Codling have been scarce this winter so Paul Hutchings was delighted to tempt this 4lb beauty from a North Devon rock mark using spider crab.
Opportunities are often short lived and at times a short session is all thats required. I joined Rob Scoines for short after work session hoping to get a couple of hours fishing over high water before the forecast rain and wind moved in. Arriving an hour before the top of the tide there was a slow surging ground swell that is often the precursor to an approaching storm. We cast out our baits and proceeded to catch the inevitable dogfish. Rob dropped a squid and black lug bait close in and a rattle on the rod tip was rewarded with a fine rockling that pulled the scales to 1lb 10.5oz.
As the tide began to ebb the wind started to increase and the unnerving swell surged ever stronger. As the rain started to fall it was a unanimous decision to call it a night. On retrieving I felt a weight on the end of the line and was pleased to swing in a dogfish attached to a rig I had lost earlier in the evening. Heavy rain beat against the car window as we drove home pleased to have grabbed a couple of hours on the shoreline.
Ian Hooper persisted during a recent shore session suffering countless dogfish before a pleasing dab grabbed his bait. These sweet tasting flatfish are a welcome reward during the tail end of winter and far more could be caught from marks along the North Devon coast if anglers scaled down their tackle to find a wider range of fish instead of sitting it out for those outsize specimens.
One great advantage with the humble dab is that they seem to relish slightly iffy worms making them ideal candidates to use up left over bait converting into a sweet tasting starter.
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.
The festive holiday will give many anglers the opportunity to visit the shoreline where there is a variety of species worth targeting. Bull huss,. spurdog and tope will be top of the wish list for many with codling also worth targeting epiecially up channel around Minehead and beyond. Harbours are well worth a try using light tackle tactics for grey mullet a species that are now present all year around.
(Above) Shuan Quartly landed this bull huss of 11lb 6oz on recent trip to a North Devon Rock Mark.
(Above) Mark Jones visited a beach in the Minehead area to land five codling to 4lb in a short session over low water.
(Above) John Shapland targetted grey mullet with success landing this sliver flanked specimen from a North Devon harbour.
(Above) James Grigg with an 11lb 1oz spurdog caught from a local rock mark on a whole whiting bait.
The stormy weather has coloured the inshore waters dislodging lots of food for hungry fish. Just after the storm is often the best time to get out and capitalise on conditions that sometimes last for no more than a couple of tides.
Kyle Blackmore landed five codling the biggest just under 4lb along with plenty of eels all caught on squid and frozen blacks. Kyle is hoping that is a good sign for the months ahead.
Ollie Passmore has been enjoying success with huss landing these specimens of 10lb 6oz and 9lb 13oz during recent sessions.