Stunning specimen brace for Mark Jones

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Combe Martin SAC Member Mark Jones landed a stunning brace of specimen fish during his latest shore fishing session. Mark landed a personal best small eyed ray of 13lb 2oz and followed it with a huge bull huss scaling 13lb 6oz.

In addition to the big ray Mark also landed five smaller ray. He was joined by Craig McCloughlin of Braunton baits who landed a brace of small eyed ray to around 9lb and a spotted ray.


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Spring is often a difficult time for sea angling but as the warm sun breaks through optimism rises and in these changing times its worthwhile getting out and seeing whats about. Toby Bassett fished Ilfracombe Pier and was rewarded with a plump codling. There are also a few whiting showing and some dabs from those sandy marks.

Grey mullet are also starting to show at their old haunts taunting angler’s as they boost their reputation as elusive wily grey ghosts of the coast. If you want to learn more about mullet I suggest you seek out the excellent book “Fishing For Ghosts” – Successful Mullet Angling by Mike Ladle and David Rigden.

Combe Martin SAC member Ali Laird headed up-Channel and was rewarded with a  brace of ray including a spotted ray of 3lb 3oz and stunning specimen small eyed ray of 11lb 2oz.


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Graham Snow secured first and second in Appledore Shipbuilders January Winter League competition landing a brace of flounder scaling 1lb 155/8oz and 1lb 77/8oz. Third place went to Andrew Atkinson with a dogfish of 2lb 1oz.


Combe Martin SAC member John Avery landed fine winter thick lipped mullet scaling 5lb 1oz.

Bideford Angling Club

24hour results

1st Antony Smith blonde Ray 13lb 14oz   115.625%

2nd Antony Smith smalleye Ray 9lb 12oz 108.333%

3rd Nathan Clements thornback Ray 9lb 11oz 107.638%

Sea Angling Round Up

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Prospects are excellent for the next few weeks with a wide variety of species to target. Bass, grey mullet and flounder should provide sport on lighter tackle with conger, tope and ray for those using heavier beach rods. I welcome your news and pictures for North Devon Angling News and Sea Angling News.

Ali Laird caught this hard fighting 24lb 8oz tope from a North Devon Rock mark it is his second of the year. Ali lost another tope that picked up a spider-crab and squid cocktail chomping through 80lb mono!

(Below)Dan MIles Redmore enjoyed a successful session on one of North Devon’s local beaches catching six small eyed ray to just over 7lb & a blonde 11lb 10oz.

(Below) Ian Hooper and Nick Job set out in search of spotted ray and enjoyed success with Nick landing this pleasing ray of 2lb 8oz.

(Above) Ian Hooper 2lb 14oz spotted ray

Twenty Seven ray from North Devon Beach!

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Craig McLoughlin who runs Braunton Baits enjoyed an action packed session at a local beach with his friends.

“Well what can I say about last night?”

It was especially  Awesome!

A very very last minute fishing session with Mark Jones and Mark LaMude down the local beach, ended up with a fish a cast for me eleven ray landed five being blonde ray to 12lb and six small eyed ray to 9lb

Between us we had over 27 ray all on the braunton bait box Sandeel.

Ray and Hounds off Minehead for CMSAC

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Six members of Combe Martin SAC enjoyed a boat trip off Minehead on board Osprey Skippered by Steve Webber. The day started off with a cool North East breeze that made for an uncomfortable lop on the water. Despite this fish came steadily to the boat all day with smoothound the dominant species at our first mark in Porlock Bay. The biggest of the hounds was a low double. A range of baits worked for the hounds with crab, prawn and squid all tempting these hard fighting members of the shark family.

As is always the case banter flowed freely throughout the day that kept spirits up when heavy rain fell for a short while and grey skies shrouded the hills. John Shapland boated a fine huss of 11lb 8oz. (Below)

After a couple of hours targetting the hounds Steve suggested a move to the sandbanks to try for a few ray.

It wasn’t long at our new mark before we found a few ray with small- eyed ray, thornback and spotted ray finding our baits.

(Below)The best specimen of the day turned out to be a fine small eyed ray that gave a spirited tussle before reaching the net that was expertly wielded by Skipper Steve Webber,

As the tide flooded we made a couple more moves before anchoring off Dunster to try for the hounds again. The hounds here in the murkier water were very light in colour and whilst not so numerous appeared to be a slightly bigger stamp of fish.

As the day started to drift towards its conclusion the sun eventually started to break through and enable us to peel off some of the layers. Nick and his son Jack were not up until now enjoying good sport and seemed to have a knack of finding the dogfish that punctuated every ones day as always. Fortunately persistence eventually paid off  and something bigger nailed Nick’s bluey hook-bait.

After several minutes of tension there was some disappointment when the hard fighting fish turned out to be conger of perhaps 10lb.

Everyone on the boat by now really wanted Jack to catch a decent fish and Steve baited Jack’s hook with a generously donated helping of peeler crab. After a few minutes Jacks rod was bouncing on the gunnels and at last Jack enjoyed a bending rod as a hound fought strongly before reaching the boat.

Shortly after this it was time to head back to Minehead with its tourists crabbing down the harbour wall and devouring ice creams in the hot sun. We couldn’t help but wish it had been this calm and still all day. We ended the day with a flourish as several hounds came to the boat with John Shapland having an uncanny knack of finding the hounds.

Braunton Bait Trip to Foreign Shores

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Craig McCloughlin runs Braunton Baits and has just posted this report.

Just got back from another Braunton Bait Box / FishTrek stingray trip abroad.

This trip wasn’t to disappoint!! We managed a lot of different species and a lot of personal best’s broken several times over

Between us we landed
Eagle ray to 25lb +
Butterfly ray to 80lb+
Stingray ray to 170lb
Smooth hound to 21lb 10oz
Hammer head shark
Lizard fish

And Rikki having the fish of the holiday with an estimated weight of 170lb

and whats even better – all the rods I built stood up to the battle

If Anyone is interested in a trip abroad please get in touch

Putsborough Sands Open Fishing Competition 2018

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Combe Martin Sea Angling Club

Presents Our

Putsborough Sands

Open Fishing Competition 2018

Saturday May 12th

Fishing From 9.30pm to 1.30am

Book In From 8.00pm to 9.00pm

Weigh In By 2.00am

Cash Prizes Of £100 & £50

Sakuma, High Street Tackle,

And Many Other Donated Prizes

2 Rods, 4 Hooks, Specimen Sizes

Entry £5 plus £1 Pool Best Brace

Phone Nick 814703 Or Wayne 850586

For More Details Please Check Or Our Facebook Page

Please Respect Putsborough & Remove All Litter

In search of spring ray

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As spring sets in there is a good chance of catching an early ray from our local surf beaches. Steve Dawe shared these fine images of the sun setting as he waited the onset of darkness and chance of a ray. Whilst he blanked on this occasion the scene certainly illustrates that there is more to this fishing than just catching fish. You can catch up more of Steve adventures by visiting his blog in which he describes his adventures whilst aiming to catch fifty species in a year for charity :-

Combe Martin SAC member Jonathon Stanway also targetted ray from a local rock mark and was rewarded with a personal best small eyed ray of 11lb 2oz. ( Below)