IMG_3348Slight Delay

Combe Martin Sea Angling Clubs Annual Fun Fishing event on Ilfracombe Pier was once again a highly enjoyable event with twenty competitors taking part and plenty of onlookers taking an active interest. Special guests for the event were Libby Ross from IFCA and representing the local coastguard Deputy Station Officer Dave Mannering and Coastguard Rescue officer Jodie Smith.

Jodie Smith & Dave Mannering from the local coastguard.

The event was unfortunately delayed as a result of a delay in the birthing of the Balmoral which was running late after a delay on the Welsh side due to inclement weather. This gave the opportunity for the coastguard officers and Libby to engage with the fishers discussing fish conservation, regulation and safety at sea.

Libby Ross - IFCA Inshore Fisheries Conservation Authority
Libby Ross – IFCA
Inshore Fisheries Conservation Authority

When fishing eventually got underway competitors soon started to get a few bites and swing fish  ashore to be admired briefly before being returned to the water. Species caught included tub gurnard, pollock, wrasse, rockling, shore rockling, poor cod,pouting,smelt,grey mullet,rock goby, tompot blenny, and mackerel. Despite the small size of many of the fish caught beaming smiles on young faces made the event well worth while.

IMG_3394Charlie Stanway – Winner of the Event

A little light rain began to fall at the end of the event but not enough to dampen enthusiasm as everyone gathered for the presentation that was kindly carried out by Jodie Smith from the coastguard.


Winner of the top prize was young Charlie Stanway who caught five species for 7 points. Runner up was Sam Davison who caught four species for 7 points. Winner of the over 18’s section was Lyn Wilson with 7 points and runner up Ali Laird with 5 points. The heaviest fish was a 1ln grey mullet caught by Dan Welch. Special thanks go to High Street Tackle who kindly sponsored the event. Prizes were also provided by Combe Martin SAC and North Devon Angling News.


Colorful tub gurnard
Colorful tub gurnard
Lyn Wilson with the first fish of the day.
Lyn Wilson with the first fish of the day.
Tompot blenny
Tompot blenny


Dan Welch -  grey mullet 1lb
Dan Welch – grey mullet 1lb



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Despite some lumpy sea conditions, Rob Young didn’t waste any time finding the fish on a recent trip to North Devon after making the lengthy trip from South Wales for a 7.00am start with Stefan Jones. The day afloat with Stefan  resulted in this remarkable bull huss that was weighed afloat registering somewhere  between 14 and 16lb! The following day Rob fished from the coast with local angler Kevin Legge and landed a good bass of around 6lb as well as several other fish.


(Below)  Stefan release a hard fighting conger at the side of the boat.



14193856_10154489773247533_347403858_nCombe Martin SAC hold their Annual Fun Fish tomorrow on Ilfracombe Pier fishing 1.00pm until 4.00pm.

We have special guests from IFCA and the Coastguard and an array of quality prizes from our sponsors High Street Tackle and from COMBE MARTIN SAC and North Devon Angling News.

The top prize is for most species by an angler 18 or under. There will also be a senior prize for most species, a prize for heaviest  fish prize and runners up.

Anglers can register two fish of each species each fish scoring one point.

To reduce tangles one rod only please at a time.

ENTRY IS FREE – Just turn up and register.

Full REport and pictures on North Devon Angling News tomorrow night!



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Liam Stevens fished the estuary, targetting the wily mullet that frustrate many an angler. Liam eventually tempted his prize; a fine 4lb 7oz specimen using bread flake presented in conjunction with a bubble float. The fish gave a great fight and has inspired Liam to fish for them again.



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Where has that summer gone, those long evenings full of promise? Tonight I grabbed a couple of hours at Watermouth with James hoping for a few mackerel over top of the tide. The sun was illuminating the high cliffs of Exmoor to the East, porpoises were showing just a short distance from the shore and gannets were swooping and gliding in the evening sky.


It was good to be there with a rod in hand even though things didn’t go exactly to plan! After twenty minutes I eventually hooked a string of small mackerel, then next cast had a birds-nest!! Worst for years. Still plan “B” I launched a whole live mackerel out beneath a standard orange tipped sea float. Time to chill a bit and absorb the scenery with the rod in hand and the hope of a good fish. On two occasions on the retrieve a bass shadowed the bait.


James float-fished beside me and the float only sank once as he glanced away.

Mobiles and float-fishing do not mix!

