Reel Deal Sport off Ilfracombe

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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.

Go Up Channel for Autumn and winter cod.

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As Autumn descends and days grow colder many sea anglers hope to catch cod. Sadly cod have become rare along the North Devon shore line so if you want cod its best to head up Channel and get out on one of the many charter boats that operate. Dan Hawkins has relocated to Watchet after the summer at Ilfracombe and continues to find quality fish.

Mick Cashmore sent me this report from Somerset.

Massive thanks to Dan Hawkins, Reel Deal charters, for a great days fishing, Saturday 5th Oct, and finally helping me get my lump of a cod and pb @ 9lb 2oz after years and miles of trying. Thanks again to a great skipper who works so hard to get you on the fish.

Porbeagle Shark – Are the Reel Deal

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Reel Deal has once again put anglers in touch with the large porbeagle shark patrolling the North Cornish Coast. Following on from the huge fish estimated at 500lb Peter Hearn hooked a shark estimated at 250lb. The shark was beaten using sponsors Penn Tackle supplied by High Street Tackle. The shark were attached to the boat using Ammon Chum mix and Ammo frozen mackerel hook baits.

Coalfish on Reel Deal

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Daniel Hawkins landed this fine coalfish of 5lb 10oz whilst fishing over a reef off the North Devon Coast. Not often you see these caught off North Devon and when I first saw it I thought it was a post from Norway! The biggest coalfish I know of from the North Devon coast was landed by Barry Hill from a shore mark near Ilfracombe and weighed 18lb! It held the British Record for several years.


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Shane Tandy boated a fine blue shark of 114lb whilst fishing on board Reel Deal. This was one of thirteen shark caught during a trip to the offshore marks out of Ilfracombe.

Dan Hawkins wrote earlier “with the season coming to a close down Ilfracombe we have some last chance availability for the sharks then it’s back up channel for the cod book now to avoid disappointment I’ll be running local trips and trips right up to the English and welsh grounds”

LADIES GET THE BLUES – Its the Reel Deal Birthday off Ilfracombe

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(Above)Stacey Bayldon – Fine Birthday present

Ladies day aboard Reel Deal (Dan Hawkins) off ilfracombe resulted in fabulous Blue sharks up to 90lb. Stacey Bayldon landed the first blue shark of the day, followed by Jade Jemmett, Michelle Bayldon and Sharon Feakes landing the biggest at 90lb. A truly amazing experience, life long dream achieved! A massive thank you to Daniel Hawkins and Archie Porter aboard Reel Deal for an amazing day, to Dave Stenson for embracing our madness and our helping hand and huge thank you to Phil Lewis for the best birthday present ever!

Many Thanks to Stacey for sending this report to North Devon Angling News

(Above) Jade Jemmett
(Above) Sharon Feakes

(Above) Michelle Bayldon

Reel Deal tope sport off Ilfracombe

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The Veals Mail order Team enjoyed a fantastic day Tope fishing out of Ilfracombe with Daniel Hawkins of Reel Deal Charters

Simon Lynch relays that the day started off well with numbers of small Tope around the 20lb mark, along with a few Bullhuss. After a couple of hours Dan decided to up the anchor and move off. He suggested big mackerel baits at the second mark and we were soon rewarded with some lovely Tope around 30lb, it was non stop action all afternoon with double shots on-board. Simon Lynch landed a new personal best of 41lb.

Bait was supplied by Ammo Baits.


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Dan Hawkins has ventured to deep waters off the North Devon coast taking advantage of the settled weather to put anglers amongst both blue and porbeagle shark. Over three days eleven porbeagle shark and nine blue shark were tempted using Ammo chum in combination with Ammo mackerel hook baits. The fish were in the 80lb to 90lb range.

The catches have stirred interest from the national press who will undoubtedly be sensationalizing  the catches of shark off the North Devon coast. This is however nothing new as shark have always frequented the the area but it takes a pioneering skipper to rediscover them and make the effort. All of the shark are released alive after photographing. Circle hooks are used to reduce any danger of deep hooking and the fish handled for a minimal period with large fish unhooked at the side of the boat.

Shark Catch off Ilfracombe

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“What a absolutely brilliant day!!” Said Toby Basset after an amazing days fishing aboard Dan Hawkins Reel Deal..”off we set at 6am and by 8.30am we were fishing in the Celtic deeps sharks rod went in and i was first up within an hour first fish was hooked! A cracking beagle of 80lb+ sadly shook the hook. The party hooked a fish a fish every 20 minutes with the anglers landing two shark each a mix of beagles and blues! Biggest blue went to 71lb the skipper even landed a tidy little beagle as we brought the lines in to go home! Ten shark landed 3 dropped what a day!! Even caught a new species of a little grey gurnard!”