Nick Job and Ian Hooper enjoyed a great night fishing at a popular North Devon Mark landing more than they bargained for a when a 9lb 4oz Spurdog seized a tiny strip of squid on a size 4 hook intended for dabs. Nick hooked the spur towards the end of the session and Ian was able to scramble down to the waters edge to secure the fish.
They also caught several tasty dabs.
There are some good fish out there to be caught with several bass showing from coast and estuary. A few codling too. Its very much of taking advantage of any window of opportunity with the late autumn weather or just dressing up and getting out there!
Josh Atkinson landed this stunning silver flanked bass of 7lb 10.25oz whilst flounder fishing on the Taw estuary. I asked him if he was targeting bass ?
“Would love to say that I was targeting it but yeah I was targeting flounder. But as we know it is part of the wonderful by-catch that we can have whilst flounder fishing on the Taw.”
(Above) Chay Boggis tempted this 7lb 14oz bass on a mackerel tail fished in a rocky gulley at short range.
Cod for tea – Kevin Kirby landed this pleasing 3lb 12oz codling from a North Devon Shore Mark.
Kody Chugg has landed a fine tope of 45lb. The specimen was the result of many hours spent in pursuit of a one of the greatest shore challenges for the UK shore angler.. The fish was caught from a North Devon Rock mark.
Combe Martin Sea Angling Club Secretary Nick Phillips won the clubs latest Open Match at Woolacombe beach with a fine bass of 10lb 1oz caught on the last cast of the competition.
The specimen bass seized a mackerel bait fifteen minutes before the end of the four hour match that attracted twenty keen anglers. The club organised the competition following the ongoing success of their Putsborough competition held each summer. Members had speculated that a match held during the autumn could offer the chance of a good specimen fish or two with ray and bass high on the agenda.
After a week of atrocious weather with strong winds and heavy rain the likelihood of the competition taking place was in question. But on the night the winds dropped along with the swell and even the rain ceased for the four hour duration of the match.
Anglers assembled at the booking in and anticipation was high as competitors ambled down the steep slopes to the vast expanse of Woolacombe Beach. A brisk breeze was blowing from the south east and a moderate surf surged against the sands. The next four hours passed and a range of species were brought to the shore including small eyed ray, small bass, turbot, whiting, codling, conger and the inevitable dogfish. The fishing was for most slower than hoped and spirits had slipped since the start with talk reflecting a lack of fish. As always though at the meet up to collate results a good few fish had been caught. At first it appeared that a dogfish could win the match despite the temporary raising of the specimen size for the competition to 3lb 8oz.
The announcement of Nicks 10lb 1oz bass brought a buzz of excitement and congratulations. The picture taken by Nicks son Jack was eagerly viewed by the huddle of tired anglers. The bass injected a much needed surge of enthusiasm ensuring that many will return to the beach again in search of that dream fish. A double figure bass is much sort after and many have not seen such a fish. I have witnessed several over the past fifty years but never been fortunate enough to actually land one. It is very high on my bucket list and is one of the goals that keeps me going. Autumn is the month if you want a double.
1st Nick Phillips – Bass 10lb 1oz
2nd Mark Jones – dogfish – 2lb 4oz
3rd Wayne Thomas – dogfish 2lb 2oz
4th – Dan Miles Redmore – dogfish 2lb 1oz
Best ray – Dan Welch small eyed ray – 3lb 4oz
There is a tendency to frequent familiar marks and do the same things year in year out basing ones fishing on previous history. This is perhaps a good policy most of the time as fishing proven marks with a good track record will eventually bring success. However times change and perhaps we need to change our habits to widen our experience and to continue learning.
I recently persuaded a friend to join me at a local beach where I hoped to catch a bass. The weather was a touch blowy and he questioned our wisdom when we parked the car to see flags fluttering as a brisk North Westerly blew onshore.
The tide was ebbing and I intended to fish down to low water fishing with one rod each using a big bait in the hope of that elusive big bass. We clambered onto rocks that were being battered by a good sized surf. I gentle lob would put our baits onto clean sand and shingle.
I was using a 12ft bass rod, with 25lb b.s line straight through to simple paternoster with a 3oz lead and whole joey and a pennel rig with 6/0 and 5/0 Sakuma hooks. I love this direct contact fishing holding the rod feeling for that electrifying jolt through the line. Stood with waves crashing over the rocks and wind whistling past is invigorating stuff especially if your well dressed up to repel the elements.
Ten minutes after casting out I received a rattle and to my surprise swung in a small pouting neatly hooked on the 5/0 top hook. This gave encouragement that was increased when Rob brought in a small codling followed by a school bass.
A fresh joey was employed and resulted a decent Pollock of around 2lb. This came as a surprise as we were fishing in shallow water buffeted by a heavy surf. As the tide dropped back the bites ceased despite what I thought were perfect bass fishing conditions.
We packed away as low water approached as with work in the morning neither of us wanted to be late. A full moon shone brightly when the clouds parted driven swiftly across the sky by the brisk North West Wind. The short session had given us food for thought and we will revisit the beach again soon when tide and conditions are right.