Passionate Young Angler seeks Sponsorship to chase his dream

Max is a very passionate fisherman and long time member of Dulverton Anglers Association.  He is currently in the England Youth Fly Fishing Team and has already 2 caps to his name so this will be his 3rd International match this year.

He is also the Loch Style National Youth Championship winner, (catching 11 and 2nd place caught 4)
Max spends most of his time either fly fishing or carp fishing
Max turns 16 this year and has been offered a place at Sparsholt College, in Hampshire to study Fishery Management Level 3.  Although the course is funded, he will need to board due to the distance.  Therefore he is looking for sponsorship in order he can fulfil his passion (dream).

If you can help young Max please contact Lance Nicholsons at Dulverton


            In 2012 over a decade ago Combe Martin Sea Angling Club had an idea to hold a fun fishing event at Ilfracombe Pier in conjunction with a Marine festival entitled Sea Ilfracombe.

The idea was to bring various angling interests together with the aim of promoting angling to young people and providing an opportunity for some social interaction. On this first event I invited Ben Field from the Art of Fishing, Mat Mander and Jeremy Boyd from the newly formed Devon And Severn Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority and Nick Payne Devon Development Officer for the Angling Trust.


(Above) Guests at the 2012 Fun Fish
(Above) Fun Fishers in 2012

            This event on a murky day blighted by drizzle ran from 1.00pm until 5.00pm. A dozen or so took part in the competitive aspect of the event whilst many more came along to chat and mingle with our guests.

            A good number of fish were caught some of which were donated to the Ilfracombe Aquarium who supported the event with prizes and shared knowledge regarding the fish caught.

            Over a decade since the first event, I would like to extend heartfelt thanks to all who have supported the event since its conception.

            This year’s Fun Fish saw us once again welcome Mat Mander from the D & S IFCA, along with Dean Asplin from the Angling Trust and Jo Eames from the RNLI. The format of the competitive aspect has been tweaked slightly over the years but the general concept of a family fun day of interaction remains.

2023 – Nick Phillips CMSAC Secretary, Mat Mander D & S IFCA, Jo Eames RNLI, Dean Asplin Angling Trust and Wayne Thomas CMSAC Chairman.

            Each year on the run up to the event I have my concerns for there are always things that can go wrong that are too many to mention here and if we undertook an in-depth risk assessment we would undoubtedly have to rule out any fun! That said involving the Coastguard and RNLI over the years has provided a valuable opportunity to share common sense safety advice to all who enjoy being at the water’s edge.

            Two of the main factors impacting upon the event are tides that dictate the times and of course the weather that is totally unpredictable. This year’s event was set to run from 2.00pm until 4.00pm a couple of hours shorter than the inaugural event back in 2012. One lesson we have learned is that young angler’s attention will start to wander if sport is slow and its also exhausting running around with a clip board keeping a tally of catches for the species competition.

            Luck was certainly with us on Sunday September 3rd 2023 for we were blessed with a light breeze, warm sunshine and a blue sky reflecting upon a calm sea. We met up with our guests in the Aquarium Café an hour before the event to greet and run over the days format.

For Dean Asplin of the Angling Trust and Jo Eames of the RNLI this was their first CMSAC Fun Fish. I explained that the format was rather loose and that whilst there is a competitive element its really just about having a fun day. Rules are minimal and we have no idea how many will turn up on the day.

            This year’s event was generously supported by Danny Watson of High Street Tackle who supplied a splendid array of tackle prizes to add to the club’s funded prizes and additional support came from the Angling Trust.

            Arriving at the pier we regretted the oversight in not having our club papering table to work from. I had assumed Nick would bring his, Nick had assumed I would bring mine and Dean Asplin from the Angling Trust said he would have brought his if he had known. There is surely a lesson to be learnt there. I vaguely remember something on a training course referring to an Ass of U and Me!

            We strolled onto the pier with an array of spare rods leaflets and boxes of prizes. A good number of anglers were already set up some of them fishing and others getting ready for the fun fish to commence. Dean Asplin joined with me in grabbing details of the competitors and I invited those who just happened to be there fishing to join in the fun. After twenty minutes or so we were ready for cast off with over twenty competitors ranging from three years old to a more senior stature.

