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.

High Street Tackle Publish New Blog

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High Street Tackle New Blog Post Published…

Read High Street Tackles latest blog post here ––Spring for some spring time inspiration/ideas.

Our blog facility is quite new and will be updated as regularly as new products and general information determine. So far we have published some useful articles covering the following subjects

The IMA Sasuke range

Our Custom Boat Lure Bundles

and a couple more specific new product reviews.

As always feel to contact us should you have any queries…..

High Street Tackle

New Rods from Penn – Review From High Street Tackle

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From the new 2022 range from Penn there was this range of rods – the Conflict Inshore…with the pandemic related absence of a trade again in 2021 I had to purchase these blind, just based on specification and instinct as well as some assurance from the sales rep. When they arrived I have to admit there were 2 thoughts that immediately crossed my mind. The first was ‘wow’ and the second was ‘why didn’t I order more?’

With reference to the second thought firstly – this has been rectified and more have been ordered….

Now let me explain the first thought…I am of the opinion and have even happily mentioned to the sales rep on more than one occasion that whilst I am a big fan of many of the rods across the range from Penn they have never really been a brand synonymous with the types of lure rods that are favoured by most UK customers for modern lure fishing….Japanese style, slim, fast action blanks with small lightweight guides – well, it has to be said that with the Conflict Inshore range this is now old news!

Now for some finer detail and better introductions to why I think this is such a good range of rods – do note though that none of this is meant to sound like one of those ‘best rods since sliced bread’ things though…keep reading and you’ll hopefully see what I am aiming at here. In the Conflict Inshore range there are 2 sub ranges if you like – known as the Conflict Inshore and the Conflict XR Inshore. The Conflict range is based around as the catalogue states, an extra fast Japanese style low diameter blank constructed with carbon X-Wrap technology.  Finished off with SW proof K -type guides and VSS style reel seats this range comprises 9 different models ranging in price from £69.99-£89.99.

The Conflict XR range is different in that the blank is of a higher quality carbon and the use of Fuji Alconite K-type guides and a Fuji VSS reel seat. In this range there are 7 different models to choose from with the price range being £124.99-£149.99… here is the reason for the first part of my excitement about these rods then is that I am more than happy and confident that they fit perfectly within their price brackets as a worthy consideration for customer purchases. As an example, for those who know me will know that my favoured line up for a so called entry level rod for general lure fishing was previously based around the following rods, Favourite Cobalt 902MH, HTO Lure Game HLG27MH or a Major Craft Ceana CNS 802MH, well now you can confidently throw in the Penn Conflict Inshore 9′ 30g or 8’2 45g for 2 examples.

The second exciting bit for me, is the inclusion in both ranges of models aimed at boat lure fishing, again doing this the modern way! Shorter rods comprising a short butt and long tip design/construction.  I know there are some very nice rods out there such as those offered by Smith, Tenryu and the HTO Nebula SP but for those customers who are looking for something a bit more entry level or not requiring such a big budget as it may not get used that frequently for instance, now we have something to fill that gap leading us to a straightforward conclusion to this article, these rods come from a very reputable brand with good availability and superb back up service.

Should you need any further information then please feel free to contact us……

The Conflict Inshore can be purchased here

The Conflict XR Inshore can be purchased here

Daniel Welch takes lead in CMSAC lure competition.

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Daniel Welch has taken the lead in Combe Martin SAC’s Lure Fishing competition that is sponsored by High Street Tackle. The competition ends on September 5th with presentation of prizes coinciding with the clubs annual fun fishing event on Ilfracombe Pier.
1st Daniel Welch – bass – 72cm (Boat)
2nd Wayne Thomas – bass – 67cm
3rd – Daniel Welch – bass – 62cm
High Street tackle sponsor Combe Martin SAC,s annual lure fishing competition that runs from July 1st until September 5th. The competition is open to paid up club members with a first prize of up £200 of quality lure tackle with £100 for the runner up.
Longest bass – To tip of the tail, overall length.

Persistence and lessons learnt

Sometimes as I put these pages together and see what everyone is catching I wonder where I am going wrong. In the past few months, I have persisted lure fishing for bass despite blank after blank. I have fished ground that I have enjoyed success at in the past confident that it would eventually come right.

Calm clear conditions
A weed strewn shoreline

Calm conditions, interspersed with rougher water and masses of weed. I fished early, late and at different states of tide. Its seldom that everything is right after all. One morning I arrived at the water’s edge on the early morning flood. Third cast and wallop a heavy fish hit the lure hard. After a few strong runs the bass that I estimated to be between 8lb and 10lb was wallowing on a short line. All was going well until in a sickening moment the hook hold gave way and the lure flew back towards me. The big bass was gone with a flick of its tail to linger hauntingly in the minds eye. Strange how the loss of a big fish often remains etched in the mind far longer than a successful capture.

