Possibly the last weather window of light wind and little swell of the year so I thought I’d better make the effort to go to the most exciting place. Technically I should be getting bored of this area as it becomes more familiar, but each time I return it becomes even more impressive and captivating.Maybe I’m a bit of a simpleton.
Forget fishing and wildlife for the mo, just the geography is justification for nine hours on the water, with jaw spending much of its time in your lap.Meteorology as well played its part as I arrived at Lamorna at dawn….a nasty little catabatic wind of cold air pouring off the moor dipped the temperature below freezing as I paddled out of the cove, whipping up little misty bits off the sea as it met the warm water.
But the sun soon thawed out my chilly fingers and I tucked in beneath the cliff out of the breeze.Whoah, what’s all this ‘catabatic’ nonsense about? And don’t get too clever….it’s spelt with a ‘k’ and not a ‘c’.
Katabatic winds can really ruin your fun because: a. they are blooming cold b. they blow offshore and so take you with them c. are annoying because the forecast has predicted a flat calm and you’re battling against a howling wind.
I was just a bit miffed because I wasn’t anticipating one in the county of balmy temperatures and early daffodils.
My miffedness was soon forgotten when my rod really heaved over as I stopped in St Loy’s cove to drop a team of silver mackerel feathers to the bottom. I was expecting pollack,not this……
By far and away my biggest cod ever, and caught on ‘naked’ feathers. Of course it went back in.I alternated between trolling with a Dexter wedge and stopping to use feathers. Fishing wasn’t fast but I steadily notched up the species: mackerel,pollack and a cuckoo wrasse.
Porthcurno bay never fails to impress.Sorry to be boring, I think I might have said that before (alot). I have certainly mentioned that the headland on the western side of the bay has the suitably mediaeval name of Pedn-men-an-mere, but I hadn’t noticed that the crag on the other side is called Horrace! Knights -of-the-round-table type stuff on one side, Reggie Perrin on the other.
I was hoping to do a spot of livebait fishing as I drifted on the tide past Gwennap head, so when I caught a launce on the toby it was soon hooked up and dropped near the bottom. Up came a 2lb bass. Then I made an appalling Horlicks of things when I snagged the bottom and blooming nearly tipped the kayak over. All under the direct gaze of the coastwatch station on the top of the cliff, glowering down like Sauron’s eye.They were either killing themselves laughing or fingering the ‘scramble’ button in anticipation of my rescue. I was listening in on my 2-way radio just in case.
A 3lb fish put up a reasonable fight as it took the sandeel. A pollack…..no. It had a very dark back and a straight lateral line…a coalfish! A new species for me.
It sometimes worries me that as a naturalist I should just be observing the wildlife and fishing,despite putting virtually everything I catch back unharmed,is a tad destructive.And then this thing chugged past:
Worries over. That thing can hoover up more fish than I ever could even if I’d been kayak fishing since Brontosauruses wandered the earth.
The paddle back was in glorious autumn sunshine which showed off the deserted beaches at their best.
I rolled back into Lamorna Cove just before sunset after having a nice chat with a fellow kayak fisher in his Wilderness 100 just offshore.
As I mustered up the strength to heave my appallingly heavy kayak onto the car roof, a couple in a nearby cottage who had seen me depart in the dawn mist came over to express their astonishment that I had been on the water all day. I attempted a reply but was so tired my lips didn’t part properly and I mumbled a load of gibberish. Maybe they had a point.
But it’s worth it for views like this: