Those of us who fish a lot work very hard to stay plugged in to the "fishing grapevine" because we know that without this informal network feeding back the "what, where, when and how" we are going to miss out on some of the seasons best fishing. It is not a one way street, you have to feed information into the "grapevine" as well, otherwise the late evening phone calls or the short but explicit faxes or emails will not come your way.

For the majority, the ninety percent of anglers who have a business to run, overtime to do, kids to bring up and mortgages to pay, putting in the time and commitment which are the dues which have to be paid to become a valued member of the "inner circle" is something that can only be dreamt about.

If you are a boat angler it is possible to short circuit the information grapevine by paying a charter boat skipper to take you fishing for the species of your choice. Charter boat skippers talk amongst themselves and have a private information network. Once upon a time it was possible to "earwig" on the their VHF conversations and work out what was happening, the advent of the mobile phone saw an end to that source of information. Shore anglers rarely share information with anyone other than their immediate circle of friends or clubmembers, so how do you find out where and when to fish?

Magazine "Where to Fish" articles are so often crystal ball jobs and even if the information was up-to date when it was submitted, by virtue of the production process of the magazine, the information is likely to be at the very least a month out of date by the time it is read. It is a strange concept to British shore anglers to actually pay someone to take you fishing, but when you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. If the "Guide" is switched on, he/she will be fully integrated into the information grapevine, will supply bait and transport. Knows the best rigs, will show you the best way down to the beach or rocks, is insured and will give tuition if it is needed to catch you fish. In other words, it is a shortcut to gaining the knowledge and skills necessary to catch fish……. I can see nothing wrong with that.

One such guide is Steve Davey who works out of Torquay with his company, Angling Adventures. Specialising in taking anglers fishing around the Westcountries prolific shoreline for a wide variety of species, according to season. Steve’s artworked mini bus is already a familiar sight around the clifftops and carpark’s of all the major shore fishing marks. After putting together a group of anglers who are interested in fishing for a particular species, he will arrange a rendezvous where he will meet the anglers with whatever bait and tackle is required. Then, take the anglers fishing for the day (or night) and drop them back to the rendezvous after the days fishing, all for £20 each. When you consider that this includes the "knowledge", bait, tackle, transport etc, etc. £20 is cheap for such a good day out. But the services of Angling Adventures go further than that, because he will also arrange accommodation to whatever standard you require, trips on charter boats, drive you to the charter boat, supply the bait and accompany the trip to give tuition to the inexperienced. After all that, he will then drive you back to your accommodation - a real door to door service!

I met Steve with a group of anglers at the National Trust carpark high on the cliffs above Hillsea Point between Plymouth and Salcombe. The anglers wanted a chance at a big Ballan Wrasse which is a species not all that common outside of the Westcountry. These brightly coloured fish are the bruisers of the deep sunk weed beds and gullies which are a feature of this stretch of coast.

The Ballan Wrasse is one of those stumpy species which can generate tremendous power over a short distance and a short distance is all they need to wrap your end tackle around the tough stem of a weed clump or sever your line on a sharp barnacle-encrusted rock face. Believe me when I say that the Ballan wrasse is a fish that you do not give line to if you want to land it.

Steve had ensured that the tackle used was up to the task, that crab and worm baits were in plentiful supply and kept cool with blue ice blocks wrapped in sea water soaked towels.

After a walk around the cliff top track we reached the high headland overlooking Gara Point where Steve took the lead to guide us down to the best fishing spots. In the pleasurable hours that followed we all caught Ballan wrasse and dark coloured weed pollack. At the end of the day the bigger 5 to 6lb fish had not put in an appearance, but everyone had caught fish and learned the best fishing methods as well as how to safely fish from these precipitous rocks. Lessons that would last a lifetime.

On a personal level, Steve Davey is a happy go lucky sort of a guy who is totally passionate about his fishing with the ability to entertain and educate as well as passing on his enthusiasm for all forms of fishing. Try a day or two with him, it's worth every penny!

Contact Steve Davey on 01 803 299 946 during shop hours, or on his mobile number 079 705 9265 if the tides are right and he is out fishing.