Much as I dislike the cold, the thought did occur that this is just what is needed to drive the crabs into deep water so that the Flounder can get to our baits before the bait robbing crabs!

Locally, the Rivers Teign and Tamar are beginning to produce some cracking fish to the dedicated Flounder anglers. Fishing peeler crab baits to either a simple paternoster or lightweight "pulley rig" some anglers have been catching between six and a dozen fish over each tide. But this is the early season rush of fish into the river estuaries, and before the monster competitions thin the bigger fish and spook the rest. So now is the time to go, now is the time that you could catch a fresh run specimen flounder.

If you should catch a good fish, handle it carefully with wet hands, get someone to take a picture then return the fish to the water…. Unless you fancy flounder and chips, which I have got to say is on my menu a few times each year.

Returning flounder is sometimes difficult because they have a habit of deeply swallowing the hook. There are a couple of things you can do to make the removal of the hook easier, the first of these is to try a packet of lightweight "circle hooks". Some anglers find these oddly shaped hooks difficult to use and to tie the bait onto with gossamer elastic, my pal and I have not found this a problem, so maybe it is a "people problem" rather than a hook problem.

Using circles I have found that nine out of ten flounder are hooked in the front of the mouth making them very easy to shake off the hook.

The second thing you can try, and one which is much more traditional, is to use an extra-long-shanked hook. These long shanked hooks were much more freely available a few years ago, but they are still around if you ask for them and if you squeeze the barb just a little they are quite easily removed.