I was lucky enough that at the age of 20 months old my parents decided to up sticks and move from the urban jungle that is Northampton. They decided for a life style change and settled in Cornwall on the Rame Peninsula. I’ve spent the last 26 years loving it. This place is my own little heaven. Every day I feel thankful for living here with this week being on exception. I have had the last week off work and with some sunshine booked I was going to make the most of it.
My plan for the week was to fish as much as possible but concentrate on HRF and exploring new ground. The first day of my holiday was September 1st and the wrasse comp with The Art of Fishing. The plan was to meet up with Ben Church, Josh Fletcher, Toby Coomber and hit a mark I had fished before in Devon. Once at the shop we met up with Luke Fox and we invited him along to the mark. After a short drive we arrived at the mark and made our way on to the rocks. It wasn’t long before we were getting bites. Josh was first to hook up followed by Luke. Luke almost seemed to be pulling fish out every few minutes but there was just no size to any of our fish.
We moved to another gulley and the number of wrasse in this gulley was unreal, I could see 20 or more fish here but again no real size. In the meantime some gar fish showed themselves so Luke and Ben decided to try and nail some off the surface. Toby in the meantime was into his first wrasse a fish of 37cm I think. I switched lure to a white xlayer that had gone purple and first chuck got smashed by a 3lb+ fish and biggest of the day for us at 42cm. Luke managed to bag 17 wrasse in total. All in all a good day but no prizes for any of us, I believe my 42cm fish earned me 6th place.
Over Sunday I covered some of the usual ground with nothing caught to really shout about. It all seemed to be small fish up to about 2lb. All good fun but not the hogs I was hoping for. Monday saw me in need of some weights and hooks so I popped over to see John at Lure Heaven. It was my first time at the shop and I must say he made me very welcome. He had just what I was after, tungsten cone weights from Vike and some lovely strong and super sharp hooks from Vanfook. I picked up some other bits and pieces and left the shop geared up ready to smash some more wrasse.
I headed straight to meet Ben who was already fishing. When I got to him he was fishing a nice gulley that screamed wrasse. Again the same story, all the fish seemed to be small. It wasn’t long before Ben had to leave for work. I continued to fish and managed 5 fish with the last fish tipping the scales just over 3lb. Despite not being huge this fish went like stink and gave a really good fight on the Rock Fish Bottom. Feeling very content after the 3lb’r I decided one more chuck before going home. I worked the dune bug Sluggo along the bottom and it wasn’t long before I had a bite. Seconds later my reel was screaming. With the fish staying deep I was sure it was a wrasse but to my surprise it resulted in a nice Pollock only about 2lb but it fought like mad and harder than the wrasse before. I was now ready for dinner so headed home. What will tomorrow bring?
4:50am and my alarm was waking up the whole house, with a quick shower, a kiss from the wife I was soon out the door and off to meet Ben. We met shortly after 5:30am and made our way down to the rocks in search of some bass. I decided I would try some soft plastics and put on a Tict Wave Stick rigged texas. First cast spooked a large gar fish and this got me thinking. A gar fish was the first fish I ever caught when I was 8 and I hadn’t had one since. I switched to a 16g Dexter’s Wedge and started covering some ground. It wasn’t long before I was into a gar, unfortunately it spat it back at me. I persevered with the wedge with not a lot of joy. Ben managed one bass on a plug but that was it for Ben. We both saw a sun fish close in and possible saw another following.
I was just about to switch to a plug and bang fish on. Initial I thought bass but it stayed deep and began to sweep right. I didn’t see the fish as this one also had a disliking for the wedge. With this new found enthusiasm for the Dexter’s I carried on with it. It wasn’t long before my persistence paid off and I was in again. The fight was similar to the previous fish. First sight of the fish and I shouted bass only for Ben to shout that’s not a bass. Get in! My first ever sea trout. I was ecstatic and now I was desperate for a gar. It didn’t take long and I had landed two species I had been desperate for. No bass for me but I couldn’t have cared less. Time for a move to smash some wrasse.
