Archie Pike catches a personal best perch
ARCHIE PIKE, a dedicated perch angler, visited Stafford Moor Fishery to target his favourite species.
A member of the Perchfishers group, Pike was delighted to tempt a new personal best specimen of 3lb 11oz.
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The fish succumbed to flavour-enhanced prawn fished in conjunction with an open-ended feeder stuffed with brown crumb, fishmeal and chopped prawn.
Stafford Moor's Beatties Lake has been in fine winter form with carp feeding hard during milder spells.
Neil Tricker, of Barnstaple, landed four carp, topped by a superb fish of 23lb 15oz.
Simon Humphries, of Plymouth, caught nine double-figure carp, including specimens of 26lb and 22lb.
Kevin Chapman, from Crediton, landed 14 carp, including a mirror of 23lb.
Dan Staves fished a 24-hour session at Furzebray Carp Lakes to land four carp weighing 24lb, 23lb 7oz, 22lb 14oz and 19lb.
The fish were tempted using small boilies fished in conjunction with PVA bags of pellet.
George Thomas landed a fine pike of 17lb 13oz at Simpson Valley's Martin's Lake, tempting the fish with a smelt deadbait.
Numerous other pike of up to 11lb 9oz were also landed.
Several members of Combe Martin Sea Angling Club took part in a social fishing session at Clovelly on Saturday.
It was not a competitive event but an exercise in fishing together and promoting learning.
Several members elected to use small hooks and worm baits to target dabs. Matt Jeffery found success with this tactic and landed numerous dabs up to 12oz.
Whiting and dogfish made up the remainder of catches.
The previous evening, I had presented a slideshow at Braunton Cricket Club reflecting upon my fishing adventures over the past year.
The images stimulated much discussion, especially on the use of lures and Light Rock Fishing.
Keith Bullard took a five-fish limit bag at Bratton Water Trout Fishery, consisting of two browns and three rainbows totalling 19lb 3oz.
Owner Mike Williams has carried out extensive repairs following winter flooding.
Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) has brought hope fish stocks will be better managed.
Anglers are perhaps more conscious of the dramatic declines in recent decades.
Successful management is important to us all and, historically, we have failed miserably.
The Angling Trust and European Anglers Alliance have welcomed the inclusion of recreational angling in the new CFP. It is vital its social and economic value is taken into account.
Salmon anglers' thoughts will be turning to the forthcoming season, which starts on most local rivers on March 1.
Sport will be largely dictated by the weather over the next two weeks.
Winter floods will have altered many sections of river, shifting gravel bars and ripping old trees from their riverside locations.
Anglers will need to read the water with care as they wade, searching the lies for a spring salmon, that most desired of angling prizes.
Before a new season begins, however, it will be wise to check waders will not leak, the line is sound, mice have not ravaged the landing net, flies have not rusted and the reel is still revolving freely.
Saturday and Sunday: Rod 'n' Reelers 24-hour rover.
Saturday and Sunday: Appledore Shipbuilders night rover, fishing 6pm to 6pm, weigh in 7.30pm.