Bull huss wins Combe Martin Competition

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A bitter North East wind blew down through the Bristol Channel making fishing conditions difficult for the dozen who booked into Combe Martin Sea Angling Clubs Lee to Lee Competition on Sunday 27th November. I was fortunate to take top spot with a specimen bull huss weighing 10lb 9oz that was tempted on high water using an Ammo Bluey, mackerel and squid cocktail presented on a pennel rig using 6/0 Sakuma Manta Extras. Thanks to Rob Scoines who got soaked through whilst netting the fish amidst a torrent of spray.

img_3754Wayne Thomas – bull huss 10lb 9oz

Daniel Welch took second spot in the competition with a pouting of 15oz and Ross Stanway third with a dogfish of 1lb 11oz. Daniel Welch also landed a pleasing pollock of 2lb 10.5oz. A few other dogfish, rockling and small conger were landed.


Cyril Petherick Memorial Results

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 1st Taz wotton flounder 1lb 13 1/2oz 2nd Marilyn Wotton flounder 1lb 12 1/2 3rd Taz Wotton flounder 1 lb 9 3/4 Winner of the pool nearest fish to 1lb 10 was also Taz wotton Juniors 1st William Richards flounder 15oz 2nd Charlie Jenkins flounder 14 1/4oz 3rd William Richards flounder 9.7oz

15146853_10211259108179586_1172392465_oTaz Wotton

Lee Watts  said a massive thank you for the turn out Bideford & District Angling Club enjoyed on Sunday with 46 senior entry’s and 6 juniors. A very tough day for all competitors today with more wood in the river than fish. A massive well done to Taz and his mum cleaning up (lucky gits) and well done to both juniors for putting fish on the scales.

Our next open comp is the Christmas comp on the 11th Dec be great to see u all there!

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img_3710 I joined Kevin Legge on saturday night as storm Angus approached; the weather forecast predicted the storm to arrive overnight with heavy rain. Close study of the forecast indicated that we should enjoy a few hours before conditions became too severe and with our quality Reeds waterproofs a little rain would do us no harm. Kevin had fished the previous night and had landed the first of the winters spurdog! Rain persisted through the night but the wind held off and the sea conditions were close to perfect. On the first cast of the night Kevin’s ratchet sounded as something grabbed his Ammo squid and launce cocktail. I descended the rocks and lifted a pleasing huss of 9lb 6oz from the water. The rest of the night brought a small conger and few dogfish. The wind picked up as high water passed, right on cue we packed away and headed for home. As always at this time of year grabbing the window of opportunity is key.

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I have been asked to promote this initiative to gain feedback on anglers and their contribution to the economy. This follows on from previous surveys carried out in 2012. I am sure there will be a degree of skepticism amongst anglers following the disgraceful disregard for the recreational angling sector in the past year. I will be taking part and would encourage all to do the same even though I have my doubts as to its value based on previous experience. I guess it is only right that we as anglers take part to push our value to the economy home.IMG_9203

Sea Angling 2017 seeks to get up to 1,000 sea anglers to keep an online diary of their fishing trips and catches as well as what they spend, throughout 2017.

The first stage of the project is an initial survey to get information about sea anglers’ activity and to recruit anglers for the diary study. All those completing the initial survey can enter a prize draw for tackle vouchers; and those taking part in the diary study can enter a prize draw every month for tackle vouchers (this has been kindly supported by Fishing Megastore).

There is more information attached and available on our project website: www.seaangling.org

We are asking if you would help us by:

1. Forwarding the attached email invite to take the survey and PDF poster to all angling contacts you have in your region to encourage them to do the survey.

2. Printing and displaying the poster in any venues you may have access to. Let us know if you would like any print publicity mailing to you – we have posters as well as small ‘business cards’.

4. If you are a sea angler, please do the survey yourself – you can access it direct at: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/seaangling2017

Please let us know if you require any additional information and thanks in advance for your help by contacting: [email protected]


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My general experience has been that full moons are not good for catching fish. They are often however pleasing nights to be out beside the water fishing. Liam Stevens description of success on the beach is particularly inspiring and tells why we anglers visit the shoreline at unearthly hours.


