John Jobson fished a North Devon Lake and had a surprise when he hooked a hard fighting fish that took 20 minutes to get to the net using a 1.75lb TC carp rod and 15lb b.s line. The catfish scaled 30lb! The warm sunshine will bring these hard fighting predators onto the feed.
Chillcheaters are now producing army green jackets, smocks and bib and brace in their renowned Aquatherm material these products are ideal for the carp and trout fisherman who want 100% waterproof clothing that is both lightweight and hard wearing. Braunton Baits are stocking the products. The jackets are £159, The smocks £140 and the Bib and Brace £130.
Water temperatures are slowly rising and this normally gets the catfish moving. The latest report from Anglers Paradise come right on time. The first few weeks of springlike weather often see the cats go on feeding frenzy with multiple catches likely especially from Eldorado’s catfish lake that has very good head of fish. If you want a fish of lifetime try the Day Ticket Nirvana lake which has cats to over 50lb!
With the temperatures rising, the Cats are showing!! A 35lb Cat came out of Eldorado’s Bottom Cat and Carp Lake and here’s Jack Sparrow who caught a Personal Best 47lb 3oz Cat from Nirvana’s Specimen Cat Lake on a Krill Wafter on a running rig with a pva bag of smashed up halibut pellets and ground bait. As you can see Jack caught the Catfish at night and had to do a self-take so the quality of picture isn’t great but you can still see the size of it!
The pictures below sum up the Spring so far. Many thanks to Martin Turner for his new report from the enduring North Devon Match Group!
1st Kevin Shears 57lb 12oz
2nd Christopher Morris 52lb 13oz
3rd Martin Turner 42lb 13oz
4th Tom Downing 41lb 11oz
5th Paul Morris 41lb 6oz
6th Nathan Underwood 31lb 2oz .
Silvers James Grogan 7lb 1oz .
Despite our efforts that man Shears has secured yet another victory! Kevin drew on the road side on lake 4 and landed 20 carp on corn on the pole in the margins. Christopher drew on one of the reed beds on lake 3 for second also on corn on the pole. Martin was next peg to him , and caught on bread and maggots. The spring day started well for the 17 competitors but deteriorated in to sleet by the time we weighed in .Thanks to Start Sharp for allowing us to use both lakes and providing breakfast rolls.
Easter is an ideal time to take the family to the waters edge and Agapi Fruit and Fishing Lake is an ideal location to catch a few fish in tranquil surroundings. Situated close to Torrington the lake has a healthy population of crimson finned golden rudd and numerous carp that are growing well. As the waters warms the venues carp should be tempted with that traditional of carp baits the floating crust.
Big Fish Off
The latest series of the Big Fish Off is scheduled to air on ITV4 starting on the 29th March at 8pm. Not sure when the episode that was shot here is on, but there are sure to be some cracking episodes with a load of laughs, can’t wait. The show will be discussed on Soccer AM this Saturday,17th March and there will also be clips from the forthcoming series.
The Big One
If you’re planning on visiting The Big One Show between the 24th and 25th March in Farnborough, Hampshire, then make sure you pay the Anglers Paradise Team a visit! They will be on stand 28a along with Deception Angling. Zyg and Zenia will be there to greet you. Over the course of the weekend there is an opportunity to win a holiday for 8 people. For a lucky few, or probably the early birds, they’ll be a chance to take away a sample of the “Twist” which is one of the Paradise Baits range, produced exclusively by Burton Bait Rollers.
All the big angling names will be there, as well as their products and hopefully there will be some cracking deals to be had. “We hope to see you there for our 1st ever show, we are very excited!!”
Fish Moving Well
Lee Abbott one of our estate staff lost a big fish on Kraking Carp the other day. Fish are moving well now that the milder climes are here, were glad to see the back of the cold spell we had the other week, even we experienced snow even though it “never snows in Devon”
Special Easter Offer
We still have Fisherman’s Majestic on offer (sleeps 4) on March 31st normally £900 a week, for the offer price of £700. Fabulous views across Dartmoor at a saving of over 20%. Offer is on a first come first served basis. Come and join Rose and myself for. Apart from the offer there is still are a limited number of villas available over Easter.
Its seems that spring is slow to arrive and just as we think its getting milder another cold snap is forecast. But any day now we will get that first real day of spring when warmth prevails and balmy air descends.
There are of course signs that spring is here as daffodils, primroses and celandine’s line the hedgerows and roadside verges. Frogs spawned a couple of months ago now and their spawn is already transforming into tadpoles. It will be soon be the turn of the toads to converge onto lakes and ponds their birdlike croak echoing around. Any time now we could glimpse that first sand martin and then that true harbinger of spring and summer the swallows.
As anglers we are of course very aware of nature that is around us and this is all part of what fishing is all about. I am always filled with optimism as the days grow longer and the chance to fish evening sessions in daylight arrives. Of course many plans are made and time is as ever less plentiful than desired. In just a couple of weeks the clocks spring forward.
There will be the chance to cast a fly across the river for spring salmon. Flick a dry fly upstream for wild brown trout or fish a buzzer on a Stillwater for hard fighting rainbows.
Carp anglers will relish the warming water knowing that carp will become more active and as a result will search for food maybe even coming onto the surface where a chum mixer will be slurped down with that delightful sound of summer evenings.
If you’re a sea angler your thoughts will be turning to bass, smoothound and ray. It will of course depend upon your favourite angling style what you seek. The bait angler will enjoy sitting back waiting for the nodding rod and screaming reel. The lure fisher will be more mobile searching for fish casting here and there searching for that electric tug on the line.
I could ramble on but I am sure you get the vibes that I am trying to convey that excitement at the arrival of new a season and fresh piscatorial adventures. I hope to report on your catches over these coming months, not just the fish but also an appreciation of all that angling means. So please feel free to send me your successes, stories and any images of the angling world you enjoy.
Many thanks go to those who sponsor this site and support this project.
John Shapland enjoyed a cold days fishing at Jennetts Reservoir using quiver tip tactics to catch skimmer bream and small roach. A raw prawn bait fishing in the margins tempted this lovely perch of 2lb 9 1/2oz.
Ashley Bunning has followed up his capture of a common carp called ‘The Don’ at 34.04 from Upper Tamar Lake with this cracking Perch of 3.12 caught on an Eco Gear Ikajako soft lure fished from the perch boat.
Kevin Smith has also been in the action with this lovely 3.08 Perch from the same venue.
North Devon Match Group Championship No. 2 Millpark Results
Many thanks to Martin once again for his report on the North Devon Match Groups match at Mill Pond. Some stunning nets of roach in this close run event. This has to be one of the best silver fish waters in the area! A venue I have many fond memories of as I caught my first coarse fish there almost fifty years ago!
1st Kevin Shears 29lb 6oz
2nd Pete Slade 27lb 4oz
3rd Martin Turner 27lb
4th Nathan Underwood 26lb 10oz
10 of our members enjoyed a rare mild early spring day on Millpark Berrynarbor, but try as we might we cannot put an end to Kevin’s remarkable run of wins!! He drew on the platform below the car park and amassed a super net of quality roach on caster on a short pole, Pete Slade drew on the stream side and took second spot with a 9lb carp and a nice net of skimmers and roach all on the pole and soft pellet, Martin came in third with an all roach net, Nathan’s bag included a nice chub.
(Above)Nathan Underwoods net included a fine chub a fish more often associated with running water!
I occasionally receive emails from members of the public in relation to my weekly angling column and always try to answer in a polite and informative matter. I recently received the below email from Robert Durrant a non-angler who has undoubtedly taken an interest in my weekly column. His inquiry relates directly to sea angling and the killing of fish. I will let you read through the exchange of emails below and I will add a few comments at the end.
Wayne, Every week in the Journal you write about vast numbers of fine fish, targeted for sport and brought to weigh-ins. Many are species of shark which are endangered and protected. Are all of these fish bought dead to the scales, or have these anglers moved into the 21st century and found ways to weigh specimens at point of catch without harming them and then releasing them live and unhurt back to the sea? I wish you’d write more about such practices. Best wishes, Rob
Thank you for inquiry and prompting me to give more coverage on angling practices in relation to catch and release. Angling has progressed a long way in recent years and catch and release has become the predominate practice for all angling disciplines. In relation to shark the larger species are all returned alive to the water and in some instances are tagged to enable scientific research to track migration routes. Sadly many of the blue shark tagged are recaptured by long-liners in foreign countries where the fish are targeted for making sharks fin soup. Spurdog numbers have increased dramatically in recent seasons as a result of a commercial ban on the species and all of those caught by boat anglers are returned alive.
Fortunately the practice of bringing dead fish to the scales is becoming a thing of the past with most anglers happy to weigh and return fish after a quick photo. You will notice that the vast majority of pictures I use for the Journal are on location and the fish returned alive. There are sadly a few clubs that have weigh ins where fish are brought to the scales due to a lack of trust amongst members. I do not think this will continue for many more years.
Salmon anglers now return over 90% of salmon caught, with no fish retained before June 16th. Bass are now catch and release only for recreational anglers, though this may be reviewed later in the year if scientific data determines it is possible.
I have no problem with anglers retaining the occasional fish for the table if stocks are healthy. But I have no time for killing fish for competition purposes.
I will write about the changing practices in a future Journal column and on my website. I do not know if you are an angler or have ever fished but I would point out that angling does engage people with the countryside and many anglers are keen conservationists who have a deep love of nature.
Thanks so much for your courteous, informative, and encouraging reply, greatly appreciated.
It would be great if you could give more coverage to the enlightened practices followed by ethical anglers these days, as so much emphasis is given to weights and trophy specimens that it often seems that conservation of species and fish welfare comes a very long way behind.
I’m delighted that we see eye to eye about avoiding killing fish except for table use where the stocks are healthy.
I’m not an angler, though of course I’ve enjoyed a little sea fishing in my earlier years; but my interest stems from a particular awareness of marine conservation issues, where I have some involvement, from recording marine species found from the shore, and from diving. I’m very much aware of tag and release practices involving sharks, but little is ever mentioned about this in the media regarding local practices, or indeed in the publicity put out by local sea fishing operators. Maybe it’s just taken for granted; but it would be good to see greater emphasis on conservation and environmental issues.
Yes, I have noticed that most of the photos you use in the Journal do show the fish displayed apparently close to place of capture, but without confirmation that these specimens are not later hauled away to the scales elsewhere, it was difficult to be confident. Certainly friends of mine who have been involved with sea fishing clubs in the past have been nauseated at the pointless waste and indeed cruelty involved in these inland weigh-ins which used to be standard practice. I’m so pleased that in recent years things have moved on.
I hope that an emphasis on decent practices will help make those benighted clubs which still insist on weighing dead fish at the club’s scales realise that they have become social pariahs, whatever happened in the past and too often still happens overseas.
I look forward to reading your comments in the Journal, and your website too.
Thanks again for your very positive response.
All the best, Rob
Hi again, Wayne,
Just been looking on the North Devon Angling News site. Lots of pics there of sea catches displayed on the beach or in the boat, but too many not good – one on top of the harbour wall at Clovelly, eg – particularly lots of sharks being dangled by their tails. Shark Trust handling guide very strongly emphasis that sharks must never be held up by their tails alone, and abdomen must always be supported. Otherwise, though the shark may be able to swim away after return it may very well die out of sight from internal injuries.
Maybe you could put out a warning that you will cease publishing pics showing bad practices? Would be a brilliant idea if boat skippers showed a bit more responsibility in guiding their clients correctly!!
All the best, Rob
Thank you for your reply. Following on from our exchange of letters would it be possible for me to post the letters on my website followed by a brief article on conservation practices and changing times. I think using the exchange of emails would give a good introduction to the feature and demonstrate to anglers how non anglers view what appears in the media, It might also make people think a little more deeply. This will have more impact than me simply stating my views.
Certainly very happy for you to do that, sounds a good plan.
I look forward to it.
I am an all round angler and fish for species in all disciplines of angling and I can understand Rob’s concerns to an extent as sea angling is to some degree less focused on fish welfare than Coarse and carp anglers. To some extent this is due to the fact that Coarse Fish and Carp are valuable commodities stocked into lakes that cost the fishery owners considerable sums of money. For this reason fisheries have strict rules to safeguard the welfare of the stocks. The use of unhooking mats, antiseptic solution to prevent infection, safe rigs, barb-less hooks and the sterilization of equipment prior to fishing is common practice.
Anglers also embrace good handling practice because they value the fish and have a respect for their quarry. I fish for pike and know a good number of pike anglers who are very passionate about the pikes welfare preaching the use of correct tackle and the care needed to safely remove hooks.
Game Fishers who fish for salmon and sea trout now return the majority of fish caught and get very involved in protection of river habitat and even run hatchery projects to attempt to halt the decline in stocks of wild salmon and sea trout. When I first fished for salmon over thirty years ago the majority of salmon were kept for the table and I delighted in feasting on a wild salmon caught from a local river. I always felt a tinge of sadness though after administering the last rites and seeing the vivid colours of life drain from the vibrant flanks. Today I take far greater pleasure in seeing the occasional salmon I manage to tempt swim strongly away to hopefully complete their Journey to the spawning grounds.
Sea angling I concede has been slower to move towards catch and release practice in part I suspect down to the vast and wild nature of the sea and the once misguided perception that fish stocks are not impacted upon by angling. There is only one reason to kill fish and that is to eat it. At this point I will confess that I used to fish in local angling competitions and dispatch fish to bring back to the weigh in. I also killed fish to submit for specimen trophies. As time passed I and many other anglers grew concerned at this unnecessary slaughter. The Sea Angling Club that I have fished with over the past forty years now practices catch and release for all competitions. In modern times with quality scales and modern digital cameras and phones there is no reason to kill fish except for the table. Images of live fish at the waters edge are far more rewarding than a dead corpse held aloft in the garden or in a club house.
As a child I gazed in wonder at the corpses of dead blue shark at Looe in Cornwall brought ashore by members of the Shark Angling Club of Great Britain. This club is now 100% catch and release promoting responsible angling practice that minimizes mortality of these magnificent fish. I have fished for shark on numerous occasions and thrilled at the power of these fish on the line. I have enjoyed the privilege of interacting with the shark and delighted in seeing them swim away. In some instances shark are tagged and this has proved valuable in scientific research tracking the vast migration taken by sharks. Sadly many shark are recaptured by commercial long liners who target the fish for use in shark fin soup.
Whilst sea angling has moved towards conservation there is room for increased awareness of good handling practice. Thought can be given to tackle used with circle hooks sometimes beneficial in reducing deep hooking. Tackle used should always be strong enough to give a good chance of landing the fish hooked. Fish should be weighed in a suitable bag or weigh sling and not hung up by the gills. When holding the fish for a picture it should be handled firmly and supported to reduce risk of damage to internal organs.
As anglers we have a responsibility to show respect for the fish we seek to catch and to always show the pastime in a positive light. We should not judge past generations by today’s standards. Perceptions change and as we realise the fragility of the natural world we adopt more enlightened practices. I have always been a passionate angler and believe interaction with nature via angling has given me a deep bond with the natural world and an appreciation of the great outdoors. Angling in general is a healthy sport, good for both mental and physical health and an important social pastime that also bring huge financial rewards to local business via angling tourism.
Thanks for the reference in your article this week, linking to the great article in your blog, which I found very helpful; and I most grateful to you for the very positive way you have responded to my approach to you. I am sure that many readers will be encouraged by what you have written; and I hope that it will nudge angling practices a bit further in the right direction.
There are not enough waters in North Devon holding pike so a trip to Porth in Cornwall might be an idea.
Geoff Mason has caught this 19.05 Pike from Porth on a ledgered spratt. Geoff also had a 9.10 fish using his running ledger set up. This follows Geoff catching an 18.05 pike from the same venue only a couple of weeks ago!
Make sure you all the right unhooking tackle when you fish for pike and always use a wire trace.
Otters have become a controversial topic within the angling world with the reintroduction of the species into areas where their numbers have dwindled proving disastrous in some instances. I have no expertise in this area so can only give my own views and feelings without any scientific facts. I have seen otters on the rivers around North Devon on many occasions and I am always thrilled when I glimpse them as they hunt the river. Otters have been present on North Devon rivers for many years and have a big place in peoples hearts this is in part due to literature like Henry Williamson’s famous tome “Tarka the Otter” and the film ‘Ring of Bright Water’.
I believe that wild otters are part of North Devon’s natural Eco-system and belong as the damage they do on the river is acceptable. Sadly eel numbers have plummeted as have salmon and sea trout numbers and this undoubtedly forces the otters to look elsewhere for food. When they find a lake stocked with big meaty fish like carp they undoubtedly feel that they have stumbled upon a natural bounty. The fact that a specimen carp can be worth several thousand pounds is of no consequence to the otter. To the fishery owner an otter visit can be devastating which is why responsible fishery owners are investing thousands of pounds in building otter fences around their lakes.
Anglers Paradise are investing many thousands into the building of an otter proof fence to protect the valuable stock within their lakes.
See post below from Anglers Paradise.
PROTECTING ANGLERS PARADISE
Sadly, with the ever increasing threat of Otters being released in the UK, means that all Fisheries need to take action in protecting their stock.
We have commenced work on our Otter Fence which will protect the Anglers Paradise Lakes, it’s a BIG job but we have had to do it for the future of Anglers Paradise.
Construction on the Otter fence has progressed. The fence now runs from the Trout Lake to Easy Access Lake and beyond, a mammoth project in order to protect our stock from Otters and other predators. Evidence of Otter damage is a constant reminder that the population has soared in recent years.
The fence should hopefully be completed within the next couple of weeks.
Simpson Valley Coarse and Trout Fishery is set in a peaceful valley near Holsworthy amid over 140 acres of farmland. The complex boasts several lakes that hold a variety of species that can be targeted using a wide variety of tactics. I visited the venue with Snowbee tackle representative Jeff Pearce in the hope of contacting one of the venues big pike on fly fishing tactics. Mallard lake has been stocked with a good number of pike the biggest nudging 30lb with several topping 20lb.
The pike proved reluctant to play the game so we enjoyed an interlude in our predator hunt and targetted the trout of Jenny Wren Lake where I was delighted to catch my first tiger trout and a stunning rainbow of around 4lb that gave a terrific scrap in the cold water.
We were joined at Jenny Wren’s fishing hut by fishery Manager Andrew Moore who made us a welcome hot cup of coffee. Andrew chatted enthusiastically about Simpson’s Valley and of its fishing and plans for the future. The five lakes on the complex offer pike to thirty pound, carp to 35lb, along with specimen perch, eels, chub,trout and other species. There is a unique opportunity to target rainbow trout using LRF tactics on Skylark lake where catch and release is permitted during the winter months. This style of fishing is an ideal opportunity for young anglers to enjoy great sport without having to master the complexity’s of fly fishing.
Andrew enjoys a hard fighting rainbow tempted on LRF tactics
We returned to Mallard Lake after our informative chat with Andrew and once again set about tempting a pike with our Fly Tackle. On two occasions I thought I had hooked pike but found that plump rainbow trout of close to four pounds had seized my four inch long pike fly! We will be back again and next time I may well sit it out with a dead-bait. If I don’t get sidetracked by trout or other species.
Its not North Devon but its is winter and nice to see a good pike. Ben Smeeth of South West Lakes Trust sent me this picture of a fine pike caught at Porth near Newquay. North Devon anglers can always target these toothy winter predators at Lower Slade near Ilfracombe.
Richard Mason visited Porth reservoir near Newquay at the weekend to land this cracking 18.05 Pike on a ledgered smelt near the Dam wall. A size 6 hook and 20lb Fox trace were the successful tactics for Richard.
Once again I am prompted to mention the contentious issue of litter and angling. Last year there was talk of a ban on angling at Clovelly as a result of anglers leaving litter, bait and urinating against the harbour wall. Clovelly is a picturesque village that is currently in the running for Channel 4’s Village of the Year with Penelope Keith. it is completely understandable that the owners of the village and the community do not want their beautiful village to be tarnished by irresponsible anglers who undoubtedly have no respect for the environment or local community.
When I have posted about this previously I have provoked strong protestations about this issue with many anglers condemning the culprits. This vitriol on Facebook and social media achieves little. In my view local anglers need to take action and work with the Clovelly Estate to address this issue. As Bideford and District Angling Club are closest it would be useful if they could take the lead and I have contacted them to this end and the issue will be discussed at their AGM. I would hope that anglers from other areas of North Devon will join in with a possible beach clean and show that we do care. If this is considered a good idea I will promote the event both here on NDAN and within my Angling Column in the NDJ.
It may well be that there is a need to control angling access in future so that any culprits can be identified and banned from future visits.
Twenty anglers fished the 2017 Fur n Feather match held across lakes 3 and 4. With cold water coming into the lakes and a gusty wind, it was not easy fishing.
Kevin Shears (Above), pegged on the trackside on lake 4, took the win with 62lb 3oz of pole caught carp. Second overall was Paul Ware, on the point peg on lake 3, with 47lb 3oz. Martin Turner(Below) was third with 45lb 1oz from the wood side of lake 4.
The random pairs was won by Shaun Stenton and Kevin Shears with a total of 101lb.
All anglers went away with a range of prizes.
Christopher Morris 41lb 7oz (runner up lake 3)
Norman Martin 25lb 6oz
Mick Seaward 7lb
John Forster 18lb 6oz
Shaun Stenton 38lb 13oz
Paul Morris 17lb 10oz
Matt Sampson DNW
Barry Lee 13lb 8oz
Neilsen Jeffrey 15lb 8oz
Paul Ware 47lb 8oz (won lake 3)
Ian Owen 14lb 1oz
Kevin Shears 62lb 3oz (overall winner)
Kev Wilton 15lb 6oz
Nathan Underwood 16lb
Paul Elworthy 10lb 11oz
Ian Croxton 36lb 11oz
Martin Turner 45lb 1oz (won lake 4)
Garry Thornton 35lb
Peter Seaward 8lb 8oz
Keith Copeland 39lb 3oz
Combe Martin Sea Angling Club member Kody Chugg was devastated when thieves broke into his car and stole over £500 worth of sea angling equipment including 3 reels that included 1 penn 525 mag, 2 slh 30, lots and lots of tackle! Shakespeare’ seat box, small green and yellow tackle box. If any one has any information please pass it on to Kody or send a message to NDAN and I will contact Kody.
Pike are the traditional target of winter coarse anglers and Ian Grimes (Above) enjoyed success with the species landing a personal best of 25lb 8oz at Simpson Valley Fishery near Holsworthy. Colin Howis (Below) also enjoyed success at the fishery tempting a fine 26lb pike on float-fished mackerel.
The South West Fly Fair has become an eagerly anticipated event on the West Country Anglers Calendar and is well worth a visit on the eve of a new salmon and trout season. Don’t think its all about trout and salmon though as there is something for anglers of every persuasion. I hope to see you there on the day.
There is something special about the local tackle shop; a vital part of angling’s social structure and a focal point where you are likely to bump into fellow anglers and engage in fishy talk. In North Devon we are fortunate to to have several great tackle shops each of them having a special niche within the local angling scene. At this time of year the local tackle shop is of course a great place to locate Christmas presents for the angler! I am very grateful for the support North Devon Angling News receives from Summerlands Tackle at Westward Ho!, High Street Tackle, Ilfracombe and North Devon Tackle in Barnstaple.
(Above) Jamie Miller at North Devon Tackle where they stock an extensive range of bait and tackle for Carp, Coarse and Sea anglers. Click on their advert below to browse on line. An ideal present for anglers is a gift voucher for North Devon Tackle.
( Above) Danny Watson at High Street Tackle Ilfracombe. Danny and Pauline specialize in bass fishing lures and carry a very impressive range to tempt both angler and bass. They also have a a wide range of sea and coarse tackle to satisfy the needs of all local anglers.
(Above) Just a few of the lures on display at High Street Tackle. Click on the advert below to browse on line.
(Above) Heather at Summerlands Tackle Westward Ho! Summerlands tackle is well established family business that has a vast range of tackle for all angling disciplines their latest offers that would make ideal Christmas presents are :-
Fenix 1750 Lumen’s headlight – HP30R was £139.99 now £116.99
Rovex Boots – Was £49.99 now £39.99
Deeper Pro + was £219.99 now £199.99 (Below)
Free 525 Mag 2 Reel with every Century Beachcaster sold whilst in stocks last. Click on the advert below to browse on line.
I am sure all the local tackle dealers would like to wish a Merry Christmas to all their customers. The recent news regarding the reprieve for bass anglers will come as a relief to all our local tackle dealers. Whilst it is unfair that anglers are restricted to catch and release for bass when commercial fishing can still retain fish it is far better than the total ban that was being discussed.
I would like to to wish all our local tackle dealers a Happy and prosperous New Year. As I said earlier local tackle shops are part of anglings rich social network; many a fishing excursion has been planned in the tackle shop.
Bideford Angling club are holding their AGM at 20.00 on Friday 19th Jan. 2018 at the Bideford Conservative club. All proposed rule changes or applications for office must be received by 29/12/17 Please Email Skinsie@me.com Or PM Pete Skinner on facebook..
Opportunities to fish for pike are limited in North Devon with only around half a dozen venues holding the species. If you fancy a try at pike fishing Anglers Paradise has a good stock of these toothy critters available to target with lures. See report from Zenia at AP below.
Ashley Bunning used his day off work to have a couple of hours on Valhalla. Ashley caught 3 Pike in total with this being the biggest and used a Ecogear Ikajaco Lure to catch them.
Remember our Predator Lake Valhalla is now open for all to fish until February, time to get some Winter Lure Fishing in!
Adam Elsbury, aged 26 from Reading, had a Holiday to remember at Anglers Paradise after catching his biggest ever fish, a Monster 62lb Catfish from the Specimen Cat Lake beating his previous Personal Best of 14lbs which he caught just 2 years ago meaning he’s beaten it by 48lbs!! This is the New Cat Record for this Lake too as the previous was caught by Ryan Owen at 60lbs.
It is unusual to bank a catfish so late in the season but with mild conditions the season gets extended.
Adam caught the Beast at midday just 3 hours after casting and used a simple running rig with a 22mm Halibut Pellet and a 20mm Halibut Boilie on the hair with a small PVA bag full of Micro Halibut Pellets.
Anglers Paradise just held their annual Lure Weekend which was a great success. Full report from Zenia. The weather was testing, rain, wind and hail but every Angler still stuck it out till the end of the Competition!
There were 20 Lure Anglers that took part and the 4 Teams were Captained by Nathan Edgell from Fladen, David Watkin-Smith from Quantum, Kevin Cox from Fox Rage and David Drake from Drennan. The Competition ran over 2 days of fishing on 4 different Lakes that consisted of our Predator Lake Valhalla, the Specimen Cat Lake, the Trout Lake and the Bottom Cat and Carp Lake at Eldorado of which all Teams fished each Lake in rotation.
In total, there were 11 Pike, 14 Perch, 2 Trout and the 1st ever Anglers Paradise Lure caught Koi and Golden Orfe to come out in the annual Competition, there was also a big Catfish lost, so no Cats were landed this year!
The Winner of the whole Competition was Damon Braxton who caught 3 different Species at a combined length of 108cm, Damon caught a 39.5cm Koi (which is the 1st ever Koi to be caught on a Lure here!) a 10.5cm Rudd and a 58cm Pike. Fladen and Anglers Paradise Sponsored this Event meaning Damon Won a Week’s Holiday for 2 at Anglers Paradise and a huge range of Fladen Predator Tackle, including a Rod, Reel, Lures and Clothing. Damon’s Team Captain was Fladen’s very own Pike King – Nathan Edgell, who was very proud of his Team Member to Win the Competition!
The Runner Up was Lee Paynton who had a Perch and a Pike at a combined length of 92cm, Sponsored by Quantum. Third Place was Tom Wilson who also had a Perch and a Pike with a combined length of 80.5cm, Sponsored by Fladen.
Tom Wilson took the Crown for the Biggest Pike with a respectable 68.5cm Pike from the Specimen Cat Lake, although Nathan Edgell actually caught the Biggest Pike measuring 86cm but as he’s a Team Captain – it doesn’t count!! Tom was in Team Quantum with Captain David Watkin-Smith leading him to Victory! Tom won some pretty special prizes from Quantum including a Spinning Rod, a Spinning Reel, a Specialist Bag, a Rod Guard and other goodies – Thank you so much to Quantum for the amazing Prizes.
Ben Taylor Won the Biggest Trout Category with a lovely 45cm Rainbow Trout, it was hard going on the Trout Lake all weekend but in the end he and Joe Drury were the only 2 to catch Trout on the last day of fishing!! Ben was in Team Fox with Kevin Cox from Fox as Captain (and Joe Drury as stand in Captain on Sunday) who both gave Ben plenty of tips and inspiration to help him win this title! Ben won a Fox Rage set up of a Rod, a Reel and some Lures – Thank you to Fox Rage for the great prizes and for sponsoring this Category.
Lee Paynton caught the biggest Perch measuring 33cm from the Specimen Cat Lake. Lee was in Team Drennan with the wonderful Dave Drake as his Team Captain, Lee won an absolute superb selection of Drennan Lures – he could start up a new Lure Shop with them!! Special thanks to Drennan for the amazing prizes and for sponsoring this category. This was Lee’s 1st ever Lure Weekend with us, and we are so happy that not only did he win but he also shared with us that he loved every minute and will be back for next year’s Anglers Paradise Lure Weekend!
The Winning Team was Team Fox – which consisted of Jim Williams, Ben Taylor, Bex Nelson and Father and Son Dominic and Dylan Cooke, Captained by Kevin Cox, (with help from Joe Drury as stand in on Sunday) knocking Team Fladen’s Nathan Edgell off his Thrown!! They won with 5 species, Pike, Perch, Rudd, Trout and the winning/deciding fish was a Golden Orfe caught by young Dylan Cooke just 10 minutes before the end of last session!!
Barnstaple and District Angling Association are one of North Devon longest running clubs with a rich history. They control fishing on a popular stretch of the River Taw with salmon and sea trout fishing. They also have coarse fishing at Aller Pond an atmospheric and tranquil water sited within woodland near South Molton.
(Above ) Newbridge on the River Taw B&DAA Club water.
(Above) South Aller Pond
On Monday November 13th a good proportion of the clubs membership gathered in Barnstaple’s Corner House for their AGM.
After the formalities of reports and election of officers members mingled and we swapped tales of local fishing history and prospects for the future. It was good to see that this long established club is still going strong.
Membership Secretary, Colin Ashby, 13 Green Meadow Drive, Barnstaple EX31 4HT. Tel. 01271 323017.
e- mail email@example.com
Club Secretary Sheridan Toms, Upcott Farm, Brayford, N.Devon EX32 7QA. Tel 01598 710857.
Chairman. John Webber e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congratulations to all the winners and competitors at Anglers Paradises lure weekend. Latest results direct from Zenia.
THE WINNER OF THE NOVEMBER 2017 LURE WEEKEND IS…
**Sponsored by Fladen**
DAMON BRAXTON – Who caught 3 different Species at a combined length of 108cm, Damon caught a 39.5cm Koi (which is the 1st ever Koi to be caught on a Lure here!) a 10.5cm Rudd and a 58cm Pike making him the WINNER OF OUR 2017 LURE WEEKEND!!
Fladen and Anglers Paradise Sponsored this Event meaning Damon Won a Week’s Holiday for 2 at Anglers Paradise and a huge range of Fladen Predator Tackle, including a Rod, Reel, Lures and Clothing.
Damon’s Team Captain was Fladen’s very own Pike King – Nathan Edgell, who was very proud of his Team Member to Win the Competition!
Special Thanks to Fladen for being so generous with the Prizes and a MASSIVE CONGRATULATIONS to Damon for WINNING THE LURE WEEKEND!!
THE BIGGEST PIKE Sponsored by Quantum
Tom Wilson took the Crown for this Category with a respectable 68.5cm Pike from the Specimen Cat Lake, although Nathan Edgell actually caught the Biggest Pike measuring 86cm but as he’s a Team Captain – it doesn’t count!!
Tom was in Team Quantum with Captain David Watkin-Smith leading him to Victory!
Tom won some pretty special prizes from Quantum including a Spinning Rod, a Spinning Reel, a Specialist Bag, a Rod Guard and other goodies – Thank you so much to Quantum for the amazing Prizes.
THE BIGGEST TROUT Sponsored by Fox Rage
Ben Taylor Won this Category with a lovely 45cm Rainbow Trout, it was hard going on the Trout Lake all weekend but in the end he and Joe Drury were the only 2 to catch Trout on the last day of fishing!!
Ben was in Team Fox with Kevin Cox from Fox as Captain (and Joe Drury as stand in Captain on Sunday) who both gave Ben plenty of tips and inspiration to help him win this title!
Ben won a Fox Rage set up of a Rod, a Reel and some Lures – Thank you to Fox Rage for the great prizes and for sponsoring this Category.
THE BIGGEST PERCH Sponsored by Drennan
Lee Paynton caught the biggest Perch measuring 33cm from the Specimen Cat Lake.
Lee was in Team Drennan with the wonderful Dave Drake as his Team Captain, Lee won an absolute superb selection of Drennan Lures – he could start up a new Lure Shop with them!! Special thanks to Drennan for the amazing prizes and for sponsoring this category.
This was Lee’s 1st ever Lure Weekend with us, and we are so happy that not only did he win but he also shared with us that he loved every minute and will be back for next year’s Anglers Paradise Lure Weekend!
The netting report from Zyg and Rose at Anglers Paradise
Our annual Netting revealed our biggest ever Catfish weighing in at a record weight of 90lbs 11oz, we also weighed in two 60’s to 68lbs and four 70’s to 78lbs from the Main Carp Lake, which is the largest of our holiday lakes and home to the biggest head of carp and the largest predators on the complex. The fish were safely re-located to stock ponds while works are carried out on the lake and will be re-homed following completion.
The record for Wels Catfish was discontinued in the late eighties at 60lbs, this was due to fish being introduced at 100lbs or more from the Continent. It took me 4 years to get official planning permission from MAFF. I am particularly proud as our Catfish were introduced as small Catfish spawned in this country, the biggest about 10 inches, well under 1 lb. We are the only venue with proper provenance to have stocked Catfish and also bred them on our fish farm.
In addition to the physical work of netting the lakes, we take the opportunity to raise funds for local charities, some of this year’s nominated charities are Air Ambulance, local food banks, defibrillator for Ashwater etc.
The nutty netters come from far and wide to help in the netting, raising funds through such activities as Race Night, Bingo, Fishing Match, Archery, Quizzes and Disco culminating in a Bonfire and Fireworks spectacular on Friday 3rd November.
A particular thank you to Phillip Warren Butchers and graziers of Launceston for their generous donation of hot dogs and beef burgers.
The annual netting has been taking place at Anglers Paradise and the weights of the venues biggest cats should be revealed later this week!! Something for those catfish anglers to dream about over the cold winter months as they wait for next summer when the catfish will once again go on the prowl.
5C’s Member Jordan Whitfield, 21 from Exeter jvisited Anglers Paradise for a session on the Main Carp Lake for the last Syndicate Weekend of the year and caught this stunning 21lb 2oz Fully scaled Mirror and a mid-double.
Jordan caught the fish from the Little Point Swim with Mainline Cell Wafters casted towards the Boat House Island with scattered boillies over the top.
Not my idea of fun but if you fancy a bit of armchair fishing this new game could be of Interest. The details below come direct from Zenia at Anglers Paradise. I would rather fish in real paradise but I guess this way you wouldn’t get cold and wet.
KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR ANGLERS PARADISE TO BE IN A GAME COMING OUT IN 2018!
A NEW Game that will be an App called ‘Tight Lines Game’, will be coming to us all to play in 2018 AND Anglers Paradise are going to be one of the many Fisheries on it to fish VIRTUALLY!!
THE MAKERS OF THE APP SHARED WITH US –
“At the beginning of a Tight Lines game each player is given a tacklebox, fishing licence and landing net, and also selects two of the four hook baits available. It is up to the players to manage their tackle box, adding and removing items as strategy or conditions dictate. There are not enough tackle box compartments to carry everything that a player might need throughout a game, so keeping a good balance of items is important #tipthescales. Also, if #bobthebailiff catches you without a required item such as a licence, or with an illegal one like a banned bait, the penalties could be severe – unless you bribe him of course!”
Friday 10th November to Sunday 12th November 2017 are the Dates to remember and get the time off work as it’s our LURE Weekend! Location – Anglers Paradise, Halwill Junction, Devon EX21 5XT. Time is running out – so pick up that phone and BOOK YOUR PLACE! Prices Start From £140 Per Person which includes – Accommodation for 3 nights, Fishing in the Lure Competition + Entry into All Competitions! It’s a Weekend you will not want to miss! They’ll be 4 Great Team Captains in the shape of Nathan Edgell from Fladen, Rob Williams from Quantum, Kevin Cox from Fox Rage and Dave Drake from Drennan who all will help you gain knowledge to better your future fishing and be on hand with tips and advice. Exclusive Lakes to Fish on the Lure AND Great Prizes to be Won! If you’re a beginner, intermediate or experienced – it doesn’t matter – ALL ARE WELCOME! They’ll be plenty of help and advice throughout the weekend, it’s a weekend where Anglers from all over the Country come together and share their passion of the sport, share a tale or two in the bar in the evening and enjoy some great fishing in the day – What more could you ask for?! Any Questions? Just email us at email@example.com or call us on 01409 221559 and we’ll be happy to answer them!
The ever popular netting week commences on October 30th for more details contact Anglers Paradise.
Fishing Friends Scott Brown, Damien Hicks, Colin, Chris Jones and Girlfriend Leslie came down from different parts of the Country to Fish our Day Ticket Venue Nirvana, let’s just say…there was quite a lot of heavy dew during their session but at least it also rained Cats and Carp for them too!!
Scott Shared –
“All Summer I have been counting down the days for our trip to the Nirvana Day Ticket Complex at Anglers Paradise in Devon. Myself, Chris, Leslie, Damien and Colin arrived and set our traps hoping for a similar outcome to last year’s trip.
Zyg says it never rains in Devon – well on this occasion I’m afraid he was telling porky pies, it chucked it down! But never the less the, Lakes still produced a few corkers!
I managed a 30lb 3oz catfish and a 22lb 5oz mirror as well as three smaller but chunky carp, all my fish coming to Finforce baits. Chris Jones got the biggest of the trip a 51lb 1oz Catfish all from the Specimen Cat Lake and Damien managed a 29lb Common from the Kracking Carp Lake. Leslie and Colin bagged up on Orfe and Rudd whilst trying a bit of float fishing but unfortunately didn’t manage to get amongst the bigger ones this time.
Great trip had by all and I look forward to our next adventure as a group”.
FISHING, FRIENDS AND FUN, ENJOYING THE SPORT TOGETHER – WELL DONE GUYS!
Zenia at Anglers Paradise is successfully trying to get more women interested in fishing and having some success as can be seen from her latest post below,
ANOTHER NEW LADY ANGLER ENJOYING THE SPORT!
As you know, we LOVE to see more Women on the banks enjoying FISHING!!
Here is a lady that does just that! Emily Wearden, 35 from Abingdon in Oxfordshire has only been fishing for a year and joined us last week with her partner James and caught 2 Personal Bests – a 5lb 11oz Koi from the Koi Lake off the top on Dog Biscuits and a 9lb Mirror from the Beginners Carp Lake on a Pineapple Wafter, her partner James Durkin also caught a Personal Best 3lb 8oz Koi from the Float Lake on a pop up.
Emily Shared –
“We have just come back from a fantastic week at Anglers Paradise. Your family/staff have done a great job on not only the fishing lakes, but also the accommodation. We came down for James 40th Birthday and can’t wait to come back next year.
I have only been fishing for about a 1 year, I am now 35 years old and love fishing!”
ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC EMILY – KEEP UP THE GREAT ANGLING AND PASSION FOR FISHING!
(Below)BIGGEST EVER KOI BUT NO SCALES TO WEIGH IT!
Steven Blackburn, 39 from Liverpool joined Anglers Paradise for a week with the lads for some fishing and fun and on their last day they decided to go back to the Koi Lake to see if they could catch one of the bigger ones…
Well Steve did catch one of the bigger ones but he forgot his scales to see exactly how big it was!! But, it definitely looks bigger than 8lb+!!
Steven shared –
“I was free lining using the soft floating biscuits from your tackle shop, I was fishing just a few feet from the bank around the Lillies to the left as you enter the lake from the foot path. After throwing in a few freebies to get them confidently feeding I chucked in my hook bait and next thing I know this massive head slowly comes up through the water and sucks it in. I couldn’t believe my luck. All the way through the fifteen minute fight to get it in I was constantly saying ‘please don’t come off, please don’t come off”
We ended up doing two days on the Koi Lake, easily the best fishing experience I’ve had to date.”
(Below)Oli Dietrich caught this fine carp of 24lb from the complex xanadu on #robinbaits.
Paul Painter from Exeter, brought his Sons (Jack 7 and Harry 14) to fish the Middle Cat and Carp Lake at Eldorado for 48hrs and managed to catch quite a few fish! They ended up with 45 Carp, 1 Cat and some lovely Koi from the Koi Lake!
Paul said – “It was good to see my boys enjoying the outdoors and catching lots of fish, Jack loved stalking out the beautiful Koi from the Koi Lake and Harry loved stalking out the Carp. Good to spend some quality time with my boys, top rods! Harry and Jack love your Lakes and look forward to their next trip after a nice big Cat for Harry and some Koi for Jack!”
WELL DONE TO THE PAINTER FAMILY – GREAT CATCHES AND TIME SPENT TOGETHER – WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT!
Peter Knight visited the tranquil waters at Agapi Fruit Farm and Fishing to land a pleasing brace of carp that are amongst the first to be caught at the water that I visited just a week ago. Peter a local angler visited the water with his partner after reading the review on North Devon Angling News.
Agapi is a delightful lake teaming with rudd and a healthy stock of carp that make the venue an ideal pleasure fishing venue for family’s and anyone wanting to escape for few hours by the water. This is not yet a water for the specimen hunter but is ideal for those who love fishing.
Agapi Fruit and Fishing is a unique venue nestled in a tranquil valley near Torrington that offers a fine family fishing experience. The owner Sandra Hood invited Pauline, James and I to sample the fishing and write a short review on the complex.
We followed an intriguing country lane at the end of which we came upon a pleasing lake stretching before us reflecting a blue sky and wispy white clouds.
Glancing into the water I immediately saw dimples on the water as small rudd broke the surface. At the far end of the lake a few carp could be seen cruising slowly, fish of up to around 4lb that would give a pleasing tussle on light tackle.
