Mullet to pose challenge in bumper angling season
SEPTEMBER heralds the start of what is often a bumper season for angling.
Grey mullet provide exciting and challenging sport for sea anglers prepared to adapt the finesse of their freshwater counterparts.
Fish to more than 5lb will no doubt be tempted with ever-reliable bread flake.
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Nathan Clements caught a fine mullet of 4lb 5½oz to get his season under way and win Bideford Angling Club's Des Clements Memorial Trophy. Runner-up was Dick Talbot with a triggerfish of 3lb 2oz, and in third Steve Found with a thick-lipped mullet of 3lb 4oz.
Darren Short, of Barnstaple Rod 'n' Reelers, won the latest heat of the North Devon League with a specimen bull huss of 11lb 13½oz. His team-mate Tarrant Wotton was second with a huss of 9lb 2oz. The third-place points were taken by Combe Martin Sea Angling Club's Graham Snow with a thick-lipped grey mullet of 3lb 3oz.
Bass will continue to be tempted by lure-angling enthusiasts who have caught plenty of fish in the 7lb range in recent weeks.
The darker evenings will see big bass taken on fish baits. My son James Thomas and his friend Dan West both tempted 4lb bass on recent forays.
On Sunday, Combe Martin Sea Angling Club is hosting a fun fishing event on Ilfracombe Pier as part of the Sea Ilfracombe Maritime Festival.
Special guests will demonstrate the latest in lure-fishing techniques and representatives of the Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority will discuss local issues.
There will also be a competition for the most species of fish caught from the pier, with a family ticket for Ilfracombe Aquarium among the prizes. The event runs from 12.30 to 5pm.
Catfish continue to provide great sport at Angler's Paradise where young Jacques Burnard landed his first of the species, weighing 14lb 10oz.
Thomas Downing won Ilfracombe Match Group's Peter Nash Memorial Match at the venue's Shangri-la Lake with 89lb 14oz of predominantly carp on paste-over-pellet bait on the pole.
The runner-up was Ian Croxton who used pan-fried prawns on the pole to total 61lb 12oz.
Third was Colin Ashby with 55lb 8oz and fourth Barry Lee with 41lb 10oz.
Lee also won the silver-fish bag with 2lb 2oz of golden orfe.
Sid Rogers enjoyed a great session at Furzebray Carp Lakes where he landed three carp weighing 25lb 14oz, 22lb and 21lb.
Martin's Lake at Simpson Valley is producing great silver-fish sport with roach and rudd to 1lb 12oz.
Float-fished prawn has been tempting numerous quality perch to 2lb 14oz.
A group of carp anglers enjoyed a two-night social fish at Stafford Moor's Joseph's Lake, celebrating the homecoming of Ben Hutt after a six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan.
The anglers landed more than 50 carp between them. Further events are planned and will be advertised via the group's North Devon Facebook page.
Several salmon have been caught from the River Torridge, including a fine fresh-run silver fish of 10lb from a middle beat to the rod of Chris Warcup.
Ron Burton had a 6lb sea-liced grilse from a beat high on the river, indicating fish are now spread throughout the system.
Frequent spates of dirty water follow each band of heavy rain, limiting angling opportunities.
Let's hope conditions settle to enable anglers to enjoy the final month of the season, which is often the most productive of the year.
Torridge salmon anglers have the opportunity to enjoy an additional fortnight of fishing as a result of a season extension until October 14.
Blakewell Fishery has been producing quality brown trout to more than 4lb and rainbows to double figures.
At Wimbleball, anglers have been averaging three trout per rod day with several fish topping 3lb.
Buzzers, black 'n' peacocks and vivas are among the most successful fly patterns.
Sunday: Combe Martin SAC fun fishing event, Ilfracombe Pier, 12.30 to 5pm.
Sunday: Bideford Angling Club monthly rover.
Sunday: Appledore Shipbuilders monthly rover.
Sunday: Combe Martin SAC monthly meeting, Braunton Cricket Club.