Steve Dawe is on a mission to catch 52 species in 52 weeks and is doing it to raise money for The Stroke Association following a massive stroke that impacted upon a close angling friend of Steve’s. Steve has agreed to write about his aims on NDAN in a feature that will follow soon. In the mean time above is a picture of the huge 19lb spurdog Steve boated on Tuesday January 30th whilst fishing on John Barbeary’s boat Bluefin.
Cameron Atkinson took advantage of a break in the weather and decided to get out in chase of a Spurdog and was rewarded with this potential British record of 18lb. Fish was tempted using a flounder bait mounted on a pair of 6/0 hooks.
The days fishing got underway following the stunning sunrise above Combe Martin Bay ( Above).
I joined a party of anglers on board John Barbeary’s ‘Bluefin’ Last Sunday morning when we steamed out to a mark six or seven miles off Ilfracombe where we hoped to connect with the packs of spurdog that have become a feature of winter fishing off the North Devon Coast. Several trips had been possible to these deep water marks over the previous few days when plenty of tackle testing specimens had been boated.
It wasn’t long after dropping the anchor before a few spurdog homed in on the array of baits on offer beneath the boat. Spurdog are not particularly fussy feeders devouring most fish baits with gusto.
(Above) Simon Blacher with one of the first double figure spurdog of the day.
(Below) One of several spurdog I landed during the day.
As the tide eased several conger joined in on the feasting beneath the boat with Exeter based angler Pete Gregory boating a beauty of 36lb. (Below)
A brace of bull huss ( Below)
Pete Gregory with a fine spurdog (Below)
Over the previous week John Barbeary had taken several parties of anglers to the grounds several miles off the coast when neap tides and good weather gave a perfect window of opportunity.
Below highlights from a productive week on Bluefin
Rob Scoines with two spurdog the best a fine specimen of 18lb 2oz
Big fish are on the feed moving close inshore to feast on the food dislodged by storm Eleanor. Several anglers have enjoyed success as the waters have calmed. The window of opportunity is often short as a bitter North East wind is now tearing down channel chilling any angler out there to the bone.
Ali Laird enjoyed the session of a lifetime when he fished a North Devon rock mark to land a fine tope of 29lb 10oz(Above) and spurdog of 9lb 15oz and 9lb 8oz. (Below)
Fellow club member Dan Miles Redmore was also delighted to land his first ever shore caught tope weighing 33lb 10oz.
North Devon Angler Jon Patten kindly gave permission for me to replicate this account of his latest trip.
With the chance of a spur on the horizon myself and a couple of mates ventured out in the middle of the night in pursuit of spurdogs
After a long drive through wind.. sleet… snow.. hail and very high winds
We arrived at our location to find a lumpy sea….perfect although the rain was now coming down in stair rods and extremely uncomfortable against our faces
But at least the wind was behind us
We cast our baits into the murky depths of the Bristol channel in pursuit of our quarry
Rods rattled instantly as the baits hit the sea bed with small bites…… bait fish were in the area for the spurs to feed off
We didn’t have to wait long before the first spur showed…mostly smaller size between 6/7lb with bigger specimens showing aswell later in the tide
Little flurries of them went through and our spur numbers rose
2 hrs into the ebb must have seen a mass of fish go through as spurs hit our baits in a big way
It was mayhem
We landed 18 fish in total and then released after a photo…. with Several nice doubles to add to our tally…. it was pure madness
Red letter day to say the least and we did manage 1 or 2 breaks in the weather to boot.
Jon is sponsored by Shimano, Reeds, Veal’s Mail Order, Sea Power UK and Jim’s Lures.
The biggest spurdog pulled the scales to 12lb 3oz.
Kevin Legge closed 2017 with a specimen spurdog of 11lb 15oz that was tempted just ten minutes before midnight on New Years Eve with celebratory fireworks lighting the night sky as his angling companion Dave Brooke took the pictures. Four hours later Kevin started the New Year with a spurdog of 9lb 9oz.