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Dave Shapland catches best of the spurdog on chilly boat trip

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: February 28, 2013

GOLDEN MOMENT: Jemma Simpkin with a golden tench of 4lb 8oz.

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Wayne Thomas

A BITTER east wind failed to deter eight hardy anglers who set out on John Barbeary's Blue Fin boat off Ilfracombe.

Heading into deep water, they managed to find fish unaffected by the icy chill.

More than 25 spurdog were boated, the best a specimen of 16lb 8oz to the rod of Dave Shapland.

Bull huss were also on the feed, with 15 boated. The best was a fish of 11lb to the rod of Troy Laing.

Spurdog will continue to provide top-rate sport, when conditions allow boats to reach deep-water marks well offshore, until at least April.

Combe Martin Sea Angling Club member Michael Taylor targeted shore conger and was rewarded with a fine specimen of 22lb 3oz.

Dogfish, conger and rockling are dominating shore sport, with a few dabs for those prepared scaling down their tackle.

Kevin Shears took top spot in Ilfracombe Match Group's latest fixture at Riverton, landing 58lb of carp using pole and maggot tactics. The biggest fish weighed 15lb, which is quite a handful on the pole.

Nielson Jeffery was second with 38lb 11oz and Thomas Downing third with 38lb 11oz.

The top silver-fish bag of 15lb was taken by Kevin Wilton using waggler and maggot.

Tomorrow sees the start of another salmon-fishing season on both Taw and Torridge.

After several weeks of dry weather, the rivers are both at a perfect fishing height.

Water temperature is likely to be low so any early springers are likely to be caught using big flies fished slow and deep.

The West Country Angling Passport Scheme has access to three superb new beats.

Upper Braggamarsh is rated as one of the top beats on the whole of the River Taw and consists of five named pools, including the renowned "Gutter".

Old Weir Marsh is another beat with six named pools, and the third is Garramarsh Farm on the River Mole, a beat that is mainly trout with the chance of salmon later in the season.

Information on these and many others can be viewed at westcountryangling.com

Kevin Chapman landed a fine mirror carp of 29lb at Stafford Moor Fishery, one of 16 doubles caught in his last two visits.

Pines Lake continues to produce quality perch with three topping 3lb over a weekend.

Kevin Osbourne secured victory in the latest Sunday open on Tanners, landing 80lb from peg 34.

Tom Wilson and his fiancée Jemma Simpkin enjoyed a Valentine's break to remember at Angler's Paradise.

Both are keen anglers and enjoyed a great day at the venue's specimen tench and orfe lake.

They used ground-bait feeder with maggot and worm cocktails to tempt numerous golden tench and orfe of more than 4lb. The best was a stunning golden tench of 6lb and the most unusual a rare koi tench of 4lb caught by Tom.

Angler's Paradise's lure weekend on March 8-9 will give anglers an opportunity to target specimen perch, catfish, carp and trout from the Nirvana complex. There will be advice on hand from tackle dealers and a talk and slideshow by Julian Chidgey on the Saturday night.

A catch-and-release trout match at Simpson Valley saw anglers competing at an ice-fringed Mallard Lake.

The trout appeared to be packed into one area of the lake, which meant anglers had to make the most of their time in the hot spot as rules allowed only 45 minutes in each swim.

After three hours of fishing the four anglers had caught 36 trout.

Gary Cornish secured victory with 12 trout and John Gardener was runner-up with 11.

Barnstaple Triple Hook Club's presentation night at Barnstaple and District Working Men's Club saw John Passmore presented with the best sea specimen trophy for a bull huss of 13lb 1oz.

The best fish by a junior was Jack Toleman's flounder of 1lb 6¾oz, while the best fish by a lady was Joan Cairns's flounder scaling 1lb 3½oz

Diary dates

Tomorrow: salmon season begins on Taw and Torridge.

Sunday: Bideford Angling Club monthly rover.

Sunday: Appledore Shipbuilders Rover.

Sunday: Ilfracombe Match Group, Oaktree Bottom Lake.

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