FUN FISHING @ Sea Ilfracombe 2021

Combe Martin SAC’s annual Fun Fish was once again held In conjunction with the Sea-Ilfracombe Festival at Ilfracombe Pier after a one year break. This year the club had not promoted the event to the extent of previous years as concerns about COVID still linger amongst many across society.

I arrived early to secure a parking place on the pier and called in to speak with Dan at the aquarium as they had offered some containers to hold any donations to the aquarium we could catch.

This event is as stated a fun event aimed at families and those happy to try something a little less serious. The format is a species competition with 10 points for the first of each species with 2 points for the next two after which any more of that species do not count.

We had eleven competitors dominated by the Stanway and Welch families who had come armed with a variety of baits and light tackle. The event was due to cast off at 10.00am and I took the inevitable snap of Verity towering above the pier dividing opinion as ever among both visitors and locals. It was loaned to Ilfracombe in 2012 by the well known artist Damien Hurst and is due to remain until 2032.

A brisk North East breeze was sweeping down the channel causing some concern that fish would be reluctant to feed. These fears were soon dismissed as rod tips started twitching as soon as baits hit the sea bed.

Young smiling faces soon followed as a succession of small pouting and pollock were swung ashore. I was kept busy with the camera whilst club secretary Nick Phillips made busy with the score sheet. Dan from the aquarium made regular visits throughout the morning to take the required fish back to their new home in the aquarium. I am pleased to say that numerous pouting and poor cod from previous fun fishing events still reside safely in the aquarium’s tanks.

Effie Welch with a wrasse
Jake Stanway with one of the three smelt that helped to a winning points total
Charlie Stanway with scorpion fish
A fearsome looking scorpion fish
A corkwing wrasse
Effie Welch displays a corkwing wrasse
A rock goby
Solly Welch with a ballan wrasse

The morning proceeded with the species tally growing steadily to include pollock, pouting, poor cod, shanny, smelt, scorpion fish, rock gobies, ballan wrasse and corkwing wrasse. Many of these small fish are handsome creatures with an amazing array of colours decorating their flanks.

A Pretty corkwing wrasse

A rather concerning observation was a total lack of mackerel or garfish, species that would historically have been  abundant at this time of year. General consensus is that this year is one of the worst for mackerel in living memory.

I am sure that by the end of the four hours fishing mums and dads were glad to take a rest after working hard detangling rigs, retackling and unhooking fish. The results are as follows.

1st – Jake Stanway – 90 points

2nd – Charlie Stanway – 70 points

3rd – Ross Stanway – 66 points

4th – Effie Welch – 64 points

5th – Solly Welch – 52 points

6th – Paul Maxfield – 26 points

7th – Malin Marcus Young – 24 points

Longest fish – Solly Welch – Pollock 27cm

An array of  quality prizes donated by the clubs sponsors High Street Tackle were presented to the top five competitors. Ilfracombe Aquarium kindly donated family tickets for the two competing families enabling them to visit during the autumn and see the expanded layout and new exhibits.

Combe Martin Sea Angling Club plan to repeat the event next September once again working with the Sea Ilfracombe Festival organisers. With luck COVID fear will have subsided allowing a higher profile event welcoming back those VIP guest anglers and the local coastguard.

An unusual guest appearance at this years event was that of a rather wet and bedraggled grey squirrel that swam onto the pier steps and bounded energetically past competitors!

The competition prize giving was followed by the declaration of winning fish in the club’s lure fishing competition once again generously sponsored by Danny and Pauline at High Street Tackle.

1st – Daniel Welch – bass – 72cm – £200 Voucher

2nd – Wayne Thomas – bass – 67cm – £100 Voucher

3rd – Ross Stanway – bass  -55cm – £25.00 Voucher

Daniel Welch – Winning bass 72cm
Wayne Thomas – bass 67cm

Young Luke banks first carp and its a double!

Young Luke McCarthy’s mum and dad Heather & Simon from Summerlands Tackle are very proud of young Luke who baited up, cast out and landed, by himself, his very first carp, 15lb 14oz!

⭐🎣🎉Summer Competition Time🎉🎣⭐
👊🎣👊It’s THE BIG FISHING ONE 👊🎣👊
WIN A £100 GIFT VOUCHER & £100 DONATED TO RNLI APPLEDORE 🧡
HOW TO ENTER… LIKE AND SHARE THIS POST TO ENTER! IF YOU WANT TO DOUBLE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING BRING US YOUR FAVOURITE FISHING PHOTO IN STORE FOR OUR WALL (You will then be entered twice!) Closing date 31st August 2021.
WHAT A 18 MONTHS… I think we can all say thank goodness for fishing and friends 🎣 So it seems only fitting that as we enter the “new normal” it only feels right to recognise how far we have all come and how well we have all done and to also give back to a charity just down the road from the shop that literally didn’t stop at all through the pandemic 🧡 Thank you for all your support, the shop is jam packed FULL of stock and summer ready for you 😁

Bideford and District Angling Club Junior Competition No.4. :