            In truth it was a bit chaotic but it wasn’t long before a variety of fish started to be swung to hand. I dashed around with the clip board keeping a tally and grabbing a few images. Nick Phillips the Clubs long suffering secretary assisted keenly measuring fish when requested and offering advice and tutoring when possible. Jo Eames from the RNLI chatted keenly with anglers and members of the public displaying a vast knowledge of safety at sea and the history of the RNLI. Mat Mander was at hand to assist throughout and take any questions relating the sterling work undertaken by the Devon and Severn IFCA to help manage and police inshore waters for the benefit of stakeholders and the complex marine ecosystem.

            There were twelve species of fish registered during the event including, mackerel, pollock, ballan wrasse, corkwing wrasse, smelt, blenny’s, shanny’s, rock gobies, garfish, pouting, whiting and even a small tope.

            The results are as follows : –

Junior Winner of top prize –  Ben Clark – 17 points

Overall winner – Anna Stavrakopoulos – 27 points

Heaviest Fish – Paul Chamberlain – tope 11oz

Longest Fish – Paul Maxfield – garfish 56cm


(Above) Solly Welch and his grandad Dave Welch share the fun of fishing.

(Above) Dean Asplin of the Angling Trust –

It is true to say that everyone who took part in this year’s event was a winner. It was perhaps one of the best Fun Fishes we have held over the years though there have been some very special memories made and I hope just a few new anglers have been set on a journey of fun and adventure.



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.

Combe Martin SAC Fun Fish 2023

Combe Martin SACs annual Fun Fishing Event coincides with the Sea Ifracombe Festival. This years special guests include Mat Mander from the D & S IFCA, Dean Asplin from the Angling Trust and hopefully members of the Local Coastguard and RNLI. There will be a friendly competition as in past years and the opportunity to talk with local anglers and our special guests.

The club look forward to meeting up with local anglers as participants or just for a chat on the day.

The event is free to enter. All junior anglers must be accompanied by an adult.

Bideford and District Angling Club Junior Competition No. 4

Bideford and District Angling Club
Junior Competition No. 4
Tarka Swims
1st Brodie Allen 23lb 6oz
2nd Findley Huggins 17lb 10oz
3rd Jenson Kiff 13lb 8oz
4th Imogen Babb 13lb 1oz
5th Ted Blight 11lb 12oz
6th Bailly Brambley 9lb 10oz
7th Maci Brambley 8lb 4oz
8th Willow Davies. 4lb 15oz
9th Billy Butler 4lb 14oz
10th. Leo Davies 3lb 3oz
11th Albi Clements 2lb 9oz
12th Lewis Hathaway 2lb 8oz
13th Brodie Daniel 2lb 4oz
14th Amelia Bell 1lb 10oz
15th Metida Voice 13oz
16th Tash Hawkins 9oz
17th Fletcher Hawkins 8oz
Despite the fierce winds our junior members turned out in force for the penultimate competition of the junior calendar, over half the pegs on George’s lake were used.!
Poles and rods were gripped tightly as storm “Antoni” did it’s best to spoil the day.
Brodie, on peg 15 , put a cracking net of mainly carp on the scales to win the day. Paste on the pole his tactics.
Second spot went to Findley on peg 8 , his chosen tactic to combat the high winds was a method feeder.
Jenson fished similarly on peg 11 for a well earned third spot.
Despite some very challenging conditions the youngsters all managed to weigh in, well done all.
Martin Cox Bait tech for their generosity.
Also our helpers on the day.

Bideford and District Angling Club Junior event No. 3

Bideford and District Angling Club
Junior event No. 3
1st Brodie Allen 14lb 8oz
2nd Lewis Hathaway 9lb 4oz
3rd Leo Davies 7lb 14oz
4th Eric Snudden 3lb 9oz
4th Hector Snudden 3lb 9oz
6th Willow Davies 2lb 10oz
7th Imogen Babb 1lb 14oz
8th Albi Clements 15oz
The forecast for wind and heavy rain kept some of our regular youngsters away for this,the third event of the summer series ; however the weather wasn’t as bad as predicted and pegs 7 to 14 offered a degree of shelter.
Some nice catches were made with Brodie’s net of pole caught carp top wieght on the day,
Second place went to Lewis on peg 7, sweetcorn on the pole tactics.
Leo fished pellets on a method feeder for third.
Our next event is on Saturday August 5th.

