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Calm conditions with high pressure dominating has resulted in open coast fishing slowing down with dogfish and small conger dominating catches. Flounder fishing in the estuary is starting to tail off as the flounder start to migrate out to sea to spawn. If the wind swings to the west and Atlantic weather pushes in sport on the open coast should pick up with spurdog, bull huss and conger moving inshore to feed on dislodged food.

During calm weather boat anglers can expect some hectic offshore sport as the spurdog packs hunt the mid channel waters.


John Passmore won the Sportsmans Cup with a flounder scaling 125/8oz Ian Cairns was runner up with a flounder of 121/8oz.

Dennis Toleman caught a fine bass of 5lb 6oz from Fremington Quay but being a flounder only match it did not count.


Jack Sharrock won Appledore Shipbuilders January Rover with a cod of 7lb 43/8oz. The fish was tempted from the expanse of Chesil beach in Dorset and was not a North Devon fish. Cod are very scarce off the North Devon coast in recent seasons which is a mystery as twenty years ago they were prolific.

In second and third was Terry Dymiond with flounder scaling1lb 121/4oz and 1lb 115/8oz.

Seventeen anglers fished.


Rover results
1st Terry dymond flounder 1lb 12 1/2oz
2nd Terry dymond flounder 1lb 11 5/8oz
3rd Graham Snow flounder 1lb 8 1/4oz
4th Graham snow flounder 1lb 5 5/8oz
5th Paul Downing thornback 5lb 10oz
Next competition 19/20th Jan 24hour


            Storm Diedre failed to keep members of Combe Martin Sea Angling Club from the shoreline to compete in their Christmas Competition. Mark Jones secured victory with a thornback ray of 10lb 7oz. The fish won him a voucher from  and choice of a secret Santa prize donated by members. In runner up spot was myself(Wayne Thomas) with a dogfish scaling 2lb 9oz and in third Dave Brooke with a bull huss of 7lb 9oz. Ross Stanway weighed in a small- eyed-ray of 7lb 2oz for forth.
1st-Mark Jones – thornback ray – 10lb 7oz
2nd– Wayne Thomas – dogfish – 2lb 9oz
3rd– Dave Brooke – bull huss – 7lb 9oz
4th– Ross Stanway – small-eyed-ray – 7lb 2oz
5th– Jack Phillips – dogfish – 2lb
6th– Jack Phillips – dogfish – 1lb 15oz
7th– Mark Jones – thornback ray – 6lb 15oz
8th– Jack Phillips – dogfish – 1lb 14oz
9th– Nick Phillips – dogfish – 1lb 14oz
10th– Dan Welch – flounder 1lb 3oz
11th– Nick Phillips – dogfish – 1lb 10oz

Bideford Angling Club – Christmas Competition

Fifty eight anglers lined the banks of the Torridge estuary to compete in Bideford Angling Clubs Christmas Competition last Sunday with twenty four flounder registered. The winning angler Owen Hare was a junior who landed a flounder of 1lb 71/2oz. Runner up was Stephen Found with a flounder of 1lb 63/4oz, third Darren Burslem with a flounder of 1lb 31/2oz and forth Robert Bowden with a flounder of 1lb 31/2oz. The club were very appreciative of the behind the scenes work of Paul and Lisa Downing and to the sponsors.

                                 Barnstaple Triple Hook Clubs 

Barnstaple Triple Hook Clubs Christmas Flounder Open attracted a field of fifty anglers all keen to secure a turkey dinner. The results were the best for many seasons with plenty of quality flounder weighed in. The top ten all recieved a turkey. 

1st – Richard Chapel – 2lb 13/4oz

2nd- Nigel Gullen – 2lb 7/8oz

3rd – Steve Luxton – 1lb 143/8oz

4th – Max Peake – 1lb 13.75oz

5th – Dennis Toleman – 1lb 127/8oz

6th – Darren Short – 1lb 125/8oz

7th – Kevin Hancock – 1lb 121/8oz

8th – Dave Mock – 1lb 113/4oz

9th – Isabel Luxton – 1lb 113/4oz

10th = Cleo Babb – 1lb 101/2oz

I have been reporting on these estuary flounder competitions for many seasons now and have often noted the contrast in the average size of flounder caught between the two estuaries. This year the results show a marked difference in fish sizes with the top ten flounder caught from the Taw in Triple Hook Clubs Open all bigger than the winning fish from the Torridge. Both rivers share many common characteristics yet seem to produce different sized flounder potential?