Our plan was to explore some new ground we felt had the potential to produce some good fish. It was a bit of a climb and we spent the day exploring gulley after gulley. Ben had half a dozen fish upto about 2lb but I just couldn’t hook up. I changed my rig and downsized to a size 2 hook, still no joy. Finally, contact. My first wrasse of the day and despite being small I was so happy. I soon managed another and then it was time to move on to another gulley. On the way over we saw a large bull seal working the coast. I really do love this county. This gulley saw my tally reach 6 and Ben’s 12. In this final gulley we both hooked fish we couldn’t stop by now the sun was setting and it was time for a long climb back to the car.
Tuesday evening I got an invite from Luke Fox to join him for a wrasse session down west. I met up with Luke at the Eden project and after a quick wonder around Luke finished work and was raring to go. I jumped in his van and headed to the rocks. Luke’s enthusiasm for this spot filled me with confidence and I was soon excited and itching to get a lure in the water. As we arrived Josh and Toby were already there. These guys are so keen to catch fish and a pleasure to fish with. First fish landed was by Toby at about 3.5-4lb on his Garbolino 1-5g rod. I have never seen a rod bend like it. I was just waiting for it to explode. Well played Toby and good effort getting that fish up.
We switched marks and this saw me have my first fish a lovely looking wrasse and my second biggest to date at 4lb 2oz. Three more fish later and we decided to put the wrasse gear away and hit a small trout stream.
First cast saw a trout hit my lure but no hook up. It didn’t take long to get one on the bank but the biggest surprise was landing a perch form a Cornish stream. Josh decided that as he couldn’t beat them he would join them.
The light was starting to fade so we headed into Fowey for a spot of LRF. Nothing major landed but plenty of Pollock caught and Luke managed a few scorpion fish. Josh did have a follow from a topknot, I’ll definitely be hitting this spot again in hope of a topknot.
Wednesday morning saw me heading to Devon to explore some more new ground in hope of a hog. Once again only small fish showed but cracking fun and 31 fish caught between us, Ben just beating me with 16. There really is some cracking ground in the area and looking forward to exploring more of it. I just know this ground is going to produce some big fish I just need to put the hours in.
Friday Mike and I explored the ground we found on Tuesday. On the climb down we saw a peregrine my first in cornwall. I really do love Cornwall, I know I keep saying it but this place is amazing. The fishing was hard and despite our optimism we only managed a few small fish each I did however lose about 7 rigs and most of the cone weights I brought Monday. On our previous trip we both saw big wrasse, bigger than I have ever caught. We will certainly be hitting these marks again as I still feel when we work out when this ground fishes best it could really kick off. We did how ever have a seal get curious and come close for a look at us. The closes I’ve ever come to a wild seal. On the walk back up we saw a lovely group of deer with young in tow.
Saturday morning saw me awake at 6:30am to head off for some more wrasse bashing. Matt Jones picked me up at 7:15 and we headed to meet with Ben Church and Henry Gilbey. Henry had a mark in mind so we all followed him. After the last couple of days I wasn’t expecting amazing results but looking forward to fishing some new ground. Ben was first to have a wrasse grace his presence and Matt followed shortly after with a couple of small ones. It took me a while to get off the mark but did have a very pretty fish of about a pound. Henry was getting a lot of bites at distance suggesting the fish hadn’t moved in on the small tide. It wasn’t long before Henry had to shoot to spend the day with his girls. The rest of us decided to go to a mark we had only ever fished with bait and the home to Ben’s PB wrasse.
The mark produced a few fish but the surprise came with a cuttlefish repeatedly taking Ben’s sluggo. Unfortunately he didn’t manage to hook and land one and with the absence of a squid jig it wasn’t looking likely. This stretch of coast was alive with sand eels and I was hopeful of some mackerel or even a bass later in the tide. I had a few follows from gar fish so switched to a small shiny plug to see if I could pick one up. Matt stuck on a metal and Ben put on an Ikkako. Ben soon picked up a mackerel and I had one soon after.By this point Matt was getting serious mackerel envy. Ben was soon into something a little larger. After a short fight his lure flew back at him with part of a cuttlefish tentacle attached. After a glorious sunset it was time for a climb before it got too dark.
Sunday saw Matt, Ben and I meeting up for a spot of LRF. We hoped for a good mix of fish but only mackerel and pollock decided to grace our presence. We had a fair amount of fish each and it was a nice finish to the week with Matt finally catching some makerel. Now time for bed and back to the grind in the morning. Looking forward to more fishy adventures in this fantastic county, I just need to make some more time.
All content copyright of Dean Pilgrim 2014