Huss and tope for Ollie Passmore

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Combe Martin SAC member Ollie Passmore has been enjoying success from the North Devon Shoreline tempting this 37lb 6oz tope and 12lb 11oz Bull Huss,

“Absolutely buzzing to finally catch a PB tope a few weeks back weighing 37lb 6. After sadly loosing a couple this year it made it all that much sweeter. Nothing can beat the feeling of seeing that reel screaming and the rod bent over!!

Top terminal tackle as always from @sakuma_fishing doing the business again!”

Kyle braves the storm to land specimen brace

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Combe Martin SAC member Kyle Bishop braved stormy conditions to bank a superb brace of specimens including a new club record bull huss of 15lb 5oz and a tope of 46lb 2oz.

Banging trip out last month in the 50mph storm  headed to ruff ground mark in search of a big Huss on my own , giving 4m swells I armed my self with a life jacket and a shit load of leads , after losing a load of gear was gonna head home when my rod arched over and line peeled off after a good few attempts to land the tope I finally managed to get a grip on its tale in between the massive swells she went 46.2 , quick pic and back she went ,next cast I landed an absolute beast of a Huss going 15.5 and new pb after struggling to land that as well I was happy to call it a day as swells were to dangerous , take some beating a trip like that on my own.



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September October and November are undoubtedly the most productive months for sea anglers fishing the North Devon Coast. Put out a big bait make sure your tackle is up to the job and the fish of a life time could come your way.

Paul Chamberlain tempted this fine bass of 9lb during a low water session at a local surf beach. The fish took a large sandeel at range, “strangely the whole joey on my other rod came back at the end of the session completely untouched.”

BIG TOPE estimated at over 70lb!

Don Hearn from Barnstaple & District Angling Association sent me this message :- “here’s one for the kayak crew. I was out on my rib last Wednesday just past the outer pulley, drifting through the shoals of joeys and baitfish. I put a joey  on looking for a bass on an 11ft Abu spinning rod ,Daiwa regal reel and 20lb mono .Had a complete screamer taking 80m first run. We went after it in the rib and after a thumb burning scrap finally got it lying along side. We had a tope estimated at 27″girth 6’6” long .We had to release in the water ASAP as it was going nuts and too risky along side the rubber tubes.  We used the Tope Calc. of girth squared 27″x27″=729 x length 78″=710775 divide by 800 = 71.07 lbs. Just stunning ,there were people kayak fishing alongside using joeys and that would have been  an even greater experience for them than we had!!!! Alas we never got any proper pictures as we just wanted it released ASAP.


Massive Tope from North Devon Shoreline

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Combe Martin SAC member Kyle Bishop has caught a massive shore caught tope weighing 61lb 9oz. The huge specimen was tempted from a North Devon rock mark and is the biggest tope caught from the North Devon shoreline in thirteen years.  This year is proving to be an exceptional year for predators with large amounts of bait fish in the region and some excellant shark fishing off-shore. Congratulations to Kyle on landing such a superb specimen and getting an excellent picture of the fish. Below is Kyles own account of the capture of a very special fish.

Well after not sea fishing for a few months putting a few hrs in on the flyrod, I was getting the bug to chuck a few big baits, early last month got on phone to Tyler Roffey after seeing some bad weather coming through big swells and strong sw winds, we set out on a short window before it got to rough to fish a local mark. Got on the mark just as it was getting light set up 1 rod blasted big maki bait out for tope, set fly rod up for bass after 15mins Tys shouting my rod was going, running across the rocks to find rod in full arch and line peeling off, first run was incredible put some drag on and managed to turn her, after a back n forth battle Ty went down and put it straight in the net, I dropped down to give him a hand when I realised what we had, quickly sorted scales and sling, she went 61lb 9oz first cast back in to the big blue and a new personal best 🦈quick pic and back she went, fish of a lifetime still buzzing now and believe I’m only the second ever person to have a 60lber from the shore on the north Devon coast line yes now top man Ty for landing it and pics”

Tope and mackerel bring summer sport

After several weeks of strong North Easterly winds, I was lucky to get out on board John Barbeary’s Bluefin with fellow members of South Molton & District Angling Club. The water was crystal clear when I arrived in the harbour shortly before 8:00am. Large numbers of jellyfish were pulsing in the harbour. This was the second calmer day and with reports of mackerel close to the shore prospects were good. My friend Bruce Elston had fished on Predator 2 the previous day and was delighted to have boated his first tope.

We steamed out of the harbour the spectacular North Devon Coast draped in a misty morning haze. The forecast was for warm sunshine with hardly any wind and the chance of thunderstorms later in the day.

First stop was close inshore off the Tors point where we found large numbers of mackerel. It was very encouraging to drop down the feathers and haul up strings full of writhing mackerel. It has been several years since we have seen good numbers of mackerel showing like this and it is to be hoped that this bodes well for the summer ahead.

After twenty minutes we had more than enough mackerel for the day ahead. We set off to our next mark where Feathers and lures brought a few pollock and more mackerel including a jumbo mackerel of 1lb 4oz.

It was now time to drop anchor and try for tope, the main target species for the day.

I used a 10/0 Sakuma Manta, with a wire trace and lip hooked a whole mackerel its flanks lacerated to release scent into the water.

            After a few dogfish, huss and small conger I felt a strong pull and set the hook into what was undoubtedly a good fish. After a strong battle with a well bent rod, I was pleased to bring a tope of around 25lb to the waiting net.

The fish was released after a quick picture and a fresh bait sent down. Minutes later I enjoyed a repeat performance from a second tope that scaled 32lb.

            As I rebaited I noticed Kevin Harris doing battle with what was undoubtedly another tope. This proved to be an even better specimen that gave Kev several anxious moments before being safely netted. The fish was carefully weighed in the boats weigh sling and registered an impressive 42lb.

            As the tide eased several bull huss were brought on board along with the inevitable dogfish. After a lull in sport John decided it was time for a move further out. On the way to our next anchoring mark, we had a few drifts over reefs and added to the tally of pollock.

            The next mark had been producing a few tope before the winds had curtailed fishing. We were optimistic as we lowered fresh mackerel baits to the seabed. Bull huss to around 9lb provided a few bites and the inevitable dogfish found our baits all too quickly.

Jim Ricketts with a good huss
Chairman Ed Rands with a brace of dogfish!

            We fished over the high water period and made one more move in search of the tope that appeared to be absent from the deep water marks. John speculated that they were likely to be close inshore chasing the mackerel. After several weeks of strong winds, it could take time to find where the fish are located.

Rob Kingdon with rockling caught close inshore

            As the tide began to pick up it was again time to move and with the tide ebbing we headed close inshore. The cliffs towered from the water and I noted that there had been some significant landslips. Several club members took the opportunity to fillet out a few mackerel and pollock. The gulls soon homed in on the opportunity of food and gathered eagerly behind the boat. They were joined by a young gannet that dived frequently into the clear water feasting upon discarded remains.

            It was time to head back to Ilfracombe and savour the splendour of the wild and rugged coast of North Devon.

            We climbed from Bluefin and thanked John for a great day. The fish had proved hard to find but Johns extensive experience had given us the opportunity to boat several hard fighting tope. We also had several mackerel for the freezer and a few pollock fillets for tea.

High Street Tackle has a vast range of lures on display.