NICK SMITH REPORTS FROM ILFRACOMBE

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Many thanks to Nick Smith for allowing me to use his excellent account of a day aboard Ilfracombe based Charter boat ‘Bluefin’ skippered by John Barbeary.

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Well what a great day out with John Barbeary and his boat Blue Fin, arrived in Ilfracombe this morning just after 7, to find Craig Crafty Mcloughlin of The Braunton Bait shop delivering 200 live sand eels to the boat, thanks to Craig for a great service and the eels certainly did the job….
Steamed out of the harbour in glorious sunshine with the horseshoe are first mark, but this proved uneventful so after a couple of drifts we decided to head on down channel to baggy in hope of some bass.
the water wasn’t very clear and this obviously hindered our attempts with just a few pollock and a nice scad coming over the gunnels. With fishing slow John told us to pull the lines in he’d had enough and we were going to Lundy……
When we arrived the water was much clearer and it wasn’t long before we started pulling in the pollock, I even managed to snag a rare fish it seems nowadays with a nice fat mackerel and Paul Lorrimore had his first cuckoo wrasse.
We dropped the anchor to see if there was any tope about but to no avail, with big Al landing a nice huss and young Toby Bassett managing a few doggies…..🙂
John then got a call on the radio to say they were getting bass on the horseshoe, so we steamed back and finished off the day there drifting for the bass. It wasn’t long before the first silver bar was over the gunnels falling to Tom Collingridge, with Scott Shepherd, closely behind before we all started catching them…..
Scott managed the best fish of the day with a whopping scad of 1lb 12oz, which is not only a PB but a new bristol channel record also, so well done bud.

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But as always all good things must come to an end so with a bucket full of bass and pollock to clean and a rather messy boat to wash down we headed back to Ilfracombe……

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FLOUNDER DOMINATE CATCHES ON BIDEFORD SIDE

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14550804_10210745186131856_1577389037_oTarrant Wotton and Lee Watts with their winning flounder

The flounder season is certainly underway now with Taz Wotton taking top spot in Bidefords monthly rover landing a flounder of 1lb 83/4oz.  Lee Watts secured second and third with flounder of 1lb 81/4oz and 1lb 7oz.

The club also held the Des Clements Memorial Competition that raised £25 for charity and was won by Taz Wotton with his flounder.

Jazza John secured the top three places in Appledore Shipbuilders Match weighing in flounder of 1lb 151/4oz, 1lb 11oz and 1lb 9oz. Jack Pike took the junior prize with a wrasse of 2lb 21/4oz.

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COMBE MARTIN SAC LYN FISH 2016

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The annual Lyn Fish open competition attracted twenty local anglers competing for cash prizes and an impressive prize table from sponsors Sakuma Tackle and Braunton Baits. The event is a catch and release specimen match with fishing from boat and shore.

Anglers fished a wide variety of marks between the boundaries Minehead Harbour wall and Clovelly Harbour. Most of the winning fish coming from marks in the Lynmouth to Ilfracombe area.

Day one was blighted by a strong westerly wind that made boat fishing impossible and shore fishing a bit of a trial. Grey mullet were a popular target species with several competitors and it was these hard fighting fish that were being targeted by Daniel Welch on Saturday night when he hooked a hard fighting fish that took off on several long runs before eventually being netted. The fish turned out to be fine conditioned bass of 7lb 13oz tempted on bread-flake and size 8 hook!

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On the Saturday evening tide James Fradgely- Gubb and Rob Scoines fished a rock mark buffeted by the strong wind. A couple of good fish were lost but James eventually managed to land a specimen bull huss of 10lb 1oz.

In the early hours of Sunday morning Kevin Legge and Dave Brooke fished a rough ground mark where Kevin landed a couple of huss the best scaling 9lb 6oz. Kevin also landed a blonde ray of around 7lb that was a surprise on the rough ground they were fishing.

