Top Sport on Bluefin

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Toby Bassett reported on a great day out on Bluefin Charters with Troy Laing and John Barbeary  and the lads.. A few tope caught Toby’s biggest went 29lb along with two others within 10 mins of each other.. Also had plenty huss and a fine specimen 16lb thornback ray.

TOPE FEEDING FRENZY FOR SOUTH MOLTON ANGLERS

With a calm day forecast it was great to arrive at Ilfracombe harbour and climb aboard John Barbeary’s Bluefin with members of South Molton Angling Club. With bottom fishing a little slow close to Ilfracombe John had suggested a trip to try the prolific fishing grounds close to Lundy Island. A trip out to fish in the vicinity of this rugged granite outcrop twenty five plus miles from Ilfracombe is a sortie I always relish as the scenery is spectacular and adds a welcome dimension to the fishing.

With reports of a few early tope showing first stop would be to anchor up and fish over low water with big baits. It was misty as we sailed out of Ilfracombe and headed West towards Lundy. As we looked back the morning sun started to burn through the morning mist and illuminate the Bristol Channel. A porpoise rolled in front of the boat. We all chatted enthusiastically about fish, the lack of fish and life in general as John delivered hot coffees and teas.

By the time we arrived at the banks and dropped anchor the sunshine had broken through and we were sat upon a mirror calm sea of blue. A variety of large fish baits were sent into the deep clear water impaled upon large strong hooks attached to wire traces or strimmer cord!

Within minutes Matt Brady was in action as a hard fighting tope seized his bait putting a healthy bend in his rod. Over the next hour or so over the low water slack a succession of tope hit our baits in a feeding frenzy giving exciting tussles and a few frustrating tangles. In total 16 tope were boated along with a few bull huss to 11lb a couple of smoothound and one or two inevitable doggies.

By the sound of the voices echoing across the water anglers were enjoying similar sport a short distance away in another Charter boat.

As the tide started to pick up general consensus was that we should try  drifting for other species using lures and baited feathers.

Drifting the West side of Lundy gave an opportunity to view the spectacular granite cliffs that were in parts decorated with patches of pink thrift. Cormorants stood drying their wings and seals basked in the warm sun. We even caught sight of a few puffins with their bright clown like beaks.

The fish finder showed plenty of fish close to the bottom yet action was slow as we drifted over the numerous peaks and pinnacles that lie to the West of Lundy. Sidewinders brought a few hard fighting pollock up around 4lb and baited feathers attracted more pollock a solitary small coalfish and some brightly coloured cuckoo wrasse.

John worked hard searching the reefs but it was obvious that the fish were not feeding well. This could have been due to the small tide we were fishing, light values or even lure choice. The complexities of angling are many and as I often say this all part of this intriguing game.

It was an enjoyable cruise back to Ilfracombe on a calm sea. The beautiful North Devon coast looked splendid with its steep green cliffs punctuated with vast sandy beaches that were undoubtedly packed with families, surfers and sun-worshippers.

The sizeable pollock were filleted a tasty and healthy reward for the day afloat.

We soon glided into Ilfracombe harbour dominated by the conversation stimulating statue Verity. Tourists were abundant and it was good to sense a feeling of normality returning to the seaside town.

Bluefin – Spurdog Fishing

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Many thanks to Troy Laing for allowing to use his post on their recent trip to the deeps off Ilfracombe aboard ” Bluefin:.

Well what can I say. John Barbeary said we were going spurdog fishing today, and that’s certainly what we did..Found a nice little spot. 8 miles off land. And as soon as our baits reached the seabed…We were all catching spurs from the off..approx 50 spurs caught..between us all. Along with huss to 16lb..spurs to 18lb..along with dogfish…and 1 pollock..caught by me haha..tomorrows dinner..thank you to John Barbeary.

South Molton Anglers Enjoy Calm Water Deep Sea Fishing

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   A quick report from Ed Rands of South Molton Angling Club  on their trip to ilfracombe on Sunday 19th January.
   It was a cold and frosty start in the dark with icy roads and stars  shining, by the time we arrived dawn was beginning to break. 
   We wrapped up warm, waited for some water in the harbour! then set off to lee bay while the tide was racing. 
   We sat there patiently wading through the inevitable dogfish but did have 4 small conger, 10 bull huss to 13.5lb,1 pouting and a first for me, a mussel clamped on my hook!
   We then steamed out to deeper water when the tide had eased and settled in to quite a busy 3 hours or so with an estimated 50 odd spurdog to 14.5lb,we didn’t weigh them all, another 10 huss to 10lb, 6 more  conger to 30lb and more dogfish. 
   By this time the weather was glorious with coats and woolly hats being discarded and a flat  sea.
  Thanks to Paul “bluefins” stand in skipper and all that attended, we were lucky with the weather and found plenty of fish couldn’t have asked for anything more. 
  I have photos to send but I’ll send them individually as we have issues this end with size of files.
   Hopefully see some of you at the agm on February 11th.
   All the best and tightlines 
   Ed