Hooked on Lure Fishing – By Dominic Garnett & Andy Mytton

Lure fishing is I believe one of the biggest growth areas in angling with an increasing number of recruits. I guess lure fishing fits well with modern life allowing short sessions with minimal tackle enabling anyone to get their fishy fix.

The latest Lure Fishing book from Dominic Garnett and Andy Mytton is a comprehensive and informative guide to modern lure fishing tactics. I grew up in a generation that had a very narrow view of lure fishing with just a handful of predatory species targeted by most anglers. The introduction of LRF fishing and species fishing has totally transformed the lure fishing world as is illustrated throughout this fascinating tome.

The emphasis throughout the book is fishing for fun. The quest for big is not high on the agenda it’s all about the catching and the variety of species. From saltwater rockpools and blennies, ‘ minnows in brook’s right up to pike, bass and salmon.

The book is well illustrated throughout with some stunning underwater images from Jack Perks. Tactics, tackle, rigs, lures, watercraft, habitat is all crammed into over 200 pages along with a few tales to inspire and illustrate how it all fits together.

This is a must read for lure anglers whatever their experience as it is packed with tips and new angles. I am sure it will be one of those books that is frequently dipped into for inspiration on the eve of lure fishing trips. The only downside is that it will fuel that dreaded temptation to add to the ever increasing box of must have lures!

Definitely one for the Christmas List !

Spurdog off Ilfracombe – Bluefin Charters

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Keith Armishaw enjoyed a Red letter day off Ilfracombe on Bluefin . Thanks to Keith for this report .. I had the chance to escape for days fishing with son  Lee who had never caught a spurdog – so we got on board Bluefin out of Ilfracombe with John Barbeary. I took plenty of muppets seeing the difference they made to the catch rate last time out. We started trying for bass but only had a couple on the flood tide, so it was on to the spurdog. Lee had a two bait rig and I used a single bait and what a trip it turned out to be, we had around 90 on the boat between 7 of us with Lee catching 30 up to 14lbs against my meagre 18. Jonathan weighed in with a couple of good huss and a conger but what a session. We then tried for bass on the return trip catching around around 30, and only 5 dogfish caught all day. We even headed in early as we were all fished out and didn’t fancy an inshore mark after the bass as this is where the dogs were taken. An unbelievable day…


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The flounder fishing season is in full swing in the estuary with several competitions this weekend. Results were mixed during the competitions with flounders prolific in some areas and very scarce in other areas. A few bass were also caught and returned in line with present regulations.

Combe Martin SAC

Matt Jefferey secured the top three places in Combe Martin SACs Flounder competition winning the competition with a fine flattie of 1lb 12oz.

1st Matt Jeffery 1lb 12oz

2nd Matt Jeffery 1lb 7oz

3rd Matt Jeffery 1lb 5oz Joint

4th with 1lb 2oz Jamie Stewart Dave Jenkins Daniel Laird

Jamie Steward with fine brace of flounder.
Ross Stanway with a pleasing 4lb + bass

Braunton Small Boat Club

1st Tracey Phipps 1lb 4oz

2nd Tracey Phipps 15oz

3rd Tracey Phipps 14oz 3rd Ian Anderson 14oz


John Passmore secured victory in Triple Hook Clubs Open flounder competition with a flounder scaling 1lb 105/8oz. In runner up spot was Mark Beer with  flounder of 1lb 101/8oz and third Joan Cairns with a flounder of 1lb 71/2oz.

Late Result – last weekends Triple Hook Club – Croyde to Foreland  –

1st John Passmore – Bull huss 11lb 51/8oz and dogfish 1lb 11.5oz

A Bit of Flounder Fishing

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The humble flounder of the estuary have a certain appeal that I had somehow forgotten having neglected the species for several seasons. Our son James seemed keen for a short session so having gratefully secured a pound of worms from a local bait digger we found ourselves surveying the bleak cold and grey expanse of the estuary. We had arrived just before the flooding tide and the first hour passed by without any action. But it was  good to be by the water watching the plentiful bird life on the exposed mud banks.

