Report from Steve Dawe :-
Holsworthy Sea Anglers trip aboard Bluefin was as usual full of banter and despite there only being 3 of us members attending plenty of fish were caught. Around 35 Spurdog boated today, several Huss and sadly not a single Dogfish. Paul Cozens proved he can still fish with bait but lacked the ability to keep his lead, rig and bait in his own part of the sea. He did have a nice Huss and plenty of Spurs, Chris Hodgson started late due to spending a lot of time untangling Paul from his line, but managed spurs to 16lb and Huss. I managed to sneak the biggest Spurdog out at 16lb 8oz, I have one hand on the Trophy now till Paul books more trips to knock me off!. As usual John Barbeary delivered a cracking days fishing sacrificing yet another T bar to Davey Jones Locker.
John Barbeary has taken Bluefin to deepwater marks off Ilfracombe where anglers have boated spurdog to 18lb and conger to 20lb. Keith Armishaw boated a 12lb thornback. The spurdog packs are now starting to disperse and summer species will soon start to show. The calm seas and blues skies have certainly boosted spirits with spring on the way and hoped for mackerel and tope.
Steve Dawe enjoyed a trip out of Ilfracombe aboard John Barbeary’s Bluefin:- see his report and pictures below…
“So nice to get out again with so many cancelled trips this year, today was aboard Bluefin chasing Spurdogs. Not as prolific as they can be but we still managed several double figure fish. The Eels were a bit scarce and a few Huss turned up but my fish of the trip was a lovely Starry Smoothound right at the death. Great company Chris Hodgson, Steven McDonald and as usual John delivered some great skippering. Next week we are back out from Ilfracombe on Bluefin with Holsworthy Sea Anglers.
Its always far easier to get out of bed on a fishing morning than a work day morning especially on a February day with light Southerly winds forecast and a few sunny spells. Once again I was heading out of Ilfracombe aboard John Barbeary’s Bluefin this time on a trip organised by Keith Armishaw of River Reads bookshop. We had a mixed group of anglers on board most of whom I had met on previous occasions.
A large ground swell was running despite the light winds which was to bring on a touch of sea sickness for one or two anglers on board throughout the day. The steam out to the spurdog grounds around seven mile offshore was an enjoyable journey full of optimism for the day ahead and a chance to chat and catch up.
With the North Devon Coast line fading into the distance the engine note changed as we reached our destination.
This was deep water and with the tide still flooding close to 2lb of lead was required to take the baits to the sea bed.
It wasn’t long before the rod tops started to rattle as spurdog attacked our baits giving a good account as they were persuaded to the boat.
The tally grew steadily as the day passed and as the tide eased the catch rate increased with several spurdog on the deck at times keeping John and his assistant busy with the T-bar.
Whilst spurdog dominated there was the occasional bull huss with their vivid leopard spotted flanks.
By the time John suggested a move inshore out of a raging tide for the last hour we had boated in excess of fifty spurdog to 13lb, a few bull huss and a couple of small conger.