North Devon angling scene with Tony Gussin

Bideford Angling Club's monthly sea rover at the weekend saw Kyle Blackmore take first with a thornback ray of six pounds nine and three quarter ounces.

His 73.4 per cent fish narrowly beat Nathan Clements' wrasse of 3lb 9¼oz and 3lb 5¾ into second and third place.

There are some signs things might be moving at last on the sea fishing front, with some decent fish landed recently, albeit not from North Devon.

Dick Talbot is leading Bideford's new year-long ray competition with a specimen thornback of 10lb 14oz, while Phil Vanstone has one of 8lb 9oz, but there is a long way to go.

It remained bitterly cold for Stafford Moor Fishery's open match on Sunday, but that did not prevent Mark Cullerton from weighing in a bag of 115lb 5oz from peg 30 on Tanners Lake, beating Mark Hayman into second with his 108lb 14oz bag from peg 3 on Woodpecker. Richard Dennis was third with 94lb 5oz from Woodpecker.

The fishery's 'Carp Busters' have been at it again – couples pairing Geoff and Chrissy Waring and Adrian and Julie Carnell are weekly visitors to the lakes and land some fine fish.

In recent days 20lb-plus carp have fallen to Gareth Simpson, Julian Laver and Darren Polden.

On the game front, at Blakewell fishery, visiting angler Mike Holt from Northampton took a 31lb bag of fish including one of 5lbs and a beauty of 11lb 8ozs.

South West Lakes reports the new boat at Wistlandpound has proved popular, enabling anglers to catch good bags of brown trout beyond casting distance.

The Front Beach and Top End has produced the best bank fishing. Dry flies have been taking fish in the evenings, with intermediate or sinking lines fishing teams of nymphs working well during the day and stripped lures have produced some aggressive takes.