Penzance Kayak Fishing Meet 2015
I had drove back from Plymouth the previous evening and chucked all my gear in the car ready to head down to the campsite the next day. Strong winds and big swell were forecast so I wasn’t in a rush, I knew I probably wouldn’t be getting out on the water. I arrived at the campsite to see a few kayaks and by the time I had set up more had arrived. Things were looking good. Richi and Kev had already headed to Sennen and I knew they would be having fun in the big sea but I was busy chatting away so never got round to joining them. Eventually they returned and confirmed that there were big swells off Sennen….20ft+! It was forecast to drop so I was confident all would be fine for the morning. Richard made a new friend!
The campfires were lit and beers opened. An evening of enjoyable banter was had with everyone looking forward to the good weather forecast for the next day
The first day of the Penzance Kayak Fishing Meet. Everyone headed down to Sennen early to beat the tourists to the parking spaces! We were welcomed to this on arrival…..
Everyone was quite excited! Kayaks were rigged and I went around giving everybody the low down on where to paddle/fish and where to avoid in the current swell. The swell was still lingering around with 3-4ft forecast – this would increase further offshore and on the incoming tide. There was no rush to launch and a few went off for a cooked breakfast at the café whilst a couple got their kayaks on the water early.
Everybody happy, it was time to launch! Well not before getting the kayaks down the slipway.
Flossy up first in his shiny new Kaskazi Dorado!
Craig and Sean next….
Then the Hobie Revo 16 owners club rocked up!
“if we let go I reckon we could get him!”
It was low tide and the conditions were perfect despite a drop of swell. Richi went off for a surf whilst the swell was pumping.
Some headed out into the bay and others along with myself headed out to find some reefs.
It didn’t take long before rods were bending. Kev found himself a nice Pollock
and so did Ben
Craig got in on the action too!
I had myself a few small Pollack and then this colourful Cuckoo Wrasse made an appearance
The rods kept bending and reels kept screaming, Craigs definitely was anyway!!
The tide hit low and the flow dropped off. Along with it bites tapered away so a few off us headed out to deep water to see if any Rays were about. The swell was rolling in and must have been around 10ft. Ben didn’t have enough anchor line so he anchored off my bow! Its always-fun deep water anchoring in swell. It was slow. Dogfish were taking the baits and then I pulled up my first Turbot of the year
Kev found himself a Blonde. I spotted a splash in the distance and then a few Common Dolphins erupted in front of me in full breach! It’s the first time I have seen Commons at such close quarters. They surrounded Kevs kayak and he managed to film them!
I got bored and up anchored. I paddled over to have a chat with Ian when something caught my eye. A gull…..
It appeared to be eating a dead fish. So off I paddled to check it out! I got closer and it clicked….it was a Sunfish and the gull was pecking parasites off it. The gull flew off but the sunfish stayed. He wondered where his helper had gone and poked its head out to see where it was….
It clocked me paddling over and lay on its side again as if it expecting me to remove its parasites!
It gave Ian and myself a close pass-by allowing us to get some great photos. I shouted over to Steve and he soon came over to see
A stunning fish underwater
That was me happy!
We all agreed it was a bit slow on the sands so headed back for shore. I fancied a quick blast on the reef so headed over there with Ben and Ian.
A few Pollack up to 5lb were had and then I noticed Ian waving in the distance. I thought he was heading in so waved back. I looked again and the hand waving was more urgent! He had a fish. I powered over there. “I want a photo of this one”….the Pollack master had spoken! A big Pollack head was poking out the water….out it came!! All 14lb of it!!
What a super fish! I was over the moon for him. I think it was on his new Ugly Stik rod too?
Smiles all round and the plan was to return the Pollack to the reef. Unfortunately it wasn’t going but there would be plenty of hungry anglers back at the campsite so it wouldn’t be wasted.
We headed in and everybody was chatting about their catches and paddling in the swell. Plenty of great fish had been caught including a few double figure Pollack, Blondes Rays, Turbot, Dabs, Gurnards, plenty of Mackerel and more! I was relieved, everybody had caught fish and many had a fantastic days fishing.
Back to the campsite for more chatter and food. Fish were filleted and put on the fire
Another evening of top banter and a few drinks round the campfire followed. A quick total up and around 25 kayak anglers had been on the water. What a great day!
Rain!! The sound of rain on the tent certainly doesn’t make you want to jump out of bed. Oh well I was going fishing regardless and so were a few others. The swell had dropped with light winds but the rain persisted. I was busy chatting to Simon when out glanced out to sea, a pod of dolphins were lying in the bay…. Excellent! Around 15 of us launched hoping for more action like the day before.
I launched with Gary to get some photos of him on his new RTM Abaco, it does look smart in the coffee colour. I would be travelling light. I wanted to fish a lure all day as its not something I usually do.
It was glassy calm….
Laurence and Nobby joined us out on the reefs
Richard had launched early and was getting stuck into the Pollack. He was into a good fish
A stunning Pollack weighing exactly 10lb was soon in his kayak – a new PB for him! I think he was happy, can you tell?
Ben was in. A nice Ballan Wrasse for him
The Pollack were nailing my lure and they were averaging around 5lb. Great sport! I found a productive section of reef and the Pollack were having it. Richard come over for a chat on the way back up the drift when my rod slammed over. Line screaming off the reel as it dived back to the bottom, this is what its all about! A 9lb Pollack arrived at the surface
The Fiish Minnow was getting smashed. Even the Cuckoo Wrasse were having a go!
Mark was having fun too
A small Ling then turned up
A squall passed through with some brisk winds whipping up the surface and cold rain making things uncomfortable for some so they headed further inshore.
I wasn’t going anywhere, the fish were having it including this 8lb Pollack. My lack of decent fish the day before was quickly being made up for!
I couldn’t resist and stuck a live bait down. It got picked up by something on the bottom but I couldn’t do much with it. The 6-12lb Ugly Stick had a good work out though! Inevitably the line parted.
Richard was still pulling them in.
and so was Ben!
The wind was slowly getting up and the chop was increasing. We were drifting faster with as the tide picked up but that didn’t stop Ben getting hooked into a proper fish on his light lure rod. It gave him a pasting but he held on and got the better of it.
A clonker appeared from the depths. No messing around the fish was pulled onbaord. A stunning golden kelp Pollack of 12lb 8oz!
Fanstatic! A new PB for him. I was still picking up Pollack and then this Ballan got hungry for Fiish
An inconsiderate pot rope took my Minnow so gave a sidewinder a go. That worked too
That was it. The wind was picking up. We had caught plenty of fish so decided to head in. Most headed off for home but I stuck around to watch the Sennen Lifeboat launch
You wouldn’t want to be at the end of the lifeboat slip when it launches!
Back to the campsite to find the hardcore elite resisting the rain to stay another night.
I packed up the tent and headed off down the One & All with Hewy, Craig, his wife and my girlfriend Holly. There was plenty of banter and a beer to round off a cracking weekend.
Thanks to everyone who turned up over the weekend. I hope you all had a good time, I know I certainly did seeing you all pulling in fish! I will sort a date out for next year in the coming weeks. Any suggestions for next year then let me know but what I will say is that this meet is not for the fainthearted, nor the complete beginner. Sennen and West Cornwall in general can throw up nasty conditions in no time and those who come to the meet must be confident on the water. There were no problems this year but I’m sure many would agree it is not the place for the inexperienced especially if there is wind and swell. Fingers crossed next year will be as much as a success as this year was.
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