AUTUMN carp are wonderful fish – their flanks mirroring the bronze and golden colours of the season.
At Furzebray Carp Lakes some fine specimens have graced the net in recent weeks.
Among them was Black Spot at a weight of 31lb 5oz to the rod of Colin Mockford.
He was one of three anglers fishing the lake for a week and they enjoyed some fine sport, landing carp of 26lb 1oz, 25lb 8oz, 24lb 12oz, 24lb, 21lb 10oz and two doubles.
Angie's common carp has been landed at a lake record weight of 31lb.
Craig Burley caught a fine mirror of 27lb 4oz and Dave Edwards a stunning mirror of 26lb 1oz.
Willow Lake has also been fishing well, with Luke Davis enjoying a session during which he had seven carp to 18lb 12oz.
Upper Tamar is providing some great perch sport. One angler caught more than 20 fish in a session, all over 2lb and the best a superb fish of 3lb 4oz.
Several carp have also been caught from the lake in recent weeks, including a common carp of 34lb 4oz.
Dan Gay landed a fine mirror carp of 28lb 5oz while fishing Lower Tamar Lake.
Angler's Paradise continues to yield some fine catches with numerous specimen carp succumbing.
Paul Rose has been visiting the lakes for 16 years and put his knowledge to good use, landing carp of 23lb 7oz, 25lb 5oz and 30lb 1oz.
Lynton and Lynmouth Football Club joined Combe Martin Sea Angling Club (SAC) in a fundraising shore and boat match.
I won the event and the Combe Martin SAC Wilson Trophy with a specimen grey mullet scaling 4lb 6oz and also took third prize with another grey mullet scaling 3lb 2oz. Both fish were tempted on consecutive casts using paternostered bread-flake.
Second and fourth places were secured by Chig Dyer with boat-caught bull huss scaling 11lb 9oz and 9lb 12oz, while fifth place went to Neil Shiros with a boat-caught bass of 3lb 4oz.
Both clubs would like to thank sponsors The Art of Fishing, Ammo Baits, Sakuma and other local contributors.The Rising Sun provided a buffet for the hungry anglers at the weigh in.
Steve Luxton won Rod 'n' Reelers' monthly rover with a dogfish scaling 2lb 11oz. Runner-up was Steve Baker with a rockling of 1lb 8oz.
Kevin Wilton won Ilfracombe Match Group's fixture at Lower Slade Reservoir with a bag of roach and skimmers totalling 23lb 7oz. Nielsen Jeffery was second with 20lb 12oz of roach and skimmers, and Kevin Shears was third with 18lb 7oz of roach and perch.
Both pole and feeder tactics worked on a day made difficult by a strong gusty wind and rain.
Several salmon have been caught from the River Taw, including three to Mac McCarthy on a middle beat – the best estimated at 8lb. None of the fish was fresh run.
On the Torridge, at least seven salmon were landed following the long-awaited spate.
Charles Inniss cast his fly on an upper-river beat to tempt a fresh- looking salmon of 9lb and a sea trout of 4lb.
Martin Weeks landed a salmon of 10lb, Tim Harper a coloured salmon of about 6lb and Ken McGeorge a cock salmon of 5lb.
A brace of grilse were caught on the lower river and a couple of other salmon in the 9lb to 10lb range from mid-river beats.
I fished a mid-river beat myself on Saturday and was surprised how far the river had dropped back. I was, however, hopeful of success and fished through the beat with confidence.
As the light began to fade I was aware the beat was far from full of salmon and sea trout as I had seen nothing move or take an interest in my offering.
While drifting the fly over a favourite lie, I caught the glimpse of electric blue plumage as a pair of kingfishers flashed past.
Always looking for a good omen, I focused in heightened expectation as my next cast alighted on a well-known taking spot.
The line tightened, the rod was raised, a pleasing weight was transmitted through the rod and a flurry of spray erupted.
Lightly hooked, whatever it was shook the hook and my moment was gone – perhaps my last chance to save a fishless salmon season.
Sunday: Ilfracombe Match Group v Bude Pirates, Bude Canal.
Sunday: Triple Hook Club Junior and Ladies' Open Flounder Match, fishing 9am-1pm, weigh in Royal British Legion 1.45pm.
Monday: Wistlandpound Flyfishing Club Beeney Trophy, Wimbleball Reservoir, fishing 9am-5pm.