North Devon’s anglers get their spurs

Craig McLoughlin with his 18lb 4oz boat caught spurdog.

Craig McLoughlin with his 18lb 4oz boat caught spurdog. - Credit: Archant

North Devon angling scene with Tony Gussin...

Dan Redmore with his fine small-eyed of 11lb 14oz, caught from a North Devon mark

Dan Redmore with his fine small-eyed of 11lb 14oz, caught from a North Devon mark - Credit: Archant

The spurdogs have arrived off North Devon, it seems.

Craig McLoughlin from Braunton was truly in amongst them when he landed an 18 pound four ounce monster that would have been in the region of the Bristol Channel record, but instead was released alive.

Craig was fishing on board John Barbeary’s boat Bluefin, with his spur the best of 30 caught during the day.

The group of four also had eight conger eels to 20lb and numerous huss to 13lb.


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Boat anglers can expect sport with spurdog for several weeks, provided the weather allows.

Antony Smith got among them from the shore on Saturday night, weighing in a fantastic 14lb specimen for the January heat of the North Devon League – the only fish to be weighed in.

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The next league heat is on Feb 13-14, weigh in at Rolle Quay.

Dan Redmore went out locally on Sunday night to target the spurs but instead hooked into a fine specimen small-eyed ray of 11lb 14oz.

Spurs do visit the shore sporadically, usually to feed on whiting, and several are landed each season.

The best places to catch them seem to be deep water and fast tide off the local headlands and rock marks, but they are not always consistent and may be there one night, gone the next.

Pulley rigs with compact fish or squid baits are the way to go, but use a heavy nylon trace of 100lb-plus because spurs have sharp teeth and there is a risk they will bite through anything lighter.

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