The plan was to launch from Porthgwarra, in lee of the Gwennap head tidal race, and paddle against the tide up to Logan Rock to fish. Kieren was keen and we met Huw in time for a launch at peak flow during the ebbing tide. Also a chance to try out my new Palm Kaikoura PFD! I've just mounted my Go Pro on the nose of the Tempo using a RAM Camera Pole so was hoping to get some interesting shots too.
We left the cove making sure not to paddle too far into the lethal tidal run that rips around towards Gwenap Head and Lands End. Its a one way express ticket to some nasty water that runs over the Runnelstone reef system, whitehorses were whipped up where the tide was hitting the reefs - didn't fancy that much.
We pushed on towards Wireless Point which required a bit of effort to get round but was relatively easy. I had charged ahead so waited for Huw and Kieren to catch up beneath the Minack Theatre at Porthcurno.
A few minutes rest and we set course for Logan Rock. The tide really rips across the front of the rock in deep water, but boils over and around rocky pinnacles beneath the surface making for interesting paddling conditions. The wind was negligible so there was relatively little chop but the dropping tide made for a strenuous paddle, in a bigger sea things would be much more difficult.....and dangerous.
We started to fish and dropped bait rods to the bottom on edge of the tidal race, we were hardly drifting inside the shelter of Logan Rock and bites were not forthcoming. We headed out into the main flow knowing we would soon end up down the coast and have to battle back to reset the drift. No sooner had the baits hit bottom the rod tips were rattling.... it was Mackerel all round!
Off with the bottom rig and on with a set of Hookais. In 5 minutes we had drifted about 1/2 a mile or so down the coast so battled back and dropped anchor back in the main flow..... wow! The tide was strong, so strong we struggled to hold bottom and slowly dragged anchors back down the coast. Anyhow the Mackerel were solid and for the next 15 minutes we had them every drop, great fun!! The Tempo's footwell was soon filling with Mackerel and the odd Launce.
Huw was having fun on his light gear....
By the time we had paddled back the tide had completely dropped off as the flood began to back up against the ebb and with it the mackerel disappeared. We floated all but stationary where 45 minutes ago we were struggling to hold anchor - madness!
The absence of mackerel gave the bottom baits a chance but with little flow or wind to drift with we were not covering the ground to get bites. A small Dab and a Codling came my way.
We called it a day and made our way back to Porthgwarra. The hardest part is always carrying the kayaks back up the incredibly steep slipway.... not for the fainthearted and very difficult if your on your own. We had caught plenty of Mackerel between us. I had 42 up to the 1lb 6oz mark, Kieren had a similar amount and Huw had plenty too. A fun day on the water, it feels great to be back paddling after weeks of not being able to go.... the shoulders are feeling it though!
First Impressions of the Palm Kaikoura PFD: Very comfortable - i hardly knew i had it on. The pockets are very handy and held various items of terminal tackle, scissors and my camera with room to spare. The anti-ride waist belt worked well against the neoprene of my wetsuit and made the PFD feel more connected to my body movements than my previous basic Typhoon PFD. Oh, and it now has more Mackerel scales on it than the average Mackerel!
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