Sandra greeted us warmly and told us about the fishery and its facilities that include a spacious ready made up bell tent and a two birth caravan where guests can stay over at a modest cost.
James and I were eager to get fishing as late August evenings pass by all too quickly and it was already past 6.00pm. I had brought along a bait box full of Jolly Green Giant sweetcorn and half a loaf of white sliced bread. No need for modern fancy baits here just simple basics.
James started off float fishing with a single grain of corn and was soon swinging in small golden rudd the float disappearing with pleasing regularity within seconds of it sitting upright in the still water.
I was already focusing on the chance of a carp and tied a size 10 barbless hook to the end of my 3lb line that was loaded on my old Avon Royal Centre Pin. I tossed a few crusts out onto the water and expected the carp to devour them but shoals of rudd were on the bait within seconds. I wondered along the bank rod in hand to a shady corner where several carp were visible. I pinched a generous piece of flake onto the hook and swung it out in front of a cruising carp. The bait disappeared and the line slowly tightened. I felt a pleasing resistance as I set the hook, the carp made a dash for the weedy margin beneath the tree branch’s and after a tense struggle came adrift.
Sandra arrived shortly after with a tasty plateful of ham sandwiches, homemade chutney and a flask of hot water with tea, coffee and cakes.
Pauline chatted at length with Sandra whilst James and I became immersed in the tense and frustrating game of stalking carp. James found a group of carp on the far bank and was soon calling for me to rush over with the net. I got there to find the carp battling beneath the rod tip partially tangling in trailing grass and brambles. My attempt to net the carp resulted in the fish shedding the hook.
I had one further chance in the shady corner as I watched a carp suck in my bread flake just few inches from the bank. I lifted the rod expecting to feel a solid resistance; I instead felt the deflating thin air. Its been a while since I stalked carp and but after this exciting session it will not be long before I am creeping the banks again. I had forgotten just how addictive, and exciting this close up fishing is!
Sandra’s vision is to offer a unique fishing experience the emphasis being on fun. This is not at present a specimen fishing lake though I am sure the carp will soon pack on weight and in two or there years there will be carp present topping ten pounds. The fishing on offer is perfect for a fun family day out in beautiful surroundings. A cosy summerhouse offers shelter with a wooden platform that gives access to the centre of the lake.
Float fishing with sweetcorn bread or maggot will bring constant action ensuring newcomers to the sport get plenty of bites and beautiful golden scaled rudd.
We caught several rudd up to 8oz and there are undoubtedly a few bigger ones. The carp are plentiful and at present range from a couple of pounds up to perhaps 5lb.
The lake is available for exclusive use with adults paying just £5 for a day ticket and children fishing for free. Only one booking per day is taken with groups of up to six around the maximum for the venue. The lake has a very pleasing atmosphere and intimacy that is lost at many crowded commercial fisheries. To get away from it all and escape into the countryside with a bit of fishing I can highly recommend the venue.
In addition to the fishing Sandra is pleased to provide tasty food including Devon Cream teas and cooked breakfasts. In addition to fishing there is also the opportunity to pick your own Fruit in season.
River Reads are a specialist angling book shop operating out of Torrington well worth a visit as they carry a vast range of angling books on all disciplines. Here is their latest Newsletter penned by owner Keith Armishaw.
Well, it’s been a while since we wrote the last newsletter, but as the weather is too windy for sea fishing and the local rivers are running like soup and fly only, it seemed the ideal time to sit down and pen a few things that have been happening of late.
I have been continuing to add photographs of books to the site as I think it will aid decision making to be able to see exactly what the book you are after looks like and in what condition it is in. I have just completed the fly tying, fly casting and tackle catalogues having done the fly fishing, coarse fishing (carp, pike etc as well) earlier in the year. I hope you find it of use, and if you have any other ideas that would help, please feel free to e mail us.
Whilst we are on the subject of books, Dominic Garnett who writes a weekly column for Angling Times called in for a chat. He is probably best known for his Fly Fishing for Coarse Fish book, but also promotes the fishing in Devon and Somerset. He dropped off some of his other books – Crooked Lines and Tangles with Pike – which he signed whilst we talked fishing, had a cuppa, and recorded him talking for the Angling Heritage archive which you can now hear on line. We had an interesting time which just flew by.
We have also recently acquired quite a lot of our “Vintage Tackle”. Whilst several cane Hardy rods and reels have been added, we have also now got a great selection of nearly new – in many cases unused – high quality modern tackle too including carbon rods from Sage, Orvis, Sharp, Hardy, Greys etc so if you aren’t an old timer stuck in the mud like me, now is the time to buy your fantastic new tackle at great prices. Also acquired with the rods are reels from Orvis, Bruce & Walker, Hardy, ABU, Snowbee and many more.
If you are looking for any new or antique items, now is the time to peruse the antique tackle section.
Finally, I’m looking forward to our shark fishing sessions in Looe next month followed by what we hope will be an annual trip to British Columbia to fish the Frazer, then on to Vancouver Island after salmon. I went with Hugh Miles last year and we loved every moment so have booked the same again this year. If you fancy an overseas trip with the comfort of home where you can stay in spa hotels for your family, this is THE place to go. You can keep up with all my escapades in the “Diary” section of the website, or get a brief overview on our Facebook page.
Autumn is nearly here and I think this is the best time of year to fish, so get out there and good luck.
Anglers Paradise recently held a Kid’s Fishing Day that was a great success raising money for the local school and also encouraging the younger generation to fish!
Here are some pictures of the recent Kid’s Fishing Day at Anglers Eldorado, where Angling Coach Tommy Flower offered his services for a day to help kids learn to fish and to help those that already fish to further their angling knowledge.
It really was a wonderful day, the kids loved it from ages 3 up to the age of 12, some had fished before and others hadn’t, but every single one of them loved it which is exactly why we wanted to do it.
Here are some of the magic moments we shared, we hope to do more Kid’s Fishing Days in the future to encourage and help, as they are the future of this sport and it’s great to see more younger ones enjoying the sport like we do!
Thank you to all the Kids that joined in, you were all FABULOUS and a Special Thank You to Tommy Flower and his assistant Adam May – What you did was what Angling should always be about – Enjoying the Sport, Helping Others and of course keeping the Angling Passion going! Also special thanks to Skretting for donating the bait for the event. All proceeds raised will go to Halwill Primary School.
Steve Pinn landed a personal best eel at Stafford Moor Caught on a tail hooked 4″ dead bait at first light. The Moor has produced several big eels over recent years to over 8lb and has the potential to produce a really special eel as the eels live undetected in the lakes feeding on the abundant small fish and high protein carp baits.
There have been some stunning catches of carp from South West Lakes Trust waters in the past couple of weeks with Lower Tamar featuring heavily in the following round up. This water is a day ticket water that provides more than just carp with double figure bream and large tench residing in its waters along with specimen perch and eels. The South West Lakes offer anglers an alternative to the heavily stocked commercial waters with carp that are more challenging in less manicured surroundings that many carp anglers prefer.
Steve Gliddon has been on the banks of Lower Tamar Lake on the Cornwall/Devon border. Steve landed 5 fish from 7 runs which included two 18lb commons, two mid double commons and a lovely looking mirror just under 10lb. Steve fished to a small clear spot in the weed with little and often baiting tactics working well.
(Below)Mainline’s John Kneebone enjoyed a cracking session on Lower Tamar landing 13 commons to just under 20lbs and two mirrors, one small one and this stunning 20lb 6oz fully known as the ‘little fully’. All of John’s fish came in a 24 hour session using Mainline cell boilies.
(Below)Amy Maunder has been on the banks at day ticket water Lower Tamar lake on the Cornwall/Devon border and banked this cracking tench at 5lb 8oz along with a double figure common. Both fish fell to Mailinie Essential Cell boilies.
Adrian Morgan caught this cracking 19lb 4oz common from Jennetts reservoir on a trimmed down Bloodworm boilie popped up from the silt.
Trevor Walker, 61 from Wakefield landed this gorgeous 6lb 3oz Koi from the Koi Lake – An awesome picture of colourful fish.
William Leonard, 18 from Harlow, Essex had a very successful week catching a variety of exoctic species including this stunner!
William caught this very rare and unusual 3lb 8oz Two Tone Golden Tench from the Specimen Tench and Orfe Lake using the traditional lift method with an Allcock Aerial Match Centrepin and handmade float. The bait of choice was sweetcorn fished in the margins.
Jacob Wise in this picture is an Angler who does love to catch eels, this one was from the Octopussy Lake, there are eels the Lakes up to 6lbs may be more!
Anglers Paradise is undoubtedly North Devon’s premier venue for big catfish with numerous specimens caught every year over fifty pounds.
Zyg Gregorek sent me this report today that follows on from my initial report on the new complex record. This fish being born and bred in the UK should undoubtedly qualify as a UK record.
The record for Wels Catfish was discontinued in 1990 because the Record Committee believed monster fish were smuggled in from the continent at over 60lbs (but Carp were and still are)
I had official permission to stock Wels Catfish from MAFF (this was after 4 years of trying) and bought the Catfish from Neville Fickling in 1994. They were small Catfish born and bred or rather spawned in this country, the biggest about 10 inches, well under 1 lb. Over the years the Cats grew 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 etc but I was not going to claim a record until we had an 80lb plus.
As I said to them, as I have done everything by the book the Record Committee should recognize the fish. The captor was Dion Cook-Martin one of my employees who is “over the moon” about it. If I hadn’t told him to go in the water and untangle the line from around the bushes the fish would not have been landed.
It’s great for the South West and Devon to have produced a record fish.
Anglers Paradise(Above)Previous complex record catfish of 74lb 2oz.
FROM BABIES TO THIS…A NEW COMPLEX CATFISH RECORD HAS BEEN CAUGHT, AND IT’S MASSIVE!!!
Huge Congratulations to our Estate Team Member Dion Cooke-Martin, 38 who has caught the Biggest Ever Complex Cat Record at a whopping 82lbs from the Main Carp Lake!!
Dion caught the Monster Wels Catfish using a 6ft Stalking Rod, size 6 barbless hook on a basic hair rig, with a Single Paradise Baits ‘The Twist’ Boilie fishing just off the island nearest the Boat House.
Dion caught the beast during the 5C’s Syndicate Match which he won too!
We are very proud that we have bred these fish from babies to THIS!! We stocked the Cats 20 years ago and introduced them to Anglers Paradise as Kittens the size of your finger which are now as big as this 82lb Cat – That’s some growing!!
WELL DONE DION – WHAT A MASSIVE FISH AND ANGLING ACHIEVEMENT!!! ANOTHER NEW CAT RECORD WITHIN WEEKS!!
