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Anglers enjoy Stafford Moor Fishery Autumn Festival

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: October 25, 2012

BROWN TROUT: Les Cleavely with his 8lb 2oz catch at Blakewell.

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STAFFORD MOOR'S Autumn Festival attracted more than 70 anglers who enjoyed some stunning sport with both carp and silver fish.

The winner of the festival was Jony Mac, visiting from Wigan. He landed several large bags of fish, including a haul of 107lb on the last day.

The most stunning catch from a specimen angler's viewpoint was a magnificent brace of perch to the rod of Dave Raybold, weighing 4lb 8oz and 4lb 6oz.

Gareth Lockley fished the dam wall of Joseph's and landed three 18lb carp and seven other double-figure fish for a total of 117lb, using pole and paste tactics.

Simpson Valley's Lower Fuzzy Lake has been giving some top mixed coarse sport with chub to 5lb 9oz and numerous roach and rudd between 1lb and 1lb 14oz. Float-fished maggot is the top tactic.

Late autumn is a great time to fish for carp as they instinctively feed hard in preparation for the cold months ahead.

Roy Akay, from Minehead, fished the main lake at Angler's Paradise to land a stunning 26lb 8oz fully-scaled mirror. He also landed fish of 20lb 2oz, 19lb, 17lb, 16lb and 14lb.

At Furzebray Carp Lakes, anglers have caught several stunning 20lb-plus fish in recent weeks, topped by a carp named Drop Scale at a new top weight of 29lb 8oz to the rod of Barney Jackson.

Simpson Valley's Mallard Lake is giving great trout sport with rainbows to 9lb 8oz falling to dawl bachs and buzzers.

Les Cleavely, from Lynton, used a daddy longlegs fly to tempt a magnificent looking brown trout scaling 8lb 2oz while fishing at Blakewell.

Kevin Pike secured victory for Bideford's A team in the latest heat of the North Devon League, landing a specimen bull huss of 11lb 7oz.

Combe Martin's Derek Ferret was runner-up spot with a smoothound of 10lb 2oz, ahead of Simon Silvester, in third for Combe Martin, with a thick-lipped grey mullet of 3lb 6½oz.

Conger and bull huss provided some top-rate sport for Craig McLoughlin and Dan Spearman when they fished from their private boat off Lynmouth.

The pair caught more than 25 conger, the best to McLoughlin's rod at 28lb.

They also landed 30 huss to 9lb 8oz and a brace of 5lb pollock.

The past 12 months have been exceptional for huss.

Tony Gooch won the Bideford and District Angling Club midweek rover with a dogfish of 2lb ¼oz.

Runner-up was Dick Talbot with a doggie of 1lb 14¾oz and third Jazza John with a dogfish of 1lb 14½oz.

Ross Stanway, of Combe Martin Sea Angling Club, fished a local rock mark to land a specimen bull huss of 10lb 3oz and a conger eel of 18lb 11oz.

Globe-trotting Combe Martin member Jon Patten has set an International Game Fish Association eight kilo line class record with a rainbow runner scaling 16lb 4oz.

The specimen was landed from a beach on Ascension Island in the South Atlantic and is a rare catch from the shore as the species are normally associated with deep water.

Freshwater anglers have given careful consideration to fish welfare for many years and have adopted initiatives to minimise their impact.

Knotless nets, barbless hooks, unhooking mats and antiseptic lotions are all standard equipment for today's coarse anglers.

Sea anglers are now also giving more thought to preservation of stocks and are embracing catch and release.

Handling of fish needs to be kept to a minimum and the use of adequate tackle to ensure landing the fish hooked is also paramount.

Ilfracombe Aquarium has been working with local angling clubs, the Marine Conservation Society and Devon Wildlife Trust to produce a guide to responsible angling.

Diary dates

Sunday: Triple Hook Club WYCO EWB flounder match, fishing 8am to 1pm, weigh in by 1.45pm.

Sunday: Wistlandpound Flyfishing Club Secretary's Shield, Wistlandpound.

Sunday: Salmon and Trout Association junior fishing day, Exe Valley Trout Fishery, tackle provided, call 01837 851961 for details.

Friday, November 9: Bideford and District Angling Club presentation night.

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