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John Avery and myself targeted grey mullet and at 6.00am on the Sunday morning I cast out a two hook rig baited with bread flake. Seconds later I noticed the rod tip rattle and grabbed the rod as the butt lifted from the ground. A powerful fish surged away and battle commenced. A few minutes later John expertly wielded the net and a very pleasing mullet was secured. At 5lb 2oz it was a great start to the day! img_3583

After a couple of quiet hours fishing we moved to another mark and found the mullet in a feeding frenzy landing half a dozen with John and Callum Gove landing the majority with Johns best scaling 2lb 9oz.

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Louis Rooke and John Shapland paid a visit to the estuary in search of grey mullet and flounder. Louis managed the only weigh-able fish of note a plump flounder of 1lb 6oz.

The calm weather on Sunday enabled the boats to get afloat and Rob Scoines boated the best boat caught specimen of the day a small eyed ray of 9lb 13oz. Ross Stanway boated the biggest fish of the weekend; a tope of 30lb.

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The weigh in and prize giving was held at the Rising Sun Lynmouth where platefuls of scrumptious sandwiches and hot chips were provided for the hungry anglers who had fished hard over the two days. Raffle tickets were sold for an array of impressive prizes donated by local businesses with the proceeds going to West Exmoor Federation.

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The raffle and fishing competition helped to raise £400 for the West Exmoor Federation of schools.

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Full Results:-

1st – Wayne Thomas – Grey Mullet – Shore – 5lb 2oz – 128%

2nd – James Gugg-Fradgely – bull huss – Shore – 10lb 1oz – 101%

3rd – Rob Scoines – Boat – small eyed ray – 9lb 13oz – 98%

4th– Daniel Welch – Shore – bass – 7lb 13oz – 97%

5th – Kevin Legge –Shore – bull huss – 9lb 6oz– 93%

6th – Ross Stanway – Boat- tope – 30lb -75%

7th – Louise Rooke –Shore – Flounder – 1lb 6oz – 68%

8th – John Avery – Shore – Grey Mullet – 2lb 9oz – 64%

Combe Martin SAC give special thanks to all who participated and supported the event, to Sakuma and Braunton Baits for donating some excellent prizes. Thanks also to Tony Vickery and all at the Rising Sun for providing delicious food and making all welcome.

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FLOUNDER SEASON UNDERWAY

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The flounder fishing season in the river Taw traditionally gets underway at the time of Barnstaple Fair and the first Flounder competition of the season was held by Triple Hook Club on September 25th when 14 anglers took part. A good number of flounder were caught and numerous school bass up to 3lb.

Winner of the competition was Devlin with flounder scaling 1lb 11.75oz. Runner up was Tony Burslem with a flounder of 1lb 10.5oz and third John Vaughan with a flounder of 15.5oz.

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Bass and Ray for Dave and Kevin – Guest reporter Jansen Teakle VMO

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As the summer comes to pass and there is a distinct freshness to the autumn air, north Devon angler Kevin Legge has for the last few years turned his attention towards surf fishing for bass. With most anglers heading for the local rock marks in pursuit of conger and maybe a tope, the surf beaches are for the most part devoid of anglers and Kevin, together with a couple of friends, has enjoyed some tremendous fishing. Although his personal best bass from the beach is 15lb 12oz (the current Bristol Channel record), it is rare that he goes a season without seeing a fish of specimen size.

This year has been no different and recent sessions have been extremely productive for both Kevin and regular fishing partner Dave Brook.

Only last night, Kevin and Dave had planned to tackle their regular stretch of beach but were a little uncertain as to whether it would be fishable. With the forecast onset of strong winds, Kevin realised it would be highly probable that there would be an onshore swell developing as a result of a weather front developing out in the Atlantic. Such conditions often bring with them rafts of weed which make the beach near impossible to fish, so the decision was made to try a little further along the coast at Putsborough. The prominent rock peninsula of Baggy Point would offer some protection, at least that was the plan, and so Kevin and Dave headed off across the sands, the roar of the ocean ever present.