Well Done to Julian Winspear and Partner in Crime Caz Osborne who both had a great session on Eldorado’s Bottom Cat and Carp Lake catching 5 Cats to 30lb+ and 4 Carp to 20lbs, all on the popular and faithful Paradise Baits Catastrophic!
Caz caught her Personal Best and Biggest Ever Fish to date with this 25lb Wels Catfish and Julian had his Personal Best 30lb+ Cat and a 20lb Mirror to put the icing on the Cake!
Euan Mclachlan, 19 from Sunderland who caught his Biggest ever Fish, a Personal Best 41lb Catfish from the Day Ticket Specimen Cat Lake.
Euan’s Story –
“I have never ventured much further than the Easy Access on my previous visits to Anglers Paradise, with my catfish PB being a little over 25lb, however after consulting with some of the members of staff me and my two friends decided that the Specimen Catfish Lake was throwing up the odd fish and that’s what we’d like to target. Before I came I said to my dad that I’d like to beat my Catfish PB by at least 5 pound and reach the 30lb barrier, however a 40 would be out of this world!
At the start of the week we did a night where I managed to get a 32lb 4oz from down the margins on meat, however after seeing this fish I knew I had to give it another shot for a bigger one. So Thursday came, and we hiked all of the gear back down to the Specimen Cat and I pitched up in the same corner swim (peg 3) as I did before and flicked a meat rod down the left margin. After hours upon hours of single bleeps from little Perch etc, I decided I’d try and get some sleep. I managed to zone them out until about 6am in the morning when I was awoken to about 5 or 6 continuous beeps on the alarm and then a massive drop back. I struck into it and knew I had a decent fish on, and after taking me round the back of the island and through the reeds on the far side, a 20-30min fight resulted in a new personal best catfish of exactly 41lb, Anglers Paradise really living up to its name and reputation once again.
I just want to say thank you again to you guys for making the holiday so
special, from the help in the tackle shop all the way up to the welcoming
and accommodating nature of all of you down there.
I’ll sure be back again,”
WELL DONE EUAN – ANOTHER GREAT WINNER!!
Here he is with his Winning Fish and being presented his prizes by Zyggy
North Devon Angling News has been up and running for just over twelve months and I hope that it has been of benefit to the local angling community. My intention has always been to entertain and inform. The site would not work without regular news stories from anglers in North Devon and with huge support from my sponsors who have placed adverts with me. I try to give good value and welcome any new supporters who would like to come on-board.
I was going to put up a few highlights from the past year but on reflection this would be difficult as there are so many and I would undoubtedly over look so many so perhaps I should just encourage you to take a look back over your particular area of interest. And don’t forget to send your latest news and images. If you want to comment you can always do so via the Facebook or twitter feed or even using the telephone.
(Above)Ian Philimore with his eel catch from Beattie’s lake this weekend , Ian didn’t know the weight as he didn’t weigh it but fabulous catch !
(Above) Eddie Baldwin with a fine eel of 7lb 3oz!
Carp anglers at Stafford Moor sometimes get more than they bargain for ! The above eels were accidental catches but I know of eels to over 8lb caught by design. The attraction with eels to some is the mystery that surrounds them for these are wild fish that live hidden within our waters and it is not beyond the realms of possibility that eels in excess of the British Record live in waters in North Devon.
Jacob Judges aged 9 from Rochester, Kent, caught not ONE but THREE PERSONAL BESTS!! Jacob caught a PB 18lb 4oz Grass Carp and a 3lb 10oz Golden Orfe both from the Main Carp Lake on a simple knotless knot hair rig with a ABS Plan B wafter. Jacob then caught a PB 26lb 15oz Catfish from the Octopussy caught on a double frankfurter bait. Jacob didn’t stop there, he also caught some Stunning Koi from the Koi Lake – landed all by himself at the age of just 9 Years Old!! What amazing catches in just 1 week!
(Below) Molly Cook, age 7 from St Austell, Cornwall caught a Personal Best carp of 10lb 13oz on the Beginners Carp Lake, so she decided that she then wanted to catch another big fish like her Dad and Grandad. She told her Dad to get out the Spam and showed him where she wanted it to be cast to. Then all of a sudden, the bite alarm went off, Molly jumped up and struck it. After a healthy fight, Molly’s Dad helped her land it, Molly had caught her 1st Ever and Biggest Fish to date, a 14lb 14oz Catfish from the Easy Access Lake.
(Below)Sophie Oxehnham, 11 from Charfield, Gloucester, caught her 1st ever Tench from the Tench Lake and it was a special Two Tone Golden Tench too! She caught it all by herself after being taught how to cast, bait up and safely unhook the fish. She baited with sweetcorn and hemp and had a grain of corn on the hook. Sophie made sure she gave the fish a Kiss goodbye before returning her back to the Lake.
(Above) Zenia Drury-Gregorek, 33, (-; I got a rare window to fish on my favourite lake, the picturesque Koi Lake and just before leaving to pick the kids up I caught this stunner, using a cocktail of maggots float fishing on the bottom. God I love fishing and it was so GREAT to be out there.I really hope to encourage more ladies to fish as it’s simply magical.
Gavin Simpson, 40 from Wellingborough caught an amazing Personal Best 6lb 12oz Golden Orfe from the Main Carp Lake which is just 1lb 9oz short of the British Record! After about 4 hours of fishing he had a great bite, and he knew this fish felt different straight away. Gavin Said – “As I played it towards the net I saw this huge orange flank and thought WOW! I put the net under it and couldn’t believe what I was seeing, the most enormous Golden Orfe I had ever seen, what an amazing fish! It weighed in at 6lb 12oz, I had to check what the British Record was as I was sure it couldn’t be a lot more. I was right, the current record is 8lb 5oz, this fish was just 1lb 9oz off of the British record!
What a great fish and what a great memory for a trip that was a present from my wife Kerry for my 40th Birthday. I am sure there is a British record to be had in that lake for someone. Get yourself to Anglers Paradise, buy yourself one of Zyggy’s magic hats or hoodies and get yourself in those record books! I’m ‘Orfe’ there again soon myself to try and catch a bigger one!”
Paul Shepperd from Southampton is now the NEW CATFISH COMPLEX RECORD HOLDER – with a 74lb 8oz Catfish from the Main Carp Lake beating Sean Tacy’s weight by exactly 1lb that was caught 2 weeks after!!!
Paul went from 8 years of trying to catch Cat with no success until last year when he caught his 1st to then catching this Monster! Paul baited his swim with 14ml pellets, soaked overnight in Korda halibut goo, using a nine inch hook link with a long hair, with a korda size 6 curved shank hook. Paul Said – “Thank you to my wife and all the lads who helped with netting and weighing this monster. Also, Joe, the estate manager, the rig clinic guru, said this cat only has to eat a 10lb carp to be 84lbs. So there’s the challenge ladies and gents, beat that!
Thank you to the Paradise family for making this dream come true. See you next May. Also just to add to this great weeks fishing, I also met my fishing hero’s Ali Hamidi and Dean Macey at Anglers Paradise. Certainly a Week to remember!”
An excellent report from John Deprieelle on the recent lure competition at Upper Tamar.
Upper Tamar kayak comp
The first kayak event on Upper Tamar reservoir has been and gone and despite all attempts from mother nature, the event was a success.
When fishery manager Ben Smeeth gave me the thumbs up to organize a kayak comp on the stunning venue set in Cornwall near Bude, I was delighted. This 80 acre reservoir is home to some of the biggest Perch in the Southwest but locating them can be tricky at times. With Kayak lure fishing becoming increasingly popular this was the perfect opportunity to get afloat and see if we could find a few of the dark destroyers.
The eve of the comp wasn’t looking good though as 50mph plus winds howled across the venue. That night I lay in the tent worrying that all my plans might be shot down in flames. As expected some people cried off as for some it was a long journey to just turn around and go home but the die hard anglers were there on time and it was left to the group to decide what to do. We decided to at least head out and give it a shot and test the water so to speak. I might add at this point that Savage gear had kindly donated free goodie bags consisting of T tail fat minnows and cannibal shads for all entrants. On top of that there was a prize for the biggest fish caught on one of the said lures.
We all launched into the white water being blown around like paper hankys but just 10 mins into the comp Bristol angler George Osborne hooked into a fish that not only smashed his previous PB but also caught it on the cannibal shad. The fish weighed in at 4lb 5oz and 44cm. One very happy angler and an incredible fish to set the pace. From there on people started to catch steadily and fish of almost every size graced the boats from just ounces going up in every pound class right up to another fish of 4lb 4oz caught by Lee Garner.
It wasn’t all fun and games though as the weather did claim some of us and over a thousand pounds worth of fishing tackle now sits at the bottom of Tamar reservoir. Four rods and reels, a box of lures, a set of car keys and lots of tears(mainly mine) were the price to pay but everyone took it in good spirit and the fish gods returned us with big fish as compensation.
As the afternoon came the winds finally gave up and for an hour we sat on a flat calm lake as if nothing had ever happened. The fishing slowed up but one final fish just under 4lb marked the end of an enjoyable, eventful day. We ended with two fish over 4lbs, ten fish over 3lbs and loads of fish over 2lbs.
I had hoped for a fun event which wasn’t too competitive with a lot of laughs and I think I achieved just that.
The biggest single fish of the day went to Tony Chesworth with a massive spawned out fish of 47cm(3,14).
The biggest fish caught on a Savage gear lure went to George Osborne measuring in at 44cm (4lb,5oz).
Dom Garnett kindly donated a signed copy of his book for the smallest fish and this was also caught by George Osborne at 14cm.
In 3rd place was George Osborne who looked like he was going to clean up.
In 2nd place was Adam Moxey with a string of fish to low 3’s
And 1st place went to Lee Garner who certainly had the lions share .Everyone who placed went home with goodies from Savage Gear, Costa, Cash and vouchers from Culm Valley angling.
Plans are already in place for an autumn event but these competitions can only exist with your support so watch this space. Massive thanks to Ben and Gary at SW lakes, Richard Taylor at Savage gear, Danny Parkins for the Costa prizes and Culm Valley angling.
(Above)Jo George had a day’s surface fishing with her husband Alan on the Koi Lake and managed to land this stunner at the magic weight of 8lbs 2oz!! Plus, it’s one that we haven’t seen for a long time so it’s even more special that it’s one of the craftier Koi in there.
(Above)Zenia Gregoreks latest catch from Anglers Paradise.
It really is an exciting week at Anglers Paradise this week as you may have heard we have Ali Hamidi, Dean Macey, Jimmy Bullard and Jamie O’Hara filming for the next series of ITV’s ‘THE BIG FISH OFF’.
They went on the Specimen Tench and Orfe Lake yesterday and caught some great fish, all to be revealed next year when it airs and it’s going to be an AMAZING Episode!!
