Spring ray and early Smoothound – Sea Angling News

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Kevin Pike won Appledore Shipbuilders monthly Rover with a smoothound scaling 8lb 11/2oz. In runner up spot was David Barnes with a smoothound weighing 6lb 41/2oz. The arrival of smoothound close to a month before expected is encouraging news and bodes well for the coming months. Jack Pike dominated the junior section with a rockling of 15oz and a codling of 3lb 4oz.

Phil Vanstone won Bideford Angling Clubs Monthly Sea Rover with a thornback ray of 9lb 2oz. In runner up spot was Andy Clements with a thornback of 6lb 151/2oz and third Dick Talbot with a thornback of 6lb 12oz.

Combe Martin SAC Member Kevin Legge fished an Upper Channel mark to land four thornback ray to 10lb 8oz.

(Above) Kevin Legge with a brace of thornback

Rob Scoines won the clubs fish of the month competition with a boat caught conger of 38lb. Runner up was Graham Snow with a grey mullet of 4lb 131/2oz.

(Above) Left Rob Scoines with his CMSAC Fish of the month

Larry Lambell celebrated his 70th birthday by chartering John Barbeary’s boat Bluefin and invited fellow anglers to compete for the Blue Fin Trophy. Tony Reeves won the trophy catching the most species on the day. Larry won the sweep for heaviest fish and best specimen with a fine spurdog of 14lb.

Specimen Spurdog and big conger on Bluefin

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(Above)Rob Scoines & josh Atkinson with a fine brace of eels Robs weighing 38lb and Josh’s 33lb 8oz

A party of local anglers enjoyed some hectic sport off Ilfracombe aboard John Barbeary’s ‘Bluefin’. Spurdog provided the bulk of fish caught with upwards of 50 brought to the boat. Several quality conger to almost 40lb were also boated putting a serious curve into the anglers rods.

The biggest spurdog of the day was a fine specimen of 16lb 8oz to the rod of Bill Caasar. (Below)

It is likely that the spurdog sport will continue for some while yet with bull huss also likely to increase in numbers.

Josh Atkinson with a specimen spurdog on of several double figure specimens he landed to 14lb 4oz

Graham Snow wins North Devon Heat

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Graham Snow secured victory in the March heat of the North Devon Sea League with his fine mullet 4lb 13.5oz. It was the only fish brought to the scales, Th next heat is on April 9th and10th with the weigh in at Appledore. The Leagues AGM will be held in May and anyone interested in submitting 4 man teams should contact Damien Babb on 07875611772.

Graham Snow Wins North Devon Heat

Spurdogs still showing off Ilfracombe

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Pete Gregory enjoyed a good days sport on Bluefin with spurdog still showing with bull huss numbers increasing probably because they can now get to the bait before the ravenous pack of spurdog.

A brilliant days fishing out from ilfracombe with john barbery on board his boat the ” Bluefin ” . About twenty spurdogs landed as we are coming to the end of the season , so not as many as in previous trips , but the shortage of bull huss in previous trips was reversed with lots on this trip as the waters are beginning to warm up . Lots of dogfish as usual and a few congers to twenty pounds . It was suggested that if all six of us put in a fiver for the biggest fish caught this trip , something i tend not to get involved with on most trips which would give the winner a thirty pound pay out . Just as well as it ended with me winning which made the trip extremely cheap .

Spring mullet on the coast

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Several thick lipped grey mullet have been caught along the coast and have also been seen in local estuary’s. Combe Martin SAC member Graham Snow landed a fine specimen of 4lb 13.5 oz and I landed a hard fighting of fish of 3lb 4oz.

Grey mullet were once considered to be fish of the summer months but recent seasons have seen local anglers land mullet throughout the year.

Spurdog on Bluefin

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(Above)17lb 14oz spurdog for Andrew Atkinson


Boat anglers are continuing to enjoy spurdog sport off Ilfracombe aboard John Barbeary’s Bluefin with fish of 19lb and 18lb picture below for local anglers including Appledore Shipbuilders Andrew Atkinson.It is likely that sport with spurdog will continue right through into April with every chance of a fish breaking through the 20lb barrier.

(Above)Andrew Atkinson with a fine specimen spurdog of 18lb.

North Devon Match Group Winter League No 5 Slade Reservoir – Pike don’t count!

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Martin Turner secured victory at a cold and windswept Slade Reservoir putting together a fine net of silver fish.
1st Martin Turner 25lb 14oz
2nd Kevin Shears 19lb 13oz
3rd Andy Gray 10lb 3oz
4th James Grogan 9lb 3oz
5th John Bailey 8lb 10oz
(Above) Kevin Shears
North Devon Match Group Winter League No 5 at  Slade Reservoir  was a match to forget for most with gale force wind and blustery conditions making fishing very uncomfortable and difficult . The road side produced top 3 all to pole tactics
Catch of the day was undoubtedly a fine double figure pike landed by John Forster sadly pike don’t count in matches!