The loss of the bass spurred me onto more sessions and yet more blanks. On one occasion I arrived to find a huge swell surging into the shoreline. Despite this I persevered  and found a slightly calmer area with no weed. I caught sight of a few mullet their flanks catching the evening sunlight. After two hours still no bass; a move to a second mark brought the same result.

A couple of days later I return to the same mark. A brisk North West wind is blowing into the shoreline but there is little swell just a fizzy wind driven sea. I wade out and flick out a dark coloured Mega bass spindle worm lure. Third cast and bang the rod tip slams round the line zipping out to sea the rod pulsing in the hands the reels singing in protest. After a short exhilarating encounter a bass of 67cm ( just over 6lb) is secured. In the next two and   a half hours I beach another five bass estimated at between 3lb 8oz and 6lb. Three of the fish are close to 6lb. I pack away after darkness has descended my soft lures depleted by the aggressive bass.

Confidence is restored in the marks, the lures and my own judgement. It would be easy to just plan trips based on tide, weather and time of day. Problem is sometimes we can only go when it suits us. Choosing those perfect conditions would be ideal but getting tide times, weather, water clarity and time of day to fall into place is difficult. Then of course there is lure choice or bait choice plus location.

The following day I headed to Ilfracombe Pier for a short LRF session with my good friend Keith Armishaw of River Reads and Angling Heritage. After a later than planned start we fished the rising tide to tempt a few miniature pouting and pollock. Keith added a shanny to list and totally out-fished me using fragments of mackerel. I stuck to ISOME imitation ragworm and failed to connect with several good tugs.

Grey mullet were next on the agenda and we headed off to our chosen mark electing to fish the sheltered area out of the brisk North West breeze. A friend arrived on the opposite shoreline electing to fish into the teeth of the wind. Lesson learnt four mullet to 5lb 1oz on the windward shoreline – Nil, from the sheltered shoreline!

Remember the fish will be where the food is and not where you are most comfortable.


A gentle surf pushed into the beach as I strolled in the shallow water enjoying the coolness in the late afternoon heat. I searched the water for the fish I had been told would be there amongst the bathers. Amongst a slightly foamy coloured band of water, I found what I was looking for hundreds of mullet darting to and fro apparently feasting up on an algal feast.

I cast expectantly with a team of flies designed to attract the wily mullet. As the waves turned mullet could be seen in the small waves some of them a decent size. I suspected that many were golden greys though the size of some indicated that thick lips were amongst them.

A couple of times the line zipped tight but contact could not be made. As the tide started to flood the activity increased with swirling mullet all around. I cast repeatedly trying slow retrieves, quicker retrieves and static drifts. Frustration grew, the tide flooded and all of sudden they were gone.

The following night I stood upon a boulder strewn shoreline armed with a lure rod. A surface lure was cast out and worked back across the still water. The sun was descending as the day faded a golden glow of fiery light. A large swirl behind the lure gave hope. Hundreds of fish could be seen dimpling the surface. Mullet again! The fly rod was in the van but I was too lazy or too focussed on the bass to switch tactics. Another night I will return with a few bread flies and some floating crust to get them feeding. Some would say that’s cheating; but perhaps we sometimes make things too difficult for ourselves.

As the light faded expectation grew as the tide gently pushed in. An hour after dark I heard a swirl in the calm water. Next cast my soft plastic was seized, a welcome jolt of life through the line. A bass of a couple of pounds saved a blank.

The moon slowly rose above the hill, lights reflected in the mirror calm sea. The cool night air, the aroma of seaweed and fresh sea air. These summer nights are to be cherished for all too soon autumn and winter will descend bringing different challenges.

Bass on the lure

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Gary Moore enjoyed a weeks holiday in Woolacombe and messaged me asking if I could give a few pointers as to where he might catch a few bass. I was delighted when Gary messaged me to say he had enjoyed success on several short sessions in area.

Lure Fishing Season Starting to Pick Up.

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General consensus is that the fishing year is running at least a month late with lure fishing for bass in particular only just starting to pick up. High Street Tackle in Ilfracombe is run by lure fishing enthusiast Danny Watson who tells me that interest in lure fishing is at an all time high. The shop stocks a vast range of lures from many major companies with hard plastics, soft plastics in every variation of weight size and colour. Advice is at hand as to how to rig and fish the lures. High Street tackle are sponsoring Combe Martin SAC,s annual lure fishing competition that runs from July 1st until September 5th. The competition is open to paid up club members with a first prize of up £200 of quality lure tackle with £100 for the runner up.

Danny Watson of High Street Tackle with the winners of last years Lure competition.