Spurdog brace rewards angler for braving bad weather
SIMON SILVESTER was rewarded for braving bad weather.
The Combe Martin Sea Angling Club member went out at the weekend and returned with a fine brace of shore-caught spurdog scaling 13lb 7¾oz and 10lb 6¾oz.
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Both were tempted using Ammo squid and mackerel on a pulley rig and 4/0 Sakuma Manta hooks.
The wild winter weather has deterred all but the keenest anglers from venturing to the water's edge.
Sea anglers who have gone out in the hope of contacting cod have been rewarded with dogfish, whiting, pouting and the occasional conger.
There are just a few weeks of the traditional cod-fishing season remaining and reports indicate catches are starting to taper off, even up-channel.
The ever-popular open match at Blue Anchor was won with a single codling of 5lb 8oz and a couple of small pouting.
Craig Butler took the prize for the largest whiting at just 7oz.
I always believed the emergence of the first daffodils of the year signalled the end of the cod season.
I expect the next few weeks will see the first of the season's ray caught from local marks, including the chance of a big blonde or small-eyed.
When weather conditions permit, boat fishing should be excellent, with large numbers of spurdog expected from off-shore deepwater marks.
There is considerable interest in Light Rock Fishing (LRF), a trend for using ultra-light tackle to target a variety of species from harbours and rocks.
Part of the appeal is that it offers a fresh approach with fun at the top of the agenda, making it attractive to young anglers or established ones who have grown tired of launching heavy leads out to be rewarded with dogfish that give little sport on traditional sea-angling tackle.
I will be trying it out in the next few months and it will be interesting to see what can be caught.
LRF tactics can also be employed to catch perch from stillwaters, especially where pike are not present.
Angler's Paradise, near Beaworthy, is to hold a lure-fishing weekend when anglers will be able to target brown, rainbow, blue and tiger trout, plus perch, to more than 3lb. Anyone interested should call 01409 221559.
Blakewell Fishery, at Muddiford, has undergone refurbishment with the lake desilted and the banks re-graded, creating up to 25 per cent more fishing area.
The lake will be restocked with quality brown and rainbow trout to double figures and is due to reopen on Thursday, February 7.
Ticket prices are to remain the same as in 2012.
John and Richard Nickell will be announcing a grand opening day during the traditional start of the trout season in early spring. Visit blakewell.co.uk for more details.
At Simpson Valley, near Holsworthy, anglers have been enjoying some exciting sport from the Jenny Wren Trout Lake, with Richard Skinner landing a fine brace of rainbows weighing 6lb 8oz and 5lb 4oz.
The coarse lakes are fishing well for roach and perch, with specimen perch to 3lb 2oz landed by Jeff Grant, using small lures.
Ilfracombe Match Group's Champion of Champions match was held at Oaktree Fishery, near South Molton, on Sunday.
Competitors had to endure strong wind, and rain and hail showers.
Neilsen Jeffery took first place with a bag of 20lb 12oz, consisting of two carp on pole-fished corn and 10lb of small fish on margin-fished maggot.
Thomas Downing was the runner up with 19lb 12oz of carp and silver fish, and Kevin Wilton was third on 17lb 9oz of silver fish, which also took the silver-fish bag.
In fourth was Andy Bailey (16lb 11oz), fifth Barry Lee (16lb 6oz) and sixth Jim Grogan (10lb 15oz).
Jason Hammond fished a two-day session at Lower Slade Reservoir, near Ilfracombe, and landed eight double-figure carp to 16lb using a Sticky Baits Vortex top with popped-up corn.
South West Lakes Trust is holding a pairs carp competition at Upper Tamar Lake, near Kilkhampton, over the weekend of March 29-31.
Tickets cost £60 a pair with a first prize of £200 and £100 for second.
Contact the trust through swlakestrust.org.uk for full details.
Sunday: Combe Martin SAC monthly meeting, Braunton CC, 7pm.
Sunday: Bideford Angling Club monthly rover.
Sunday: Appledore Shipbuilders monthly rover.
Sunday: Ilfracombe Match Group, Lower Slade Reservoir.