Barry Kift sent me this picture of his personal best bass weighing 11lb 3oz, caught from Ilfracombe Pier in 1981
Well, after taking a walk down the pier the evening before, and seeing a 9lb Bass landed myself and my brother, Lee Kift decided to go the next evening. Fishing side by side, Lee went to help land a conger down below. Asking me to look after his rod. Well, 2 small bites later, on his rod,.I was hooked into this. By the time he came back up the fish was nearly at the pier. He shouted, GIVE ME MY ROD, I told him to f*** off and go back down to land it ! He was not best pleased and hasn’t forgiven me to this day 😳😳😳 cant imagine why 🤣🤣🤣
Combe Martin SAC member has found that the enforced lockdown has given him time to indulge in his passion for painting the fish he seeks with rod and line. Below are just a few of Ross’s superb paintings inspired during his visits to the waters edge.
(Below) Ross with a nice bass from the North Devon Shoreline
With the ongoing lockdown and no fishing I thought I would start digging into my North Devon Journal Archives.
Late March 2010 and salmon fishing is top of the agenda and the debate rages regarding how to safeguard salmon stocks. Ten years later stocks continue to dwindle despite a massive investment in habitat improvements. It s good to see a few familiar names in the competition results.
ULTRA have ambitious plan
Salmon and sea trout of our local rivers provide the pinnacle of angling experience for many attracting game fishers from all over the country. This has been a significant part of the rural economy for many years with prime salmon fishing commanding a high price. A significant drop in salmon and sea trout numbers has lead to a decline in a once thriving rural industry. Many local anglers can recall a bygone era when riverside Inns such as the Rising Sun at Umberleigh would be packed with anglers each evening returning from the river with their bright silver prizes.
It was therefore apt that a new group calling itself ULTRA held an inaugural meeting at the Rising Sun. The Upper & Lower Taw Rivers Alliance is a group of anglers and riparian owners who have an ambitious plan to restore the spring salmon run using native broodstock to produce smolts for restocking. This is a complex issue that a working party has been set up to explore. The Environment Agency has given early indications that they will be likely to consent to the scheme.Tim Clarke is Chairman of the alliance and Dave Smith secretary; details of the group can be found on their website www.rivertaw.org
The web cam at Umberleigh that proves a valuable window on the river for anglers is temporarily out of action following a fire at Murchs’ Antiques Emporium upon whose building the camera is fixed. Web cams of a dozen West Country Rivers can be viewed by visiting www.therisingsunfc.co.uk
There are rods available on a prime stretch of salmon and sea trout water on the Taw and Little Dart at Tremayne near Chulmleigh. Anyone interested in this opportunity should contact John Smith on 01363 84804.
As spring slowly progresses carp anglers are enjoying action on several of the regions lakes. I fished Furzebray carp lake near South Molton last weekend and found myself fishing a swim between brothers Ally Laird and Ian Laird who had already landed three double figure carp during their weekend session. During Sunday afternoon I was privileged to witness them land a further three carp, two of which were prime mirror carp weighing 16lb 6oz. Boilies, corn and pellets are all tempting fish on this well landscaped fishery.
At Angler Paradise carp are feeding well with several twenty pound plus fish caught including a 25lb 8oz mirror to the rod of Chris Rainbow and a 21lb 8oz specimen for Tom Cole.
At Highhampton lakes the owners have been working hard preparing their lakes for the coming season. The trout lakes have been drained, refilled and restocked in time for the Easter weekend. The coarse lakes already healthy stock has been added to with double figure carp, quality tench and bream. There are also additional facilities including a new toilet and cooking area.
Ilfracombe Match groups latest match at Legge Farm near Hatherleigh saw Peter Slade take top spot with 34lb 15oz of roach and skimmers on soft pellet hook bait. Andy Gray took runner up spot with 31lb 15oz of skimmers on corn hook baits. John Lisle was a very close third with 31lb 10oz of carp on corn the loss of a carp of around one pound in the margins costing him dear. The silver fish bag went to Peter Slade with his fine bag of roach and skimmers.
Don’t forget its time to renew your rod licence at Local post offices or online at www.environment-agency.gov.uk/rodlicence Remember that finance received from licenses is invested in promoting and protecting angling and the environment. Failure to carry a rod licence can result in prosecution and a substantial fine.
The latest heat of the North Devon League saw Julian Stainer secure the top two spots for Triple Hook Club with dogfish scaling 2lb 7oz and 2lb 6oz.
Tony Gooch won Bideford And District Angling Clubs Mid Week Rover with a dogfish of 2lb 4⅝oz. In runner up spot was Jazza John with a doggie of 1lb 15⅞oz and in third Dick Talbot with a dog of 1lb 12½oz
Dick Talbot won Bideford’s 24 hour rover with a thornback ray of 8lb 2oz. Dick also secured runner up spot with a doggie of 2lb 3oz. Nathan Clements was third with a dogfish of 1lb 15⅝oz.
