Combe Martin SAC – Winter Fishing Weekend Report

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

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

Ross Stanway with pleasing rockling

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

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

Squid Trip brings glittering bonus!

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Its often good to cast a line from a different shore and this seemed extra relevant as 2019 gets underway bringing a renewed focus on club fishing events. There has been considerable interest among many sea anglers on fishing for squid using jigging tactics and myself and several members of Combe Martin SAC were keen to have a go. After a few discussions over a beer at the end of a 2018 club meeting a plan was put in place.

As is often the case when the day came several club members could not make it but five of us could and so on January 5th we set off on the journey to Torquay and Princess Pier. The location had been chosen after reading reports of squid being caught on a regular basis. The alternative venue was Weymouth which was a bit further but potentially more reliable. On this occasion being a our first squid foray we decided upon this closer to home venue as a training ground to gain experience.

We had also heard reports of a few mackerel being caught and this would be a welcome opportunity to stock up the bait freezer with both squid and mackerel. A visit to Ilfracombe’s High Street Tackle ensured that we had a few lures and Sabika feathers.

The trip down to Torquay proved uneventful and by 1.30pm the intrepid five were lined up on the front of Torquays Princess pier. The seaside town seemed quite vibrant and busy with plenty of tourists strolling along the prom on this cold calm winters day. Behind us in the inner harbour luxury boats rested on their moorings; a testament to the vast sums of money some people acquire. The seascape of the bay was a glassy calm across to Berry Head with the occasional fishing boat, pleasure boat and Jet ski disrupting the mirror like surface.

We had been advised that squid could be caught during daylight hours and as a result had arrived well before dark. This ensured we secured a good spot and gave more time to experiment. A clue to good spots to try for the squid were small stains of black where squid had been pulled ashore. we also chose a spot close to the lights that are known to attract baitfish and squid after darkness descends.

After a few casts with our squid jigs small fish could seen following and this prompted the switch to sets of small Sabika type feathers. Dan Welch was I think first to catch swinging a small mackerel ashore.

This was followed a short time later by a herring to Matt Jeffery a pleasing sight and Matt’s first of the species from the shore.

As the afternoon progressed we all started to enjoy success with herring with these shimmering silver fishes brought twisting and gyrating to hand to be stowed away as bait for predatory fish on the North Devon coast or to sit beneath a crimson topped float at some pike water inland.

(Above)Rob Scoines is delighted with a string of herring.
Matt Jeffery joins in the fishy harvest.

(Above) Josh Jeffery enjoyed success with the herring shoals.

As the light fades the herring continue to smash into the strings of feathers and our bait bags are all well stacked with gleaming fishes. Its now time to focus fully on the main agenda squid!

The jigs are flicked and retrieved at various rates and varying between steady pulls and erratic twitches. As none of us have any prior experience we have to learn from scratch and it is this that is part of the fun. There is great excitement when we glimpse a squid chase young Josh’s lure until he runs out of water.

Encouraged we all focus on the squid mission with renewed belief and enthusiasm. It is Dan Welch who eventually brings success for team squid lifting a moderate sized squid to hand with its amazingly vibrant glowing colouration.

With mission squid partly accomplished parking tickets and fast food start to dominate the conversation and we decide to retire to KFC before heading back to North Devon with plenty of bait and some happy memories. An occasional trip to a seaside pier offers  refreshingly easy fishing where friendly banter and fun takes priority. Catching mackerel in January seems a little unseasonal as the Christmas lights twinkle into memory. Mission squid was not exactly a great success but we did catch a squid. The pleasing bonus was string upon string of glittering herring.

http://www.redgill.co.uk

Ross Stanway takes top spot with a big blonde

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Eighteen club members took part in Combe Martin SAC’s Blow Away the Excess competition over four days with shore and boat an option. Ross Stanway secured first and second place taking home over £90 for a blonde ray of 14lb 1oz and a conger of 18lb 4oz. Dave Brooke was third with a bull huss of 8lb. Mark Jones landed a spurdog of 7lb 13oz.

