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(Above) John Shapland on a previous fishing trip

A few years ago Combe Martin SAC member John Shapland set out to catch fifty sea species in a season and succeeded. Knowing Johns keenness on species hunting I felt sure he would excel in a one day species competition and so it proved on Sunday November 6th. The bitterly cold North Wind that was forecast deterred the vast majority of club members who had shown an interest in the event with just four of us eventually venturing out. John elected to fish an estuary mark and Ilfracombe Pier and from the two venues caught an amazing eleven species including bass, sand goby, flounder, common blenny, scorpion fish, pollock, sand smelt, ballan wrasse, pouting, poor cod, rock goby and poor cod. His fishing partner for the day was Louis Rooke who managed four species;pollock, pouting, ballan wrasse and rockling.

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I fished a mark in Combe Martin Bay with Rob Sciones where we landed 7 species between us, whiting,pollock, ballan wrasse,conger, corkwing wrasse, tub gurnard and a pleasing grey mullet to my rod that weighed 4lb 14oz.

Despite the icy wind Rob and I did manage to find a little shelter from the wind and was rewarded with the sight of a pod of porpoise showing a few hundred yards from the shoreline.