Spurdog on a tiny dab bait

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Nick Job and Ian Hooper enjoyed a great night fishing at a popular North Devon Mark landing more than they bargained for a when a 9lb 4oz Spurdog seized a tiny strip of squid on a size 4 hook intended for dabs. Nick hooked the spur towards the end of the session and Ian was able to scramble down to the waters edge to secure the fish.

They also caught several tasty dabs.

Winter Mullet

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There was a time just a couple of decades ago when winter mullet were not considered a worthwhile winter target unless you fished the far West of Cornwall or the Channel Islands. Things have changed though and recent seasons have seen North Devon anglers landing mullet throughout the winter months. Just to clarify I am talking about thick lipped grey mullet and not thin lipped mullet  that sometimes shoal up in large numbers in certain locations.

I set out this afternoon in search of an elusive thick lip but my optimism was lower than normal after receiving reports that the mullet were very scarce. On setting up I peered into the clear water hoping to glimpse a mullet but none showed. As the tide pushed in the rod tip trembled a couple of times; if there had been the slightest breeze I would not have seen the indications but on bringing in the baits the fluffy ends of the bread were gone a sure sign that mullet were present?

I followed the tide in and my confidence was boosted when I glimpsed a silver flank turning. Mullet were present! The light faded and I peered into the clear water beneath the street lights a couple of shadows drifted across the rocks. I Lowered a baited rig with two flakes of soft white. A good sized mullet swam up to the bait and proceeded to play with bait. I watched fascinated as the mullet was joined by another fish each nudging the bait that seemed to occasionally disappear from view. Striking too early can often spook the fish better to wait for a positive movement of the tip. After 15 minutes of so I had probably cast to the mullet ten times with the fish removing the fluffy tail of the bait each time leaving a small piece on the hook each time. The mullet were feeding right beneath my position and I could watch them as they moved the bait causing the tip to tremble occasionally pulling round an inch or more causing me to strike in vain. Eventually I hooked the mullet and it splashed on the surface for a second or two before coming off the hook.

It was now almost high water and I thought my chance had gone. I moved down a few yards and flicked my baits out before walking back to the shallows to see how many mullet were present in the beam of my head torch. None could be seen and I thought they had moved out with the ebbing tide. I wonder back to my rod and started to dismantle my net. The tip trembled slightly! I put he net back together and watched the tip. As I put the net on the wall the tip surged over and a fish was on. Ten minutes later I was weighing a pleasing winter mullet of 4lb 2oz.

Fellow CMSAC Members John Avery and John Shapland have been travelling to marks on the Cornish coast to tempt some fine winter mullet John Avery landing a fine specimen of 4lb 14oz and John Shapland a new personal best of 5lb 1oz.

John Avery 4lb 14oz – Thick lipped grey mullet
John Shapland – Thick lipped grey mullet 5lb 1oz

Bluefin – Spurdog Fishing

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Many thanks to Troy Laing for allowing to use his post on their recent trip to the deeps off Ilfracombe aboard ” Bluefin:.

Well what can I say. John Barbeary said we were going spurdog fishing today, and that’s certainly what we did..Found a nice little spot. 8 miles off land. And as soon as our baits reached the seabed…We were all catching spurs from the off..approx 50 spurs caught..between us all. Along with huss to 16lb..spurs to 18lb..along with dogfish…and 1 pollock..caught by me haha..tomorrows dinner..thank you to John Barbeary.

He loved life, family and fishing – A Tribute to Cameron Atkinson

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Today I joined a huge congregation at North Devon Crematorium to celebrate the life of twenty year old Cameron Atkinson.  Cameron tragically lost his life before Christmas generating shock and grief throughout North Devons community. Cameron was a very keen member of Appledore Shipbuilders Angling Club.  I have featured many of Camerons catches on North Devon Angling News his bright and contagious smile lighting up many a page. Family, Fishing and cricket were Camerons greatest loves and his warmth and enthusiasm will be sadly missed. He caught far more specimen fish in his short life than many a seasoned angler has achieved over many decades of angling. In 2018 he landed a British Record Spurdog of 18lb a fine fish. It is impossible to find adequate words at such a time so I will share a few pictures of Camerons many catches over the years.

Love of family, friends and of the sea shone through at todays service.

The Poem below was read at Camerons Funeral a fitting choice in memory of a young man who loved to sail out to sea from Appledore crossing the bar. To drift upon those brightly sparkling waters.
BY Alfred Lord Tennyson 
Sunset and evening star,
      And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
      When I put out to sea,
   But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
      Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
      Turns again home.
   Twilight and evening bell,
      And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
      When I embark;
   For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
      The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
      When I have crost the bar.

