Email Address

Combe Martin Sea Angling Club

Contact Details: 
Wayne Thomas (Chairman)
The Shippen,
Loxhore Cott,
Nr. Barnstaple,
North Devon.
EX31 4ST

Telephone: 01271 850586

Combe Martin Sea Angling Club - A History

1962 The inaugural meeting takes place at The Merrymakers Cafe, Combe Martin on Monday October 29th. With the interest shown the Club is born. Founder members include W.Norman, G.Mathews, P.bagnald, V.Mathews, H.Duggan, I.Lawson, L.Hancox, K.White, N.Bird (Norman) and D.Melhuish. With no subscription yet fixed a gift of 10/- was given by a regular visitor to Combe Martin. The subscription was fixed at the next meeting of 2/6 for the first six months, to be reviewed after that period.
The first Club competition was held on the evening of Monday December 3rd on Ilfracombe Pier, entry fee was 1/6. The first results were :
1st R.Jenkins Conger 3lb 14 1/2 oz Won 20/-
2nd G.Mathews Conger 2lb 10oz Won 15/-
3rd J.Snell Glower 1lb 8 1/2 oz Won 7/6
Membership already stood at 25 members after 2 months. The first committee meeting is held at The Marine Hotel.
The Club is offered a 50% share in a 28' cabin cruiser on condition the Club makes her seaworthy !
CMSAC join in the North Devon Sea Angling Tropy ( NDSAA )
We look at the idea of Club promotional clothing - Woolly Caps..

1963 The Clubs first Dinner is arranged for Saturday February 22nd at The Marine Hotel. 30 members attend.
Having problems obtaining woolly caps, but are offered the use of a knitting machine.
February 11th and Barry Hill cannot get down to the village from Kentisbury as he is still snowed in.
The boat idea is dropped, as it is felt the project was perhaps to big.
Membership stands at 25 members.
Nigel Bird and Steve Lawson become new members.

1964 Thursday March 19th, 9 members fish a competition and no fish are caught.
Friday June 26th, the first boat competition takes place in the evening from 7.30pm to 10.00pm. Club scales are purchased.
Sunday September 6th, this competition is fished on Broadsands Beach 1.00am to 3.00pm.
Thursday September 24th and this competition is to be held on Newberry Beach from 7.30pm to 10.30pm.
A special award of a 'bag of mixed fishing weights' is presented to Paul Bagnald for his capture of a 8lb Bass.
The AGM is held on November 26th. The treasurers report shows a balance of £9-4-11.
Barry Hill is elected Secretary, Ian lawson is elected Treasurer, Ken Mills is elected as President, Norman Bird is elected Chairman and Paul Bagnald as Vice-Chairman.
Fish of the year is a Bass of 10lb 2oz caught by Terry Burgess and is awarded the first Shore Shield.
Membership stands at 21 members.
The NFSA minimum and specimen size lists are adopted by the Club.

1965 Subscriptions remain at 5/- per annum.
The Club is asked to join the South Devon Sea Angling Federation.
X-mas competition is organised for Sunday December 12th, 1st prize is a Chicken and the 2nd prize is 50 cigarettes.
Len hancox is elected Vice-Chairman and Harry Medway is elected President.
Membership closes at 37 members.

1966 Most competitions are fished between Sandy Cove and Coastguards, the first roving competitions.
April and the committee decide not to hold any competitions for the juniors as the weather was still a bit too cold for them.
Barry Hill resigns as Secretary in April, then resumes his post again in September.
In a round of the NDSAT, Barry Hill weighs in a Flounder of 9oz and Gerry Maragoni weighs in a Flounder of 5oz, a total weight of 14oz.
CMSAC write to the NDSAT Chairman to inform him of our dissatisfaction in the running of the competitions.
Best specimen of the year from the boat was a Tope of 35lb and the shore a Conger of 11lb 2oz.
Membership closes at 25 members.

1967 Another letter of protest is sent to the NDSAT for poor venues of the competitions as this was the 3rd competition at Crow Point Lighthouse already this year.
A letter is sent to the Sandy Cove Hotel asking for permission for members to fish the swimming pool......( has the fishing got this bad.)
A competition calender is produced for the whole year rather than chosen at each committee meeting, which up to now were every two weeks or even weekly at times.
Best specimen from the boat was a Tope of 56lb 8oz, no entries were recieved from the shore so the present holder would keep the Shore Shield for another twelve months.
A league is introduced to run throughout the year with meat vouchers as prizes at the end, these competitions are held every friday night.
CMSAC resigns from the NDSAT because or poor organisation and the late notification of competitions.
Membership stands at 28 members.

