishery soon. A reminder of our Winter opening times are below.

Sue x

Telephone Enquiries: 01398 323008

(Above) The ladies didn’t miss out on the action either with Jane Young catching three stunning Rainbow Trout on a Hot Head Cats Whisker with legs.

Lobbs Lake

It hasn’t gone unnoticed by some of our regular visitors that Lobbs Lake seems to yo-yo between being empty and then full of water. I promise this isn’t as a result of me changing my mind each day but in fact the maintenance required so that it can become a fishing lake once again. Thanks to Nick and Blair Woodland (and a small amount of rake pulling by myself – there is evidence!) New Years Eve was Lobbs Lake clearance day with an extraordinary amount of weed removed. The pictures of the lake transforming through the day are incredible. Lobbs Lake is now refilled and ready for its relaunch in the Spring.

Fishtytwo Challenge reaches its conclusion

Congratulations to Steve Dawe on an amazing year of fishing and fund raising for the stroke association. I have already ordered my copy of Steves book recording his amazing year of species hunting and will review it within these pages. Many thanks to Steve for writing the below report for North Devon angling News.

The challenge to catch 52 UK species in 52 weeks ended on December the 31stwith a final push to track down a 3 Bearded Rockling from a mark in Ilfracombe. Despite great advice on location and tactics from two very good North Devon anglers the species remained elusive although Pollack, Pouting and Congers provided a distraction. My final total for the year long challenge ended on 77 species when I finally got one of my nemesis species the Spotted Ray while fishing aboard Mike Webbers Teddie Boy out of Minehead. The Spotted Ray alone had taken 9 sessions across the year before I finally got the target, it does sum up the challenge that targeting a certain fish species presents.

Fish just don’t read a script and despite anglers I know catching the Spotted Ray with impunity if you don’t have a slice of luck to add to the time spent on the bank then that magic fish can prove difficult. Over the year the North Devon Coast and Bristol Channel have been good to me on the species front with, Conger, Spurdog, Bullhuss, Dab, Hounds, Cod and Flounder all ticked off the list from the North coast.

This was largely down to great skippers and unconditional advice from several of the North Coast’s best anglers, you guys know who you are, and I and the Stroke Association are extremely grateful. During the challenge I notched up over 7000 miles, 115 sessions, 52 sea species, 25 coarse and game. Out of that total 44, were personal bests, a statistic I am sure I will never match or exceed again.

I must also thank Wayne who does a sterling job of reporting and promoting fishing events and achievements through his pages. Wayne invited me to attend the Combe Martin Sea Angling Clubs annual fun day at Ilfracombe this summer, and it was a great few hours spent with future anglers catching mini species. This event alone raised £25 for the charity in coin donations placed in the charity box, typical of the generosity shown by anglers and their families this year. Many people I met this year know someone or have had a family member effected by a Stroke, this life changing condition can affect everyone young and old.

Last Saturday I was joined by my good friend and inspiration for this challenge Andy Adams, Andy was a dedicated angler who was hit out of the blue with a massive stroke. The stroke has left Andy wheel chair bound and in need of a full-time carer, what it didn’t take however was his fighting spirit. Together we presented a cheque for £1340.00 to Hayley Ali of the Stroke Association while at a lunch down in the port of Looe.

I was asked by several of the readers of my blog to consider writing a book of the year long challenge, I have managed to complete this to coincide with the cheque presentation. The book titled Fishty Two Weeks in a Yearis available from Amazon as a Kindle version and Paperback.

All profits from the sale of this book will also go to the Stroke Association, so anyone buying are helping this great cause. Although I may have been the figurehead of this challenge it was only possible due to the copious amounts of goodwill, professionalism and support of my fellow anglers and friends so I salute you all.

Stafford Moor – Winter carp sport at the Moor

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(Below) Ben Hopkins and his friend John  fished up on swim 1 (three islands) on Lodge lake. They caught two fish each both personal best with Ben banking fish of 24lb 10oz and John a personal best of 27lb 9oz. The fish were tempted on pink wafters and pink krill.

(Below)Drew Davey  had one mirror out weighing in at 19lb 2oz from Albert square (swim 15 )  on Lodge lake in a day session this weekend caught on Sticky Baits Manilla boilies topped with a chopped down yellow Manilla pop up.

(Below) The ‘Carpbusters’ Ade, Ju and Christie all had one fish each out today in a day session caught on Mainline cell, Sticky Baits Manilla and Krill from the beach swim and big fish corner on Beatties lake.

Bideford and District Angling Club Coarse Section Monthly Comp @ Morchard Road

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Bideford and District Angling Club Coarse Section Monthly Comp @ Morchard Road Results :

1st  Martin Turner 55lb 5oz

2nd Pete Slade 50lb

3rd Stephen Craker 41lb 2oz

4th Richard Jefferies 40lb 1oz

5th Martin Hawker 29lb 14oz

14 anglers fished our first competition on this prolific carp fishery.Conditions were rather windy and quite cold. Martin Turner drew peg 5, and caught 25 small carp on pole fished red maggots over micro pellets. The second placed angler was Pete who fished on peg 10 , he landed a similar number of fish on pole and feeder tactics.  Stephen Craker fished on the point on peg 12, he used tip and long pole for 3rd place. Richard Jefferies 4th place was top weight on the road bank , he caught on a cage feeder. Next months competition is at Wooda Lakes on 10th Feb.

Black Swans for Paradise

Anglers Paradise has a unique and diverse range of species within their lakes .GoldenTench, Koi Tench, Golden Orfe, Koi Orfe, Golden Rudd, Goldfish,variousSpecies of Koi, Pike, Perch, 5 Species of Trout, Arctic Char, Chub, Barbel,Bream, Gudgeon etc. As well as carp to over 50lbs and Wels Catfish to over 100lbs .

The lakes are also a thriving area for wildlife and owners Zyg and Rose Gregorek have decided to add to this with two pairs of black swans. It is to be hoped that the majestic birds will breed and become another point of interest at this venue in the heart of Devons rolling countryside.

Anglers Paradise

Combe Martin SAC – Winter Fishing Weekend Report

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Combe Martin Sea Angling Clubs Six Hour Rover saw ten members venture out onto North Devon’s coast line as a brisk west North West breeze blew up the Bristol Channel. Fishing has not been easy over recent weeks with the water clear after a period of calm weather. Dogfish and small conger have been abundant all along the coastline with just the occasional better fish showing. A short competition like this is useful in pulling together a group of anglers fishing an area of the coast and seeing what results.

Kevin Legge secured the top two places in the competition with fish that were only moderate specimens to Kevin who sets the bar high in his constant quest for specimen fish. A dogfish of 2lb 5oz and a bull huss of 7lb 1oz were enough to take the money. Ross Stanway caught a pleasing rockling of 1lb 31/2oz for third and Mark Tossell a good whiting of 151/2oz.

Ross Stanway with pleasing rockling

Combe Martin SAC member John Shapland is a very keen mullet angler and targets the species all year round. The mullet was once considered a fish of the summer months but recent years have seen the species caught in every month of the year. Johns latest catch is exceptional for January catching five over three pounds in two days fishing. The fish weighed 3lb 8oz, 3lb 8.5oz, 3lb 9oz, 3lb 10oz and 4lb 4oz.

(Below) Louis Rook joined John Shapland to land this fine thick lipped grey mullet of 3lb 12oz