July 17, 2008
The River Tamar's reputation for big conger in the shore category has been further enhanced by the capture of a 43lb eel by Roving Rods member Rob Yorke.
The bait was a fillet of mullet saved from a fish he weighed in the second round of the Plymouth Shore League.
To fish the river's marks you need a neap tide and the dark hours at the likes of Devil's Point, Eastern Kings, Mutton Cove or the river beach right under the Tamar Bridges.
On the Cornish side, Wilcove on the outskirts of Torpoint can be very productive, but bait-robbing crabs are an absolute menace and you need to check the bait often.
Aaron Lidstone of Happy Days provided Bill Trevarthen of Lee Moor with another opportunity for big eels, in this case a 71lb specimen and there were others in the 30 to 50lb class over the gunwales, all released, while the boat was anchored over a wreck some 20 miles from the Barbican and cod to 24lbs showed up.
Malcolm Jones of Sea Angler 11 was at a conger hot spot and during one session 70 eels to more than 60lbs were caught and released.
He also took pupils of Plymstock's Coombe Dean School out during their activities week and at the Tinker Shoal a mile or so outside Plymouth Breakwater, they fought conger to 50lbs and also had sizeable ballan wrasse and pollack during a session at the Western end of the West Rutts Reef.
Interest in conger extends far beyond British waters. A Canadian company is featuring the species in a special documentary programme that also involves many other types of eel found in the world's seas.
It will be broadcast later this year throughout North America and among the photographic evidence supplied by the British Conger Club is quite naturally, Vic Evans' giant of 133lbs 4oz world record fish and the second biggest, Shaun Tromans eel of 115lbs caught off Plymouth from Dave Brett's Scorpion.
This latest eel extravaganza follows a programme on conger made by a Japanese company who visited Plymouth and Looe two years ago.
A species known as a beach conger (Conger japonicus) is a very popular species in Japan, but the world record set in Tokyo Bay in 2002 weighed just 12 lbs 11 ozs.
Plymouth youngsters did not feature in the result list following the annual Brixham Breakwater Junior competition. The overall winner was Owen Davis of Paignton, while the under-11 category went to Archie Foord of Torquay and the over-11 section winner was Steve Rathbone of West Bay.
Fished in very bright conditions, garfish provided a fair level of activity in this 'catch and release' event that was based on points.
Matt Pengelly, of Looe Sea Anglers, is leading the Cornish Federation of Sea Anglers shore championship with a seven species percentage of 585.856.
Liskeard and District's Adrian Prisk and Terry Prisk are in eighth and 10th places, both with five species scores.
Gail Latham of Raleigh SAC holds second place in the ladies category.
Looe clubmen are making a strong impact in the Boat Championship. Bob Pollard is in first place, Mike Ivey third, John Ball sixth, Andy Pethick eighth and Bob Woodman ninth.
The leading specimen is a ling of 28lbs 15ozs registered by Pollard. In the Best of Species shore category Liskeard and District SAC's Andrew Drysdale heads the list with a bass of 7lbs 6ozs.
Thornback ray to just on double figures have been reported from shore marks in the Salcombe area and the headlands, notably Scabbacombe and Sharkham, continue to fish quite well for bull huss.
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