About Rupert

I am a nerd.

Bird 'n nerd

Somebody’s got to be.

I have a pedigree in surfing (a waveski) but got fed up with congestion on the waves.It’s fine as long as you can get a wave like this to yourself:

but with the beaches rapidly becoming like Holsworthy on market day I began to long for remoter places far away. So I bought probably the first Ocean Kayak Malibu 2 ever sold in UK and went to Land’s End. That’s my kayak right in the middle:

Fantastic. And I havn’t look back (except to see what oceanic beast is following me THIS time), clocking up an average of 1000 miles per year for the last seven years. Most of it around the coast of Devon and Cornwall, but I have paddled the length of the Tay, Tweed, Spey, Dee and Caledonian canal in Scotland (and dibbled with a bit of sea kayaking in Sutherland) and the length of the Thames.

I claim to be the only person daft enough to have circumnavigated SW England based around Holsworthy. This involves paddling from Holsworthy down the Tamar to Plymouth, all along the south coast to Land’s End, and then using the Torridge from four miles east of Holsworthy to get to the north coast at Bideford…..and then all along the north coast of Devon and Cornwall to Land’s End that way. Oh and I included offshore paddles to Lundy, Eddystone and Scilly. Oh and I went up every inlet , creek, gulch and ditch….surprising where you can get to on a high tide:

In the bowels of Truro cathedral

This little jaunt amounts to 821 miles of coastline and riverbank. I’m now working on the whole of the South west coast path coast i.e. completing all the coast from Minehead to Poole.

Better mention the fishing too I s’pose. Most fish I catch are miniscule but one or two have been seriously big. I am a minimalist so don’t use a fishfinder or any gadgets. If it means I don’t catch any fish that’s fine because I enjoy the paddling and the wildlife anyway so I’m not fussed.

Can’t be bothered with fancy baits either. Lures or bits of mackerel seem to do for most fish.

25 thoughts on “About Rupert

  1. Hi Rupert its Frank,met you in the “Cobweb” in Boscastle,you took a shine to my camera remember?Cant believe it, I only discovered your site just before I headed down your way on 22 June,having bookmarked it JUST before I left,otherwise it would have surely been forgotten about,first time I had a look since I got back(1 july)and up pops a familar face. It was your mate I first recognised bit of a look of Michael Keaton about him(when passing on a galloping horse)as you might have gathered I was hugely impressed with North Cornwall in particular,I hope to return soon.

    1. Frank-sorry been away on holiday and only just noticed your comment. A couple of days after we met you I paddled Portreath-Godrevy on your reccommendation-fantastic,especially Jacob’s locker (or whatever it is called). Thanks for the tip.

      Regards-keep paddling ,Rupert

      p.s. hoping to do the Eddystone challenge next weekend.

  2. Hi Rupert,
    Really enjoyed reading your blog and a useful primer to a week at the end of May hopefully kayak fishing the North Devon coast – we are staying near Clovelly. I know the area fairly well from numerous holidays but have never taken the kayak before – I have a Feelfree Corona two man – I fish with my 14 old son and have fished in Christchurch harbour for bass with some success but mostly small stuff. Hoping to get some mackeral, pollack and bass when down in North Devon, but need some advice on launching sites. I was thinking of the mouth of the Torridge but where to launch from? – I guess the council charge to launch from the slip in Appledore – what about Instow? Alternatively launch from the Northern most end of the Burrows? Isn’t the tide rip in the estuary going to make anchoring and fishing impossible? Also thinking of Bucks Mill but unsure if you can get a kayak down and back up from the beach here – seems attractive as a pretty short paddle to reasonable grounds from here and I have seen mackeral caught from the beach here. Other sites look limited (Hartland quay?) except perhaps Widemouth beach on a calm day – we haven’t launched through surf before. Any other spots you can suggest for semi-novice sea kayak fisherman would be most welcome. Thanks

  3. Hi Rupert,

    I’m Brian from Toronto, Canada. Great blog!

    Am contemplating a trip to Cornwall next summer, and am looking for a kayak hire company and possibly a guide to lead paddles along the coast and around St. Michael’s Mount. Can you help?

    Be well, keep the wet side down!

    Cheers,
    Brian

    1. Hi Brian,
      apologies for the delay in replying. I havn’t got any personal experience of kayak hire ouffits in Penzance but looks like there are a few …..KYMoon looks quite useful. Penzance and Marazion is very sheltered from the westerly swell and so doesn’t present the problems of paddling on the north coast. Obviously it can be windy. Very little tide until you get near the edges of Mount’s Bay at The Lizard and Gwennap Head so very safe in that respect as well.

      Hope you enjoy your visit.

      Regards Rupert

  4. Hi Jamie from FIshing-blog.co.uk.

    What a great site, full of amazing pictures, really love it. I am amazed I have never seen you out, I normally bob along in a RTM Disco.

    Would love you to do a guest blog on my site, please get in touch.

    Jamie

    1. Hi Jamie,

      yes would be more than happy to share any of my experiences and dubious wisdom from seven years of kayak fishing and nearly 7000 miles of paddling…..surely I must get bored of it soon!

      regards Rupert

      p.s my e-mail is rupertkirkwood@hotmail.com

      1. Hi Rupert, I forgot to add using this site,if there is anybody in the Torridge area that would like a paddle partner I would like to meet them , thanks again , Bob Cooke

  5. Absolutely brilliant!! love your passion for wildlife and the kayak fishing, just got into it myself.
    Great blog 🙂

  6. Hi Rupert,

    Living in Bideford and a siton kayaker. I notice have a Swift PaddleYak. I have longed for one of these, where did you purchase yours from?

