Lower Tamar Specimens and not just carp!

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All rounder Aaron Bunning had a cracking session on Lower Tamar this week with his targets being a 2lb roach and 10lb bream! Amazingly he caught both!! here’s his report: ‘Decided to target the roach and bream for a change, awesome fun on the light gear. had 15-20 roach to 2lb 4oz, 3 bream including 2 doubles of 11lb 6oz and 10lb 4oz as well as a few trout and perch. all fish were caught on 12mm Scopex Squid boilie or maggot hookbaits over quite a lot of maggot, caster, hemp, pellet and groundbait’.

An Autumn day after pike

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A late Autumn day and pike seemed to be the perfect match so with a light South-East wind forecast I decided to head for Lower Slade Reservoir. I set up in the bay that was filled with large amounts of Canadian pond weed a mixed blessing as it makes fishing difficult but holds plenty of food for the fish.

I tend to keep on the move when pike fishing giving it an hour or so in each swim. As I reeled in the baits to move a pike emerged from the margin to seize my small herring, a shake of its head and it was off.

I posted recently about the new rules that prohibit the use of treble hooks. Below is my new pike rig ensuring the size 4 single unimpeded.

I moved to the roadside and replaced the baits. The day drifted past as fishing days do and it was exceedingly mild for early November.

Mid afternoon and I baited up with the only smelt I had brought along having found it tucked away in the freezer as I grabbed my baits this morning. Was it coincidence that the float bobbed immediately after casting this out resulting a pleasing jack of around 4lb.

The rest of the afternoon passed by with clouds and reflections upon calm waters.

As the light faded I was reluctant to pack away the rods and left them out until the last minute dismantling bite alarms, packing bags etc until just the rods were left.

Take care of precious pike

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Late autumn is a time when many coarse anglers start to target pike a species that has always been associated with the colder months. North Devon has only a handful of waters that contain pike so it is essential that anglers take every possible precaution to ensure that valuable stocks are not impacted upon by careless handling or use of inappropriate tackle. Pike are not the most robust of species and it is often quoted that they thrive in waters with limited angling pressure.

Pike have a formidable set of teeth so it is essential that a wire trace is used to prevent the fish severing the line leaving hooks within the fish. South West Lakes Trust has introduced a ruling banning the use of treble hooks on waters within their control. A size 2/0 single hook is the maximum sized hook allowed. Anglers fishing for pike should have a suitable sized landing net, long handled forceps, long- wire cutters and a large unhooking matt. Anglers unhooking pike should ensure that they hold the fish carefully and firmly and may find specialist gloves beneficial to reduce the risk of cuts. Many anglers find unhooking a large pike an unnerving experience and should ideally seek advice from a regular pike angler before fishing for the species alone.

Richard Ball caught this fine pike of 14lb 4oz using a sardine ” it was hooked in the scissors it was my first pike on a single hook so I was happy to gain confidence in the rig.”

Richard Ball


18 minutes ago


Thanks to extensive efforts by the  Angling Trust angling can continue throughout lock-down as an outdoor recreational activity providing anglers only meet up with one other person. This is a common sense approach as individual angling is COVID safe and is recognized as having valuable benefits for participants mental well being. Individual fisheries will continue to implement all relevant guidelines to ensure anglers safety. Match Fishing is unfortunately the inevitable casualty of lockdown but hopefully this can resume next month enabling a little festive cheer.

For full details please visit the Angling Trust Website:- https://anglingtrust.net/covid-19/

Morning at Wimbleballfishery, a great photo capture of the morning mist, thanks to David Hocking…

BACK THE BILL – Stop Sewage pollution

The Angling Trust and many other conservation minded bodies are urging those who care to write to their MP expressing the need to back this bill to end sewage discharge into inland waters.

Below is a letter from the West Country Rivers Trust

As you may know, the Sewage (Inland Waters) Bill is currently passing through parliament. Ahead of the parliamentary debate on the 13th of November, we are encouraging people to ask their MPs to support the Bill.

Working in collaboration with Surfers Against Sewage and the End Sewage Pollution Coalition, we have developed an online tool which enables people to easily and quickly contact their MP. With a postcode, first name and email, the tool generates an email to the individual’s local MP; all they have to do is click send.

If each of our local Trusts could share this with their audience, we could see a real growth in support of the Bill. Click the button below to view the online tool and please don’t hesitate to share this with whoever you think might find it valuable.

Click on the below link to email your MP



Its over twelve months since the publication of my book “I CAUGHT A GLIMPSE” and I am pleased to say I have had plenty of positive feedback and appreciate this and the healthy sales the book has earned since publication back in September 2019. If you are interested in obtaining a copy of the book it can be obtained on line via The Little Egret Press. https://thelittleegretpress.co.uk/product/i-caught-a-glimpse-ltd-edition-hardback/ 

I  only have a few copies left with me so if you want to purchase one for collection or delivery please PM me via Facebook or email.

Since publication I have had many interesting conversations with North Devons anglers and have enjoyed sharing their memories. One thing I have learnt is that many fishermen paths are similar though they often fail to converge.

