A day out fishing for Spurdog on ‘REEL DEAL’ from Ilfracombe.

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A day out fishing for Spurdog on ‘REEL DEAL’ from Ilfracombe.



We met at 7am for bacon rolls and a coffee and headed down to Ilfracombe harbour where we met Dan Hawkins, Owner of Reel Deal Charters and Archie, who would be our crew for the day. There were 8 anglers aboard today but there is plenty of room on Reel deal which is very stable being a catamaran hulled boat. It also has 2 x 325hp motors which means you spend more time fishing and less time getting to the mark.

Weather was set to be sunny but in fact it turned out to be overcast with an OAT. of around 3-4 degrees. I had plenty of layers on but regretted not taking my Penn immersion suit as the wind was bitter at times.  Nick was more sensible and donned his Penn boat fishing coat.

We headed out and within 25 minutes or so Dan had put us on the fish. Tackle was braided mainline with a 2-3ft 180lb – 200lb leader using 6/0 circle hooks. small mackerel or squid baits were used but the key to catching seemed to be lime green muppets above the bait. The tide was running strong and at times we needed to use 11/2lb leads.

Nick was in almost immediately  landing a Spurdog. I noticed his muppet and immediately reeled in to put one on my trace. Very soon after I was also in with a fish.

A few fish were cut off on the braid which we believe to be the abrasion from the fish themselves. Dan suggested a rubbing leader to stop this. Between the 8 anglers we had around 150 – 200 fish which made for a busy and very enjoyable day out.

The majority of fish were Spurdogs with a Huss and a small conger. Invariably we also had the usual amount of doggies.

Dan and Archie done a sterling job of looking after us with hot drinks, unhooking our catches and untangling some 1st rate tackle wrap ups!

Overall a great day out at sea with plenty of fish and good company.

Reel Deal Charters can be contacted on 07850 984933 and run boats out of Ilfracombe, Watchet and Plymouth depending on season and target species.