Cornish Break…

I’ve just returned from a week away with the wife in our favourite little corner of Cornwall. It’s an area I know well and usually do well fishing wise whenever we visit. After the awful start to summer we’ve had I was keen to see how this had effected the sea fish. Although it was a family holiday I managed to get out once a day, its good to have a wife that likes to read!
The tides were far from ideal for our week, neaps coupled with HW and LW usually in daylight doesn’t exactly scream fish. The first few trips I really struggled. I couldn’t find any signs of baitfish and the strong winds were making casting even with plugs very awkward, never mind the flyrod! My first effort was directed to small sheltered bay, hoping to pick up a bass despite the sunlight. The bass never showed (a theme that continued all week) but I had great sport with Wrasse on a variety of soft plastics – a method I found very rewarding and one that saved a few blanks throughout the week.


It got to the point where these wrasse ranging between 1lb-2.5lb were the only thing I could find!
 One evening I headed out with the flyrod to have a bash at some new ground, a small creek. There were tons of mullet there, nothing massive but they would have put a hell of a bend in the flyrod. Alas, I failed, I threw everything at the mullet but anyone who’s fished for them knows it can be the most frustrating thing.
With still no sandeels or baitfish present and desperate for some decent flyrod action, I headed out to fish dusk. The tide was dropping down to low and the SW wind still blasting into most of my favourite marks. I fished another sheltered bay with the flyrod and found a lot of small Pollock more than willing to nail my various clouser patternsthey seemed to particularly like the orange ones.



With the success in lower light conditions I headed out the next evening, but this time to a mooring point for boats where there is often plenty of mullet and bass. The tide was dropping from high and I was hoping to ambush bass as they moved out with the tide from ‘upstream’. Mullet after mullet swam past, pushing big bow waves as they went. The light started to drop and I began to disturb baitfish as I made my casts – “this is it!” – Or so I thought. Another large bow wave swam towards me, this one the biggest of the night. I stood still and not 2 feet from the edge a HUGE mullet swam past, an easy double and the biggest I’ve ever seen for sure, but I wasn’t here for them. I waited and waited for bass to start ripping into the growing shoals of small baitfish but bar one hit on a surface lure it never happened.



The sun had finally come out and the wind had dropped, a couple of days on the beach followed, allowing for some different fishing. Low water and bright sunlight and yet in amongst the throngs of weed Pollock could be seen smashing into sandeels. I walked down with the flyrod and had a few to 2lb before the tide pushed me off. I returned the next day with the HD Hero to try and film some action however I now know a heavy shower smudged the lens. I may be able to salvage some footage so watch this space.



As the tide made I walked a bit further across the rocky beach to a spot that mullet seem to return to year after year. I still haven’t worked out why but every year without fail they turn up. I’ve caught them on bread flies in the past but I wanted to try and get them on ‘naturals’ – obviously I failed and turned to bread to try and land one, and luckily I did. Not a massive fish but put a pleasurable bend in the rod.




The last chance for bass and with the tides getting bigger and slightly later I thought I may have a chance. Armed with both the plugging rod and the fly rod I fished hard to catch a silver bar. I found small sparse shoals of sandeels and even saw a couple of shoals of bass swim past, however they ignored both the flies and plugs. The sun was still high and bright despite the time nearing 7PM. I fished on regardless and reached a large rock, the water here was a bit cloudy and partly in shade as the sun dropped behind the cliffs. I made cast after cast opting to use a surface lure when out of the corner of my eye I though I spotted a small swirl on the surface. I immediately put my lure over there, left it a few seconds then began my slow retrieve. A couple of winds and a something moved a lot of water near my lure – “what was that!” – I murmured as I carried on my retrieve. I thought I’d missed my chance as the lure neared a couple of rod lengths out when suddenly the lure disappeared. This wasn’t a normal take, it was just inhaled by a big dark shape. Finally I had an arm wrenching bend in the rod, and the next 30 seconds were spent fighting to keep line on the reel before PING! – everything went slack and my lure popped back up the surface. The hook had pulled; I was gutted, not only for losing it but for not getting a good look at what or how big it was that I had lost. I returned the morning I was due to leave but I couldn’t repeat the ‘success’.
So I’m home now with plenty of rod building to catch up on but fully rested after a great holiday with the wife and having caught a decent variety of species on a variety of methods. I’ll be haunted by the lost fish until I get the chance at another good one (fingers crossed).


Adam Rawson
Dad, husband, maker of split cane fishing rods and lover of the great outdoors.

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