North Devon report by Wayne Thomas
I’m not one to grumble about the weather as it tends to do its own thing each year and grumbling will not change it. But it’s been a touch colder than I would like with cold North Easterly winds prevailing throughout April. This has undoubtedly impacted upon the fishing deterring many anglers from venturing out.
Boat anglers have enjoyed some exciting action out of Ilfracombe with Dan Hawkin’s Reel Deal Skipper taking anglers to the North Cornish Coast where big porbeagle prowl beneath the cliffs that give some shelter from the cold winds.
There have been a few bass caught on lures along the coast with water clarity excellent. The coming weeks should see lure anglers start to make good catches especially as mackerel and sandeel move close inshore.
Beach and rock marks are bringing a few smoothound into double figures along with a few bull huss. Dogfish are as always proving a nuisance devouring baits intended for other species.
Nathan Clements tempted a specimen thin lipped grey mullet of 5lb 1oz from a North Devon estuary a promising catch early in the season. Anglers are hoping that recent bans on netting in the estuary will boost sport with bass and mullet. Anglers witnessing any suspicious activity should contact the Devon & Severn IFCA out of hours on 07740175479 or during office hours on 01803854648.
Recent season have seen gilthead bream landed in the Lower Taw and Torridge Estuary with specimen sized fish likely. Crab and worm baits are most likely to bring results.
The imminent arrival of mackerel in May and early June should bring an upturn in sport as tope and bass go on the hunt for these true fish of the English summer. Mackerel and garfish are the bread and butter fish for tourists who visit coastal resorts like Ilfracombe float fishing off the pier or rock marks. The mackerel are also a traditional target for holiday makers who take trips on local boats taking a few fresh mackerel to cook on the campsite BBQ.