Lake Record!

posted in: Carp Fishing, Sidebar | 0

Dan Carder continues his run of success at Lower Slade Reservoir banking what is believed to be a new lake record. I am hoping Dan will share a few more details of the capture in due course. In the mean time congratulations to Dan on catching such a stunning fish from one of the areas older more established fishery’s.

Big Cat from Paradise

posted in: Coarse Fishing, Sidebar | 0
Daniel Maher fished Anglers Paradise and sent me this report :- ” traveled down from Liverpool with my girlfriend and new born baby on our first family fishing holiday. On my last night (Monday 10th) I fished The Specimen Catfish Lake over on the Nirvana day ticket site and landed a cat at 50lb 6oz.  
I was fishing a Sticky Baits 12mm pineapple and n’butyric pop up inside a solid bag that was filled with 2mm Sticky Bloodworm pellets. 
Anglers Paradise


Twelve months or so ago I stood on the dam at Lower Tamar Lake watching several large carp basking in the Spring sunshine. I promised myself that when I had more time I would return and invest some quality time into pursuing fish. Twelve months on I have done just that and returned tackle loaded and ready to cast.

On arrival at the lake the sun is shining across this large shallow expanse of water that was created as a feeder for Bude Canal back in the 1820’s. The depths in the lake vary from 8ft to 3ft and my guess is that fish movement may be influenced by wind direction, water temperature, food availability and angling pressure.

The choice of swim is not easy as three other anglers are already in position and a quick chat with them reveals that the fishing has been slow with just one carp banked by them in the past twenty four hours.

My aim is to catch carp or a double figure bream and realisation soon dawns that this is not a forgone conclusion and any rewards will have to be earned. After a stroll around the Lake, it was gut instinct that made me choose to fish the swim at the far end of the dam that would give access to deeper water.

The barrow was loaded and pushed to the swim where I was to spend the next 24hours. Ominous clouds were building as I hurriedly erected my oval brolly shelter and bed chair, stowing those items that needed to be kept dry beneath in preparation for the oncoming rain.

I cast around with a marker float that revealed that I had seven foot of water at fifty yards. The next thirty minutes was spent launching a few spod’s full of particles to the zone I intended to place my baits. Two rods with wafters and one with a method feeder baited with a couple of grains of artificial corn.

The rods were cast out as the rain began to pour down, the sky taking on a grey and foreboding tone.

I took shelter beneath the canvas and began the vigil watching the days weather pass by with traps set. Strange how time flies as the contemplation and observation occupy the mind.

As the rain beats down swallows and martins swoop low over the water. Ducks and ducklings busy about and a grebe hunts far out in the lake. As the rain eases warm sunshine illuminates the scene transforming the vista to that of summer. A buzzer hatch brings a frenzy of activity from the summer migrants. The swallows and martins are joined by the delightful sight of swifts twisting and turning in the blue sky a sure confirmation that Spring is turning relentlessly towards summer.

Afternoon turns to evening and baits are checked and recast. Sausage’s sizzle and hot coffee is enjoyed whilst watching and waiting.

The evening starts to descend and the light fades and with it comes expectation that the alarm will ring out as a fish locates the bait. Wood pigeons coo relentlessly and the hooting of an owl drifts across the stilling waters as the breeze drops away with the coming of night.

Far across the lake the surface is broken by fish but they are beyond my range.

I drift off to sleep the twinkle of farm lights in the distance. Rain patters on the canvas and cool air intrudes into the shelter.  I drift back into sleep. The alarm screams out and the blue light of the Delkim shatters the darkness. I stumble out into my boots, right foot in left and left foot in right! I lift the rod to feel a pleasing weight on the end. I am hoping it’s a big bream as I slowly retrieve a ponderous dead weight. Within yards of the margin’s, it wakes up ripping line from the reel telling me it’s no bream.

A golden flanked mirror carp of 19lb 4oz is a pleasing result and avoids a blank session.

After recasting the rod, I retreat back to the warmth of my sleeping bag. Heavy rain lashes down and I dread another run.

I sleep an interrupted sleep drifting in and out of strange dreams that seem to have been prevalent throughout the previous months of pandemic invoked lockdown. I step out into the night to answer natures call and marvel at the vividly clear star studded night sky and reflect on the fact that this is one of life’s constants virtually unchanged for millions of years.

Dawn breaks and the dawn chorus rings out to greet the day. All is still with a mirror like lake stretching before me. I savour the dawn expectantly but all is quiet. A couple of hours later I boil the kettle and cook up a bacon butty.

A couple of dog walkers take  a stroll and the day unfolds sunshine illuminating the lake as life resumes. I chat to a fellow angler of waters he fishes and swap notes. He has caught one bream of perhaps five pounds in the night and congratulates me on my success.

With heavy rain forecast I slowly pack away already planning my next trips. I intend to catch a carp from each of SWLT’s waters before the year is out and have made a good start. But still need to catch that double figure bream.

Lower Tamar Lake can be a challenging venue but it has many treasures within including carp to over thirty pounds, double figure bream, 2lb plus roach, big perch, tench, trout and eels.

Summer Spate

posted in: Game Fishing, Sidebar | 0

After a long dry spring salmon and sea trout anglers will be feeling optimistic following a substantial rise in all of North Devons rivers.

The Torridge at Dolton is up to 1.14 M

The Taw at Umberleigh – 1.40 M

The Lyn at Brendon = 2.00 M

The rivers will be too high and coloured initially but should come good over the coming days. The Lyn will be first to be fishable and should produce fish from Friday, May 14th.

