The weather was fantastic. No wind, no swell and bright sunshine. I usually like the water to be lively with some swell and chop but after weeks of persistent winds this was bliss. We chatted and set up the gear before heading down to the waters edge. I would be in my Tempo, Elliot would be using my Abaco, Steve in his Tarpon 140 with Richard in his new Kaskazi Marlin.
We launched onto glassy calm water as far as the eye could see.
We pottered up the coast to Porthcurno and stopped at Wireless Point to watch the thick shoals of Sandeels beneath the kayaks in the clear water. The visibility was superb and you could see the bottom in 10m of water! Steve was enjoying his first time along this stretch of coast.....
Low tide was approaching so headed a little further offshore to deeper water and began to fish on the drift.
I set up my Ugly Stik 7ft 6in 6-12lb rods and sent mackerel baits to the bottom. Richard quickly had a Pollack and i soon followed it up with a small Ling.
Not too bad for the first few minutes of fishing! We continued to drift and slowly picked up more species. Richard was getting amongst a few Gurnards and i had a run of plump Pouting
A few Poor Cod and Whiting followed and then a Red Gurnard showed up
We tried various drifts at different depths over different ground but nothing special was showing. Flatfish were strangely absent and Mackerel nowhere to be seen. Richard was hoping for a Haddock but they didn't seem to be around. Me and Elliot paddled back over an interesting piece of ground and he soon found a Whiting
The tide was beginning to turn. The sun was shining and the sea without a ripple. I sat back and enjoyed the view.... my favourite place to be in Cornwall
Down in the depths one of my mackerel baits was getting an enquiry. The rod tip twitching before a few solid bites. I pulled into a steam train! The fish went off and i struggled to slow it down, hoping it wouldn't find a snag. Big Pollack? I got it clear of the bottom and the struggle continued. Run after run, line poured off the reel with the Ugly Stik bent in half.... this is big! I had hooked the fish in 140ft of water and it gave me stick all the way up. I was beginning to wonder if i had a big Ballan Wrasse on.
It was getting towards the surface so i peered into the turquoise blue waiting to see the golden flanks of a Pollack or the colourful body of a Big Ballan. Gently, gently...here it comes..... Its Pink!
A magical moment of realisation occurred. A magical moment of realisation i had experienced 3 years before at this very spot from a charter boat. It had always been in the back of my mind that one may be possible from this mark. I had even mentioned it to Richard that this ground does produce the odd one. Its a fish i have only dreamed of catching from a kayak.....
A Couch's Bream!
Hang on, its still in the water and not in my kayak. Instant fear of losing it replaced overwhelming excitement and awe...... i can't lose this fish now that i have seen it. A few more powerful dives had the bum well clenched as i teased it back beside the kayak. The hook well in the mouth, how much damage have those teeth done to my trace? No landing net so it would be pulled aboard. I didn't want to waste time trying to gill it so took a depth breath, slipped my foot under its body and levered it into the footwell on the first attempt....
YEEESSSSSSS!!!! Elliot came over to do the honours with the camera with a somewhat sour look on his face. Richard came to see what all the fuss was about. "What you had?"..... "A very special fish!"....."Go on.....". Words to the effect of 'you jammy bugger' were said. "Around the 3lb mark?"....."No bigger!, hang on i'll weigh it". Damn...my scales weren't working. Luckily Richard had a set..... 4lb 11oz and what a stunning fish it was.....
Very happy! Very very happy! We had drifted quite a way from the mark by the time i had sorted myself out. Steve had missed the action and disappeared back down the coast. Baits back down for a final drift in the deep water before heading inshore to look for something different. A Grey Gurnard and a dogfish obliged.
Time to try at anchor for a Ray. We tried a mark that had produced Ray for Richard and me last year but all was quiet. Richard managed a Plaice and Elliot had a big dogfish before i suggested trying the Runnelstone reef system back towards the launch. Elliot connected with something heavy but not fighting.... it was an Edible Crab. He unhooked it and it instantly armed itself with his filleting knife!
He swiftly disarmed the gangster crab before sending it back to the sand below. We up-anchored and went in search of some new ground.
The bottom rose from 40m up to a 15m plateau littered with reefs. This is not a place to be on an ebbing tide or in anything less that perfect calm conditions. The tidal race is fierce on an ebb as the water speeds up over the shallow ground. With prevailing Westerly winds and swell against the ebb the sea whips up into a treacherous stretch of water that has claimed many ships in the past. Luckily we were on a big spring flood in zero wind or swell. Get caught out in the wrong conditions and your off Lands End within minutes with little chance of getting back to land under your own steam.
Despite looking promising the fish weren't there. I suspect the bright conditions kept them in deeper water as at times I'm sure i could see the reef below. I had one bass follow a bait up. We called it a day and went in search of Steve who we had spotted close to shore.
He had been catching well on his homemade lures with numerous Pollack, a few mackerel and a Ballan Wrasse. He had also found Plaice and Gurnards on the drift.
We headed back into to the cove and relaxed. Steve got the jetboil on for fresh coffee whilst i had a quick play in the Marlin and the Tarpon 140. The cove looked stunning in the afternoon sun.
We sat around chatting, drinking coffee and admiring the view. It had been a great day on the water with great friends. I had 8 species with at least 11 between all of us. I had caught a dream fish and was over the moon....a blue moon! Its one day i wont be forgetting for a while.
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