The fish are out there – Go get em!

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There are some good fish out there to be caught with several bass showing from coast and estuary. A few codling too. Its very much of taking advantage of any window of opportunity with the late autumn weather or just dressing up and getting out there!

Josh Atkinson landed this stunning silver flanked bass of 7lb 10.25oz whilst flounder fishing on the Taw estuary. I asked him if he was targeting bass ?

“Would love to say that I was targeting it but yeah I was targeting flounder. But as we know it is part of the wonderful by-catch that we can have whilst flounder fishing on the Taw.”

(Above) Chay Boggis tempted this 7lb 14oz bass on a mackerel tail fished in a rocky gulley at short range.

Cod for tea – Kevin Kirby landed this pleasing 3lb 12oz codling from a North Devon Shore Mark.

Bass of a Life Time

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Richard Jefferies fished a mark on the Lower Taw & Torridge Estuary and landed a fine bass of 13lb a fish that is undoubtedly the fish of a lifetime.

Bideford ANGLING CLUB -24 hour results
1st Julien Stainer bull Huss 11lb 12 1/2 117.812%
2nd Andrew Clements flounder 2lb 4 3/4 114. 843%
3rd Andrew Clements flounder 2lb 2 3/4 108.593%

Double figure bass wins CMSAC Woolacombe Open

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Combe Martin Sea Angling Club Secretary Nick Phillips won the clubs latest Open Match at Woolacombe beach with a fine bass of 10lb 1oz caught on the last cast of the competition.

The specimen bass seized a mackerel bait fifteen minutes before the end of the four hour match that attracted twenty keen anglers. The club organised the competition following the ongoing success of their Putsborough competition held each summer.  Members had speculated that a match held during the autumn could offer the chance of a good specimen fish or two with ray and bass high on the agenda.

After a week of atrocious weather with strong winds and heavy rain the likelihood of the competition taking place was in question. But on the night the winds dropped along with the swell and even the rain ceased for the four hour duration of the match.

Anglers assembled at the booking in and anticipation was high as competitors ambled down the steep slopes to the vast expanse of Woolacombe Beach. A brisk breeze was blowing from the south east and a moderate surf surged against the sands. The next four hours passed and a range of species were brought to the shore including small eyed ray, small bass, turbot, whiting, codling, conger and the inevitable dogfish. The fishing was for most slower than hoped and spirits had slipped since the start with talk reflecting a lack of fish. As always though at the meet up to collate results a good few fish had been caught. At first it appeared that a dogfish could win the match despite the temporary raising of the specimen size for the competition to 3lb 8oz.

The announcement of Nicks 10lb 1oz bass brought a buzz of excitement and congratulations. The picture taken by Nicks son Jack was eagerly viewed by the huddle of tired anglers. The bass injected a much needed surge of enthusiasm ensuring that many will return to the beach again in search of that dream fish. A double figure bass is much sort after and many have not seen such a fish. I have witnessed several over the past fifty years but never been fortunate enough to actually land one. It is very high on my bucket list and is one of the goals that keeps me going. Autumn is the month if you want a double.

Results :-

1st Nick Phillips – Bass 10lb 1oz

2nd Mark Jones – dogfish – 2lb 4oz

3rd Wayne Thomas – dogfish 2lb 2oz

4th – Dan Miles Redmore – dogfish 2lb 1oz

Best ray – Dan Welch small eyed ray – 3lb 4oz

Autumn Bass

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A short session to a local venue produced a pleasing 5lb 12oz bass  tempted on a trout dead-bait. On autumn nights presenting big fish baits close in on light tackle is exciting sport. Not sure it matters too much what bait is used blueys, mackerel, squid and trout all work as would I suspect pouting or rockling.  Use a light bass rod or carp rod, 20lb b.s main line with 30lb to 40lb b.s hook length. If there is current free-line the bait or use a small weight to keep the bait down. Use big hooks, 6/0 is ideal. Keep light off the water. Hold the rod and feel for bites, gentle tap is often followed by a heavy pull sighted as the fish moves confidently away with the bait. Its exciting stuff at close range.

Big bass on light tackle

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Dan Welch enjoyed an evening catching up with old fishing friends on a North Devon rock mark. They had a few fish Including this lovely bass of 8lb 4oz. “Taken on light gear fishing big baits with small weights the next best thing to lure fishing.”

Bass on the lure in CMSAC Competition

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Mark Jones is leading Combe Martin SAC’s lure fishing competition sponsored by Ilfracombe’s High Street Tackle with a bass of 64cm. This 60cm beauty is his most recent success for the lure fishing enthusiast who has registered several good fish into the competition. With just over a week of the competition remaining I feel other club members will be trying to oust mark from the top spot and win the top quality lure rod that is up for grabs.