First bass is a beauty

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  It’s very rewarding introducing young anglers to the joys of fishing as experienced local angler Kevin Legge discovered when he took his twelve year granddaughter Grace Joslin to a local beach in search of bass. Kitted out with chest waders and headlight Grace was soon reeling in her first bass a beauty that was carefully released after a quick picture. Kevin said “that taking a twelve year old fishing is as simple as herding cats”. “It is it always this easy?” asked Grace as she sat down on the seat box to view the latest on Tick Tok.

Its Fun Fish Time at Ilfracombe – Sunday September 3rd 2023

COMBE MARTIN SAC FUN FISH – The weather is looking perfect for the Fun Fish on Ilfracmbe Pier with sunshine and light winds forecast . We have guests on the day including Mat Mander Chief Officer of  Devon  & Severn Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Authority,  Dean Asplin from the Angling Trust and representatives from the Coastguard and RNLI who focus on water safety.

Bring along a rod and enter the fun fishing competition or just come along for a chat with club members and our guests. Its only two hours and once a year. There is also lots to explore around Ilfracombe’s Sea Ilfracombe Festival.

The event is generously supported by High Street Tackle Ilfracombe with an array of superb prizes for the competitors.

Ilfracombe Aquarium.

Below an array of top quality prizes from HIgh Street Tackle.


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September October and November are undoubtedly the most productive months for sea anglers fishing the North Devon Coast. Put out a big bait make sure your tackle is up to the job and the fish of a life time could come your way.

Paul Chamberlain tempted this fine bass of 9lb during a low water session at a local surf beach. The fish took a large sandeel at range, “strangely the whole joey on my other rod came back at the end of the session completely untouched.”

BIG TOPE estimated at over 70lb!

Don Hearn from Barnstaple & District Angling Association sent me this message :- “here’s one for the kayak crew. I was out on my rib last Wednesday just past the outer pulley, drifting through the shoals of joeys and baitfish. I put a joey  on looking for a bass on an 11ft Abu spinning rod ,Daiwa regal reel and 20lb mono .Had a complete screamer taking 80m first run. We went after it in the rib and after a thumb burning scrap finally got it lying along side. We had a tope estimated at 27″girth 6’6” long .We had to release in the water ASAP as it was going nuts and too risky along side the rubber tubes.  We used the Tope Calc. of girth squared 27″x27″=729 x length 78″=710775 divide by 800 = 71.07 lbs. Just stunning ,there were people kayak fishing alongside using joeys and that would have been  an even greater experience for them than we had!!!! Alas we never got any proper pictures as we just wanted it released ASAP.

Wrasse from North Devons rocky shoreline.

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Combe Martin SAC club member Kyle Bishop has been targetting wrasse from North Devons craggy shoreline enjoying success with ballan wrasse to 4lb 15oz and corkwing to 8oz. Kyle won Combe Martin Clubs July mixed brace competition sponsored by Braunton Baits and stands a good chance of winning the August mixed brace sponsored by High Street Tackle.

BIdeford Angling Club – 48 hour Result – Huge gilthead!

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August 48-hour results 

Nathan Clements was delighted to catch a huge gilthead bream scaling 8lb 2.25oz to win Bideford Angling Clubs 48hour roving sea match. This is one of the biggest gilthead bream recorded so far this summer from the  South West coast and sets a new club record for BIdeford Angling Club.  The weekends competition also saw numerous specimen smoothound caught and specimen small eyed ray.

1st Nathan Clements Gilthead bream

8lb 2 1/4oz


2nd Tony Gussin Smoothhound 13lb 15 1/2oz 139.687%

3rd  Tony Gussin Smoothhound 12lb 6oz 123.750%

Other fish caught 

Jon Stevens Small-eyed Ray 10lb 12 1/2oz

Julien Stainer Smoothhounds 10lb 5 + 10lb 15oz

Andrew Clements   Smoothhound 10lb 5oz

Antony Smith Smoothhound 11lb 7oz


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Combe Martin SAC member Daniel Welch caught this stunning Atlantic Bonito on a small silver lure whilst fishing from his own boat off the North Devon Coast. The 3lb 15oz fish sets a new club record.

Bonito are members of the Tunny family.

