Combe Martin SAC Member Kevin Legge tempted this fine 10lb 12oz bass from a North Devon Beach using an Ammo baits Joey mackerel.
The bass was carefully returned after this quick photo was taken.
were on day 2 fishing with no sleep in early September – maybe 1998 from memory.
Combe Martin SAC members caught plenty of fish in their rescheduled Lyn Fish competition with members fishing boat and shore.
Rob Scoines secured top spot with a fine specimen pouting of 1lb 15oz a species that is not as prolific as it once was in North Devon. ( “The local name for pouting was glower”)
Runner up in the competition was Dan Welch who fished from his Private boat with his friend Ross Stanway. Dan boated several specimens including a tope of 47lb and a bass of 8lb 12oz.
Dan and Ross also boated smoothound, Bull Huss and rockling.
Dan also targeted grey mullet during a short evening session and tempted a fine thick lipped grey mullet of 4lb 2oz
I was fishing with Rob when he caught his pouting; a session that provided a hectic few hours. During the four hour session we beached 13 Bull Huss to around 6lb, 3 dogfish,1 pollock, 1 conger and a bass.
A short lure fishing session from a shore mark on the final afternoon of the competition brought me three bass to 5lb 4oz.
Last year Combe Martin SAC held an Open match on Woolacombe beach that was attended by over twenty anglers despite rough conditions prior to the competition. This year the event was a club only event due to the ongoing COVID -19 outbreak that has impacted upon many events this season. Special thanks go the Mortehoe Parish council, who kindly allowed the club to use Marine Drive for the event. It is hoped that next year will see a return to an Open format.
A cool North wind prevailed through much of the preceding week and was still blowing on the night pf the competition. An inspection of the beach earlier in the day had revealed that there was not much weed and that it would be fishable on the night when all the swimmers and surfers had headed for home.
Half a dozen club members assembled at Marine Drive before heading down to the shoreline to cast their baits into the surf. The sun was setting behind Lundy on the horizon and I relished the spectacle appreciating the places that fishing takes me too.
As darkness descended anticipation was high that a bass or good ray would succumb. The moon rose above the hillside painting the beach with moonlight after the sun had set.
At low water I noticed a change in the pattern of nodding rod tip and reeled in a tiny small eyed ray. The next cast brought a another slightly bigger ray.
The tide flood quickly in and it was soon time to pack up. My last cast brought another tiny ray that had attempted to take my large mackerel bait intended for bass.
The trudge back to the post comp meet up was hard going with waders and soft sand a taxing combination that made us all blow a little. The results were disappointing with six small ray, a single bass and one small smoothound.
1st – Dan Welch – bass 2lb 3oz
2nd Barry Scobling – small eyed ray 2lb 4oz
Note this was a catch and release match as all CMSAC matchs are.
Bass are top of the agenda for many anglers at this time of year. Kody Chugg employed big mackerel to tempt several bass between 4lb and 6lb during recent sessions. Calm seas and easterly winds are not ideal for seeking bass but the clearly water may well make lure fishing very worthwhile. Get ready with the baits when the winds turns SW and embrace those darker evenings.
As autumn descends upon us the evenings draw in and it seems essential to try and fit in those short evening sessions with the lure rod before darkness descends and many of us turn to bait fishing. There is of course the opportunity to catch bass after dark with the lure but this is something I always intend to try but tend to shy away from as I feel slightly uncomfortable wading the boulder strewn marks I prefer whilst fishing alone.
This season I have fished far more using weedless soft plastics and have enjoyed some success using the Megabass spindle worms. This 5.5 inch lure gives me confidence as it is retrieved sending a pleasing pulsing action back through the light braid to the rod. I love fishing really shallow water as the tide floods in and have discovered that the bass will move into water less than a foot deep.
Whilst I carry a selection of lures I only tend to alternate between half a dozen patterns.
I arrived at my chosen mark as the tide was starting to flood and searched the shallow boulder strewn foreshore after ten minutes a flash of silver appeared just a few feet from where I stood slamming into the lure with ferocity. After a spirited battle at close range the bass of around 3lb 8oz was beached.
I fished on confident of further success and twenty minutes later the lure was hit by a far bigger fish that made an impressive reel screaming dash for freedom in the shallow water. A handsome bass of around 6lb was admired and its image captured before release.
The autumn months can offer the best chance of the year to catch that elusive double figure bass. At one time I believed the best chance of a double lay with a big bait. Now I am not so sure and feel confident that persistence with the lure will pay dividends eventually.
Ross Stanway (Right) has won this years Combe Martin SAC Lure Fishing Competition sponsored by Ilfracombe’s High Street Tackle. Ross takes away a top of the range N- One lure fishing rod from Major Craft. The winning bass neared 70 cm and was calculated to weigh over 9lb. Wayne Thomas was Runner who won an impressive bundle of quality lures. (Middle) with a bass of 62cm estimated at 6lb.
Combe Martin SAC member Ross Stanway continues to seek out bass with lures intent of maintaining his lead in the clubs lure fishing competition sponsored by Ilfracombe’s High Street Tackle. He tells me the lure fishing has slowed down in recent days. I suspect the bass are feasting on spider crab or mackerel off-shore. Ross also enjoyed success with his family landing a 3lb wrasse whilst son Charlie enjoyed success with pollock and smelt. The below bass was 49cm.
Stuart Taylor caught a fine 10lb 2oz bass from a North Devon shore mark and registered the fish at Summerlands Tackle shop, Westward Ho ! . Stuart had already had a photo on the shop wall with a bass caught in his whilst in his twenties. Heather at Summerlands said “it was nice to have another photo to put up… If you are keeping a bass to eat and it is photo worthy we would love to see it and photo you with it…”