BLUEFIN – SPORT FROM THE DEEPS

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Each Winter anglers take advantage of the great sport available in the deep water off Ilfracombe where huge packs of spurdog prowl hunting whiting and herring. Catches of over a hundred spurdog a day are not uncommon with double figure Bull Huss and big conger also testing anglers tackle to the limit. This Winter  has once again seen John Barbeary take anglers to fishing grounds that have provided  some excellent catches as illustrated below. For details of Bluefin click on the above link.

South Molton Anglers Enjoy Calm Water Deep Sea Fishing

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   A quick report from Ed Rands of South Molton Angling Club  on their trip to ilfracombe on Sunday 19th January.
   It was a cold and frosty start in the dark with icy roads and stars  shining, by the time we arrived dawn was beginning to break. 
   We wrapped up warm, waited for some water in the harbour! then set off to lee bay while the tide was racing. 
   We sat there patiently wading through the inevitable dogfish but did have 4 small conger, 10 bull huss to 13.5lb,1 pouting and a first for me, a mussel clamped on my hook!
   We then steamed out to deeper water when the tide had eased and settled in to quite a busy 3 hours or so with an estimated 50 odd spurdog to 14.5lb,we didn’t weigh them all, another 10 huss to 10lb, 6 more  conger to 30lb and more dogfish. 
   By this time the weather was glorious with coats and woolly hats being discarded and a flat  sea.
  Thanks to Paul “bluefins” stand in skipper and all that attended, we were lucky with the weather and found plenty of fish couldn’t have asked for anything more. 
  I have photos to send but I’ll send them individually as we have issues this end with size of files.
   Hopefully see some of you at the agm on February 11th.
   All the best and tightlines 
   Ed

SEA ANGLING ROUND UP

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Bideford Angling Club – 24 hour Sea Rover results

1st Nathan Clements Whiting 1lb 5 1/2 89.583%

2nd Andrew Clements Thornback Ray 7lb 13 1/2 87.153%

3rd Tarrant Wotton Flounder 1lb 11 84.375%

(Below) Olie Passmore, Kody Chugg  and Alex Milton enjoyed  a great nights fishing from local North Devon marks. Olie Passmore had a stunning PB Codling of 6lb and a 4lb 12oz… also a 16lb 5oz conger, plus a small eyed ray. Kody Chugg also had this codling of 3lb 4oz and  Alex had a conger of 15lb 8oz. and all fish caught on launce and squid and mackerel baits. It also proves that there is plenty of stuff to be caught at this time of year as well.

(Below)Toby Bassett is aiming to catch as many species as possible and made a great start using LRF tactics on Ilfracombe Pier.

SEA ANGLING ROUND UP

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Sea Anglers are having to dodge the storms to find quality fish along the coast. Great care needs to be taken when choosing where to fish during these difficult conditions with long handled nets and sound warm waterproof clothing essential.

Kevin Legge won Combe Martin SACs Winter Rover 1 with a fine specimen Bull Huss scaling 11lb 7oz. Mark Jones was runner up with a small eyed ray of 9lb 3oz and Kevin third with another Bull Huss of 8lb 11oz. Fishing was generally hard going with quality fish hard to find. Nick Phillips caught a pleasing pollock of 3lb 9oz for forth place and David Jenkins targeted estuary flounder to take fifth place with a flounder of 1lb 61/2oz. Members also caught codling, whiting, pouting, rockling, small conger and the inevitable dogfish.

BIDEFORD COD COMPETITION

Dick Talbot secured first and second place in Bideford Angling Clubs cod competition landing codling of 2lb 0.5oz and 1lb 12oz.

COMBE MARTIN SAC BOAT TRIP – Part 2

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Once again many thanks to Matt Jeffery for I report on the CMSAC Boat Trip

Teddie boy 02/01/20

this was our 2 nd trip out after the elusive cod.

a little more blowy and the conditions today oozed cod.

with some fresh blood on the boat spirits were high once again,this was also boosted by the news that Michael webber had netted two cod to nearly 14lb the day before which is always good to hear !.

we managed to get conger eels to the boat within the first 15 minutes and the odd dog. The constant top up of tea and coffee from the ever vigilant skipper ( a knock off from the old block!.)plus bacon and sausage rolls.

Some decent fish came to the boat with Rob Scoines getting the first blonde to the boat of 14 lb

then young Jack Phillips picking up a whiting of 1lb 10 oz

the best fish of the day went to John Shapland  with a 19lb 14oz blonde ray

Mark Jones and Mark Jones also got in to the action on the blonde to double figures

and Jamie Steward managed a decent eel at 22lb 6oz

other ray were caught by all, so we at least all had something other than small eels and dogs.

alas there was no cod, again it was not for the lack of trying, even with Michael stretching our 8 hr trip to 9hrs to give us every last glimmer of hope of the capture of the elusive unicorn mud pig !!!!!!!.. we will be back piggy……..