URBAN MULLET

 

Combe Martin SAC members ventured to Portishead Marina in search of the large mullet that reside within the sheltered waters. The day commenced with heavy rain falling and a bitterly cold North wind that ensured that breakfast the first item on the days agenda.

Fortified with full English and hot coffees members explored the confines of the marina. The mullet proved elusive with John Shapland securing the only fish of the day a superb specimen of 4lb 2oz.

Ilfracombe Aquarium

 

Ilfracombe Aquarium is located on Ilfracombe Pier and offers a fascinating glimpse into the world beneath the waters surface. There are many fish to seen that live within Ilfracombe Harbour and along North Devons coast. There are also insights into local freshwater eco systems and the creatures that live within. An ideal place to visit in conjunction with a fishing trip to Ilfracombe Pier where members of Combe Martin SAC club recorded over thirty species during February and March of 2024.

Ilfracombe Aquarium consists of Local Aquatic Exhibits, Pier Café & Gift Shop. It is a much loved, award winning, and ever evolving, all-weather, family fun, educational attraction. It is located in the Old Lifeboat House on the pier. Conveniently located, it is surrounded by Ilfracombe’s picturesque & historic harbour which is home to Damien Hirst’s Verity sculpture and 14th century St. Nicholas’ Chapel. Ilfracombe town is located on the dramatic and spectacular North Devon coast. It is 20 mins. drive from Barnstaple, 10 mins. from Woolacombe. It is set within the North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

 

REEL DEAL 2024

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Happy Season everyone hope your all having a nice day. Sorry we have been quite of late but we have had lots going on with sorting out bits and pieces with boats and where we are going moving forward.Also battling this constant crap weather we are having. We haven’t been getting out a lot at all so far we haven’t been able to get to the sharks this season 🥲🥲 but we have done a couple of channel trips on the spurs and Huss. Now with the season changing and the summer species coming in it should start to hot up just need the weather to sort its self out so we can get out. Couple of new things this season we have been working on are as follows : 6 hour bass lure trips based around the perfect state of tide to get on the marks that produced some great sport last season available online asap. Also a slight change to our summer Sharking it’s now going to be summer big game fishing, if it’s booked as a shark trip that’s what we will be doing but if we happen to get surrounded by the BFT’S like last season we can switch up and go and have some fun on them and we’re also able to use new methods this season to exciting stuff and can’t wait to try these out then once the weather puts pay to our season down west we are going to go back to our roots and fish up channel this will be on the nice Time tides for the all day trips and when we have the neaps a lot more 4 hour trips I’ll get on the times and dates for booking as soon as I can. I have decided to take a step away from the summer tourist season and do all day trips through out august again I need to put these online but keep your eyes peeled as July and September are 99% booked out apart from a couple of dates so once I put them on I am sure there going to go quick. That’s enough from me with the update and I look for to seeing you all soon and getting stuck In to some serious rod bending pain locker fishing cheers Dan

CMSAC – ILFRACOMBE FUN AND SPECIES- Latest

 

Close to half a dozen members of Combe Martin SAC met up at Ilfracombe Pier for the second pop up fishing session of the Ilfracombe Harbour and Fun Species League. The ongoing dismal Spring weather failed to dent members enthusiasm and I was delighted to find a good number of Junior anglers amongst members attending.

The new format has proved a great success with club members registering an amazing 32 species of fish since February 1st. As this period coincides with what many consider to be the worst time of year for sea fishing off the North Devon coast this is very encouraging.

The leading club members at present are Toby Bassett on 24 species with Daniel Welch and Ross Stanway  22 species each. Gary Prout and Solly Welch are currently joint third on 12. Though this is changing daily and I am struggling to keep up!

With heavy rain pending I was keen to present the prizes for the February and March competitions kindly donated by Danny Watson at High Street Tackle Ilfracombe. The February prize for most species went to Daniel Welch with 22 species and the prize for the best picture also went to Daniel Welch with his stunning picture of a scorpion fish.

 

Daniel Welch winner in February and March.

The monthly raffle prize kindly donated by Quay Sports was won by Toby Bassett.

 

Toby Bassett

The water clarity was excellent and as the tide ebbed an abundance of fish were swung onto the pier. Several dogfish were caught by Lenny Lake who has taken an early lead in the April competition which is for the longest fish.

Ross Stanway carefully measures Lenny lakes doggie.

Young Solly Welch caught a number of fish adding a shore rockling to his growing species tally that includes a rare topknot and clingfish.

Andrew Laramy caught a plaice.

Solly Welch with a shore rockling

Ted Childs caught several blenny’s fishing from the Piers inner basin. Inspired by young Ted I added a common blenny to my modest tally of species.

I was pleased to add a common blenny to my tally. As the tide ebbed and the light faded the catch rate dropped and members slowly returned home to dry out.

The gig rowers and Lifeboat exercise added life to the Maritime scene.

It had been an enjoyable evening and I look forward to the next event that will probably be held on a Sunday morning the plan being to alternate monthly between morning and evening.

Defra policy team leading on spurdog management

Announcement

Representatives from the Angling Trust and the Pat Smith Database met today (25th March 2024) with the new Defra policy team leading on spurdog management. During the meeting, we emphasised the importance of large spurdogs to both the recreational sector and the overall sustainability of the stock. 

Having already lived through one population crash, over 80 recreational charter skippers have signed a letter to the Fisheries Minister, Mark Spencer, calling for the government to continue with a precautionary approach to reopening the commercial fishery and maintaining the 100cm slot size. 

In our view, spurdog are worth far more to the recreational sector than to the commercial sector, where they are often fetching a mere 30p/kilo.

We voiced concern over the government seeking to invest in expanding commercial markets and processing infrastructure for spurdog when there seems to be little demand for them. The UK government must not continue with boom-and-bust fisheries management.

We are also calling for Defra to fund a study on the recreational socio-economic value of the spurdog fishery to ensure government can make informed decisions that account for the needs of all stakeholders.