The North Devon Coast has many miles of very varied and spectacular coastline much of it well worth exploring so when James suggested a trip to check out a cove near Ilfracombe I was keen. Lee Bay is a secluded Wooded Valley that descends to a fascinating stretch of coastline intersected by the South West Coast path much of the land in the custodianship of the National Trust.

James had suggested a short trip to explore the coves with a fishing rod perhaps incorporating a swim. We arrived shortly after Low water and walked out along the beach following a fascinating pathway cut into the rocky foreshore.

The path leads to a secluded beach sheltered from the prevailing South Westerly. This was where James intended to take a swim. But before cooling off we ventured beyond the cove through a maze of gulley’s that lead to a rugged rocky foreshore that screamed bass.

We had a few casts but with the tide flooding time was limited and we headed back to the cove where James plunged into the clear waters to cool down.

I stepped out onto the rocks and cast a lure whilst savouring the unfamiliar topography.

I didn’t really expect to catch and joined James on the beach suggesting we head back to Ilfracombe and try for a mackerel as the tide flooded.

Ilfracombe was a contrast to the secret coves of Lee Bay with its bustling harbour and people all around. After catching up with the cricket score we took our lure rods to the rocks near the pier and cast shiny metals into the clear water.

The aqua blues and greens of the sea with white breaking waves against rocky foreshores were exhilarating. We spied vast shoals of sandeel shimmering and shoaling close in against the shoreline. Birds were working out in the tide a sign that mackerel or bass were hunting.

A burst of life upon the water caught my attention and I cast my lure into the general direction. After a couple of casts came that pleasing thump as a mackerel hit the lure. Over the next twenty minutes we added four more mackerel to the tally. Fresh from the sea we looked forward to them lightly grilled or pan fried for tomorrow’s breakfast or dinner.

I was delighted to share the shoreline with James seeing the sea as it should be with abundant fish and prey. A lively moving eco system that can be enjoyed if only we could learn to use it in a sustainable fashion taking only our fair share.

As the tide forced us to retreat again we strolled along the harbour to pick up  delicious burgers and a Katsu box from Paul Lorrimore’s

It would have been nice to savour the food sat on a bench overlooking the harbour but Ilfracombe’s seagulls made us retreat to the safety of the car parked beneath Verity’s towering presence.

            The end of another perfect day in North Devon.