STEVE BURNELL and Dan Spearman enjoyed a successful session stalking the big brown trout that Blakewell Fishery has become renowned for.
The two anglers used small stalking bugs, casting at individual trout in the clear waters. Steve landed a stunning brown trout of 10lb 8oz and Dan a fine specimen of 9lb 8oz.
Stalking fish is probably one of the most exciting approaches to fishing. A stealthy approach, a pair of polarised glasses to cut surface glare, a rod, line, hook and bait or lure. Thinking back over my 40-odd years angling, some of my most vivid images are of fish engulfing the bait as I watched, all of a tremble, hoping to witness the delightful moment of deception when the bait is finally taken.
In all forms of fishing it is the moment the bait is taken that brings the greatest thrill. This followed by the actual connection and eventual triumph when the fish is fleetingly held in all its glory.
Fishing at Wimbleball Reservoir has improved recently with anglers averaging over three fish per rod day. September is often a good month for the trout angler as temperatures start to dip with the onset of autumn.
Young anglers have been enjoying their summer holidays at Anglers' Paradise tempting some quality specimens. Amber Eldred, aged 14 and on holiday from Manchester, enjoyed a session on Eldorado's day ticket Koi Lake, landing a fine white koi using float-fished maggot and sweetcorn.
Jed Hazell, 14, landed his first catfish weighing 12lb 6oz on the last day of his holiday the fish was tempted using halibut pellets soaked in tuna oil.
Harry Mott, 9, landed a fine koi of 6lb 6oz while on holiday from Essex.
Stafford Moor continues to give great carp sport with Terry and Ken Morrisey from Torquay among the anglers to enjoy fine sport, they landed 68 carp to 23lb.
Chris Connorton landed numerous doubles including three twenties to 25lb.
Tony Kingdon fished his own lake at Furzebray and landed a superb mirror carp of 27lb that had put on 3lb 8oz in the past twelve months.
Sea anglers are enjoying sport with mackerel, smoothound, bass and grey mullet.
In recent decades late summer and autumn has seen the arrival of triggerfish in waters all around the South West. Thirty years ago these fish were a rare sight that would often result in anglers searching through the fish identification books.
This annual migration is to me, a graphic indication of climate change.
Dan Spearman set out in search of these hard fighting fish and was rewarded with a fine specimen of 2lb 15oz. I have also heard reports of a few gilthead bream showing at estuary marks – another species that has begun to show in recent seasons.
Anthony Smith won Bideford and District Angling Club's Des Clements Memorial Competition with a thick-lipped grey mullet scaling 3lb 1oz. An appropriate fish to win this competition with, as Des was a dedicated mullet angler who enjoyed a great deal of success fishing marks throughout North Devon.
Des was angling correspondent for the Journal writing this column for several years until he passed away in 2002.
Ten years ago the competition was won by Des's son Andy Clements with a fine thick-lipped grey mullet of 4lb 8¾oz. Hard to believe that I have now been writing this column for eleven years.
On September 8, Combe Martin Sea Angling Club are hosting a fun fishing event as part of the Sea-Ilfracombe Festival. In addition to a competition open to all comers, there will be the opportunity to meet several guests from the angling world including Ben and Jo from the Art of Fishing who will be demonstrating the latest in LRF and lure fishing.
Paul Case will have his fully set-up kayak while inshore fishery officers and local coast guards will all be at hand to discuss angling in a friendly informal setting.
Sunday: Bideford Angling Club, monthly rover.
Sunday: Appledore Shipbuilders, monthly rover.
September 8: Sea-Ilfracombe fun fishing event, Ilfracombe Pier, 1pm to 4.30pm.