“A moderately regular visitor to Northern European seas and very common off Southern Europe.It is migratory with the seasons, not living in water below 15 c and preferring temperatures  around 22c.” An extract from Key to the fishes of Northern Europe by Alwyne Wheeler. Several bonito have been caught off the North Devon coast in recent seasons a likely result of climate change and warmer waters?

Bass Lurę – Competition Update

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Mark Jones tempted this fine 65cm bass to extend his lead in Combe Martin SAC’s members only Lure Fushing competition sponsored by High Street Tackle.

1st Mark Jones – Bass – 71cm, 65cm, 63cm Total 199

2nd  – Reece Woolgar = Bass – 71cm 64cm 59cm  Total 194

3rd – Shuan Quartly – Bass – 72cm, 60.5cm, 56cm Total 188.5

4th  – Wayne Thomas – Bass – 67cm, 61cm, 54.5cm Total 182.5

Consultation on the proposed Seabass Fisheries Management Plan.

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FACTSHEET: Bass Fisheries Management Plan (FMP) Why a Bass FMP?

Bass is of substantial social, cultural and economic importance to local coastal communities.

The Bass FMP seeks to ensure stocks in English and Welsh waters are maintained at sustainable levels, and the full benefits of bass fishing can be realised by the communities that depend on them.

What does the Bass FMP do?

The Bass FMP collates the evidence on bass stocks and the bass fishery around England and Wales. It identifies existing management measures and sets out short and medium-long term policies and actions needed to manage the bass fishery.

Summary ————————————————————————————————- Current Management

Joint UK/EU management measures were implemented in 2015. These include a Minimum Conservation Reference Size (MCRS), domestic authorisations system, seasonal closures and catch/bycatch limits for commercial and recreational fishers.

Three gear types are authorised for landing bass. Regional byelaws provide inshore (<6 nautical mile) management, and a network of nursery areas also provide protection for juvenile bass.

Bass is currently fished within sustainable limits aligned with ICES advice. Goals of the FMP

The overarching aim of the FMP is to ensure stocks are harvested sustainably whilst benefiting a diverse range of environmental, commercial, recreational, and social interests. There are nine detailed goals:

  1. 1)  Inclusive stakeholder engagement structures to inform management of the bass fishery.
  2. 2)  Equitable access to the bass fishery, while prioritising stock sustainability.
  3. 3)  Minimise discarding of bass bycatch where survival rates are low.
  4. 4)  Encourage and facilitate full compliance with bass regulations.
  5. 5)  Maximise the benefits of bass fishing for local coastal communities.
  6. 6)  Sustainable harvesting of the bass stock in line with scientific advice.
  7. 7)  Protecting juvenile and spawning bass.
  8. 8)  Minimise the impact of bass fishing on the wider marine ecosystem.
  9. 9)  Mitigate against and adapt to the impact of climate change on bass fishing.

FFM LIVE! factsheet v1

Proposed Actions in the FMP

Key elements of the plan include:

  1. a)  Improving the evidence base: Gaps identified include data on commercial discarding, recreational removals, and the social, cultural and economic benefits of bass fishing to local coastal communities.
  2. b)  Initial management measures: The FMP identifies actions to build on the existing bass management framework via:
  • The establishment by government of bass management group(s) with balanced stakeholder representation.
  • A review of existing management measures to determine whether alternative approaches better align with FMP goals (priority measures for early consideration include the current bass authorisation system and the timing/duration of the closed seasons).
  • The development of adaptive management systems (e.g. making more use of licence conditions rather than legislation).

c) Longer term measures: Additional measures proposed for review as evidence and monitoring improve include appropriate size limits, the regulation of shallow inshore and shore-based netting, and alignment of Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority and Marine Management Organisation powers to ensure consistency in enforcement.

Environmental Impacts

cultural heritage.

climate change related issues and


The bass fishery has an impact on the marine environment primarily through bycatch


of marine mammals, seabirds, and fish, as well as


What does this consultation mean for me?

This is an opportunity for you to have your say in the future of bass management in English and Welsh waters. We want to receive your input and views throughout the consultation and beyond.

Give us your views

Find the consultation online at: 1/seabass-fmp-consultation/

or scan the QR code to visit the page.
The consultation is open to 23:59 on 1 October 2023.

What happens next?

Your feedback will be analysed and considered as part of the consultation process. Following this the Bass FMP will be updated as appropriate.
The aim is to have the final Bass FMP published by the end of 2023.

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FFM LIVE! factsheet v1