FOR MANY anglers a double-figure bass is the fish of a lifetime.
The North Devon coast is undoubtedly one of the best locations in the country for targeting such a fish.
And when Nick Phillips, the secretary of Combe Martin Sea Angling Club, visited a local rock mark, he was thrilled when a splendid bass of 10lb 10oz seized his Rapala Shad Rap lure.
After a quick photo the bass was returned alive, as are an increasing number in these conservation conscious days.
Lure fishing for bass is a growing branch of angling with an increasing range of tackle and lures available.
Choice of lure is crucial to success but what should an angler look out for?
A good guide would be to try to match what the bass are feeding on, or at least trigger an attack on what the bass perceives as a meal.
Confidence is key, for if the angler believes in his lure he will fish well and persistently.
Fashion is undoubtedly a factor too.
Anglers catch with lures that look good and others copy, leading to a wide belief that it is a top-quality lure.
I fished Combe Martin SAC's match at Watermouth, where Mario Manley and Alan Woodacre were the only members to catch, landing grey mullet, bass, rockling and wrasse.
The rough weather will undoubtedly break up the mackerel shoals for a short time.
Bass should also be caught close inshore as they feast on moulting spider crabs and other dislodged food.
Steve Found won Bideford Angling Club's 24-hour rover with a specimen mullet of 4lb 12oz. In second and third place was Nathan Clements with grey mullet of 4lb 8oz and 3lb 14¼oz.
There is likely to be a mixed reception to the new Sea Angling 2012 initiative, a government-backed project collecting information on recreational sea angling in England.
The survey should lead to informed decisions on the management of coastal fisheries.
Sea anglers who have minimal impact upon stocks and practise catch and release much of the time will resent any unreasonable regulation of their sport.
Stafford Moor Fishery is hosting its annual Fishomaniac match on the weekend of August 6 and 7. The winner will walk away with £2,000. For details call Andy on 01805 804360.
Angler's Paradise maintained its reputation as Devon's top catfish venue with Jason Ellis landing a hard-fighting fish of 28lb.
Jonathon Clarke had a 32lb catch in the fishery's specimen cat lake.
Lee Duffin won the latest match on Shangri-la with 29lb 4oz.
Paul Gregory fished Furzebray Carp Lake, near South Molton, to take four quality carp, topped by a fine brace scaling 22lb 8oz each.
Fifteen other carp were landed over the weekend, with two other 20s among them.
Ilfracombe Match Group's waggler-only match at Lake View Morchard Road was a damp affair.
This did not deter the fish, however, with some heavy nets recorded.
Andy Gray won with 71lb 12oz and Peter Slade was runner-up with 65lb 8oz. In third was Kevin Wilton with 44lb 5oz and fourth Barry Lee with 39lb 9oz. John Lisle landed 36lb 3oz and Ian Croxton 30lb 12oz.
Anglers fishing both the Taw and Torridge have seen a boost in salmon and sea trout following moderate rainfall.
Last week, Torridge anglers caught encouraging numbers of small sea trout, known locally as peal.
Martin Weeks fished a middle-river beat and landed a bright silver grilse of about 6lb.
Fly-fishers at Wimbleball are enjoying steady sport with rod catches averaging more than three fish per rod day.
August is often a quiet month for trout fishing but if the weather is not too hot results can be excellent.
Dry fly fishing can be particularly good with daddy long legs well worth a try.
Saturday and Sunday: North Devon League, fishing 6 to 7.30pm.
Sunday: Triple Hook Club Blakewell A and J Barrow Fly Trophy, fishing 8am to 1pm.