Liam Stevens caught this fine 7lb 12oz bass  with a running ledger rig at 2.30am with a bluey for bait!  Liam describes,  “I Was wading in the surf just watching my glow tip. The super-moon lit up the whole beach for 10 or 15 minutes due to the clouds clearing. I shortly caught the bass as further clouds darkened the area again! Plenty of anticipation! Perhaps it was waiting for the cover of darkness??”

The fish was returned alive to the water. There is much speculation that next year will see a total ban on keeping bass; for the sake of the tackle trade I hope that all anglers embrace catch and release.



Whilst we need a good stir up conditions are favorable for getting out there and trying for a fish or two during what is historically one of the best months of the year for shore fishing. Ilfracombe Pier is producing a bit of variety as Ross Stanway discovered when he enjoyed a short session landing, whiting, codling, gurnard and dab. Several decent pollock have also been tempted from marks along the coast with several over 2lb.


Ollie Passmore with a decent pollock

Big baits fished off deep rock marks should bring results with conger, huss, ray and possibly tope.

Boat anglers are enjoying sport up channel with the first spurdog of the winter season along with qaulity cod, conger and ray. I am sure anglers will soon be catching these ferocious predators from John Barbearys ‘Bluefin’ off Ilfracombe.



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Wayne Thomas took top spot in Combe Martin Sea Angling Clubs Fish of the Month Competition with a thick lipped grey mullet scaling 5lb 2oz.


In runner up spot was Daniel Welch with another thick lipped grey mullet of 5lb 1oz and in third Ross Stanway with a tope scaling 34lb 1oz.


November has already got a few good fish on the board and if weather permits I feel sure there will be some quality fish caught with November historically one of the best months of the year for specimen fish.



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(Above) John Shapland on a previous fishing trip

A few years ago Combe Martin SAC member John Shapland set out to catch fifty sea species in a season and succeeded. Knowing Johns keenness on species hunting I felt sure he would excel in a one day species competition and so it proved on Sunday November 6th. The bitterly cold North Wind that was forecast deterred the vast majority of club members who had shown an interest in the event with just four of us eventually venturing out. John elected to fish an estuary mark and Ilfracombe Pier and from the two venues caught an amazing eleven species including bass, sand goby, flounder, common blenny, scorpion fish, pollock, sand smelt, ballan wrasse, pouting, poor cod, rock goby and poor cod. His fishing partner for the day was Louis Rooke who managed four species;pollock, pouting, ballan wrasse and rockling.

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I fished a mark in Combe Martin Bay with Rob Sciones where we landed 7 species between us, whiting,pollock, ballan wrasse,conger, corkwing wrasse, tub gurnard and a pleasing grey mullet to my rod that weighed 4lb 14oz.

Despite the icy wind Rob and I did manage to find a little shelter from the wind and was rewarded with the sight of a pod of porpoise showing a few hundred yards from the shoreline.




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Terry Dymond took top spot in Bideford Angling Clubs monthly rover with a flounder of 1lb 123/4oz. Paul Downing was second with a flounder of 1lb 10oz and Taz Wotton was third with a plaice of 1lb 81/4oz. In fourth was Andrew Clements with a plaice of 1lb 7oz and Lisa Downing was fifth with a flounder of 1lb 61/4oz.


14971564_10154591071991788_1589527463_o(Above) Josh and James Atkinson

Appledore Shipbuilders monthly Rover attracted a field of 25 seniors and 4 juniors. Josh Atkinson won the competition with a fine flounder of 2lb 105/8oz. In second and third was James Atkinson with flounder of 2lb 75/8oz and 2lb 63/8oz. Junior winner was Nalani Knox with flounder weighing 2lb 4oz and 1lb 101/4oz.


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Dennis Toleman secured victory in Triple Hook Clubs RBL Shield with a flounder of 1lb 65/8oz. In runner up spot was Mark Beer with a flounder of 1lb 45/8oz.