The Teign Estuary

IMG_3324Every winter, anglers flock to the east coast of Devon with a packet of worm, a bucket of peelers and a pocketful of beads. The quarry is flounder, and the location is the estuary of the River Teign—one of the finest marks for specimen flounder in the British Isles.

The Teign is a classic Devonian stream, rising on Dartmoor before flowing east and then working down past Castle Drogo and Chudleigh before reaching Newton Abbot. Here, the Teign becomes tidal, and the estuary itself is a ‘ria’—a saline inlet. The water here is shallow and the estuarine mud rich in nutrients and life. Worms are plentiful as are crabs, and it is the latter that the big flounder gorge on. Peeler crab is often the bait of choice in the National Flounder Championships, held in the estuary during November. Anglers from across the country take part and the quality of the fishing is superb. Two pounders are commonplace and four pounders a real possibility.

Watch your feet though. The mudbanks can be treacherous in places and if you get a welly full, it don’t ‘arf stink…

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