It’s Bass on the Lure Season!

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Combe Martin SAC member Jack Philips got his lure fishing season underway with this 48cm bass that was tempted on a  5 ” Megabass spindle worm.

Conditions are good and the water is warming up so CMSAC members will start to register fish for their Summer long lure fishing competition sponsored by High Street Tackle.

The New Patchinko 125 Colours Are Arriving…..

After a very long wait the latest new Xorus colours are now available in the Patchinko 125 – we expect them to arrive here around 11th May…there is only a limited number available and they are available now to pre order…..

The stock pictures do not do proper justice to them in reality so I have taken this picture above using models we already have in the shop in the relevant colours, as follows from the top – Spring Minnow, French Wakasagi and Metal Ayu.

Gilthead Bream

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As the waters start to warm a few species associated with summer are starting show. Smoothound are already being caught on the open coast along with a few bass.

Combe Martin SAC member David Jenkins tempted this specimen gilt head bream weighing 3lb 9oz from the lower estuary using peeler crab bait.

Sea Angling Round-up

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Appledore Shipbuilders

11 members fished Appledore Shipbuilder’s April Rover and three fish were registered at the weigh in.
Andrew Atkinson secured the top three places with a ballan wrasse of 3lb 8.5oz and a brace of 2lb dogfish.

Bideford Angling Club 

April Rover results

1st Antony Smith Small Eyed Ray 8lb 1oz 89.583%

2nd Elliot Clements Dogfish 1lb 15 1/4oz  65.104%

Combe Martin SAC

Wayne Thomas took top spot in Combe Martin SAC’s April Rover with a boat caught small eyed ray of 7lb. Nick Phillips was runner up with a thick lipped grey mullet of 2lb 3.5oz.


Hopefully with the oncoming Spring and warmer temperatures sport will start to pick up along the coast. Smoothound will be caught from all the familiar marks over coming weeks along with a few bass. The estuary will be well worth trying for bass and mullet with the chance of gilthead bream.

Small eyed ray will be worth targeting from surf beaches with Woolacombe and Putsborough favourites.

Thick lipped grey mullet are already being caught from local harbours and offer excellent sport on light tackle.

Fly Fishing in saltwater is growing in popularity with bass and grey mullet offering some exciting and at times challenging opportunities from the estuary and local surf beaches.

Huss dominate Combe Martin SAC Competition

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David Brook left with a huss of 7lb 13oz & Wayne Thomas with a huss of 6lb 10oz.

Combe Martin SACs January Rover was fished by ten club member with a wide range of marks fished. Bull huss dominated the result with David Brook (above left) securing first place with a huss of 7lb 13oz. Shane Pavio Hookway was runner up with a huss of 7lb 10oz and myself third with a huss of 6lb 10oz ( Above right).

Shane Pavio Hookway with a huss of 7lb 10oz

The recent settled weather has resulted in clear water along the coast and a lack of quality fish close inshore. With this in mind I joined Kevin Legge and Dave Brook at a remote rock mark that gave access to thick kelp and seriously rough snaggy terrain. At times I questioned the sanity of clambering around the slippery and jagged rocks at the age of sixty but in truth I have no intention of giving up just yet. It is good exercise after all and I still love being out there in the dark night casting out in that mysterious dimension wondering whats lurking beneath the waters surface?

Strong tackle is a must with 25lb b.s Berkley Big Game Line,  a single strong catfish hook and a rotten bottom. Tackle loses can be high but in calm clear conditions getting in amongst the rough stuff can pay dividends. It is very much a case of tightening up the clutch and giving it plenty of stick when a fish is hooked. With luck if a good fish is hooked it can be bullied clear of the snags if it gets stuck it will often come out after leaving the rod in the rest for ten minutes. if not more often that not the rotten Bottom link will break allowing the fish to be retrieved. I personally tend to use one rod in these situations with a second rod all set up ready to cast out if the gear is lost.

Specimens from the North Devon Shoreline

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The last few weeks have seen sea anglers investing plenty of effort into unlocking the secrets that dwell within the deep and murky waters. When conditions come right windows of opportunity open and the fishing can be good as Combe Martin SAC members Ali Laird and Jamie Steward discovered when they enjoyed success fishing from the Rocky shoreline.

During a couple of hectic sessions they successfully landed tope, Bull Huss, spurdog and conger. The fish are pictured below.

Ali Laird – tope 36lb 6oz
Ali Laird – Bull Huss 11lb 14oz
Ali Laird – spurdog 8lb 10oz

Jamie Steward – tope 34lb 9oz
Jamie Steward – spurdog 11lb 3oz
Jamie Steward – Bull Huss 11lb. 10oz
Jamie Steward -Spurdog

Jamie Steward – conger 17lb

It is easy to glance at these images and believe that the anglers make these sort of catches every trip. I can assure you that many trips result in little more than tackle tangling encounters with small conger and dogfish. On many occasions everything feels right and yet the better fish fail to show. I invest a moderate number of hours fishing the coast and my number one priority is to enjoy my fishing. I know that if I persist the right tide will come and my bait will be in the right place and hopefully my knots will hold and the fish will be held aloft for that pleasing trophy shot and another fishing memory in life’s bank of experiences.

Specimen spurdog, conger and huss in CMSAC Competition

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Aaron Brooker 13lb 15oz spurdog

Aaron Brooker took the top two places Combe Martin SAC’s week long Blow Away the Excess competition. A fine specimen spurdog of 13lb 15oz taking first and a 23lb 11oz conger taking the runner up spot. Shane Pavio Hookway was third with a specimen bull buss of 11lb 3oz.

Aaron Brooker conger 23lb 11oz

Shane Pavio Hookway – bull huss 11lb 3oz