There is a mixture of feelings at this junction of the year, a slight sadness that summer has drifted past. Optimism as we enter the three best months of the year for sea fishing.



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I received this email today from BASS and thought it worth sharing with readers.

Good evening guys, I hope you do not mind me sending you a copy of these two emails from BASS but I thought I would circulate them in case you were interested and would like to do something to save our bass

The species is at a crucial point in its decline. Anglers have been warning for 50 years that too many bass have been killed and still the politicians have allowed the situation to deteriorate to the present awful stock levels.
The more anglers speak up the better the chance of real success in limiting catches to a level that will allow the species to recover.

It would be great if you could find the time to email European and British fishery ministers and civil servants as BASS suggest. I have already done so.

Kind regards and thanks for reading this.

David Wilson

Urgent Last Chance!
EU Consultation: Fish Sea Bass Sustainably.
View this email in your browser
Latest ICES Sea Bass assessment shows spawning stock at an all time low.

Dear Save Our Sea Bass Subscriber

We have some important news for you.

On 30 June, ICES issued a new bass assessment. It warns that the bass spawning stock is now at an all-time low and that there is now a risk that the stock’s ability to regenerate itself is compromised. ICES have therefore recommended a full moratorium for 2017.

We have previously advised the Fisheries politicians and managers that we should restrict the bass fishery to sustainable fishing only: recreational angling and commercial hook and line fishing (excluding long-lines). This advice was not followed and, predictably, the stock is now in deep trouble and so a moratorium is needed.

We are concerned that, even now, the Fisheries politicians may give in to commercial lobbying pressure to allow unsustainable commercial bass fishing to continue. We therefore need to send a strong and clear message to the Fisheries politicians and managers, telling them that their existing policy has failed and that from now on we want the bass fishery managed so as to deliver the greatest long term benefits to society, and that means restricting it to sustainable fishing only.

We hope that a moratorium will create some breathing space for the bass stock to recover. But if it does, will we just see the fishery re-opened to unsustainable commercial fishing, so that the destruction of the stock can start over again? We must not let that happen.

You will see that we have just completely updated the Save Our Sea Bass website. We have also started a brand new campaign to email the Fisheries politicians and managers now that they are digesting the ICES advice and are considering how to react. We would ask you to support this email campaign by sending an email and encouraging members of your family and friends to send an email too. If you can help to promote the email campaign via social media too, that would be fantastic.

And finally, a special word for our French Subscribers and comrades in arms! We understand that your Fisheries Minister, Alain Vidalies, is only interested in supporting the commercial bass fishermen and has no interest in listening to what French anglers or conservationists want. However, he cannot act alone, he has to make his case on bass to other EU Member States and the EU Commission. The more French people send emails objecting to unsustainable commercial bass fishing, the more difficult it becomes for Vidalies to sustain his argument – the other EU Member States in the negotiation will be able to tell him that he is not properly representing the wishes of the people of France. We urge you to take part in the new email campaign and to spread the message widely across France.

Best wishes from the Save Our Sea Bass team.


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Tarrant Wotton secured first and second prizes in Bideford;s Fishing Festival with  fine specimen smoothound scaling 13lb 3oz and 13lb 21/2oz. In third was Nathan Clements with a thick lipped grey mullet of 4lb 101/4oz and in forth Antony Smith with a conger of 21lb 5oz.
Thirty seniors fished the event and two juniors.
       This is the second year that Taz has secured top spot in Bideford;s popular fishing festival proving that he is undoubtedly one of North Devon’s top sea anglers.
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Stefan Jones, Matthew Druce and Sam Longhurst enjoyed a successful boat trip off the North Devon coast with Sam a newcomer to angling landing his first ever bull huss.

Sam Longhurst

The trio enjoyed a great day afloat landing around twenty tope to 25lb, numerous huss and a few conger. All the fish were tempted using frozen Ammo mackerel. The day was made extra special in the presence of dolphins, porpoises and gannets.

Stefan Jones
Stefan Jones
Matt Druce
Matt Druce

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When the weather permits private boat anglers are enjoying some fine sport off the North Devon Coast with tope the main target species. Recent rough weather has clouded the water encouraging some species to feed hard with lower light levels. Stefan Jones headed to a mark off Woolacombe in his Private boat and enjoyed a great days sport landing nine small eyed ray between 5lb and 7lb plus smoothound and bull huss. The successful bait was Ammo sandeel wrapped in squid.

Advert  - Summerlands Tackle