Kayak Fishing Porthleven-Kynance Cove, the antidote to Hedge Funds

I was trapped in my car awaiting a school bus with nowhere to cower and no bleeper to pretend to go off unexpectedly, being talked at by a remote acquaintance about high finance (well, high finance Holsworthy style).OK, so hedge funds are nothing  to do with vouchers from your local garden centre, but who really cares?

I switched over to a mode I seem to use increasingly often as I am bludgeoned by thunderously tedious conversation by thunderously tedious people who (fortunately) require very little in the way of response. My jaw is involuntarily locked in the semi-yawn position, my sleep centres are activated by the monotone drawl and my eyelids start to droop, yet I have developed the knack of jamming my mouth into a cadaverous smile, nodding and saying ‘yes ‘ every so often , and apparently gripped by the subject matter while inside I am dreaming of  far away sun drenched sandy beaches. Like this one….

The best beach in SW England?
The best beach in SW England?

Heading off towards the horizon on an all-day kayak trip by yourself is a weird thing to do but it guarantees no encounters with thunderbores and enables you to visit your fantasy beaches in real life- what could be better?

I set off from Porthleven at first light and caught a succession of mackerel and garfish on a Gulp sandeel. Dawn is always a great time to catch fish.

Porthleven Gar
Porthleven Gar

As the sun rose the fish died away. I passed a number of lovely sandy beaches and then a couple of big cliffs with whopping hotels on top. One had  so many house martins swarming around it resembled a swarm of bees.

The four miles from Mullion to Kynance have got to be amongst the most dramatic in the whole south-west. Mighty cliffs and a number of sweeping bays with graggy buttresses at the ends and usually a sandy or gravelly beach for a quick tea break in the middle.

The tide began to be more evident as I neared Lizard point and I hooked some bigger fish, and lost a few. Biggest was a pollack nearly 4 lbs.

I engineered my arrival at Kynance to coincide with low tide so the strip of sand connecting the mainland with Asparagus island was exposed. I am generally disappointed when hyped up places don’t live up to expectations but Kynance Cove has every reason to be smug with itself….tropical style sand and sea but with no tropical style Germans on beach towls.

Kynance cove
Kynance cove

Time to head back to Porthleven and I was not particularly thrilled at the prospect of a fifteen mile paddle into a gusty northerly wind. I hugged the cliffs to stay in the shelter, and caught a load more pollack, this time using a Dexter wedge.

The first rocky cove north of Kynance really is spectacular.I looked around and saw absolutely no evidence of the existence of mankind…..oh,apart from the trail of vapour 30,000ft above from a Globemaster American military transport plane- the turbofans make a characteristic whine.

But I could sense several pairs of eyes scrutinising me. A peregrine sat atop a bluff called ‘the Horse’ and there were my old friends, a pair of Great Black-backed Gulls eyeing me up for vulnerability,yelping their horrible primeval gulpy bark at each other. This was not chat about investment opportunities,this was more like ‘you have his eyeballs,I’ll have his tongue’.

P9161131

The nagging headwind was tempered by the blue sky and sun behind my back showing up the coast to its absolute best. Mullion cove is indeed a dramatic location tucked in behind a variety of sea stacks. Its harbour walls were draped in loafing tourists and fishermen who never catch anything.

Sunny Mullion Cove
Sunny Mullion Cove

It was a serious slog from Gunwalloe Fishing Cove along the three miles of beach back to Porthleven-lucky I didn’t catch any fish as every time I halted I got blown back twenty yards.

True fishermen probably know this but trolling from a kayak is very unproductive on sunny days, apart from dawn and dusk. And incidentally the whole of Mount’s Bay seems to be generally pretty rubbish for fishing apart from its extremities where the tide gets going a bit.

However to buck this trend I did manage to catch my only bass of the day when I ventured past Porthleven to visit the stunning sandy beach hemmed in by cliffs and accessible only from the sea.

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Of course it was returned to the water, like virtually all the fish I catch.

Arrival at this beach is a big milestone for me and represents the completion of the south coast part of my ‘Up the Creek’ project.I have paddled from Holsworthy to Land’s End and gone up every estuary,creek and gutter till I could go no further. Most of the sea bits I have done twice in ‘there and back’ trips.

Holsworthy to Land’s End is a distance of,approximately,368.2 miles.I make no apology for having measured it by GPS as I go.Nerdy, yes,but that’s what I do. Just got to complete the North coast bit from Shebbear to Land’s End now.

Porthleven
Porthleven

Bude Old Gits Autumn Kayak Fishing Epic 2009

PLYMOUTH SOUND 9 SEPTEMBER

On the plus side today was lovely and sunny; on the minus side a hefty swell and north wind meant we had to lurk in the shelter of Plymouth sound.

We launched at Cawsand and trolled a variety of sandeels and plugs round the corner to Rame head, catching a few pathetically small pollack. We soon got bored of bottom fishing off Rame as the sea was devoid of hungry fish.

Sunny Rame head
Sunny Rame head

So we about turned and tried trolling along the southern edge of the breakwater-surely nobody fishes here. We soon concluded that indeed nobody fished there because the largest pollack was about four inches long.

Plymouth breakwater
Plymouth breakwater

Lunch beckoned and we had hefty appetites and anyway neede to gorge out as that’s what depressed fishermen do when they don’t catch any fish. But wait! what are those glistening flappy things on your feathers, Austen? A couple of mackerel. Crikey.

Anyway we hauled up on Bovisand beach but didn’t have a lot to eat ‘cos we had forgottten to pack it. I even had to share my Spar  king sized Bakewell Tart (yes….gone off Somerfield fruit cake) with Austen but at least I got the glace cherry.

Giant Bakewell tart with 1972 trainspotting manual for size comparison
Giant Bakewell tart with 1972 trainspotting manual for size comparison

With our calories reloaded we decided to paddle right round the edge of the sound so at least we would have a decent kayak trip if there weren’t alot of fish…….and then I  hooked a bass-albeit a bit teeny.

Don't care if it's small-it's a bass
Don't care if it's small-it's a bass

And as we approached Mountbatten breakwater we both hauled in a garfish-don’t think it was the same one!

Austen's slithery garfish
Austen's slithery garfish

We had a great hot sunny paddle sheltered from the wind along the front of Plymouth Ho, ogled at a few expensive yachts, and then managed to find ourselves strugging against the tide, as we had been all day, back to Cawsand.

Crumby fishing, top paddle,top weather.

Old Harry Bass Brace

Nice relaxing paddle around Studland Bay and round the back of Old Harry rocks in the tide race.

Pretty lousy fishing generally so far this summer so I was pleased with a couple of decent bass (plus three non-keepers) caught on my old , and very smelly, favourite lure……. a GULP sandeel. No weights , and on a  one metre length of fluorocarbon line attached to the main line with a big swivel. Simple is good!

Old Harry (in the background)
Old Harry (in the background)