Cancelled competitions but plenty of fish still caught

A 65lb conger eel caught by Paul Marris from Our Joe'l

A 65lb conger eel caught by Paul Marris from Our Joe'l - Credit: Archant

John Sherlock with his weekly angling round-up

This week I should have been reporting on the cancelled Torbay Sea Angling Festival and the Wyvern Small Boat Competition from Salcombe but unfortunately these were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It did not, however, deter both local and visiting anglers from getting out and about and finding some great fish.

John Trevell and his partner Emma Drysdale from North Somerset fished a local estuary with John finding gilthead bream and Emma landing a fine thick lipped mullet of 5lbs.

Steve Tucker, a member of Torbay and Babbacombe SAC, targeted bass locally and was rewarded with a fish of 6lbs 3oz. Nathan Bodley, another local angler and an exponent of LRF fishing, drop-shotted an artificial worm and landed a ballan wrasse of 3lb 7oz after a spectacular fight on light gear. For those hitting the beaches further, east sole, cod and smoothhounds can be found among the mackerel and garfish.

Many small boats anglers took advantage of the calm conditions this week getting afloat and finding some magnificent fish, notably Mike Johnson, of Paignton Sea Anglers’ Association, who caught a new club record trigger fish of 4lb 1oz.

Anglers from Honiton SAC visited Salcombe and caught a great variety of fish including blonde and small eyed rays, conger eels, spurdogs and ling with Mike Spiller landing a beautiful specimen male cuckoo wrasse.

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The charter boats have once again been busy with both Silver Halo and Anglo Dawn searching for sharks and finding a few with some surprise visitors among them, blue fin tuna. While it is illegal to target these fish, they do get caught by accident.

Silver Halo has also had a rare red band fish caught by Viktor Kolomiets on baited feathers and a bass of 6lb 4oz to Ben Devlin on a live mackerel.

Shaun Pedley has been busy on Our Joe’l finding conger eels to 65lb for Paul Marris and a black bream of 4lbs 3oz to Kevin Turner.

The freshwater scene has been just as busy. Newbarn Farm have had many carp landed including a fine common of 23lb to Bob Wooster from the specimen lake on a hair rigged cell boilie. Willow lake has had several smaller carp landed along with some nice bream.

The latest match at Spring Ponds was won by Elliot Fay with a bag of 45lb 8oz closely followed by Jason Fay only 5oz behind.

Steve Hayman brought up third place and with one more carp would have had the winning weight. Successful methods this week were float fished pellet or sweetcorn on the pole.

I managed to visit this fishery at long last for a short pleasure session and managed 15 carp to about 8lbs on a pellet feeder and pellet and a few perch to just under 1lb on the float.

Kennick Flyfishers visited Blagdon Reservoir near Bristol Airport for round eight of the Snowbee Top Rod competition incorporating the Fred Pike Memorial Trophy. Top weight went to junior angler Alex Venn with eight fish for 18lbs 8oz. Andy Watson and Alec Hoare took the next two places. Best fish was a rainbow trout of 4lbs 6oz to Chris Bolt of Kingsteignton.

Tight lines and stay safe.