Plenty of fish to chase from the North Devon Shoreline at the moment with ray, bass, rockling and mullet amongst the specimens caught over the last week.
John Shapland landed this fine thick lipped grey mullet of 3lb 8.5oz from an estuary mark
Jon Patten was targetting bass with half mackerel baits when a pack of tope swam past! As Jon placed his rod in the rest after casting, his second rod bounced in the rest and the reel screamed its warning. Hastily grabbing the second rod he failed to give full attention to slackening the clutch on the recently cast out rod. As battle commenced with the fish on rod two; Jon watched in despair as his recently cast rod was catapulted from the rest to disappear into the dark night sea. After a spirited tussle a fine tope of 38lb 6oz was brought ashore for a quick photo. Jon was using size 8/0 hooks to 40lb b.s Seagar Fluorocarbon hook lengths.
This is not first rod to be lost as big fish seize the bait and head out to sea its important to always fish with a loose clutch but its easy to get distracted and the cost can be high!
Tarrant Wotton was fishing with Jon on the same session and also enjoyed success landing this splendid huss.
The smoothound season has burst upon us with some superb catches from recognized marks all along the North Devon Coastline.
Combe Martin SAC member Kody Chugg enjoyed a great session with smoothound landing twelve of the hard fighting members of the shark family to 10lb 4oz.
(Below) Paul Hutchings landed seven hounds to 12lb 14oz.
Danny Watson and Pauline of High Street Tackle Ilfracombe have been out fishing from their local shore marks and have enjoyed success with bass, pollock, rockling and small eels. These have been tempted using lug worm and fish baits. Danny hopes that these catches are indication that things are improving after a difficult spring. Toby Bassett has also enjoyed success a good session of bass and wrasse on lug worm. Paul Lorrimore has had a few spotted ray from the pier.
Combe Martin SAC member Kody Chugg landed this fine rockling of 1lb 10oz during a session at a North Devon Rock mark. Kody asked me to identify if the fish was a three bearded rockling or a shore rockling. My immediate response was that it is a three bearded rockling based on the colour of the fish and its size that would be a potential British Record if it was a shore rockling. As another angler muted the possibility of it being a shore rockling I referred to Alwyne Wheelers excellent reference book’ Key to Fishes of Northern Europe. The key distinguishing points are number of rays on the pectoral fins, the 3 bearded having 20 to 22 and the shore rockling 15 to 17. Having tried to enlarge the picture of the fin I can only make out around 17 rays. The eye position points to it being a 3 bearded. As there is small element of doubt I have sought expert advice and will report on findings later. This highlights the need to take numerous close up pictures if there is any doubt about a species of fish caught.
Kody also landed this bull huss on a recent trip.