Its that time of year. The big spring tides during March usually see big shoals of mackerel come inshore and with an empty freezer, a session was planned. The forecast was looking superb for once, with light winds and sun. Early Sunday morning saw Gary, Andrew and myself tucked away in a forgotten corner of Cornwall setting up the kayaks for a day on the water.
The high tide was early so likewise an early launch was required for the launch venue, which lies in lee of a fierce tidal race. If you don't launch at slack tide, or an incoming tide it can get quite hairy on the water during the ebb, especially on a big spring tide. Not a place for the feint hearted if the conditions kick up. Anyhow, It really was a beautiful morning and one we have been waiting for the whole winter.
Some reasonable sized swell was rolling past the cove which made the paddle out interesting....
The Tempo was in its element and left the others far behind whilst it caught swell after swell. I managed to catch a decent sized one for around 30 seconds or so and managed to get the Tempo planing a bit! I have no idea how fast i was going but i wouldn't be surprised if it was up around 8 knots.... you had to work for it but it was bloody good fun!
We carried on up the coast to the next headland to fish in the tidal race whilst admiring the specular scenery around Porthcurno. This is by far my favourite place to paddle, especially on a big tide. Stunning backdrop, lively water conditions and occasionally good fishing....
It wasn't long before the fish finder display started to show thick shoals of Mackerel and we all started to catch. It was smiles all round with the rods bending. We carried onto the next headland for a drift back across the bay.
We had a good laugh whilst Andrew set up his Go Pro Pole, made from last weeks broken paddle shaft!
We edged our way out into the tidal race off Logan Rock and found more Mackerel, the footwell soon started to fill up!
Something different came up on one drop of the Hookais..... my first Pilchard! A new species for me and a welcome sight amongst the Mackerel. Quite a beautiful little fish....
We had a few more drifts across the bay leading up to low tide. I tried drifting a bottom bait for a flatfish but it was impossible to get through the Mackerel. We were drifting fast, a bit too fast as 75% of the time was spent paddling back up the drift. Time to stick the anchors down. Once anchored it was apparent just how fast the water was moving past us, the grapnel struggled to hold bottom despite nearly all my anchor warp being let out. Eventually it held fast against a small reef. The Mackerel onslaught continued! We decided to give the Mackerel a rest after a bit and go for a paddle around Logan Rock.
We paddled around to Cripps Cove and it was just calm enough to allow us to park up the kayaks on the boulders, which was fun! Seaweed covered rocks and unsteady legs will see you disappearing between boulders! Anyhow, we pulled the kayaks up onto the rocks and basked in the glorious sunshine. It could well have been summer....
A quick bite to eat and a chance to point Gregory at the granite before we were off again. Reverse launching was interesting and we headed out to a small rocky outcrop called Seghy within the cove. Usually inhabited by many shags and cormorants but today standing alone. I suspect the birds were working out at sea to fill up on the abundant bait fish.
As forecast the Easterly wind started to increase. We decided to do one last drift back down the coast to the launch. More Mackerel and another Pilchard to finish before heading back to the beach.
No need to buy bait for a while. I finished up with 120 Mackerel and a few Pilchards. Luminous Hookais did the damage for me. Andrew had 85 Mackerel and a few Pilchards and Gary had a shed load of Mackerel too.
Absolutely knackered, we hauled the kayaks back up to the car but not before Gary had a quick go in the Tempo...
It had been a stunning day on the water. Warm sun, relatively calm seas, plenty of fish and good company. Spring has arrived in Cornwall.... Happy days!
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