The Combes family at Stafford Moor are delighted to be open again for fishing with carp anglers returning to the venue to enjoy the superb sport on offer. ,
North Devon’s anglers have been relishing the lifting of lockdown and heading to the water’s edge where social distancing is easy to undertake. Sea anglers have not found the fishing easy with high pressure and north east winds not generally conducive to good fishing. Most anglers have just been glad to once again smell the sea air and be there fishing. Smoothound have provided some exciting sport with Chay Boggis landing a specimen of 13lb 7oz and Kody Chugg a hound of 10lb 6oz.
David Jenkins and Charlie enjoyed a successful beach session landing ray, bass and smoothound.
Several bass have succumbed to lure fishing tactics on the coast and in the estuary.
Wrasse are a fish that always respond to clear water and several have been caught from the kelp strewn gullies of the open coast. Anglers fishing soft plastic lures slowly through rough ground can tempt wrasse a tactic that is often underused on the North Devon coast where bait fishing tactics have traditionally reigned supreme.
Grey mullet are showing from both coast and estuary providing exciting and challenging sport on light tackle.
Norman Martin fished at Oaktree Fishery where he banked six carp between 10lb 2oz and 20lb 5oz. All were tempted using Tom Thick Baits Super Sausage.
A tree creeper flitted up and down searching the bark for morsels of food. The tackle was ready a favourite lure hanging from the rod. I enjoyed the quiet in anticipation of a couple of hours fishing ahead imagining the tide as it pushed into the boulder strewn shoreline below.
James duly arrived and we chatted as we descended to the beach. A gentle breeze wafted the smell of the sea as we approached, the sweet decay of drying seaweed and salty water. I paused to breathe in the air pleased to be released from a lockdown of a couple of months.
A scramble over weed and barnacle encrusted rocks brought us to the waters edge where we chose our ambush points. It was a delight to once again send a lure out watch it splash on the surface before settling into the rhythm of searching the water. The water was clear and calm; James glimpsed a good bass ghosting past along with several mullet.
I searched the water with both my lures and my eyes full of expectation. Thoughts of a troubled world erased temporarily from the mind. Gradually I became immersed in the location the vast waters that are the Bristol Channel. Pleasing cloud formations, sunlight on calm waters and the gentle lapping of the waves on the shoreline. The expectation of that electrifying jolt down the line as a bass seized the lure gradually faded as the early tide pushed inevitably in.
We walked back to the car talking of the next trip as we paused to admire the wild thrift that decorated the cliffs.
Wimbleball on Exmoor is fishing exceptionally well since reopening to angling in line with government guidelines.
The fishing is on fire at Wimbleball since we re-opened, we’re receiving some great reports & catch returns, just the tonic we needed as things stand with this virus. Tactics vary over the day as you’d expect & Di3 & Di5 lines are working well with black lures, but equally anglers are catching with teams of small dark flies just under the surface. Photos courtesy of Alan Behan who had a great day with his best Rainbow at 5lb 3ozs…
Simon Hill fished for a few hours at Lower Slade landing five carp off the surface with the biggest being a fine 25lb common. Stuart Wade has been among the fish again landing a cracking mirror carp at just over 20 lb Kevin Geary doing a session landing 3 carp all mid doubles Toby Bassett has also been on the carp with a fine 19 lb fish caught with in the first 20 minutes being in the swim.
Anglers are reminded to follow guidelines of social distancing.
“A friend of mine recalculated the statistics earlier this week: the UK has 11% of recorded global Covid-19 deaths but just 0.8% of global population, with deaths still rising sharply at the point of easing lock-down. You are all clever people, so draw what you may from those stark figures, recognising also that they are based on at best fragmented data given no widespread testing. Repeating what is at the head of this note, stay well, stay safe and stay sane!”
Sturgeon in North Devon – Can you help?
Angling Heritage has embarked on a project of finding out about the history of wild sturgeon in the UK, whether they were found as corpses, caught in nets or on regular tackle. (This doesn’t include stocked fish captures).
The Severn estuary was a stronghold in the past and as 5% of fish return to spawn in the wrong river we hoped there may be other records that you could help with or put us in contact with people who have some knowledge. We have some information that one of 160lbs appeared at Bideford Bridge on May 17th 1862 and that three were in the Taw but that is the sum total information we have of North Devon.
Their last stronghold in the Europe is the Gironde in France where they believe there are only 500 wild fish left. Conservation is being considered, but with males and females spawning in alternative years, the likelihood of wild fish breeding is very low.
A task force in Europe is looking at where the fish used to be with a view to reintroducing them. In the UK, where we have the longest coastline in Europe, they used to be plentiful but netting wiped them out as they used to be a staple food centuries ago. So any information would give an insight into where they lived in the past and a indication of potential sites for introduction the future.
It is very early days and there is so much work to do in just compiling this database, but any help would be much appreciated.
Finally, if you catch one, put it back after photographing it and measuring it for the long term health of the species.
Ollie Passmore caught this stunning wild brown trout of 2lb 5oz whilst spinning for thin lipped mullet using a baited spinner. The fish was returned after a quick photo.