COMBE MARTIN SAC – ILFRACOMBE HARBOUR FUN & SPECIES

Combe Martin SAC have launched a new fishing community project with the help of keen species enthusiast Toby Bassett. The new fun fishing event was launched on February 1st on Ilfracombe Pier with  local anglers starting an 11 month long species hunt that encourages anglers to catch as many species as possible from Ilfracombe Harbour area.

The essence of the fun fishing league is to encourage local anglers to socialise and share knowledge. Local business are supporting the event with prizes already pledged from Ilfracombe Aquarium, High Street Tackle, Turton’s Butchers and Quay Sports.

A pop up fishing event to get the event started was attended by a mixture of old and new club members. The weather was kind with a clear sky and a calm sea. Nine species of fish were caught during the three hours including; common shanny, rock goby, pouting, whiting, conger, dogfish, ballan wrasse, plaice, pollock and shore rockling. Prizes donated by High Street Tackle were awarded to Ross Stanway who caught the most species on the day. To Zephyr Laramy the most fish caught by a Junior and the smallest fish prize was awarded to Toby Bassett who caught a tiny common shanny using a size 16 hook!

Ross Stanway caught 7 species during the launch day event
The smallest fish of the night to Toby Bassett
Top junior Zephyr Laramy

The intention is to hold a pop up event once a month that will be picked to coincide with a suitable tide and hopefully good weather. Notice will be sent to club members seven days prior to the event. The competition runs until December 31st 2024 with major prizes to be presented early in 2025. Sponsors will be donating prizes with High Street Tackle providing a small prize each month for a category to be decided each month. February prize will be for the most species registered. March will be for the best photograph.

Rock Goby
Nickki Laramy with a whiting
Ross Stanway
James Thomas with a whiting
A whiting was my first fish of the event.
Plaice for Ross Stanway

Even this tackle twisting conger brought a smile as every species counts!
Whats coming up next?

This is not a pure LRF competition as all accepted angling methods are encouraged with bait as well as lures. The use of LRF tactics is a  branch of angling that undoubtedly opens an entirely new dimension to sea angling with some becoming totally addicted to the pursuit of the  range of species available. It is going to be fascinating to explore the vast range of species that dwell within Ilfracombe waters. We will be sharing our results with the local Aquarium and hope to provide a few exhibits for their extensive display tanks.

       We packed away as the flooding tide pushed us off the lower landings. James and I headed to the Bay-side Burger Bar to round off an enjoyable session savouring our spicy chicken and fries in the shadow of Verity.

Ross with a pouting