The Taw and Torridge will take a few days to settle down but may be fishable by late in the weekend.

River Taw Fisheries member Mike George tempted a fine fresh run salmon from a mid Taw beat after last weeks small spate the latest spate should ensure salmon are spread throughout the Taw & Torridge catchments.

Good Practice Guide


Catching the fish

Use appropriate tackle. Rod and line should be strong enough to bring the fish to net swiftly and without playing it to exhaustion. Move the fish out of fast water as soon as possible. The use of barbless single or double hooks is recommended. Barbed hooks can be rendered barbless by pinching with pliers.

Catch and Release
RTFA strongly recommends that you practise catch and release whenever possible.

Playing the fish

When playing a fish try not to play it to exhaustion but land it as quickly as is possible.

Landing the fish

Use a fine knotless meshed landing net. No gaffs or tailers may be used. Ensure the fish remains in the water at all times.
Do not beach or tail a fish.

Handling the fish

Ensure that hands are wet and avoid squeezing the fish.

Removing the hook

Remove the hook gently, using forceps or a hook disgorger.
Should the fish be deep-hooked cut the line as near to the hook as possible.

Recording the fish

Do not weigh the fish, but calculate its length and subsequently use a length/weight conversion chart (see below) to find the weight. Suitable length marks on rod or wading-stick can be helpful. Photographs of the fish should only be taken while the fish is in the water.

Reviving and releasing the fish

Support the fish with both hands in a gentle current and facing upstream.
Allow time for the fish to regain its strength and be able to swim away on its own.


To guard against disease that can damage our fish stocks fishermen are directed to the Environment Agency’s website for “Guidance on Disinfecting Fishing Tackle”.

The Environment Agency Incident Hotline

For reporting any serious environmental incident such as pollution, poaching or fish in distress is

0800 807 060

  • RTFA strongly believes that fishermen are the best guardians of our river and if you fish

    the Taw why not join the Association to support our efforts.

  • Contact us via our website at or phone our Treasurer, Richard Nickell on 10271 344533 / 07884 073932

Wimbleball Fly Fishery welcomes back disabled anglers as Covid-19 restrictions ease

posted in: Game Fishing, Sidebar | 0

The Wheelyboat Trust relies on donations from individuals and organisations to fund its important work.

Help get more Wheelyboats on the UK’s waters by texting WHEELYBOAT to 70085 to donate £5. Thank you.

Wimbleball Fly Fishery welcomes back disabled anglers as Covid-19 restrictions ease

A wheelchair accessible fishing boat, a ‘Coulam 16 Wheelyboat’, is back on the water in Somerset, enabling disabled anglers to access the lake independently


Disabled anglers across the South West and beyond can once again fish at Wimbleball Lake in Somerset, courtesy of a brand-new wheelchair accessible fishing boat and lockdown restrictions easing.


The purpose-built angling boat, a ‘Coulam 16 Wheelyboat’, arrived at Wimbleball Lake in the Exmoor National Park in March 2020, but due to the national lockdowns, its use throughout last year was somewhat disrupted.

But now, as Covid-19 restrictions ease, The Wheelyboat Trust, the Angling Trust and Wimbleball Fly Fishery are delighted to announce this Coulam 16 Wheelyboat is up and running, and ready for disabled anglers to use this spring, summer and beyond.

Wimbleball’s new Coulam 16 Wheelyboat will enable disabled anglers and wheelchair users to access the clear waters of Wimbleball Lake and fish independently for top quality rainbow and wild brown trout, courtesy of renowned Rainbow Valley Trout Farm near Bampton.

In 2019 national charities The Wheelyboat Trust and the Angling Trust joined forces and invited fisheries and angling clubs throughout the UK to apply for seven part-funded Coulam 16 Wheelyboats, allowing disabled anglers with independent access to fishing sites across the UK. Now, one of these brand-new Coulam 16

Stafford Moor Latest Open Result

posted in: Match Fishing, Sidebar | 0
Open match today on Tanners and Woodpecker lakes with a continental payout.
Turned out to be  dry weather wise after early showers but still a really cold wind.
 Top weight of the day was from Nigel Rhodes who bagged 236lb 3oz from peg 1 on Woodpecker Lake.
Runner up was Chris Davis  212lb 9oz and third Martin Heard with 153lb 7oz from peg 18 on Woodpecker Lake.
The  next match is Wednesday May 12th (I only have a few spaces left) or next Sunday is looking so full it looks like it will be 3 lakes including the new mighty Oak ! Will be the first match since the works have all been done on Oak.
So please let Jo  know if you would like to enter.

Bideford and District Angling club coarse section monthly competition

posted in: Match Fishing, Sidebar | 0

Results: 22 anglers fished

1st Paul Elworthy   29lb 11oz

2nd Kevin Shears  26lb 10oz

3rd Steve Johnson  26lb 8oz

4th Nathan Underwood  26lb

5th Martin Turner 22lb 10oz

6th Keith Mountjoy  18lb 10oz .

The club were able to welcome Match-men back for the first match to be held on Tarka since last October. A mild day with a light SSW breeze ensured a close match. New member Paul made his first visit pay with a near 30lb net of good bream and a single carp on peg 19 for victory , second place went to regular Kevin on peg 4 with a pole caught net of smaller carp and bream, Steve on peg 20 just 2oz behind on peg 20 came 3rd. Thanks to all for abiding by our covid awareness guide.