1968 We rejoin the NDSAT after reorganisation of the committee takes place.
Owners at Widemouth threaten to stop all access to the fishing marks, we write a letter to the owner.
A special Womans Open Competition is held at Watermouth on May 12th.
1st Prize Bouquet of flowers
2nd Prize 50 cigarettes
A get well card is sent to Mr W.Legge who is in hospital having an operation - we also send
20 cigarettes.
Membership now stands at 51 members.
Some good fish have been weighed in from the boat, which include 27lb Blonde Ray, 15lb Thornback and a 22 1/2lb Cod.
We again resign from the NDSAT.
The Shore Shield is won by Steve Lawson with a Bass of 7lb 11oz and the Burgess Trophy for juniors is also won by Steve Lawson with a Bass of 7lb 11oz.
£25-11-6 now stands in Club funds.
A rewrite of the rules take place and Rockling, Mackerel and Garfish are excluded from specimen competitions.
Brian Huntley becomes new member.

1969 CMSAC give the NDSAT another chance.
Membership stands at 41. All Friday night competitions are now fished between Coastguards and Hangman Hill.
New members include John Slade.

1970 The MC at this years Dinner at the Staghunters was Brian Huntley, " who gave a very lively and worthwhile performance".
We fall out with the CM boat owners over £6, so all boat trips are booked from Lynmouth.
Part of the path down to Sandy Cove is swept away, members bring along tools to clear the path and make it safe again to get down to the mark.
Juniors are allowed to fish Friday night competitions as long as they pay the senior subscriptions, but cannot enter fish for the Burgess Trophy.
Membership stands at 35 members.
Poor attendance is reported in the Friday night competitions. Four fish are registered for the Shore Shield and the winner with a Wrasse of 5lb, reported "a good entry of specimen fish".
The Clubs balance stands at £33-2-6.
No nomination is made for Sectretary as Barry Hill stands down due to lack of support received. Laurie Wilson carries on the role of Chairman and Secretary.
A Tankard is presented to Barry Hill for his work over the last eight years.
An auction is held at the Club's Dinner to raise monies for Club funds.

1971 It was noted that some members were fishing Friday nights, but not in the Club competitions, these members would be approached.
Entrance fee for the Friday night competitions rises from 12 1/2p to 15p. Giving 7 1/2p in cash prizes and 7 1/2p to Club funds.
Boat trips per person are £1.50 per day.
CMSAC win the NDSAT by 4 1/2oz.
Chairman/Secretary Laurie Wilson has to resign the post soon as he is leaving the area.
Membership stands at 39 members.
John Slade wins the Burgess Trophy with a Bull Huss of 9lb. Two winners share the Medway 
Cup with Blonde Ray of 20lb, they share the Trophy for six months each. Four specimen fish are recorded from the boat.
Club's balance stands at £38.7 1/2p.
Barry Hill returns as Secretary. Owen Knill is elected Chairman.
Subscriptions rise to 50p.
New members include Nick Phillips.

1972 CMSAC again resign from the NDSAT due to bad stewardship and the choice of venues.
The CMSAC badge becomes available. Harold Rolls passes away.
Membership stands at 33 members. Club balance stands at £50.30.
Only one entry for the Burgess Trophy, a Plaice of 2lb 10oz. Four entries for the Shore Shield and four entries for the Medway Cup.
The Club ammends NFSA minimum sizes to suit local needs.
Club weigh in's move to Watermouth Cove rather than outside the Royal Marine.
H.Rolls Bass Cup introduced.
The Friday night £10 Vouchers are raised to £15.
Priveledges continue at Widemouth under new ownership.
21 members fish the X-mas competition and over 60lb of fish are weighed in.

1973 Friday night competitions throughout last year weigh in 119lb 11 1/2oz of fish.
The Mary Legge Conger Trophy is introduced.
Membership stands at 33 members.
Harry Medway stands down as President over a dispute over boat trips from Lynmouth.
Six trophies are now available for specimen fish entries.
Club balance now stands at £76.85.
Seven specimen fish are entered for the year.
28 members fish the X-mas competition.
We again ammend the NFSA specimen size list.
New influx of junior members include Wayne Thomas, Kim Markham, Ian Smith, Stephen Held, Mike Watkins and Terry Darch.