I have fond memories of fishing the area back in the late seventies with my cousin who would take me fishing on cold frosty evenings to fish from the railway line that was at that time still in partial use running to Bideford. As the tide started to slow the downstream flow I caught the first flounder of the day that was quickly slipped back.

Shorty after retreating onto the higher bank my rod tip gave a couple of nods. A few minutes later I was pleased to feel a weighty flattie pulsating on the line and hanging deep as it approached the shoreline. A plump flounder of 1lb 11oz was a good result and a good omen for Combe Martin SAC’s Flounder competition and Triple Hooks Open Flounder Competitions this weekend.

Having caught a couple I was hoping James would get in on the action before we packed up.  His rod tip gave a few gentle nods resulting in a double shot of flounder to end the session.

I really must make sure I enjoy a few more sessions after these obliging flatfish that will often give sport when little else is happening. I intend to try caching a few on ultra light LRF tactics as I have caught them on the open coast using jig heads and Isome worms. The latest book on Lure Fishing by Dominic Garnett has a chapter dedicated to this type of fishing. I have also caught flounder in the past trotting a bunch of ragworm beneath a float using ultra light coarse tackle; great fun!


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It was the first really cold night of the season and our breath hung misty in the still air as we waited beside the calm waters of the Bristol Channel. The lights of welsh towns and villages shone brightly across the water and in the sky above stars shone brightly in a vast cosmic vista.

The throbbing of a boats engine carried far across the sea as it moved up channel to offload its cargo. Occasionally the rod tips nodded as a dogfish or small eel toyed with the baits anchored out within that mysterious dimension.

The amber fiery glow of the steel works of Port Talbot had illuminated the sky earlier in the evening but later as we contemplated heading for home another glowing ember caught our attention.

A red apparition was slowly materializing above Cardiff to the North East. We speculated on its source as it slowly grew in size growing ever redder as it rose from the land. After ten minutes its crescent shape materialized as the moon climbed slowly, red fading to amber and then to silver. The moonlight painting a swathe of light across the swirling waters of the Bristol Channel as the tide began to ebb.

We slowly packed away our tackle fingers stinging in the frosty air. We trudged back to the van thinking of a warm bed and a good nights sleep. On arriving home I found the lawn glistening with a layer of frost. Owls hooted in the nearby woods.

I am often asked why we go fishing especially on cold winter nights when you often catch nothing.  And It’s not easy to answer but sometimes it’s just good to be there waiting watching the world.


The Cyril Petherick Memorial Results

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Many Thanks to Nathan for sending me the results of Bideford Clubs regular competitions

Cyril Petherick competition results.
Thanks to everyone for fishing we had a really good turn out (43 angler’s) it seemed the weather played ball but the fish didn’t as much.
1st Nathan Clements flounder   1lb 11oz
2nd Dick Talbot flounder  1lb 11oz
3rd Dick Talbot flounder  1lb 9 1/2oz

Cyril Petherick was a prominent character in the local angling community with his tackle shop at the top of the High Street. He was Bideford Clubs respected President for several years. I have fond memories of Cyril and his wife Elsie. I asked Dick Talbot if he could write a few words about Cyril for this report as I know Cyril would be honoured that his name is remembered each year as members fish in the competition.

Dick Talbot writes

“Cyril was a stalwart of the club and I and many others had photos taken outside the shop in the High Street he was always there to help juniors often giving them bits of tackle. Cyril and his wife Elsie always used to fish the comps together they used to fish with the Bottomley’s on many occasions.”  

Mary and Harry Bottomley were prominent West Country Anglers who had a strong connection with Bideford Angling Club, from what I can recall they enjoyed considerable success with flounder on South Devon Rivers such as the Teign)

Cyril was very committed to the angling politics of the day and served on the National Federation of Sea Anglers representing North Devon and attending many meetings across the South West often in South Devon. I believe he also wrote a regular angling column in the North Devon Journal for several years before handing over to Des Clements.