North Devon angling scene, with Tony Gussin

Steve Pinn who had this beauty a 19lb 11oz out at Stafford Moor.Steve Pinn who had this beauty a 19lb 11oz out at Stafford Moor.

Bideford Angling Club’s sea rover at the weekend saw Antony Smith win with a specimen spurdog.

His fish of 12lb 8 ½ ounce gave him first place, with a whiting of a pound for second.

December and January often sees North Devon’s shore anglers targeting the seasonal spurdog.

These small sharks, similar to smoothound, are not terribly difficult to catch if you can locate them – places to try include Clovelly (please observe parking and fishing by-laws) or deepwater rock marks into a strong tide.

Stuart Hutchings had 11 carp on Swim 3 on the dam wall on Lodge Lake, Stafford Moor,  to 21lb.Stuart Hutchings had 11 carp on Swim 3 on the dam wall on Lodge Lake, Stafford Moor, to 21lb.

They seem to take most fish and squid baits – I have caught them on herring, mackerel, squid and sandeel, with bluey no doubt also worth using.

Unlike their smoothound cousins, the fight is a little disappointing, with what is usually a good initial bite followed by a lacklustre battle.

Be warned – spurs have sharp teeth and won’t hesitate to use them! They are not overly dangerous but keep your fingers clear of their mouths and also be aware of the sharp ‘spur’ behind their dorsal fin.

Some anglers use wire traces to target them, but I have found nylon of around 100-150lb adequate, though make sure you check it regularly.

Mark Downing who had 20 fish out in 48 hours this weekend at Stafford Moor.Mark Downing who had 20 fish out in 48 hours this weekend at Stafford Moor.

Away from the sea, at Stafford Moor, Steve Pinn had a beauty of a mirror carp of 19lb 11oz out from Albert Square on Lodge Lake on New Year’s Eve.

Mark Downing had 20 fish out in 48 hours over the weekend on swim 1 on the dam wall at Lodge, while Stuart Hutchings had 11 carp on Swim 3 to 21lb.