Bideford Angling Club have done a sterling job in helping to promote angling amongst their Junior membership throughout the summer.
Results :
1st Thomas Scott  15lb 14oz
2nd Mia Bell 10lb 4oz
3rd Tyler Scott  10lb
4th Lilly Bell 9lb 14oz
5th Adam Wheeler  8lb 9oz
6th Charlie Heddon 6lb 5oz .
Lucky, the pessimistic weather forecast proved unfounded , and our Juniors enjoyed another lovely afternoon on Georges lake . Thomas fished the pole on peg 17 with corn for a great net of skimmers to win the last match of the series. Mia fished her first match on peg 16 and added a 3lb carp to her net of tench to finish 2nd. The final points tally resulted in a draw in the over 14’s for first place between the Scott brothers , 56 points apiece.Count back on weigh saw Thomas take the Gold medal. In the under 14’s category Charlie Heddon collected Gold with 42 points.
Huge well done to all competitors and helpers for making this event possible. Thanks to BaitTech, for generous donations of prizes , Mervyn Beal for sponsoring the medals also to Summerlands for their support.

BIDEFORD JUNIOR EVENT

Well done to Bideford for their efforts in promoting angling to a young generation.

Junior event No. 3 Results Over 14s

1st Adam Wheeler 8lb 5oz

2nd Tyler Scott 7lb 10oz

3rd Thomas Scott 6lb 12oz

Under 14 age group 1st Charlie Heddon 10lb 3oz 2nd Brodie Allin 8lb 12oz .

Using pegs 4 to 11 the junior event produced some great catches, in this , the third match of the series. Top weight on the day was youngster Charlie with a lovely double figure net of skimmers and tench ( and terch! ) on peg 7 in the 3 hour competition . Prizes were kindly donated by BaitTech and Summerlands.

Bideford & District Angling Club – Junior Competition Round 2 Result

All credit to Bideford Angling Club in organising this fabulous competition for the clubs Junior members. many thanks to Martin Turner for the report.

   BDAC Junior Competition No2 held today at Tarka swims .

Results:Over 14s

1st Tyler Scott 11lb 10oz

2nd Thomas Scott 10lb 12oz

3rd Joe Westcott 5lb 13oz

4th Adam Wheeler  1lb 10oz

Under 14’s

1st Brodie Allin 9lb 10oz

2nd Thomas Conibear 2lb 15oz

3rd Harry Mounce 2lb.

Lovely afternoon for this 3 hour event held on the shallower pegs on Georges lake , the Scott brothers shared the top spots again , with Tyler coming out best this time on peg 25 , a nice bag of tench crucians and rudd topped off with a 5lb carp. Thomas was second with mainly skimmers on peg 5. Star of the show was 6 year old Brodie on his first match, winning the under 14’s off peg 2 with a great net of fish all caught on a short pole .We must again thank Summerlands and Bait Tek for their kind support with prizes.

Bideford Angling Club – Junior Event

Bideford Angling Club held the first of their Summer fishing events at Tarka Swims. Great to see a good number of juniors coming into fishing. Well done to Bideford for such a sterling effort.
Today’s first Junior Event Tarka Swims , Results: Over 14’s
1st Tom Scott  9lb 15oz
2nd Tyler Scoot   6lb 12oz
3rd   Adam Wheeler 6lb 6oz
4th Joe Westcott 3lb 9oz
Under 14’s
1st Charlie H 4lb 6oz
2nd Tom G 2lb 1oz.
Our junior members enjoyed the 3 hour afternoon event on the shallower pegs, conditions were warm and overcast.Tom landed a late carp on peg 22 to secure victory, older brother Tyler had a good mixed net on peg 23 for second, just pipping Adam in to third. Many thanks to our helpers and a special thank you to Tom Downing for securing a fine box of prizes from BaitTech also thanks to Summerlands of Westward Ho!

Young ZAINE CATCHES A MONSTER

Zenia Gregorek reports :-
Our Son has only gone and caught a personal best 40lb Catfish!! He fought it like a little legend (poor boy, as he was fighting it, couldn’t stop saying, my arms hurt, my arms hurt!!!)
But he won the battle and has even beat his Mummy’s PB now!!!
Caught using a Dynamite Baits 20mm Squid & Octopus Hard Hookbait
topped with a Pineapple & Banana pop up glugged in Squid & Octopus Liquid Attractant
Anglers Paradise

A FINE BIRTHDAY PRESENT – Ten Year old Zaine banks carp brace

Proud parents Joe and Zenia Drury Gregorek sent me this heartwarming  report from Anglers Paradise.

Zaine Drury-Gregorek who knows how to celebrate his 10th birthday and that was to go fishing! Zaine had a few hours on Anglers Eldorado’s Cat and Carp Lake 1 and caught a stunning Mirror and a lovely Common! Needless to say it was the best Birthday ever and he didn’t want to leave! Zaine caught the Carp using Munchbaits Citrus Blend Pop Ups.

Anglers Paradise