Minehead – Teddie Boy – Blonde Ray on the Feed

Mid October is a great time to venture out of Minehead with a wide range of opportunities on offer. I had booked onto Teddie Boy Charters with my son James Thomas, Rob Scoines and a friend from my working life Derek Walters. There were three other anglers already booked onto the boat two of whom turned out to be ex Combe Martin SAC members who I had last met up with twenty years or so ago.

            Mike Webber is one of the UK’s youngest charter skippers but has accumulated a mass of knowledge beyond his years after crewing with his father Steve of Osprey Charters for many seasons.


            The plan was to enjoy some of the mixed general fishing on offer close to Minehead. Ray, huss, conger, smoothound and bass were all on the agenda.

            Sailing from Minehead is always very tide dependant and today’s departure was at  11:00am allowing us time to grab a Full English at the local spoons before grabbing bait from Mike’s Speedbait outlet.

            We gathered on the Quay just before 11:00am and chatted about the day ahead noting the autumn shades of the trees on the hillside overlooking the harbour. It was good to exchange a few words with Mike’s father Steve who has taken myself and other CMSAC members out to sea on many occasions.

            The boat turned West out of the harbour and steamed down channel to a mark off Porlock Weir where Mike predicted huss, conger and the chance of a ray. The first mark proved a little snaggy and we lost a couple of rigs and hauled up numerous small conger.

            Mike up anchored and moved the boat a few hundred yards before resetting the anchor. This proved to be cleared ground and we lost no more rigs. The conger were undoubtedly present in good numbers and a succession of hard fighting eels were brought to the boat. Derek hooked into an eel that put a substantial bend into his rod before eventually being brought to the boat. The eel estimated at around 15lb was hauled in for a quick photo. Next drop down Derek was into an even bigger eel that was released boat side.

            A couple of decent huss were brought into the boat along with a thornback and a blonde ray. As the tide eased the action slowed and Mike said it was time to head up channel for a blonde ray.

            This new mark was clean ground so Mike stated that conger should be less plentiful. Wrong! A succession of small eels seized our baits intended for blonde ray. Mike was however proved correct as the tide eased to low water. Rob Scoines hooked a decent fish that proved to be a lovely looking blonde of around 8lb.

This was followed a few minutes later when I hooked a good fish that put a healthy bend in my rod before eventually being pulled over the rim of the net. I estimated the ray at around 12lb and slipped it quickly back after a photo. A few years ago, I would have been keen to put a number to the fish but these days I seem to have lost that urgent need for gathering statistics.

            A few moments later it was Robs turn to do battle and this fish definitely deserved a number and was recorded at 16lb 3oz a specimen rating of 107%. Another blonde of close to double figure was also boated by our fellow boat fishers from Bristol.

            As the tide began to flood the bites again eased as the blonde ray appeared to switch off. It was now time to move once again to our final mark of the day half a mile or so off Dunster.

            It was now early evening and the sky was painted in wispy pink clouds. We all savoured the magical fading light over  fresh brews of tea and coffee. These moments of quiet contemplation and expectation are to some extent what fishing is all about.

A few eels gave strong bites and tussles in the strong tide. A couple of thornback were also added to the days tally along with a hard fighting smoothound for Rob.

Putsborough Open – Information and Preview

posted in: Sea Angling, Sidebar | 0

Combe Martin SAC hope you enjoy this open competition  with kind permission of the landowner.

The club is very greatfull to local tackle shops and Sakuma for supporting the event.

SAKUMA, High Street Tackle, Quay Sports and Braunton Baits.

The weather as is often the case has proved a concern with a big swell pushing into the North Devon Coast. The conditions should be fishable but challenging. It will be the same for all competitors and big fish often show when there is a bit of movement.  Whilst it is breezy this is due to drop off and it is from the West so Putsborough will be sheltered. Whilst two rods are allowed it might prove more effective to fish one rod well than to fish two rods and get tangles as a result of the possible undertow.