Bideford and District Angling Club Junior Event

Bideford and District Angling Club
Junior Event
1st Ted Blight 15lb 1/2oz
2nd Charles Heddon 13lb 15 1/2oz
3rd Brodie Allen 12lb 7 3/4oz
4th Leo Davies 10lb 13 3/4oz
5th Jake Seddon 8lb 8 1/4oz
6th Billy Butler 7lb 6 1/2 oz
7th Albi Clements 7lb 1 3/4oz
8th Thomas Scott 6lb 6 1/4oz
9th Imogen Babb 5lb 12 1/4oz
10th Kash Hawkins 5lb 9 1/4oz
11th Fletcher Hawkins 3lb 8 1/4oz
12th Lewis Hathaway 3lb 7 1/2oz
13th Rudyjames Nicholas 3lb 6 1/4oz
14th Maci Brambley 2lb 10 1/4oz
15th Isaiah Seddon 2lb 7 1/4oz
16th Willow Davies 2lb 1 3/4oz
17th Bailey Bramley 2lb 1 1/2oz
18th Archie Brooks 1lb 7 3/4oz
19th Taylor Charlton 1oz
Fantastic ,
19 young members have turned up to fish the second event of the year, George’s lake has produced bumper
catches for our lads and lasses.
Really close results, Ted topped the field from peg 14
with a lovely net of carp all on the method feeder.
Charlie’s second spot fell to paste on the pole off peg 12 , Brodie took 3rd on peg 1.
The weights were taken on an assortment of techniques and all around the lake.
Everyone went home with a prize, a suntan and l hope, a smile.!!…
Many thanks to the senior helpers and to the sponsors for our prize table.

Latest Coarse Results from Bideford & District Angling Club

Midweek evening competition
Round 4 results:
1st (joint) Nathan Underwood  32lb 4oz
1st (joint) David Bailey 32lb 4oz
3rd Stephen Craker  26lb 8oz
4th Roger Ackroyd  24lb 4oz
5th Richard Jefferies  23lb 6oz
6th Mike Snudden 19lb 2oz
15 fished
Our members enjoyed another beautiful evening on Tarka Swims , as we approach the half way point in the series Nathan continues his relentless dominance, with his second win this time on peg 22, pole and paste has accounted for his mainly carp net.
He didn’t have it all his own way as David made his return, with a fantastic net of larger carp on peg 9 , float fished hard pellets beside the lilly pads.
Steve’s 3rd place came to luncheon meat.
On Sunday we have our monthly competition.

Junior Competition No 1

Tarka Swims


1st Thomas Scott 11lb 10oz
2nd Alby Clements 9lb 12oz
3rd Lewis Hathaway 5lb 6oz
4th Imogen Babb 5lb 4oz
5th Ted Blight 3lb 10oz
6th Matilda Voice 3lb 7oz
7th Jenson Kiff 2lb 9oz
8th Isaiah Seddon 1lb 7oz
9th Jake Seddon 1lb 6oz
10th Bailey Brambley 1lb 3oz
11th Maci Brambley 1lb 2oz
12th Tanzin Galliver 15oz
13th Billy Butler 1oz
A scorching Saturday afternoon on Tarka swims saw our young members fish the first in their 5 match series .
Thomas, our oldest competitor, has left it late to catch the winning fish , a nice carp on peg 21 has swung the decision.
Albi ,our youngest member, has put a lovely net of fish together on peg 17 for second spot.
Lewis, fishing his first ever match came in third on peg 18.Last year’s overall champion Imogen was 4th.
A fantastic day was had by all, a special thanks to Summerlands Tackle and Quay Sports for their help with prizes , also to our senior helpers on the day.


Spring into Fishing – Get into fishing this April, May and June with FREE fishing from the Angling Trust

The Angling Trust’s Spring into Fishing campaign returns for a fourth year with FREE fishing sessions  to re-awaken your love of the outdoors

Come and Spring into Fishing at free, fun, outdoor activity events for families around the country that are the perfect way to discover the wonderful world of angling. Everybody is welcome, to come and try fishing – whatever your age, ability or experience level.

Never been fishing before? No problem – tackle, bait, instruction and info on fishing clubs and places to go are all included for everyone at Spring into Fishing events.

Already a beginner? Great – come back and continue your introduction to angling, refresh your basic fishing skills this spring and discover some new fishing tips to help progress your angling to the next-level!

Spring into Fishing beginner sessions are quality assured by the Angling Trust to give the best possible experience of fishing to children, families and anybody who wants to find out what you need and where to go fishing. Funded by the Environment Agency and Sport England, Spring into Fishing gives everyone the chance to get outside, try fishing and learn new skills.