West and Woon scoop £2000 with Mainline Pairs win……in brutal conditions

West and Woon scoop £2000 with Mainline Pairs win……
What a weekend here at Upper Tamar for the Mainline Baits carp open pairs!
42 carp caught by 19 pairs in brutal conditions!
Massive thankyou to our sponsor Mainline Baits and John Kneebone in particular for their ongoing and generous support. The prize winners were:
1st place George West and Andy Woon peg 12 with 7 fish for 84lbs. They win £2000
2nd were Ben and Matt Cooper with 7 fish from peg 20 for 74lb 13oz. They win £1000
3rd place were Jamie Woods and Richard Chalke who had 5 fish for 63lb 10oz from peg 26. They win £500
Largest fish (not finishing in top 3) was Jason McEvoy with a 24lb 11oz common. He won a box of Mainline PVA and spod mix and a Baseball cap.
Smallest fish (not in the top three) was Matt Pepperell with a 7lb 15oz mirror. He won a box of Mainline PVA and spod mix and a Baseball cap.
Section winners winning 5kg of Mainline freezer boilies were:
pegs 1-9 were Chris Hudson and Matt Pepperell. 4 fish for 60lb 15oz peg 9
Pegs 10-18 were Barry Hazleden and Mark Brett with 2 fish for 32lb 11oz
Pegs 19-26 were Scott and David Bowden with 2 fish for 23lb 8oz
Pegs 27-35 were Karl Yates and Allan Jones with two fish for 30lb 13oz
Full results are in the pictures.
Next competition is Mainline singles 6-8 November. Entries on 01566771930

Congratulations to young North Devon Angler Jack Welch

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Congratulations to young North Devon Angler Jack Welch who has banked one of the largest Zander ever caught from UK waters. The full account from Jon Patten below :-
“I would like to say a massive congratulations to my eldest son
Because Jack has caught a fish of a life time… An immense freshwater fish… For my sea fishing friends this is the equivelant of a 74lb tope or 20lb bass… Freshwater wise a 44lb pike
Huge fish
Jack and I had spent the day fishing up country to no avail… So I mentioned to Jack about doing a couple of hours predator fishing on the way home as we still had 3hrs if not longer to run home…. Little did we know what this would lead on to
Rods and reels set up… My new Shimano 6000 Oc baitrunners came into play
Frozen Baits deployed
Jack and I yapped as we fished this new area for pike and Zander
My bite alarm registered a bite… Which I saw anyway as I’m always looking for a bite
The net saw a small pike quickly landed and returned
Now the stars aligned for Jack as he had several fine Zander which unhooked and carefully put back so as not to harm them… I had another pike
Jack was in the zone as several more Zs came to the net for him
We were side by side… Using the same bait and rigs
Jack was enjoying the fishing and banter so much that he nearly didn’t see a one toner… Amazing bite
He struck but alas into thin air… Best bite of the night….. Missed
I might aswell have packed my rods away lol
Now I have tried to teach Jack and his younger brother Reef everything I know… Even starting them off at a very young age whereupon they have fished all around the world… Very lucky boys but both very accomplished in there own right
Now jack was told that we were leaving in 30minutes… His head hung low as he knew that he had missed the best bite of the night
When luck is with you… Lady luck smiles
Not more than a few minutes later Jack had another one toner… His reactions were fast he was concentrating as he lifted the rod to strike…. Omg that rod creaked under the weight… Line scream out before settling into a very heavy dogged fight… Changing directions every few minutes
Jack said I have pike… I knew from the fight it was a big Z
It came at the net like a freight train where I has to give it a couple of scoops to get it in the net before it would go in all the way
Holy hell…. I had a big Z a few weeks earlier… This eclipsed that
Ah man such a lite hook hold
We allowed her to recover in the net and then when she was right we weigh her…. Omg 23lb which would break the record… We weighed her again and again 23lb
Lol I was really fatigued and I realised that we were weighing a wet weigh sling
A dry net bag… Re zeroed in the scales and Holy moly one of the biggest Zander ever caught at 19lb 4oz from the bank… Jack had said that he felt the line rubbing on some underwater snags… With at hook hold he was indeed lucky to have landed such a magnificent fish
Now I’m a firm believer that if its going to cause a fish harm to get them back very quick into the water… Especially the big ones
After a couple of pics she was released… Ah man she looked grand to have Swan away so strongly… I was emotional
I have search for a fish like that for years but couldn’t be happier than I was for my eldest son Jack that night… High fives and a massive man hug from Dad
I looked at Jack 23yrs old now proudly and thought you have been listening every word I said and everything that I’ve taught you
A massive congratulation Jacko on such an amazing fish brother… A true fish of a lifetime… A mahooosive fish from the bank with all the odds stacked against… Snag wise
A massive thankyou to all of my sponsors who sponsor me Especially Shimano who help me which in turn allow me to help others within our sport and to my England team mates which encourage us to keep going through all the tough sessions
For any of you that want to try Zander fishing
I fish the Thames.. The Trent.. The Severn… The Avon… The Oxford canal… The Glouster Canal and several other places aswell 😜
Motivation equals reward”

Sixty Perch four over 3lb – Roadford Bonanza

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Roadford Perch success for John Deprieelle with four fish over 3lbs!
“These were the best of the day. Only started late afternoon and ended up with 60 odd fish. Mostly up to a pound in weight but topped off with these 4 and lost an even bigger one close to the boat. Great sport on soft plastic lures fished at various depths. The key was to keep moving until you find them. If you’re not catching then don’t hang around.”