Huge sea trout landed after epic encounter in River Taw
COLIN MACKAY hooked the fish of a lifetime while fishing a Middle River beat of the Taw.
The huge sea trout estimated at 16lb 8oz gave an epic encounter before being netted and carefully released.
The rivers Taw and Torridge are both holding up well following the longest dry spell of the season. At least four salmon have been landed from the River Torridge all from Middle River beats, three of them in the 7lb to 8lb size range and one a small grilse.
Martin Weeks landed a sea trout of 3lb 8oz and Colin Buckingham a sea trout of 4lb.
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I fished a Middle River beat on Saturday and while I hooked no salmon, I did see a fresh fish leap from the water just a few yards from where I stood.
The final few weeks of the season will be dependant upon the weather. A bit of rain will undoubtedly help to bring a few more salmon into Taw and Torridge.
Geoff Hill regularly travels to Bratton Water from Carhampton in Somerset to enjoy the fine sport on offer.
His latest trip saw him take a five-fish bag totalling 22lb 4oz including three browns in the 3lb range and a brace of rainbows weighing over 12lb.
The brown trout were tempted using buzzers tied by Geoff himself who illustrates one of angling's greatest merits in that at the age of 84 he can still take part.
A new trout lake has opened at Simpson Valley named Mallards. Anglers have enjoyed some good sport with rainbows to 4lb 2oz taking small buzzers and nymphs. To book a place call 07881 764 655.
Kayaking is an exciting development in the sea-angling world with many exploring our coastal waters from these craft. Bass are a species that are often targeted from kayaks, enabling anglers to search vast areas of North Devon's rocky shoreline and secluded bays.
Radley Watkins and his father Mike spend many summer evenings casting floating plugs from their kayaks into the waters of Combe Martin Bay and have enjoyed some exciting sport in recent weeks, landing numerous bass to over 4lb.
Richard Tucker has recently taken up sea angling and was thrilled to hook a hard fighting conger while fishing a rock mark near Ilfracombe. The fish was tempted using king ragworm presented on a size 1/0 fine wire hook and while falling short of the specimen size for the species at 15lb 10oz, it certainly brought a broad smile to a young angler whose previous biggest fish was a 2lb dogfish.
The waters to the west of Lundy are the gateway to the vast Atlantic Ocean with the warm water of the Gulf Stream carrying visitors from far and wide.
A party of anglers aboard Dave Roberts's Minehead-based charter boat Aly Kat enjoyed an exciting trip in search of blue shark. The party had nine runs from these sleek predators boating five of the fish, the best a beautiful specimen of 104lb to the rod of James Wiggelworth.
Blue shark have been regular visitors to the waters off Lundy for many years and I have a picture of Barnstaple angler Dave Rogers posing with a shark boated off Ilfracombe close to 50 years ago.
An enlightened attitude by anglers now sees all shark returned alive. There is undoubtedly potential for Ilfracombe Charter boats to explore the waters off Lundy.
A three-hour steam could reward anglers prepared to foot the bill incurred by high fuel costs.
Ilfracombe Match Group's latest match at Melbury Reservoir saw competitors enjoy a hard fought match with roach, skimmers and quality hybrids falling to a pole fished maggot approach.
John Bailey took top spot with a net of 25lb 12oz. Andy Bayley was runner up with 13lb 4oz and Peter Slade third with 13lb 2oz.
Furzebray near South Molton is giving great carp sport with several twenty pound-plus fish landed.
Luke Davis landed a stunning mirror carp of 24lb 10oz. Several perch to 2lb 8oz have also been landed, a promising sign for the future, as I would expect the fishery to give some stunning fish over the winter months.
Furzebray are now stocking an extensive range from Sticky Baits including a vast menu to tempt the most discerning of carp.
Saturday: Appledore Shipbuilders Boat Match, fishing 6am to 6pm.
Sunday: Triple Hook Club Autumn Shield, Jennets Reservoir, fishing 9am to 3pm.
Blakewell Autumn Trout Match.