1974 Total Friday night competitions reach 150lb of fish throughout the year.
The gate at Widemouth is locked and members are supplied with keys.
Fishing rights at Glenthorne Estate were sort and declined as the Bridgewater Clunb had got in first.
Club badges are again available after selling out. Membership stands at 49 members.
Only 30% of boat trips are fished due to bad weather.
An Off Shore Cup is proposed by W.Thomas and seconded by K.Markham.
More addmendments take place of the NFSA size lists.
Lesser Spotted Dogfish are banned from specimen fish entries.
The minimum age for juniors is dropped from 16 years to 13 years.
Over CMSAC 20 members are juniors.

1975 Friday night competitions throughout last year reach 295 lb of fish.
Nick Phillips takes third place in the X-mas competition.
Ken Mills accepts the offer of President again.
Monthly tackle prizes are introduced including 2 reels of 18lb line, 100 stainless steel hooks, a bag of swivels and three Angling Times 'fish bags' .
Women members are allowed to join the Club and four are proposed.
Mr Cope, an Ilfracombe tackle-shop owner, passes away.
CMSAC opens it's own bank account.
We now introduce a list of best species per month for tackle prize awards.
Nick Phillips becomes a committee member.
Club membership stands at 57 members.
Three specimen entries from the boat are received and six from the shore.
Mike Watkins wins the Burgess Trophy with a Bass of 6lb 10oz.
Club balance stands at £92.48.
The Grey Mullet Cup is introduced.

1976 Club moves to the specimen weight of National Records.
No fish are caught by any Club in the 3rd round of the NDSAA. An optional pool is introduced at all competitions.
Wayne Thomas fishes his first NDSAA competition.
Membership stands at 65.
Seven fish from the boat and nine from the shore are entered, including two Mullet of 3lb 9oz and 2lb 14oz by W.Thomas and subsequently wins The Grey Mullet Cup and comes in 2nd in this years Friday night league.
Herbert Medway passes away in June.
Club balance stands at £100.15 1/2p.
OAP's are allowed free Club membership. Subscriptions rise to 75p for seniors and 50p for juniors.
Any specimen fish caught outside competitions can only be weighed in on certified scales between the hours of 6.00pm and 8.00pm with the Secretary.
Flat Fish Cup introduced. 33 members fish our X-mas competition.

1977 Competition fees rise to 50p.
N.Phillips and W.Thomas start an apprenticeship ripping up draw tickets at our Dinner.
membership stands at 59.
K.Houlsgrove is elected President.
Wayne Thomas becomes committee member.
Friday nights move to Sunday mornings.
A protest is lodged with the NDSAA whereby members are fishing for two Clubs.
Two members can constitute a fishing competition.

1978 The Club subsidises our Dinner and Dance after a last minute venue change.
W.Thomas records a weight of 52lb 13oz at our Wilson Trophy.
Membership stands at 43 members. 14 specimens from the shore and 2 from the boat are received.
Club balance stands at £90.98.
A confusing method of enabling members to receive free replica's is introduced. Pay £1.80 and on a sliding scale of competition attendance so decreases your cost of the replica.
A Tankard award is introduced for competition attendance.
Subscriptions rise to £1.00.
Nigel Bird is elected Vice-Chairman.

1979 Privileges at Watermouth are at risk, a meeting with the owner puts things right.
CMSAC withdraw from the NDSAA again.
Secretary Barry Hill resigns.
Scretary Barry Hill is reinstated.
Brian Huntley, a long term committee member, stands down from the committee.
Wrasse Trophy is introduced.
The period between May and November was a turbulent one and it continues with the AGM in November where a clean sweap is made and new blood introduced.
Nigel Bird is elected Chairman, Wayne Thomas Vice-Chairman, Ian Lawson continues as Treasurer and Nick Phillips is elected Secretary.
Membership stands at 44 members. Club balance stands at £139.32.
Club boundary changes from Ilfracombe Pier to Hangman Point to Hartland Point to Hurlestone Point.
We abolish the sliding scales for 'free replicas'.
Subscriptions rise to £1.50 seniors and 75p juniors.
K.Houlsgrove resigns as President, this position is then dropped from our constitution.
A vote of thanks is given to Barry Hill and Owen Knill for their past work for the Club. 

1980 82 members attend our Dinner and Dance.
Small-Eyed Ray Shield introduced. Membership stands at 38 members.
15 specimen entries are received including a Coalfish of 18lb caught by Barry Hill which is a New British Record.
We return to NFSA specimen sizes. We change back to Friday nights from Sunday mornings for our weekly competitions.
A suggestion is put forward by Wayne Thomas for the Club to introduce a "Newsletter" for it's membership, the Secretary agrees to put the first one together for the new year.