Richard Ball landed a stunning common carp of 20lb 7oz from South West Lakes Trust’s Lower Slade Reservoir (Above)
Chris Hudson had a mixed session at day ticket venue Lower Tamar lake, part of the South West Lakes Trust venues. Chris had two carp with the largest being 15lb but also had 5 bream with the largest going 10lb 4oz. This is the latest in a long line of bream over 10lbs in size to have been caught from the venue. All of the fish were caught on a Live-system single hook bait with a handful of scattered boilies. (Below)
All the latest catches from Anglers Paradise as reported by Zenia Gregorek . Don’t forget there are plenty of day ticket opportunities in addition to the famous holiday complex.
Michael Molloy who has been visiting Anglers Paradise for 20 years and caught his Personal Best 11lb 12oz Koi from the Koi Lake on Dog Biscuits!
Michael has been trying for many years to catch an 8lb Koi so when he landed this Beauty – he was more than happy
Michael Said –
“I have been coming to Anglers Paradise for 20 years now with my Wife and Family as the fishing is fantastic as well as everyone that runs it.
I always like to have a go at the Koi Lake and have tried many years to catch an 8lb+ Koi, but haven’t had any success. My nephew Luke wanted to come with me who had travelled all the way from Ireland to join us for our 2nd week of our annual AP Holiday.
We caught several Koi up to 7lbs+ on floating dog biscuits, just as we were about to pack up, a Koi came up and sucked in a biscuit!! After a good fight, I landed it and knew it was over the magical 8lb with the scales going to 11lb 12oz!!
(Above) Gavin Simpson with his Winning PB 6lb 12oz Golden Orfe from the Main Lake – just 1lb 9oz short off the British Record!
Gavin’s Story –
“I decided to go for an easier day and fish (read go for a sleep) on the picturesque Main Lake on the Tuesday as the previous day I’d had a non stop day catching Carp to 11lb on a waggler rod. I believe it was all down to buying a magical Anglers Paradise hat, Ziggy did tell us on the Sunday night that the fish would recognise you if you brought an AP hat or hoody! What a load of rubbish I hear you say, well, my Dad was on the next peg and only caught two all day, now there’s some proof, I even asked him to make sure he actually had a hook on at one point! That’ll teach him for being tight!
The Main Lake is a magical lake full of amazing fish, I had previously caught a PB Carp there last year after going to one of Jo’s Rig Clinics. I looked for some signs of fish but none were showing so I settled for the famous Nev’s Point and had a cast around with a lead to find any features. At 6.5 rod lengths out I found what felt like a gravelly area and set my line clip with my measuring sticks so I would reach the same spot every time along with lining up to a far bank tree.
On my first cast, with a small PVA bag of pellets attached I had an indication within about 30 seconds (see the lucky hat was working again) and caught a small Carp. Another two followed over the next couple of hours, so knowing some fish were out there I put a few freebie boilies out in the same area. After about 4 hours of fishing I had a great bite, better even than the Carp, I struck but this fish felt different. As I played it towards the net I saw this huge orange flank and thought WOW! I put the net under it and couldn’t believe what I was seeing, the most enormous Golden Orfe I had ever seen, what an amazing fish! It weighed in at 6lb 12oz, I had to check what the British Record was as I was sure it couldn’t be a lot more. I was right, the current record is 8lb 5oz, this fish was just 1lb 9oz off of the British record!
What a great fish and what a great memory for a trip that was a present from my wife Kerry for my 40th Birthday. I am sure there is a British record to be had in that lake for someone. Get yourself to Anglers Paradise, buy yourself one of Zyggy’s magic hats or hoodies and get yourself in those record books! I’m ‘Orfe’ there again soon myself to try and catch a bigger one!”
Graham Tasker fished our Day Ticket Kracking Carp Lake during his annual Anglers Paradise holiday and caught himself a lovely 34lb 2oz Mirror after a 10 minute fight!
Graham fished from Peg 2 tight to the margin on the opposite side with a 2oz lead on a snowman rig with a Salty Squid Boilie topped with a Raspberry Pop Up fished over 2kg of Salty Squid freebies.
The latest big fish news supplied by Zenia and Anglers Paradise.
NEW CATFISH COMPLEX RECORD…73LBS 8OZ!!
Regular Sean Tacy, had the week of fishing dreams when he landed Anglers Paradise’s NEW CATFISH RECORD!!!
Sean landed a Monster 73lb 8oz Wels Catfish from the Main Lake, and had the shock of his life when he saw it!!
The previous Record was held by Adam May for 2 years running with a 70lb 12oz Catfish also from the Main, but that has now been beaten!!
Sean caught the Monster using 15mm Robin Red Pellet topped with half a Paradise Baits Original Raspberry pop up, served over a bed of mixed sizes robin red pellets. Fixed lead clear dark matter leader, size 6 korda kurv shank hook.
Sean’s Story –
“After trying for so many years to beat my PB Catfish which I achieved many years ago here at AP and failing to do so I decided it was time to have a go on the Specimen Cat Lake and drove down a day early, after losing a fish on there, I really was gutted, so headed straight to the Octopusy as soon as the welcoming party had finished!
It started off with a not so productive time and me playing about with baits that I was happy so along come the night out. Alarms buzzing, like an angry bee I stumbled out of my bivvy losing my head torch to god knows where and no shoes! At last it felt a monster, finally I thought this has to beat my PB for sure…but it was not meant to be! *play sad music* so unable to go on the Specimen Carp Lake, I decided to go on the Main Carp Lake putting out the same combo that had worked the night before up against the island.
I decided great really confident! But the day went on and nothing to come except a cracking Blue Orfe! Then BOOM!! Off goes the alarms again, jumping out of the bivvy this time with shoes, I hit into it! It felt a monster and a monster I couldn’t control!! To start it just went, I am sure the fish was playing me more than me playing it!
Eventually I managed to get my phone, so shouting to siri to call the old man to come help net this monster that I hadn’t even seen yet! He come and eventually managed to get it in close to see it but it just didn’t want to go in the net, almost deciding to jump in the water and picking it up finally it went in!! It was a beast for sure and one that I never thought I would be seeing!!! Truly a fish of a lifetime and one I am sure will be dam hard to beat!
So again AP has been another great holiday and really cracking fishing and people!”
WOW!! HUGE CONGRATS SEAN – AMAZING FISH, AMAZING CAPTURE AND NOW YOU ARE THE CURRENT CATFISH RECORD HOLDER!!
Its always great to see young anglers enjoying success and at Anglers Paradise there are plenty of fish to target. This is the latest report from Zenia who give the youngsters plenty of encouragement.
Charlie Grant, 10 from Reading was certainly one very happy boy after catching a Personal Best 14lb Mirror and also a 15lb Wels Catfish from the Easy Access Lake both on Boilies. Charlie also Won Fish Of The Week with his PB Mirror, Charlie has also set a New Record in being the 1st Person to win Fish Of The Week 3 times!! Great to see Kids loving the sport so much, and this young man certainly does!
( Below)Here is the Charming Reilly Mulrooney, aged 4 from Bagworth, Leicester with just one of his many catches from Anglers Paradise and this Common from the Magic Lake was the 1st ever Carp he’s ever caught! Reilly came to us last year with Mum and Dad when he was 3 and caught his first ever fish, a Goldfish from the Float Lake and now he continues to fish with his Dad and he loves it!! We encourage all Parents to take their kids fishing, teach them all about fish care, how to look after the fish and start that fishing passion the right way so their future in angling will be bright! Look after the fish and they will look after us – to keep them healthy and let us catch them again one day!! We all remember our 1st and who got us into Fishing, so lets all carry that on and share our passion of the sport with our younger ones. Kids are the Future generation, and we love seeing them all start their Fishing Journey and certainly feel very privileged when it starts at Anglers Paradise!
Dennis Toleman secured victory in Triple Hook Clubs Slade Trophy Match fished at Darracott where he put together a net of silvers totaling 9lb 4oz. In runner up spot was John Vaughan with 6lb and third Kevin Hancock with 2lb.
Coarse Fishing at Darracott Reservoir
Darracott, Torrington, Devon EX38 7HL
Situated just outside Torrington, Darracott is a real mixed fishery. It is perfect for beginners or pleasure anglers and is loaded with plenty of fish. At 3 acres in size there are plenty of swims for you to choose from. The carp can be caught all over the lake but they do take surface baits in the warmer months which can be great fun. Mixed bags of up to 40lbs are common. There is some cracking perch and roach fishing to be had. The first swim is only 20 yards from the car park if you don’t want to walk too far.
Neilsen Jeffery and John Forster enjoyed an afternoon session on Fletchers, one of the day ticket lakes right next to the car park at Clawford Fisheries. With warm sunshine raising the water temperature they landed plenty of carp to 10 lb and plenty of nice fat pasties, lovely days fishing. Neilsen gave many thanks to fishery owners John Ray and Wanda Ray. http://www.clawford.co.uk/
The Environment Agency has also launched “Get a Fishing Licence” on GOV.UK to simplify the process of buying a fishing licence: www.gov.uk/get-a-fishing-licence. This is part of a series of improvements to the service, which include:
Free licences for junior anglers, up to the age of 17, announced in November 2016
The fishing licence now lasts for 12 months from the day it is bought, rather than expiring at the end of March each year
The use of three rods now needs just one licence, rather than two.
People are required to buy a fishing licence in order to fish legally in England, Wales and along the Border Esk in Scotland. Sales of licences for the 2015/16 season raised £21 million. The money was used to restock rivers with 452,220 coarse fish, encourage over 35,000 people to try angling for the first time and bring 2,043 successful prosecutions against crimes like poaching.
With the help of Paul Carter from the Environmental Agency B&DAA have added stocks of Tench and Crucian Carp plus further quantities of ‘Silver Fish’ for this coming year. Further extensive tree work and pond access is in the pipe line to enable easier fishing access with close car parking.
The game section’s water at Newbridge will, weather permitting be fishable as soon as we get a drop in water heights. The club also has subsidised ‘private beats’ available to it’s members on a day ticket basis on the Upper Taw, Lower Torridge & the famous Blackpool Beat on the River Exe.
There are still membership vacancies in both Course & Game sections at £35 for the whole season.
For further details please contact John Webber firstname.lastname@example.org. or membership secretary Colin Ashby on 01271 323017.
Whilst this is primarily a website on fishing in North Devon from time to time its good to look over the horizon. My long time fishing mate Rupert Morrall has been on a family fishing holiday to the River Ebro in Spain where they made some impressive catches, This image of a catfish caught by his son Aidan caught my eye and I thought it worthwhile sharing with readers.
Colin Joy has just returned from Costa Rica where he has been enjoying some fine sport with Rooster Fish to 80lb
Colin also enjoyed a long and exciting tussle with a Black Marlin estimated at 500lb. The mighty fish was released at the side of the boat.
Jacqui Joy with fine Costa Rican hound fish a close relative of the garfish we catch off Ilfracombe Pier!