Competitors should take great care when wading as there can be a strong undertow and rip tides. Far better to keep shallow and cast from a firm base the fish will come in surprisingly close.

Fishing is for single best specimen, with £100 for first place and £50 second plus pick of the prize table and so on. There is an optional £1 pool foir the best specimen. There will be prizes for the top fifteen fish.

Small-eyed ray are the principal target and can show up anywhere — so pick your spot.

Sandeel is generally best but fish can be tempted at times with a whole squid or mackerel bait. Bass will show if there is some surf, the obliging dogfish is usually around — along with the odd small turbot, conger, smoothound and occasional blonde ray.

Low water is 10:15pm and the best period to fish is usually two hours either side, with the last hour-and-a-half of the ebb and first hour of the flood often proving the most productive. There are some small pits and sandbanks along this beach, so if you can spy one out it might be worth heading for…

For the purpose of this competition two rods and four hooks may be used, with a pennell rig counting as two hooks. Combe Martin Competition size limits apply.

Please leave a space of approximately 20 yards between yourself and the next angler — it’s a large beach!

When you catch a fish, please check it against the sizes overleaf and complete the capture form, before showing it to another competitor and asking them to witness it.
[Witnesses: Please also print name so you can be identified if need be!]

Steward’s decision is final. All complaints must be issued in writing to organisers before the scales close.

Please do not bring fish to the scales in water, unless the intention is to release them alive. Each angler is limited to two fish per species, but we would ask you to minimise killing of fish and endeavour to keep only your single best specimen.

Please respect the beach and do not leave litter, discarded line or old tackle behind and do not start fires.

If possible, please ensure your vehicle is parked at the bottom of the car park to the far right.


A few images from previous Putsborough Competitions.


Bideford & Appledore Shipbuilders May Rover Results

posted in: Sea Angling, Sidebar | 0

May rover results 

13 angler’s fished 5 fish caught 

1st Stephen Found Bull Huss 15lb 4 1/2oz  152.812%

2nd Nathan Clements Thornback Ray 7lb 12 1/2oz 86.485%

3rd Paul Ackland Smoothound 7lb 10 1/2oz 76.562%

4th Stephen Found Spotted Ray  3lb 4oz 72.222%

5th Antony Smith Thornback Ray 6lb 7oz 71.527%

Appledore Shipbuilders May Rover

12 Anglers fished the May Rover . Jazza John took the honours with a Smoothound of 8lb 6 1/2ozs. Second place went to Richard Boon with another Smoothound of 7lb 9ozs and Third was Chris Slade, also with a Smoothound of 7lb 8 1/2ozs.


posted in: Sea Angling, Sidebar | 0

North Devon based Dan Spearman and Mark Jones travelled to the Canary Islands to target the specimen fish that hunt the shoreline. Fishing from beach and rock marks they fished hard making the most of their time and existing on only a few hours sleep each day. The biggest fish caught was sting ray caught by Dan  estimated at 250lb. They also landed butterfly ray to 88lb, smoothound to 25lb and several white skate to 40lb.

What a night for Dave !

posted in: Sea Angling, Sidebar | 0

Combe Martin SAC member David Jenkins enjoyed an action packed session at a North Devon Beach

“So what a night. Trip to a local beach a packet of 10 large sandeel and 5 joey mackeral in my bucket resulted in 14 fish. Non stop done right in now. 13 small eyed ray 8lb 1oz new pb from shore 7lb 14oz 6.3 6.1 5.14 5.13 5.10 the best plus an autumn codling fantastic trip local in north Devon. Between 3 of us 20 ray 5 bass and a sole. “

Theres a few ray showing!

posted in: Sea Angling, Sidebar | 0

The rough weather has encouraged a few ray to move close inshore with small eyed ray, spotted ray and blonde ray tempted.

Dale Kiff – blonde ray 10lb 7oz
Ross Stanway with a small eyed ray
Ross Stanway – spotted ray

Rob Scoines – spotted ray