Vintage Motors Stir Memories

My wife and I attended the Woolsery Show at the end of July and came across a display of vintage Seagull Outboards. Chatting to the gentlemen who restores these outboards we discussed how times have changed. We reflected upon our youthful days beside the coast, messing about on the water. I am sure many sea anglers of a certain vintage will have fond memories of boating days. The Seagull outboard was undoubtedly basic but it was fundamentally sound British engineering and a relic from those days before we became refrained by a culture of fearful protection.

Reflecting upon those youthful days I sometimes wonder how we got through them for looking back we did some stupid things. My mate Graham had a boat that we had christened “Leaky Lil” for obvious reasons. An old wooden pram dingy that was probably less than eight foot long. I recall setting out for a days fishing from Combe Martin with my mates Graham, and Chunky. The sea was flat calm and we chugged up channel powered by our old faithful seagull outboard. We anchored off Heddon’s Mouth Beach and the tide rushed past at a rate of knots giving the effect of being anchored in a fast flowing river. With the three of us and all our fishing gear there was only a few inches freeboard. I don’t recall what we caught on that day or other days. But to be out in such a little boat with no lifejackets, flares, radio etc. was sheer stupidity. In addition to these foolish days at sea we climbed cliffs, explored caves and coves. We also searched for crabs on low water spring tides peering into those delightfully mysterious holes. Those summers of youth spent amongst barnacle encrusted rocks and salty kelp have I guess instilled a permanent love of the sea.

Above extract is from my book ” I Caught A Glimpse” published in 2019 by the the Little Egret Press.

Reel Deal Sport off Ilfracombe

posted in: Sea Angling, Sidebar | 0

Anglers have enjoyed some superb sport off Ilfracombe aboard Reel Deal with Skipper Dan Hawkins. Tope fishing as at times been hectic with a few larger predators showing including blue shark to 90lb plus and a some chunky porbeagle. One large porbeagle even enjoying a chunk of fresh bass for dinner! The anglers have also enjoyed frequent glimpse of dolphins and whale in the deeps.

Young Solly boats a whopper!

Always good to see young anglers enjoy success and boat fishing gives them a good chance of battling a larger than average fish.

Dan Welch enjoyed a short boat fishing session over high water off Ilfracombe. He landed a pleasing blonde ray into double figures.

His young son Solly hooked a conger; Dan Said  ” which turned out to be the biggest fish he has ever had at 15lb 4oz I did have to give him a hand to wind this one in. He couldnt stop saying it’s a whopper!! Must have seemed massive to him”.

The below Charter boats all operate out of Ilfracombe giving access to exciting offshore sport for all.

BIg tope on Bluefin

posted in: Sea Angling, Sidebar | 0
(Above)Paul Bloomfield with 40lb tope

(Above) A fifty pound plus tope for first timer Colin.

Bluefin will be running fishing trips out of Ilfracombe throughout the winter months at present there are still a few tope being caught and bass from the reefs. With the new that anglers can now retain one bass per day trips to reefs will be popular with option to keep the occasional fish for the table.


posted in: Sea Angling, Sidebar | 0



Toby Bassett – Double figure spurdog

John Barbeary’s Bluefin visited some of Johns proven local favourite marks to catch plenty of spurdog with the biggest 3 at 16lb all fish were double figure fish. Several hard fighting conger to 29lb wee also boated along with bull huss.

The cold grey and damp conditions were a stark contrast to the far off climes John had returned from after a well earned break from Ilfracombe chartering. The next few months should see offshore sport continue with spurdog, huss and conger dominating catches.