Anglers Paradise’s Lure Weekend proved to be a great success with Andy Payne making the headlines with what could be the UK’s first ever catfish on a lure. The huge catfish estimated at over 60lb was tempted on the first day of the weekend and helped to secure a victory for the seven man team captained by Nathan Edgell of Fladen Tackle. The fully subscribed event attracted lure-fishing contestants from all over the UK and was generously sponsored by Fladen, Quantum Specialist, Fox Rage and Drennan. The Individual winner of the event was Tim Halls who landed four species including perch, rainbow trout, brown trout and blue trout. The individual biggest fish were won by James Thomas who landed the events biggest pike at 85cm, Phil Burke who caught the biggest perch of 31.5cm and Dominic Cooke who caught the biggest trout a fine brown trout of 69cm.
(Above )The winning Team
Anglers Paradise is one of the UK’s best known fisheries with a reputation for its specimen fish, luxury accommodation, famous anglers and most of all for its colorful founder and man at the helm Zyg Gregorek. The complex was founded after Zyg moved to North Devon in the late 1970’s transforming a marshland into the angling holiday and day ticket destination it is today.
The true heart of Anglers Paradise is the Safari Bar with its walls lined with pictures of big fish and memento’s of Zyg’s globe trotting exploits. It is to the bar that many anglers have returned after a day by the water to recount their tales from the waters edge. The room is certainly unique and oozes angling history with antique rods and angling related paraphernalia all around.
The 2017 Lure Fishing Weekend was certainly a friendly competition with lure enthusiasts who had travelled from all over the UK quickly making new friends and greeting fellow piscator’s from past events. The weather conditions over the two days proved to be a little challenging with cold winds and rain chilling contestants to the bone. However spirits remained high throughout the event with the warmth of friendship and plate fulls of hot food thawing out the chilled anglers.
On the Saturday night the auction of a 1913 Fishing Gazette book and an Orvis rod raised over £150 for local charities. Since its formation Anglers Paradise are proud to have raised many thousands of pounds for local charities. Anglers Mail contributor Bill Rushmer who has visited many times was close at hand to assist with the auction.
The Saturday night auction raised over £150 for local charities.
The competition was fished on four lakes with the teams of seven rotating over the two days with constant tuition from the four team captains. As an occasional lure angler I certainly learned a lot about modern lure fishing techniques with information and tactics shared willingly between anglers.
(Above)The entire cast of the Lure Fishing Weekend.
Thanks go to the events sponsors, Fox Rage, Drennan, Quantum Specialist and Fladen Anyone can Fish
Many thanks also to Joe Drury for organising the event, to Zyg Gregorek for Anglers Paradise and to the Gregorek Family and all the staff at the complex.
Chris Lambert and Adam Moxey have had another great Perching session from the boat at Upper Tamar Lake. Chris had this to say about their day: The previous couple of visits have been really tough but we are yet to blank….famous last words! When we arrived it was a bit on the windy side. I wasn’t exactly beaming with confidence but the first drift produced a 3.08 perch to my rod on a 3inch black shad fished on a 7.5g jig head, the wind dropped off nicely allowing us to fish a lot more effectively. We went on to take a dozen good sized perch mainly fish in the low 2lb range topped by a brace of 3’s at 3.05 and 3.03 both caught by Adam on the 2inch spikey shad.
I have just come back from Angler Paradise’s 2017 Lure Fishing Weekend and will post a full report on a very enjoyable event later this week when I have downloaded all the pictures and gathered my thoughts. In the mean time here are a few taster images.
Special thanks to the Gregorek Family all at Anglers Paradise and the events sponsors Fox Rage, Drennan, Quantum Specialist and Fladen.
Damien Chambers, 30 from Southport came with Partner Gemma to our Annual Valentines Weekend and after enjoying the 3 Course Meal, the Viagra Wine and the Fun and Games, Damien went onto the Main Carp Lake the morning after in the hope of a Fish or Two, and that he did!!
Damien caught a 19lb and 21lb Mirror both on Paradise Baits – The Twist! He didn’t get to picture the 19lb Mirror but he did of this stunning Scaley 21lb Mirror.
( Below) SURPRISE ON THE FLY!
Thomas Winspear, 26 who is part of the estate team, decided to have a go Fly Fishing on the Trout Lake after work for some Trout action, but he had a shock when his rod bent nearly in half and he landed this Beauty! A Grass Carp about 8-9lbs, caught on a Bloodworm Buzzer. Tom said it gave him a great fight too!
(Below) 5LB CHUB MAKES THE BEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT – EVER!
During a holiday away ourselves to Shropshire, we took our eldest 6 year old son Fishing on his 6th Birthday to the River Severn in the hope of a Pike, he had the shock of his life when he struck into a hard fighting Chub and landed a New Personal Best at 5lbs! Zaine caught the Chub on a 5oz Deadbait Rudd too! He said “it was the best birthday present ever”, he’s even beaten his Mummy and Daddy’s Personal Bests!! He is officially hooked and already becoming a fine little angler!
Pete Skinner of Bideford & District Angling Club contacted me and asked me to stress that despite the closure of the clubhouse. Bideford and District Angling Club is very much still in existence, still running sea, game and coarse competitions and the Tarka swims lakes complex is still open and taking new memberships. All renewals and applications for membership can be made at Anglers Heaven, Market Place, Bideford. By kind consent of Tom Wade. The clubs results are a regular feature here on North Devon Angling News.
Perch are undoubtedly a joy to catch in many ways with their striking colours, defiant spiky fins and willingness to feed throughout the colder months. The waters of North Devon have large perch in good numbers but never take this for granted for there was a time when a devastating disease depleted stocks of perch all across the country. I can remember perch being plentiful in many Devon waters and then becoming almost non existent for several years. Big perch also tend to be subject to boom and bust with a water producing some massive specimens for two or three seasons before that particular year class dies out. I well remember targeting large perch in Melbury reservoir and landing several to 3lb 14oz. This was exciting fishing but from what I can gather the large perch at this venue have all but disappeared. Of coarse where big perch have flourished once they can once again and all it needs if someone to give it a try.
(Above) Chris Lambert Upper Tamar perch
Upper and Lower Tamar both contain large populations of specimen perch with every chance of 4lb plus specimens. Many smaller still waters also contain specimen perch including, Legge Farm, Oaktree, Riverton, Slade Reservoir, Stafford Moor, Anglers Paradise, Furzebray, Spires Lakes, Jennets and many others.
Another delight of perch fishing is the variety of successful methods that can be employed including livebaiting, baitfishing and lure fishing.
A keen perch fisher is North Devon based Dan Spearman who tempted these beauty’s to 2lb 13oz from an undisclosed local still-water.
If you want to learn more about perch fishing I suggest yo track down the excellent book dedicated to the species entitled “The Biggest Fish of All” The Perch Fishers.
I have just heard of a threat to a popular local fishing mark as a result of the idiotic behavior of a few anglers. This unfortunately is a very common problem that has lost anglers access to many marks across the country.
I took the above photograph earlier in the year whilst on holiday in Cornwall where we visited a picturesque viewpoint that overlooked the stunning River Fowey. There were no anglers present at the time except me, I was not fishing just admiring the view. A young couple scrambled past and I heard them remark about the disgusting stench. The smell of stale urine hung in the air and the detritus that lay around was a clear sign of the culprits. At that moment I felt ashamed to be an angler.
There is no excuse for leaving the places we fish in such a disgusting state, litter should be taken home. Ensure leftover bait is discarded with care, if its not going to be taken home then ensure it goes into the sea where it will be washed away and eaten. Never leave hooks and traces lying around, there have been numerous incidents with dogs becoming injured resulting in costly visits to the vet. The stench of urine is another blight on the anglers who should either use the public toilets or have a pee where the tide will wash clean.
Many of the places we fish are shared by sightseers who want to sit back and enjoy the beautiful scenery that North Devon has to offer. What do you think there reaction is going to be when the place stinks of urine and the ancient cobbles are strewn with litter. If it was your property would you welcome anglers?
I know that some of you reading this will be guilty of the above and that my words will fall on stony ground. Angling is a wonderful pastime, pursued in stunning surroundings and I have often sung the praises of what anglers do for the environment and how they care about fish stocks. Those who leave behind their dirt tarnish us all. I have written this in the hope that it will make a few think about their actions. If it doesn’t then don’t grumble when we lose another easily accessible fishing mark. Don’t walk by if you see litter pick it up and bin it.
Chay Boggis took a rest from sea angling and visited a local still-water where he landed a double figure pike scaling 11lb 8oz. The fish was tempted using half a mackerel bait and was the only run during the eight hour session. The venue produced a twenty pound plus specimen a few weeks ago. Pike waters are few and far between in North Devon and anglers are reminded to take great care of the fish that are surprisingly delicate creatures that do not tolerate poor handling. It is essential to carry a large landing net, unhooking mat, carry long nosed forceps and always use a wire trace and suitably strong tackle to ensure the fish do not break free to trail lost trace and line. There is nothing sporting in fishing light!
Its Pete Skinner , Chairman of the Bideford and District Angling club. As you may know at our AGM on Tuesday 20th Dec. The decision was made to close our headquarters , due to unfavorable trading conditions, Can I just confirm that the Angling side of our great club is entirely unaffected. We will be continuing with our monthly sea comps, festivals and open comps still being run by Lee Watts. Our lakes at Tarks swims will be unaffected, hopefully the new lake may be opened later in 2017. Overseen by Steve Bailey. The coarse match group run by Martin Turner and the game section comps run by Terry Dymond. We are certain that our Angling sections will continue to grow and flourish. Thanks Pete.
The clubhouse was originally a church building that housed a junior school. When the school house closed in 1974 ,and moved the kids to St Marys in Chanters rd. BDAC bought the club house off the church commission in 1977 with the help of a loan from the National Federation of Sea Anglers. Cyril Petherick and Ronald Beer to traveled to London to arrange this marvelous asset to the club. The building is grade 2 listed, and over the past few years has been falling into a state of disrepair that we just cant keep up with.
My own thoughts :-
I have personally attended the club house on many occasions to attend weigh-ins and North Devon League AGM’s etc and always enjoyed looking around the room at the photo’s of the clubs past presidents including Cyril Petherick and Des Clements who I knew well and regarded as the elder statesmen of the local angling community. I hope the club flourishes in the future and finds a new location to meet at where the clubs social fabric can be retained. The clubhouse was for many years at the heart of the club but has I understand become more of a burden as modern economics and social behavior have changed.
Its been just over six months since I launched North Devon Angling News aiming to be the one stop for angling news in North Devon.
A special thanks to all who have supported the project by sending me news, taking out an advert or just taking a look. In the coming year I will continue to build the site and welcome any pictures, articles that will be of interest to anglers in North Devon. Since June the site has been viewed well over 20,000 times. Below are a few highlights from the year.