Estuary Flounder Results

It was  a busy day in the estuary with several local clubs holding competitions on Sunday November 18th. The river has been in fine

form for flounder over the past couple of weeks with some really good catches.

Paul Hutching’s and his friend Andrew McKenna landed 41 flounder during a recent session along with four bass to 4lb. The biggest flounder fell to Paul and scaled 1lb 14oz.

Cyril Petherick competition


1st Andy Sanders flounder 2 lb 100%

2nd Andy sanders flounder 1 lb 13oz 90.625%

3rd Antony Smith flounder 1 lb 11 1/4oz 85.156

32 seniors fishing and 4 juniors with 29 fish weighed.

Kyle Blackmore narrowly missed out on a prize with these fine flounder the best of which scaled 1lb 10 3/4oz

Barnstaple Triple Hook – Flounder Open

1st – Kevin Hancock  – flounder 1lb 9oz

2nd Dennis Toleman – Flounder 1lb 81/2oz

Braunton Small Boats

Braunton Small Boat and Angling Club. Eight members fished a flounder competition.

1st Andy Hold 1lb 10oz,

2nd Jack Phillips 1lb 6oz

3rd Tracey Phipps 1lb 3oz.

(Above)Jack Phillips with flounder of 1lb 6oz



Estuary Provides Fine Junior sport

The autumn estuary can provide some fine sport for young anglers with flounder and school bass.

Ian Cairns won Triple Hook Clubs Junior Open Flounder competition with a fine flounder of 1lb 87/8oz. In second place was Roxy Mortimer with a flounder of 1lb 8oz. Joan Cairns won the ladies Open Flounder match with a flattie of 1lb 73/4oz. Christine Hancock was runner up with a flounder of 1lb 31/4oz.


Andrew Conibear took his son Thomas to the Taw estaury where they enjoyed sport with flounder and bass to 5lb 9oz.


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(Above) Ollie Passmore tempted this fine specimen thin lipped grey mullet weighing 4lb 8oz on a baited spinner in the river Taw Estuary.

Ollie Passmore with a stunning wrasse caught on a recent session. I suspect wrasse fishing will slow down for a few days after the rough and windy weekend. I suspect we will see a few big bass, smoothound and huss in the coloured water, don’t be afraid to use a big bait oozing plenty of scent!

Triple Hook Club – Shaun Foster Cup –  Woolacombe Beach

Dennis Toleman secured top spot in Triple Hook Clubs Shaun Foster Cup beaching a fine small eyed ray scaling 9lb 4oz in runner up spot was Kevin Hancock with a small eyed ray of 4lb 6oz.






Fine Perch Brace highlight of Match at Oaktree

Triple Hook Club enjoyed a great day at Oak Tree Fishery with some good bags of carp and other species. Highlight of the day was a fine brace of perch to Dennis Toleman weighing  2lb 2oz and 2lb 1oz.

1st Bruce Williams 29lb 4oz

2nd  Kevin Toleman 27lb 4oz both had carp at 9lbs

3rd  Dennis Toleman 24lb 2oz

Kevin and Rob Hancock both had 24lb bags


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After a very quiet few weeks its good to get a bit of sea angling news coming in. The two cold blasts from the east have certainly impacted upon both fish and fishing effort. Lets hope things start to improve over the next few weeks.

Bideford 24 hour results

1st Andrew Clements Thornback 7lb 14 1/2oz 80.902%

2nd Nathan Clements Thornback 6lb 12 1/2oz 75.173%

3rd kyle Blackmore pouting 1 lb 2oz 75%

Triple Hook Club – Derek Philiips Memorial

1st Dennis Toleman – dogfish 2lb 3oz


Sea Angling Club Results

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Barnstaple Triple Hook Club – Windy Shield Trophy competition was won by Mark Hancock with a dogfish of 2lb 13/4oz. In runner up spot was Dennis Toleman with a dogfish of 2lb 3/4oz. Dennis also told me that he caught a tasty codling of around 3lb 8oz.


Bideford Angling Clubs 24 Hour Rover

 1st Dick Talbot Thornback ray 9 lb 6oz 104.166%

2nd Nathan Clements small-eyed ray 9lb 5 103.472%

3rd kyle Blackmore spur 9lb 14oz 98.750%

Appledore Shipbuilders Winter League

Graham Snow specializes in catching grey mullet and proves that they are now an all round year round species to target.

1st – Graham Snow – grey mullet 3lb 47/8oz

2nd – Graham Snow – Grey Mullet 3lb 41/2oz

3rd Cameron Atkinson – whiting 151/8oz