Combe Martin SAC member and National Mullet Club member John Shapland has been enjoying some excellent sport with thin lipped grey mullet banking fish of 4lb 20z and 3lb 14oz in recent sessions.
The humble flounder of the estuary have a certain appeal that I had somehow forgotten having neglected the species for several seasons. Our son James seemed keen for a short session so having gratefully secured a pound of worms from a local bait digger we found ourselves surveying the bleak cold and grey expanse of the estuary. We had arrived just before the flooding tide and the first hour passed by without any action. But it was good to be by the water watching the plentiful bird life on the exposed mud banks.
I have fond memories of fishing the area back in the late seventies with my cousin who would take me fishing on cold frosty evenings to fish from the railway line that was at that time still in partial use running to Bideford. As the tide started to slow the downstream flow I caught the first flounder of the day that was quickly slipped back.
Shorty after retreating onto the higher bank my rod tip gave a couple of nods. A few minutes later I was pleased to feel a weighty flattie pulsating on the line and hanging deep as it approached the shoreline. A plump flounder of 1lb 11oz was a good result and a good omen for Combe Martin SAC’s Flounder competition and Triple Hooks Open Flounder Competitions this weekend.
Having caught a couple I was hoping James would get in on the action before we packed up. His rod tip gave a few gentle nods resulting in a double shot of flounder to end the session.
I really must make sure I enjoy a few more sessions after these obliging flatfish that will often give sport when little else is happening. I intend to try caching a few on ultra light LRF tactics as I have caught them on the open coast using jig heads and Isome worms. The latest book on Lure Fishing by Dominic Garnett has a chapter dedicated to this type of fishing. I have also caught flounder in the past trotting a bunch of ragworm beneath a float using ultra light coarse tackle; great fun!
Ian and Ali Laird enjoyed a fun session in the Taw estuary catching numerous flounder and a pleasing bass.
Combe Martin SAC member Robin Bond fished a mark in the lower Taw estuary and landed a new club record gilt head bream scaling 5lb. These hard fighting fish are being caught on a far more regular basis in recent seasons a possible result of climate change? During the eighties these fish were tempted from South Devon marks and seemed to begin to populate Cornish marks as the seasons progressed. They are now caught a across the South West, South Wales and from Southern Ireland and beyond.
The 2018/19 Flounder season is proving to be the best for many years with good numbers of good sized flounder caught. There is the chance of flounder for a couple more weeks and it could be wortbn trying the lower estuary as the fish drop back towards the sea. It is tp be hoped that next season will be an even better one with survivors of this year class returning even bigger next autumn. Flounder fishing on the estuary tends to be cyclical with peak seasons followed by poor seasons with smaller fish.
Richard Chapple and James Griggy enjoyed New Years Day morning down on Taw estuary catching six flounder the biggest flounder caught by Richard Chapple weighing in at 2lb 1 1/2oz (second 2 pound flounder of season for Richard Chapple)