Fun fishing at Sea Ilfracombe Maritime Festival
FISHING for fun was top of the agenda at Ilfracombe Pier on Sunday.
Combe Martin Sea Angling Club (SAC) hosted an event as part of the Sea Ilfracombe Maritime Festival.
John Shapland and family, who amassed 115 points, landing nine species of fish, won the family fun fishing competition.
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The runners-up were Darren Grant and his children Tom and Ella who caught three species and scored 34 points.
In third place was Chris Wilson and wife Lynne with two species and 27 points.
Nick Payne, Angling Trust development officer for Devon, presented prizes donated by Ammo, Variety Sports, Art of Fishing, Ilfracombe Aquarium and others.
Michael Taylor won Combe Martin SAC's Ammo-sponsored fish of the month competition with a trigger fish scaling 3lb 7oz.
Simon Silvester was first and second in the club's monthly specimen pool with a smoothound of 9lb 5oz and a thick-lipped grey mullet of 3lb 9oz. Third was Graham Snow with a thick-lipped mullet of 3lb 3oz.
Kevin Pike won Appledore Shipbuilders' September rover with a triggerfish of 3lb 6oz.
In second and third was Jazza John with wrasse of 4lb¼oz and 3lb 15¾oz.
The junior section was won by Jack Pike with a triggerfish of 3lb 3oz, beating Cameron Atkinson's wrasse of 4lb 10oz.
Bideford Angling Club's monthly rover results mirrored Appledore Shipbuilders' with the exception of Steve Found taking fourth in the senior section with a wrasse of 3lb ¼oz and Cameron third in the juniors with a mackerel of 8¾oz.
Steve Luxton won Barnstaple Rod 'n' Reelers' mixed brace match with a smoothound scaling 9lb 4oz and a dogfish of 1lb 9oz.
As autumn creeps upon us and temperatures drop, many species feed harder, as if aware of harder times ahead. Trout anglers often enjoy fine sport.
At Bratton Water, rainbow trout stocks have been boosted to supplement the superb brown trout that have become the hallmark of this water.
Keith Bullard, from Braunton, took a three-fish bag of rainbows, the best of which weighed 7lb 12oz.
Small dry flies have been tempting plenty of fish from this clear-water lake.
On Saturday, I fished through a middle Torridge beat using my favourite flies and was surprised not to stir any interest from salmon.
Unwilling to quit, I tied on a sunray shadow – a large black and orange tube fly with a long streaming tail.
The technique is to cast across the river, allow a belly to form in the line and strip in fast. After a couple of casts, a 5lb grilse was gyrating on the line.
It is always worth persevering and trying something different.
Dave Williams landed a fine 17lb salmon from the middle Torridge, while Martin Weeks and his friends caught a grilse and a few sea trout to 2lb.
Sam Billins, 15, caught several specimen carp at Angler's Paradise, including a 31lb mirror, a 28lb linear mirror and other mirrors of 20lb and 17lb.
Sam used fake corn in conjunction with a bloodworm stick and pink fruit-tella pop-up boilie over a bed of chilli hemp and mixed pellets.
Richard Williams also targeted the venue's carp, landing a fine mirror of 25lb 9oz using a white milky toffee pop-up on 360-degree rig.
Non-anglers will be perplexed by the baits and rigs used to tempt the wily carp.
The carp-fishing industry thrives upon the angler's need for confidence in bait and rigs.
But the key to success is undoubtedly watercraft and application of bait.
Put simply: placing bait the fish eats in front of it without alerting it to potential danger.
The biggest carp of the week at Furzebray was a fine mirror named Star, weighing 24lb 12oz, to the rod of Konrad Kordasiewicz.
Sunday: Wistlandpound Flyfishing Club Rogers and Guard Shield, fishing 9am to 5pm.
Sunday: Barnstaple Triple Hook Club Sportsman Cup, flounder open, 8am to 1pm, weigh-in Royal British Legion 1.45pm.