    Robin Potter

    1. Hi Martin,

      yes I absolutely love my Paddleyak Swift. I was lucky enough to get it off e-bay from Liskeard about five years ago. I use it all the time for long distance touring….it’s as fast as a decent sea kayak.

      I have put rod holders in it but it’s not great as a fishing kayak so I tend to use my Tarpon 160 for that. The Swift is probably too fast for trolling for fish.

      It’s fibreglass and hasn’t got a comfortable seat but I use an Ocean kayak cushion seat in it which is great but makes it noticeably more unstable as you are sitting higher up.

      I notice that a kayak shop in Inverness sells Commanche kayaks which are very similar to Paddleyak swifts. I did once see one of those on e-bay, so keep your eyes open.

      regards Rupert

  7. Hi Rupert, I’m a freelance editor working on a primary level English textbook for an Irish educational publisher. The authors would love to include some of your amazing photographs of catching the shark in the book for fifth class (to accompany a short comprehension piece). I could send you on samples of the three photos they want to use.
    Let me know if you need any other information.
    All the best,
    Ciara

    1. Hi Clara,

      very sorry…only just read your comment. Please feel free to us whatever pictures you like . I am only too happy to share my interest and enthusiasm and the more people it rubs off on the better. Hope its not too late for the comprehension piece.

      regards Rupert Kirkwood

  8. Hi Rupert,
    Thanks so much for getting back to me – and for so kindly saying we can use your photographs. Now, I have to be cheeky and ask if you could send me high resolution ones (as the book is being printed, web resolution wouldn’t come out clearly enough – we want the children to see that shark!). We were hoping to use three photos: one of you setting out on your kayak, one with the shark’s head out of the water, and the one with the shark in your kayak (still can’t quite believe you did that!). Would that be possible?
    All the best,
    Ciara

  9. Hi Rupert
    Just bought my first kayak and hope to get out this summer. Just came across your site and loved reading your posts, like your atitude, like you the fishing is secondary for me. Good luck for the future.

  10. Hi Rupert

    I’m staying in Boscaslte next month – is there anywhere in the region I can hire a fishing kayak?

    cheers
    Sam

    1. Hi Paul,

      north of Padstow up to Bideford there are no kayak hire shops to the best of my knowledge because the sea is too often hostile. Wadebridge is a possibility but I’m not sure. Cornwall canoes in ST. Columb is probably your best bet, they are always very helpful and could probably sort you out with something.

      Hopefully sea conditions will be suitable for your visit….it’s the best kayaking in Cornwall!

      regards Rupert

  11. Hello Rupert, have found this site a real inspiration,i now have a perception triumph sot after owning a few open canoes. One thing i would like to ask is what safety gear you carry if any other than your bouyancy vest? A lot of kayakers seem to be getting over loaded nowadays with things saying you should not even paddle alone or without radio,flares anchor,gps etc. what are your thoughts, keep up the good work,
    Dave.

    1. Dave, I demo’d a perception triumph a few weeks ago and it is a great boat! Comfortable, fast and excellent fishing platform. good choice. I keep my clutter to the absolute minimum…this applies to safety equipment as well as fishing tackle (I don’t use a fishfinder and usally just use lures). I carry a mobile phone, a handheld two way radio, and try to remember to take a couple of flares. these are handy because pinpointing a swimmer in a stormy sea without a smoke flare could be a challenge for an aircrew.

      The best safety advice has got to be careful planning.Know your own capabilities and check out tides, swell and wind,especially wind. And for there-and-back trips I always paddle upwind first.And yes, paddling alone is a risk but much less so if you are on a SOT kayak. And the chances of falling off your super stable Triumph is pretty slim anyway.

      enjoy your paddling and get trolling for those bass. Rupert

  12. Hi Rupert, great site, very inspiring, love the combination of fishing and wildlife. I’m sure I’ve seen you fishing from Milhook before, loading fish into what looked like long gloves, but I may be wrong! I live near Bude and I’m considering buying a kayak for fishing, I’ve hired one before from Zuma Jay and been out at Milhook, caught one Mackerel so things can only improve… I’d like to find other people in the area going out for kayak fishing to tag along with, any tips?

    1. Hi Dan,

      havn’t been to Millook for a while but that bit of coast round to Dizzard point is fantastic for fish. Try trolling a plug for bass. And you can’t beat an ocean Kayak prowler or something very similar. They are still the best.

  13. Hi Rupert, fantastic blog. I’m looking forward to having crack at Tope fishing from the Kayak myself this year from either Bude or Lynmouth. As I am a Kayak rookie, so any advice your could offer me about this challenge would be greatly appreciated.

    Happy New Year, Tom!

    1. Hello Tom,

      for tope fishing from kayak you don’t need fancy tackle. I use cheapish rods with spinning reels and 30 lb line. Most important is wire trace a metre long with big hook at the end. Tope will twist and rub through a nylon trace. The movement of the kayak ansorbs quite a lot of the pressure when a tope runs, so just let your line run out and don’t rush the pull in! I have lost a couple when the hook has come of the factory made wire trace, so make sure crimps are secure. Dizzard is as good as anywhere in late summer…it’s just a case of waiting for a flat calm day (which is rare). Good luck.

      Rupert

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