Eight species Fish Fest


Couldn’t sleep and rolled into the car park at Lamorna Cove at 6.30 am which was before even the parking meter had woken up. Unbelievably a day ticket didn’t start till 7 so I left a polite note explaining my predicament plus the correct money in FULL view on the dashboard and promised to pay when I got back. Surely common sense and an appreciation of all that is reasonable would prevail. (fat chance).

I was fairly bursting with anticipation as it was a cracking sunny day with light winds forecast, plenty of marine wildlife to expect and I was in severe need of catching more than mackerel and pollack. However my first encounter with a fish was not on the end of my line:

First glimpse of a sunfish

 I hadn’t come across an Ocean Sunfish for several years so was keen for a closer look but this one s was possessed by an inexplicable turn of speed. However I managed a couple of ghostly underwater images as it spooked past.


 Sunfish eat jellyfish and have no teeth so the taxonomist must have had his (or her) tongue firmly planted  in his (or her) cheek when he (or she) gave it the Latin name ‘Mola Mola’.

This exciting start was hotley pusued by a fair tug on the line which produced a , yawn, mackerel but it was a real whopper.

Monster Mack

 My weapon of choice for the day was a string of big blue Hokkais spiced up by a couple of mackerel strips but I was surprised when this smart little cuckoo wrasse managed to get caught on the big hooks.

Mr.Cuckoo Wrasse

 It was so calm I headed well offshore to maximise the chance of a BIG encounter. An incessant stream of gannets cruised overhead and shearwaters zipped past.

Manx Shearwaters

 About a mile off Porthcurno it was so deep I ran out of line before my weight hit the bottom! However my rod buckled over and I hauled something very heavy up from the depths…..alas only a foul-hooked codling.


 The Scillonian was fairly groaning under the weight of passengers as it lumbered past. Just looking at it made me feel claustrophobic….thank goodness for sit-on-top kayaks.

Scillonian III

 I was half way through demolishing my five weetabix when a load of splashing with the odd fin appearing made me paddle like crazy to investigate. Fantastic….Common Dolphins and as usual they came over to investigate and swam right underneath my feet, and as usual I failed to capture the moment on film. Five or six of them, and they aren’t quite so inquisitive or showy offy as Bottlenose Dolphins so they were soon on their way.

Common Dolphins

 I sat and fished off Porthcurno and watched the world, or a tiny bit of it, go by. The beauty of this bit of coast never fades. The great granite monolith of Logan Rock and the impossibly white sand of the beaches and turquoise of the water. Need some therapy….come here. (I don’t ,by the way)

Logan Rock and Porthcurno
Bloatboat ruining the peacefulness of Porthcurno
Bingo at the Minack (Bingo's the name of the yacht)

 Although I put most of the fish I catch back I kept a few mackerel and chucked the guts out for the expectant fulmars. I like fulmars as they are basically mini albatrosses in seagull’s clothing:

Friendly Fulmar

 The local gulls soon got in on the scene and the fulmars really got stressy about it . I apologise but I find all the squabbling and bickering quite entertaining  although don’t suppose the birds feel the same. But they do get a wholesome meal out of it.

Fractious Fulmar

 It was time for a leisurely offshore paddle back to Lamorna cove. I had dropped a mackerel flapper to the bottom without success but as I paddled off with it trolling behind me something kept pulling at it and when I reeled it in all that was left was the head.

I stopped for a final drift off Boscawen point when the wind had dropped to almost nothing. The only sounds to be heard were the splosh of diving gannets and the ‘piffing’ of breathing porpoises, and the distant squealing of a young peregrine from the black cliffs at Tater Du. Two fish in quick succession on the hokkais:



Astonishingly red Red Gurnard

 The gaudiness of the Gurnard was equalled only by the yellow of Warlord’s hull:

Warlord by name, warlord by appearance

 Remarkably my final two bites were two other species of fish, a pollack and then a first for me…..a ling.Not the biggest specimen but an attractive fish nonetheless.

First ever Ling

My eighth species of fish was a pouting which unfortunately wasn’t too photogenic when it came up from the depths.

That was it , but one more curiosity on the final paddle in were the half dozen or so Red Admiral butterflies and single Large White that passed me heading landwards after clearly crossing from France. An extraordinary feat, especially as during gusts the delicate little creatures were temporarily blown backwards.

I was still quarter of a mile away from my car parked above the harbour wall when I noticed a yellow note stuck to the windscreen. Oh groan. Unfortunately all that was reasonable had not prevailed.