SEA ANGLERS ENJOY SPRING SPORT

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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.

Sea Angling Competition Results

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The weekend proved challenging for sea anglers with the first half blighted by a bitter North East wind that chilled to the bone with temperatures overnight rumoured to drop to minus ten.

Shore fishing was generally hard going with deep water less impacted upon by the low temperatures most productive. I will post a full write later on a my trip on Bluefin with South Molton Angling Club.

COMBE MARTIN SAC Winter Rover Results

Kevin Legge took top spot in Combe Martin SAC’s Winter Rover landing specimen spurdog scaling 12lb 7oz. In runner up spot was Wayne Thomas ( Myself) with a boat caught conger of 30lb boated on John Barbeary’s boat bluefin off Ilfracombe. Kevin also secured third place with a spurdog of 9lb 8oz.

Bideford Angling Club – February Rover Result

Dick Talbot won Bidefords Monthly Rover with a three beard rockling if 1lb 3oz. In runner spot was Dan Walbridge with a rockling of 1lb 2oz and third Dick Talbot with another rockling off 1lb 1.5oz. Terry Dymond took third place with a flounder of 1lb 67/8oz. Fifth was Stephen Found with a dogfish of 2lb 1.25oz.

The end of season result was first and second Dick Talbot with his rockling of 1lb 3oz and 1lb 1.5oz

APPLEDORE SHIPBUILDERS Monthly Rover

David John Langbridge took first and second places In Appledore Shipbuilders Rover landing flounder of 1lb 91/8oz and 1lb 71/8oz. Terry Dymond was third with a flounder of 1lb 67/8oz.

Travelling for the elusive cod

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Whilst winter has always been synonymous with cod and codling these fish have been scarce on the North Devon Coast with those hoping to catch these fish having to travel to the the North Devon coast for a  good chance. Why the cod and codling have become scarce on the North Devon Coast is open to debate!

Combe Martin SAC member Stuart Taylor 5lb 4oz codling caught on a Somerset reef last week. Weather was not very pleasant and very windy and this was the only bite.

Anglers Earn their spurs

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Kyle Blackmore and Andrew Proudfoot headed out onto the North Devon shoreline and earned this brace of spurdog. Andrews scaled 11lb 2oz and Kyles 9lb 3oz the fish were tempted using triple sandeel baits. Spurdog can be tempted on a wide range of fish baits presented on a wire trace to combat their fierce dentistry. L:ook for deep water adjacent to a decent tide run.

STAYING ALIVE AT SEA

There has been a concerted campaign by the RNLI to encourage anglers to were life jackets and this has been supported a by a few high profile anglers including Henry Gilbey. The vast majoroty of anglers do not wear lifejackets and this is something that needs to change if the number of lives lost each year due to drowning are to be reduced. I visited Summerlands at Westward Ho! recently and was delighted to see that they have embraced the campaign and are selling Crewsaver 165 Sport Life Jackets at a very reasonable price of £65.95. This could make the perfect Christmas present with the potential to save a life.

Many experienced sea anglers if challenged will admit to having near misses and with an average of ten shore anglers drowning each year it is time to consider investing in this valuable kit that could save your life.

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

Coastal ponders

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Dan Walbridge headed to a remote rock mark on the North Devon Coast and enjoyed a successful session landing seven dogfish, a 6lb bull Huss, a bass, rockling, pollock, small conger and had a whiting bitten clean in half by something larger. Tope, conger or spurdog?

Paul Hutchings enjoyed a blank session but enjoyed the company of a cormorant that enjoyed feasting on scraps of bait. Paul tells me that the bird enjoyed blue and mackerel but declined squid strips. Whilst I find cormorants an unwelcome visitor on inland lakes and rivers I enjoy seeing them on the open coast where I feel they belong. There presence inland is a major issue but how much of that is man kinds fault in decimating baitfish numbers?

Saw a couple of gannets working off the coast near Ilfracombe I sight I do not normally see in late November. Would they be seeking herring?

 

 

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