Bristol Channel Boat Report by Tom Wright
April has been a fantastic month out of both ports of Watchet and Minehead with lots of fish being caught daily and many specimen fish being brought to the gunwales.
The ray fishing has been exceptional. Blonde rays exceeding the specimen weight of 17lbs have been caught across a variety of marks but with low water marks out from Blue anchor and Minehead producing the larger fish most consistently. Some of the largest Thornback rays you are ever likely to see have been caught with some huge Thornback’s going over 16lbs on the scales. Spotted rays are showing in increasing numbers. The smallest of our ray variety but arguably an angler’s favourite with their beautiful markings, some have been weighed in at over 4lbs. And the last of our ray variety, the Small eyed ray, has been caught readily with some exceptional fish to 14lb’s.
Smoothhounds have really started to show in good numbers towards the end of the month as the water temperature has risen. Charter boats have reported some hectic action with some days seeing over 40 Smoothhounds boated to their customers. Porlock and Bossington has held good numbers of these fast, frantic fish but as is often the way, the sizeable specimens have tended to come from marks around Dunster, Blue Anchor and Watchet.
Bull Huss is another species where huge specimens have been brought to the net. Exceptional fish over 17lbs have been caught. Bossington, Dunster and Watchet have all produced big Huss.
Cod continue to show from time to time with a handful of doubles during the month.
Tope exceeding 30lbs have been caught near Porlock and even a haddock has come to the net! Throw in some Conger Eels, the ever-present dogfish and a few mini species has made April a fantastic month out of both ports of Watchet and Minehead.