1981 Newsletters are distributed.
Over 300 handouts are distributed at Watermouth to encourage holiday makers to fish our competitions, not one turns up.
Thornback Ray Cup introduced.
Wayne Thomas wins his fourth out of the last six Wilson Trophy competitions.
Membership stands at 41 members.
23 specimen fish entries are received. Rockling, Mackerel and Garfish are once again eligible for specimen fish entries.
We again rejoin the NDSAA.
Friday and Thursday night competitions are run conjunctively.

1982 Club members may now book in for competitions by phone.
98 members attend our Dinner and Dance. Membership stands at 65 members.
33 specimen fish entries are received.
Friday nights becombe Thursday nights. Certified scales are purchased.
CMSAC become affiliated to the NFSA.
A League Trophy is introduced.
Club funds stand at £261.33.

1983 The Club Record list is introduced. 40 members attend a Video evening at Watermouth Yacht Club.
Tom Clark passes away and a memorial trophy is introduced.
Membership stands at 69 members.
Two boat trips per month during the summer are being well attended.
Club funds stand at £297.78.
Ian Lawson resigns as Treasurer and the Secretary takes on the role.
Monthly tackle awards stop.
New members include Dave Brooke, Dave Thomson, Kevin Legge, John Avery and Mike Pryer.

1984 CMSAC win the Wyvern Castle Trophy. 98 members attend the Dinner and Dance.
We are approached by Watermouth Cove for fees to hold our weigh in on their land, we move across the road to Watermouth Castle.
The All-Night Trophy is introduced.
A new South West Record - Dave Brooke lands a Bass of 15lb 6oz.
Membership now soars to 97 members.
Wayne Thomas is elected Chairman.
Juniors are allowed to enter the competition pool.
Boat trips are cut by 50% due to the lack of attendance.
Cod Trophy and Merit Awards are introduced.

1985 Boat trips are cut yet again.
Dave Brooke wins a major NFSA award for his Bass.
We can now fish two rods in all competitions. 31 specimen fish entries are received.
Membership drops to 73 members. Club balance reaches £437.11.
CMSAC now adopts to fish all competitions on a specimen basis.
Subscriptions rise to £2.50 seniors and £1.00 juniors.
Peter Lattimer passes away and a new Cup is introduced.
CMSAC affiliate to BASS.
New members include Martin and Tony Kingdon.

1986 No boat trips are booked this year.
A point system is intoduced for monthly competitions.
Calculated Tope weights are accepted by the Club.
CMSAC joins The British Conger Club.
Membership drops to 49 members.

1987 78 members attend our Dinner and Dance.
Barry Hill passes away in July after a 8 month spell critically ill in hospital. Several members attend his funeral.
We start cutting months from our weekly competitions.
Subscriptions increase to £5.00 seniors, but junior membership remains at £1.00.
Paul Bagnald gives members at the AGM a short story on the creation of the Club.
The CMSAC celebrates it's 25th anniversary.
Membership stands at 59 members.

1988 Rockling Shield is introduced.
CMSAC become affiliated to the newly formed SWFSA.
Over £100 is raised for the Guillian-Barre Syndrome Support Group.
£150 is spent on new Club scales.
Club balance stands at £568.79.
Weekly competitions are finally put to rest.
Membership stands at 58 members.

1989 Club sweatshirts are introduced.
Membership stands at 47 members. Club balance stands at £487.85.
Competition times are now from 8.00am to 6.00pm.

1990 Lynton Rodbenders SAC fold up and we talk about merging the two Club's together, but the idea is rejected at committee level.
Infamous outing to Chesil Beach.
Discussions take place to change the Club name to The Combe Martin Angling Club, to encompass all disiplines of the sport, but are rejected.
Membership stands at 49 members.
We receive 39 specimen fish entries this year.
Club competition frequency and entrance fees rise after calls from membership.
New members include Chris Martin.

1991 Trigger Fish hit our shores in numbers and we introduce our own specimen rating for this species.
Membership stands at 54 members.
We leave the British Conger Club.
CMSAC publishes it's own Code Of Conduct and is distributed with the newsletters.

1992 Paul Bagnald, one of our founder members, passes away.
65 anglers fish in our Open competition at Puttsborough.
Membership stands at 48 members.
The CMSAC celebrates it's 30th year.
We now allow boat fishing in all club competitions.
CMSAC affiliate to the Bristol Channel Federation of Sea Anglers.

1993 CMSAC cause a stir in all Federations with the proposed measuring of Tope to be accepted for awards, this is kicked out in all cases, but SWFSA introduce a special award for conservation.
Additional scales are purchased.
Secretary becomes N.Devon representative of the SWFSA.
Membership stands at 51 members.
Competition times change to 6.00am to 6.00pm.
Our Chairman presents his first public slide show.