Free fishing events like this let you experience first-hand how fun, inexpensive and accessible fishing is, and how it’s good for your wellbeing to get outside next to water and simply tune-in to the peace and quiet of nature.

Spring into Fishing events are happening all over the country from April right through to June at fishing clubs and venues in partnership with friendly, helpful coaches and volunteers who will show you and your children what fishing is all about.

I arrived at Anglers Paradise’s Eldorado Day Ticket complex shortly after the start of the morning session of the 2023 Spring into fishing event. It was a perfect late Spring morning with warm sunshine and a gentle breeze. Wispy white high clouds drifted across the blue sky with the water of the  mixed general lake reflecting the lush green surrounds of the flag Iris and bankside trees.

The vibrancy of the Devon countryside in late May and early June is certainly to be savoured. The lake was surrounded by families sharing in an introduction to the joys and tribulations of fishing. The coaches were certainly in for a busy day as they explained the setting up of tackle to the eager pupils. The brightly coloured wriggling maggots always fascinate children who are often eager to touch and feel the writhing mass within the bait tub.

The coaches set up a selection of tackles some putting out self-hooking leger rigs whilst most opted for the simplicity of pole tackles and float. I always think that the simplicity of float fishing is perfect for beginners. A float offers a point of focus; giving delight in its disappearance and buoyant optimism whilst watched.

I wandered around the lake with my camera chatting with coaches and pupils whilst trying to capture the essence of the day. It is always a joy to witness success as the fish were lifted from the water their jewelled flanks glistening in the sunshine. Beaming smiles abounded as floats dipped frequently during the morning session.

Nick Pack is delighted with a golden rudd

The coaches were kept busy carefully unhooking the fish and explaining the importance of correct handling procedures. The use of unhooking matts, wet hands and correct unhooking tools was explained.

A variety of species were caught including golden rudd, perch, carp and a stunning koi carp of close to 10lb caught by Lewis Jones.

The coaches talked about each fish and pointed out its characteristics, the golden flanks of rudd with scarlet fins, the stripy flanks of perch with their spiky bristling fins and the bronze chain mail flanks of carp.

During my walks around the Lake I caught sight of a bent rod on the cat and carp lake below. I dashed down to witness Paul Hockam land a pleasing catfish. Later in the day his fishing partner Tasha Caunter banked a stunning common carp of 17lb.

The pupils ranged from families who travelled from across the South West to individual anglers rediscovering the joys of angling. I hoped that some of the young would become hooked by the fascination of angling and follow a journey through life enhanced by days in nature that can nurture mental health. It was also good to share the rediscovery of angling with a man who recalled fishing with his Grandad as a child.

Malcolm Saunders

Angling is a passion that can be enjoyed in many different ways. I have commented before how an angling journey can often be plotted with beginners wanting to catch fish, they then wish to catch more fish, bigger fish or maybe more than their fellow angler. At some point they perhaps rediscover the simple of joy of just going fishing.

By the end of the morning session most pupils had caught a fish and hopefully most will want to return to the  water’s edge again.

During the short dinner break between the two session’s I chatted with Dean Asplin Angling Development Manager for the Angling Trust. Dean works with the trust and its volunteer coaches to organise these valuable events at participating fisheries across the country.

The Coaches – Alex Green, Mark Thormycroft, Joe Dietrich, Dan Smedley, Michael Head, Roly Palmer, John Thompson and Zenia Gregorek

Dean told me that they are very busy at present with many eager to sample fishing. Zenia Gregorek of the Anglers Paradise complex is a passionate supporter of the Angling Trust and thanked Dynamite baits and Shakespeare Tackle for their generous support. Anglers Paradise continues to grow and there are many exciting plans for the future that I will continue to share here on North Devon Angling News

Before the afternoon session commenced I called for a quick group photo as another group of budding anglers converged on the water. After the busy morning the fish seemed less inclined to dine and action was less frantic. With coaches having to explain why it is called fishing and not catching.

Despite the slower fishing there were plenty of smiling faces as I departed for home with a camera full of  the days images.


Jack and Joe Cantillon share the joy of catching a fine perch


Lucy Hook with a lovely mirror carp
Jasper Pack with a fine perch
Olivia Nuttall with a golden rudd


Alistair Nuttall with golden rudd

Edward Steward with a fine common carp


Zackery Gibson with a golden rudd
Zenia explains the principles of angling to Scarlet Richards


Ollie Richards with his first fish
Noah and Jacob Carpenter

Anglers Paradise