Mark Jones – spurdog 7lb 13oz
Daniel Welch with plump codling caught off Minehead
Daniel Welch with boat caught thornback of 8lb 2oz

FESTIVE SEA FISHING RESULTS

            Storm Diedre failed to keep members of Combe Martin Sea Angling Club from the shoreline to compete in their Christmas Competition. Mark Jones secured victory with a thornback ray of 10lb 7oz. The fish won him a voucher from https://cokerscreations.co.uk  and choice of a secret Santa prize donated by members. In runner up spot was myself(Wayne Thomas) with a dogfish scaling 2lb 9oz and in third Dave Brooke with a bull huss of 7lb 9oz. Ross Stanway weighed in a small- eyed-ray of 7lb 2oz for forth.
1st-Mark Jones – thornback ray – 10lb 7oz
2nd– Wayne Thomas – dogfish – 2lb 9oz
3rd– Dave Brooke – bull huss – 7lb 9oz
4th– Ross Stanway – small-eyed-ray – 7lb 2oz
5th– Jack Phillips – dogfish – 2lb
6th– Jack Phillips – dogfish – 1lb 15oz
7th– Mark Jones – thornback ray – 6lb 15oz
8th– Jack Phillips – dogfish – 1lb 14oz
9th– Nick Phillips – dogfish – 1lb 14oz
10th– Dan Welch – flounder 1lb 3oz
11th– Nick Phillips – dogfish – 1lb 10oz

http://www.cokerscreations.co.uk

Bideford Angling Club – Christmas Competition

Fifty eight anglers lined the banks of the Torridge estuary to compete in Bideford Angling Clubs Christmas Competition last Sunday with twenty four flounder registered. The winning angler Owen Hare was a junior who landed a flounder of 1lb 71/2oz. Runner up was Stephen Found with a flounder of 1lb 63/4oz, third Darren Burslem with a flounder of 1lb 31/2oz and forth Robert Bowden with a flounder of 1lb 31/2oz. The club were very appreciative of the behind the scenes work of Paul and Lisa Downing and to the sponsors.

                                 Barnstaple Triple Hook Clubs 

Barnstaple Triple Hook Clubs Christmas Flounder Open attracted a field of fifty anglers all keen to secure a turkey dinner. The results were the best for many seasons with plenty of quality flounder weighed in. The top ten all recieved a turkey. 

1st – Richard Chapel – 2lb 13/4oz

2nd- Nigel Gullen – 2lb 7/8oz

3rd – Steve Luxton – 1lb 143/8oz

4th – Max Peake – 1lb 13.75oz

5th – Dennis Toleman – 1lb 127/8oz

6th – Darren Short – 1lb 125/8oz

7th – Kevin Hancock – 1lb 121/8oz

8th – Dave Mock – 1lb 113/4oz

9th – Isabel Luxton – 1lb 113/4oz

10th = Cleo Babb – 1lb 101/2oz

I have been reporting on these estuary flounder competitions for many seasons now and have often noted the contrast in the average size of flounder caught between the two estuaries. This year the results show a marked difference in fish sizes with the top ten flounder caught from the Taw in Triple Hook Clubs Open all bigger than the winning fish from the Torridge. Both rivers share many common characteristics yet seem to produce different sized flounder potential?

http://www.highstreetackle.co.uk

 

Combe Martin SAC – AGM

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Combe Martin Sea Angling Club held their AGM at the White Lion Braunton where fourteen members attended to hear a summary of the previous years fishing and to set ideas in motion for the year ahead.

2018 Club award winners:-

Best Specimen from the shore – Kevin Legge – conger 28lb

Best specimen from a boat – Rob Scoines – spur dog 18lb 2oz

Best specimen by a junior – Joshua Jeffery – thin lipped grey mullet 4lb 6oz

Best bass – Kevin Legge – 9lb 9lb 2oz

Best mullet – Joshua Jeffery – thin lipped grey mullet 4lb 6oz

Best flatfish – Matt Jeffery – flounder 1lb 14.75oz

Best wrasse – Ross Stanway – ballan wrasse 4lb 7oz

Best ray – Jonathon Stanway – small eyed ray – 11lb 2oz

Best cod – Rob Scoines 12lb 4oz

Best rockling – Rob Scoines – 1lb 9oz

Merit Award has been won by Daniel Welch for his success over a wide range of species from both boat and shore.

Top six specimens – Daniel Welch total – 646.737 Runner up – Ali Laird – 634.913

Top Six mullet –  John Shapland – 631.906

 

Subscriptions for the coming year are :- Family £15.   Senior £12.00. Senior Citizen – £5    Junior £1.00

The clubs full calendar of events will be formulated by mid December incorporating ideas from the membership at the meeting.

There was a full debate around a few suggested changes to specimen weight sizes and the following amendments were agreed.

Boat pollock to be reduced from 12lb to 10lb

Shore – spotted ray to be reduced from 5lb to 4lb 8oz

Shore – Thick Lipped mullet to increased from 4lb to 4lb 4oz

Shore – thin lipped mullet to be increased from 3lb 8oz to 4lb

The club are also introducing a new fish of the season prize for all club members.

A full report should appear before long on the clubs website. The club would like to thank Sakuma Tackle and High Street Tackle who have supported the club throughout the year.

For details on joining the club visit their website – www.cmsac.co.uk

http://www.highstreetackle.co.uk

 

http://www.sakuma.co.uk

Bull Huss are about

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Combe Martin SAC member Ian laird enjoyed a hectic session on a local rock mark catching a brace of Huss numerous dogfish and a few small conger. The rough weather should encourage a few larger fish close inshore with the next set of bigger tides likely to bring in a few spurdog.

Sea Angling News Update – Tope tops weekend catches!

Dave Brooke landed a fine tope of 34lb 1oz to secure first prize in CMSAC’s Autumn Rover. Matt Jeffery was runner up with a flounder scaling 1lb 145/8oz. Equal third were Rob Scoines with a bass of 7lb and Wayne Thomas with a rockling of 1lb 81/2oz.

(Below) Matt Jeffery with his flounder scaling 1lb 145/8oz

(Below) Rob Scoines caught this personal best bass of 7lb from a North Devon mark along with two other bass, a codling and two pouting.

I was fortunate to be fishing with Dave and Kevin Legge when the tope was hooked. Always good to share in the excitement of such a moment. The fish gave a hard fight running over my lines in the process which caused a few anxious moments  before Kevin could lift the fish from the water. Always a good idea to get all lines out of the water when someone hooks a tope. Fortunately neither of my rigs snagged the bottom as the fish was encouraged towards the shoreline. We also landed dogfish, small conger, huss, pouting,pollock and rockling. The best rockling weighed 1lb 9oz and fell to my whole squid bait fished close in hoping for bass or huss.

The next few months are amongst the best in the Sea Anglers year with a wide range of species to target. Tope, spurdog, huss and conger are all to be expected with large fish baits and wire traces advised. Top baits for tope are flounder. fresh rockling, Launce or whole mackerel.

 

(Below)Mark Jones fished a North Devon Beach to land a personal best small eyed ray off 11lb 10oz.

(Above) Still time to catch bass on lures. This fish was tempted by local lure enthusiast Mark Jones.

Baits, Ingredient to Success: Frozen Baits

 

 

 

Bideford & District Angling Club – 24hour Rover Result

1st Andrew Clements flounder 2 lb 1oz

2nd Rob Harris bull huss 7 lb 10oz

3rd Andrew Clements dogfish 1 lb 14 1/2oz

Combe Martin SAC Lyn Fish 2018

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Combe Martin SAC’s Lyn Fish Competition saw competitors fishing between Hartland Point and Watchet with some fine fish registered from both boat and shore.

The winner of the event was Jack Phillips (above) with a fine thick lipped grey mullet of 4lb.

Runner up was Alex Mcleish with a stunning boat caught pollock of 10lb 10oz

3rd – Dan Miles Redmore – Blonde ray 10lb 6.5oz

4th – Nick Phillips – Thick Lipped grey mullet 3lb 2oz

5th – Mark Jones – small eyed ray – 7lb 5oz

6th – Matt Jeffery – dogfish – 2lb 1oz

The event was sponsored by Sakuma Tackle and Ardosia Slate

The after competition meet up and presentation was held at the Rising Sun Lynmouth  where competitors enjoyed a fine platter of delicious food.

(Above)Alex Mcleish – Pollock 10lb 10oz

 

(Above) Dan Miles Redmore – blonde ray 10lb 6.5oz

 

(Above) Nick Phillips – 3lb 2oz thick lipped grey mullet

(Above) Mark Jones – small eyed ray 7lb 5oz

(Above) A grey mullet caught bu myself on the Saturday of the competition when a strong North East Wind made fishing difficult.

(Above) First light bass fishing with the lures.