1994 Secretary now becomes involved steering groups for the Taw/Torridge Estuary Forum and the North Devon Voluntary Marine Conservation Area.
CMSAC makes a good impact with the BCFSA as the top club in the amount of specimen fish entered but no major awards are won this year.
Club outing goes Shark Fishing from Looe.
Membership closes at 54 members.
66 specimen fish entries are received.
Club starts to look at holding it's own Open Summer League.
We introduce 24 hour competitions.

1995 Club outing to Newquay Sea Life Centre.
CMSAC hold ' Rock Clean ' at Watermouth and Widemouth.
CMSAC Titan smocks are introduced.
Summer league kicks off in May.

Competition set up between CMSAC and Weston Specimen match group which are to lose 7/2..
Combe Martin adopt North Devon specimen list.
The club holds its last Committee meeting at the Royal Marine Hotel. 
AGM is held at the Lion Inn Combe Martin the new venue for all meetings.
Top fish this year is a cod of 20lb 5¼oz to Paul Blake.
Brady Edwards wins the merit award and league.

Longstanding member Nigel Bird resigns as vice Chairman and stands down from the committee.
Brady Edwards takes on role of vice Chairman.
Dinner and Dance takes place at Sandy Cove Hotel. 
Top fish of the year is cod weighing 27lb 9oz to Kevin Legge.

Dave Shapland sponsors club newsletter.
Nick Phillips resigns from SWFSA and Wyvern Committees after several years representing the North Devon area.
Club outing to Angling 98 at Birmingham’s NEC
Wayne Thomas takes on the role of club secretary.
Nick Phillips becomes Chairman after 19-years as secretary.
Lynton Lynmouth Cliff Railway sponsor the club, purchasing club scales and printing smocks.
Ashley Clarke wins the merit award and lands a tope of 50lb 2oz

The club gives support to campaign to save Ilfracombe Pier.
Nick Philips travels to London with local campaigners to save Ilfracombe Pier.
Clubs meetings and weighings move to White Lion Inn Braunton after a series of meetings at member’s homes.
Membership stands at 64.
Lynmouth Open Competition. Sponsored by Dave Shapland draws 27 Entrants
Club boundary is extended to cover area from Cornish Border to Old Avon Bridge.
Top fish include – 110lb Porbeagle shark to John Patten, Conger 29lb 2oz Paul Widlake and a bull huss 14lb 2½oz Mario Manley.
Specimen league is introduced.

The club present Mrs Chugg of Widmouth farm with a bouquet of flowers following here departure after many years of good relations with the club.
Club boat trip to Dartmouth fishing the Skerries.
The club opens a website on the North Devon Beehive network.
Membership stands at 60.
Club outing to Lundy Island in November proves highly enjoyable despite poor fishing.
Top fish is a conger of 35lb 10oz to Ashley Storton. 
Jason barrow wins the Merit award.

Dinner and Dance held at Rockham Bay Hotel Morthoe.
Plaice fishing trip aboard “Jennifer Anne of Dart”.
Foot and Mouth outbreak restricts anglers movements.
Putsborough Open match is run with Barnstaple’s rod n Reelers and attracts 65 entrants.
Barry Hill Memorial Competition proceeds go to the RNLI.
Taw Torridge Open competition is sponsored by Dave Shapland.
Club trip to Alderney in November.
Shark fishing video shown at AGM
Kevin Legge wins specimen league with 753% 

Ray trip out of Minehead.
Clubs moves its meetings and weigh ins to Braunton Cricket Club.
Kevin Legge lands a thornback ray of 13lb 12ozand a conger of 29lb 15oz

Presentation night is held at Braunton Cricket Club
Casting event at Chittlehamton includes instruction by Hugh Parkin.
Putsborough Open attracts 69 competitors.
Clovelly social fish is enjoyed by several members.
Top fish include a conger to Paul Widlake of 35lb, Porbeagle 150lb Richard Fishbourne,, blonde ray 22lb 3½oz Jason Barrow.
Merit trophy won by Adrian Gove.

Club is top in Bristol Channel federation fish entries.
CMSAC win North Devon League.
Club trip to Kilkee in Ireland sees a wide variety of species landed and a good time had by all.
Kevin Legge lands a smoothound of 12lb 1oz. Tope of 50lb 8oz by Wayne Thomas takes best specimen from boat.

Junior fish ins are introduced and prove highly enjoyable.
Club launches its own website. 
Sark Trip sees a large number of specimen bream landed including black bream to 4lb and couch’s bream to 1lb 15oz.

The history continues.....................................................................