Triple Hook Clubs Flyfishing match at Wistlandpound saw Steve Ousley victorious with a four fish bag totalling 5lb. In runner up spot Daniel Miles and Ashley Curd with three fish each for 3lb 12oz.
My friend Mark Everard shared this post vis his Email link. The Angling Trust has stated that we should all refrain from fishing as advised. Whilst fishing itself is low risk we all need to stick together without exception.
LET’S BE CLEAR. THE LOCKDOWN MEANS NO FISHING. WE WILL SEEK CLARIFICATION AS TO WHETHER FISHING IS AN ALLOWED FORM OF EXERCISE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, BUT FOR NOW WE CAN’T LEAVE OUR HOMES FOR ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE REASONS STATED BELOW. STAY SAFE
People in the UK will only be allowed to leave their home for the following purposes:
Shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible One form of exercise a day – for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household Any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person Travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home Police will have the powers to enforce the rules, including through fines and dispersing gatherings. To ensure compliance with the instruction to stay at home, the government will:
Close all shops selling non-essential goods, including clothing and electronic stores and other premises including libraries, playgrounds and outdoor gyms, and places of worship Stop all gatherings of more than two people in public – excluding people you live with Stop all social events, including weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies, but excluding funerals Parks will remain open for exercise, but gatherings will be dispersed.
I had hoped that angling could continue in its solitary form with anglers pursuing their pastime safe in the countryside social distancing with no risk to themselves or others. Sadly the actions of many members of the public ignoring advice will surely lead to a lock down. The majority of the West countries fishing Waters are now closing their facilities for the foreseeable future. This includes South West Lakes Trust, Wimbleball Lake and Furzebray Carp Lakes. Ammo Tackle are also closing down their operations for the duration of the crisis. Most charter boats are also stopping all trips in compliance with government guidelines.
SNOWBEE Tackle have put out this statement.
Due to the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, our retail shop will be closed with immediate effect, until further notice.
This action has been taken, in line with government guidelines and with a view to protecting both our staff and customers.
If local customers wish to collect items from our retail shop, please ring the office on 01752-334933 and we will have your order ready for collection, adhering to recommended safe distancing guidelines.
In the meantime, the business will remain open, as long as possible or until we are advised otherwise, by the government, but to help our customers, we are offering all mail-order deliveries with free carriage, until further notice.
Russell Weston Managing Director Snowbee (UK) Ltd.
There will obviously be limited angling news over the coming weeks so I will not be posting as regular. I will try to keep things ticking over with a few articles and news as I get it. When this is all over I will ensure normal service is resumed. In the mean time there is plenty of archive articles and reports to sift through whist our away from the waters edge. I have a few ideas for the site in the future so keep an eye on it. In the mean time if you can get out fishing enjoy the isolation.
These are very difficult times for us all but if we work together we will hopefully be back at the waters edge at some point.
Combe Martin SAC members Rob Scoines and Chris Bond joined a party of anglers aboard Charter Boat Lorna Doone out of Watchet and found blonde ray on the feed. Several ray were caught including a 15lb 10oz blonde for Rob and a 17lb 2oz blonde from Chris.
Afternoon everyone just a quick update,We are going to continue to run our trips (weather permitting) until we are told otherwise from the government. We will be putting a few things in place to try and make it as safe as we can for everyone aboard.
1. Drinks will still be available but please bring your own cups so you know it’s yours and yours only
2. All rods will be cleaned and made ready for the next trip the best we can
3. If you have any symptoms given out in the government guidelines please call me 07850984933 to rearrange or cancel until your better to help stop the spread
4. I am trying to source hand sanitizers for the boat but if you have some please bring it for yourselfs
5. We understand some of our customers are going to be financially affected buy this virus again please get in touch there are ways we can look to help each other out
6. We have other payment options available card machine and Bacs transfer
If you have any other issues please call 07850984933 or email me at [email protected]
Stay safe and continue life as best you can guys p.s sea air is good for the mind
Kevin Legge secured first and second in Combe Martin Sea Angling Clubs Spring Rover landing a fine brace of bull Huss scaling 13lb 101/2oz and 11lb 8oz. The fish were tempted during heavy rain and were caught on consecutive casts.
Both fish were retained in a large rock pool and returned after weighing and photographing in line with the clubs catch and release ethos.
There is an exciting date for South West Anglers to add to their Diaries. The South West Angling Show is to be held on Saturday May 2nd and Sunday May 3rd at Newton Abbot Race Course.
I asked host Zenia Gregorek to send me a few words on the event:-
I am so excited and honoured to be asked to be the host and presenter of the 1st ever South West Angling Show which will take place at Newton Abbot Racecourse on Saturday 2nd May and Sunday 3rd May.
We will be fronting some of the biggest brands from across the country offering great deals and offers on great tackle at the show and also showcasing some fantastic talks on the main stage of influential Anglers interviewed by myself.
We are very excited about bringing an Angling Show to the South West and hope to see everyone join us to celebrate it and make it a success to continue in the future.