Kevin’s approach is a little different to that of the regular surf angler who historically has fished with as light a lead as possible. Kevin fishes with 7oz leads on regular pulley rigs. A pair of 6/0 Varivas Big Mouth Xtra hooks complete the set up and are baited with a fillet of blast frozen Ammo mackerel. Mackerel is rarely in short supply in Devon, but Kevin has experiment to great lengths with both fresh and frozen mackerel and it is interesting to note that the blast frozen bait out-fishes the fresh bait by a considerable margin.

Tackling up some hundred yards apart in order to give each other plenty of space, Kevin only had to wait ten minutes before a small bite registered on his rod tip. Before too long, the tip began to pull over and a steady rasp of line was pulled from the reel, the ratchet singing out in the wind. Making contact, it was evident that this was a big fish and Dave came over to assist Kevin in the surf. Sure enough, a long bass came into view and was guided onto dry land.

Double figure delight for KevinKevin’s fish was admired, weighed at 10lb 7oz in a light sling, photographed and returned, but whilst this drama was unfolding, his second rod that had been neglected for the last ten minutes was also paying out line to an as-yet unseen adversary. Once again, Kevin was into a fish, but despite his initial thoughts turning to a second bass, it soon became clear this was not the case.

Dave looked on inquisitively as both anglers awaited the fish to come ashore. Soon, all was revealed and as suspected it was not a bass but a specimen size small eyed ray of 9lb 12oz.

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This was a spectacular start for the dynamic duo but Dave was more than aware that his own rods were all alone further down the beach so after taking further photos of Kevin with his ray, he made his way back down the beach to see what the state of play was.

Both rod’s were there on the stand, but one was not as it had been left… in fact it was as straight as a needle and the line was blowing about wildly in the buffeting wind. Dave wound down into the slack and and lifted the rod, not knowing just how long it had been like this. As luck would have it, the rod pulled back in his grasp and the fish was still there! With plenty of head shakes as the fish swam parallel with the beach, Dave was certain that this fish was a bass and sure enough in the beam of his lamp a  black back emerged from the froth and a prime bass was slid up the sand.

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Dave’s bass weighed in at over 8lb, but the two anglers weren’t done just yet. Over the next two hours they added two more small eyed rays and Kevin found another bass of just over 7lb.

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NEWS UPDATE TO FOLLOW

Apologies for the lack of updates over the past week we have been on holiday to Fowey in Cornwall. Will update the site with all relevant local news tomorrow. I will also write a short blog on fishing in Cornwall; whilst not a fishing holiday there were a few piscatorial interludes.

Many thanks to all those who have supported the website since its launch back in June especially those who have placed adverts on the site. If you would like to advertise please email me and I will get back to you with full details.

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SOUTH MOLTON ANGLERS BOAT TRIP

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IMG_20160910_150549885_HDRSouth Molton anglers enjoyed a session off Ilfracombe on Bluefin skippered by John Barbeary. They landed 20 bass to 8lb keeping one each for the table in accordance with present regulations and returning the rest in the hope conserving the species.Three tope to 30lb were boated, six pollock to 5lb over twenty huss to 10lb, conger to 15lb, horse mackerel, pouting and the inevitable dogfish.

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SHORT SESSION BASS

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DSCF2784The weather forecast was far from good with strong winds and heavy rain forecast but it was a Friday night and after a week at work the coast was beckoning. A phone call from my good mate Kevin Legge sealed the decision and a short session was planned to coincide with high water.  We knew a sheltered spot and with top quality waterproofs there was no excuse not to go.

One of the beauties of bass is that they can be caught on a wide variety of methods and one of my personal favorites is to free-line  holding the rod to feel that electrifying pull as the bass intercepts the bait. First cast I had a good pull and missed it. Second cast and I connect with a pleasing bass of around 3lb 8oz that is carefully returned. I expect more takes but that is the only take  I get all evening. A couple of hours later Kev gives a shout and I scurry over to slip the net under a bass that we estimate at around 6lb. The fish gives a good account of itself on the light tackle and rounds off a pleasing excursion. The fish is tempted on a large flapper of Ammo mackerel.

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