A mark noted for specimen flounder taken between September and late January, though of late some big flatties have been taken through to late February. Summer bass run to 7lbs, with eels, flounders and thick-lipped and thin-lipped mullet working the same ground.
Maddie rag (harbour rag) is the main bait here and this can be dug along the estuary flanks. Maddies will take everything, but crab also works well for the bass, flounders and eels. The thick lipped mullet will take bread flake off the surface as well as float fished mackerel flesh and tiny bits of rag. Spin for the thin-lips with a Mepps spoon baited with maddie rag.
TACKLE & TACTICS
These marks are on the eastern side of the Taw estuary. It produces its best fishing the hour either side of low water, especially if there is a little colour in the water after a blow. Most anglers try to fish the deeper pools that hold the bigger flounder. Mid to high water is the best time for the bigger bass and for the mullet.
You need nothing heavier than a 2 to 4oz bass rod, a 6500 sized reel and 15lb line with a 30lb shock leader. A on up/one down rig using 24-inch 20lb hook snoods and size 2 Aberdeen's catches the bulk of the flounder, but when casting close keep the rod tip low to reduce the angle of the line and to get both baits hard on the seabed. Carry leads between 2 and 4ozs, but 2ozs will do most of the time.
Adding blue and white float beads as attractors above the baits works well for the flounder here and gives the bait more natural movement.
For the bass, try dropping a freelined crab in close and let it wash along with the tide.
The mullet are best fished for with an Avon type rod and 5lb line, or for the thin-lips a 9ft spinning rod and 6lb line.
On the A361 between Barnstaple and Braunton carry on past the dual carriage way and you'll see the estuary on the left. Head for Heanton Court where there is parking available. The estuary marks are accessed by walking the Tarka Cycle Path.