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Howard Cooke 15-05-2017 20:31

Sea fishing (shore not boat) Cornwall
Has anyone had a (good) guided shore fishing experience in Cornwall? Thinking about Wrasse mainly- float or ledgering etc.

Gavin Hoe-Richardson 15-05-2017 21:07

I had a couple of good days off St.Ives last May. Back of The Island car park below a lookout post. Bit of a scramble down the rocks but safe enough and a good, flat area to stand on with deep water directly below.

I think it was something like a couple of quid to park after 1800hrs. I was told that it is good for bass and wrasse but I stuck it out with feathers for loads of mackerel.

Dave Taylor 16-05-2017 11:20

Good luck Howard, fishing for wrasse off the rocks is great fun as long as you're careful.
I used to stay in Fowey and explored the local coastline, often taking the ferry across the Fowey to fish around Polruan.
Also spent many queasy hours bobbing up and down in a small dinghy in the estuary watching the rod tip slowly move up and down against the horizon wishing that I hadn't seen off so many beers the night before!
One of the drawbacks then,... which is probably even worse nowadays was the ripoff parking fees.
I still love float fishing for wrasse off the ledges, but mostly concentrate on my local Purbeck area which I knew well before the move.:)

Dave Taylor 16-05-2017 20:15

As a slight aside to the OP,.. as mentioned I've always liked the rock marks around Purbeck for wrasse fishing sometimes walking miles and clambering up and down some precarious cliffs to find the best spots away from holiday makers,...hypocrisy I know!
One day some years back I was under orders not to go fishing but spend a family day on the beach at Durdle Door.
I thought a compromise would be to spend a couple of hours on the rocks at the foot of the Door with my son catching a few wrasse which we did and both caught both Ballan and Cuckoo varieties on the float until we were interrupted by divers. Anyway, I figured that if I were to walk over the Door and somehow get down the far side of the outcrop I would be in very deep water and hopefully bigger fish, but that would have to be another day.
At the very next opportunity I did the long walk down the cliff and steps and then clambered up onto the top of the arch,... it was a boiling hot day and both beaches either side of the Door were busy.
Then it hit me,.. I felt that gravity had increased 100 fold and found myself on my knees,.... my first experience of vertigo. Something that had never bothered me in the past but it had to happen when I had a mass audience.
I distantly heard one bloke say , " 'ere, look he's bottled it",... I figured he must have thought I intended to tombstone from 60 or 70 feet and had frozen.
Well he would have been right about the frozen bit!
With the gear on my back and tail between legs I crawled on hands and knees to where I could no longer see moving waves way below either side of me desperately hoping that the helicopter I could hear was not for my benefit and that it hadn't been called by a concerned sunbather. Thankfully it had better things to do and I didn't make the Dorset Echo... the shame would have been crippling! If anyone present had questioned what was up I was going to tell them I was fossil hunting.
Since then I've curtailed my wrasse excursions to slightly safer ground but have still suffered from heights since that day.
Sorry to wander off page Howard!:D

Howard Cooke 16-05-2017 21:26

Thanks for that Dave. I do spend a bit of time down in Cornwall and fancy giving sea fishing a go from the shore. I just need to find a local guide that can show me the ropes and get me started.

I know what you mean about vertigo- I suffer from it badly. The most embarrassing episode was on Biblins Bridge over the Wye in Symonds Yat. I was fishing quite happily on the East side but could see some lovely looking swims on the opposite bank. I paced up and down near the wobbly bridge trying to convince myself that crossing it wasn't going to bring about a certain and painful death.

I decided it was probably best to attempt the perilous crossing when there was absolutely no one else around which meant waiting for ages. And then the moment arrived and the coast was clear. Up the set of steps I went and when I got to the top I made the mistake of looking over the side which was a bit of a bowel opener. I crouched down as low as I could and with all my gear shuffled slowly across the bridge. I was almost half way when 3 kids, probably under 10 years old, appeared on the other side of the bridge on bikes, heading straight towards me. It was mortifying. They were doing wheelies and I was virtually on my belly in a sweaty heap of fishing tackle and bait. They were super confident and super impatient kids (or as I muttered under my breathe, little shi*s) and either wanted me to hurry the hell up or, my preference, go home in shame immediately and stick forks in my eyes. Instead I reversed very slowly and methodically. Of course by now a family of anoraks including supercharged chubby children were waiting to cross and the kerb crackers were making the bridge shake violently as they enthusiastically munched their way through smaller children or goats (I couldn't quite tell). They were also tutting and saying very unpleasant things about me and my obvious lack of courage and tiny undercarriage. I did eventually make it back allowing all other bridge users to go about their business, oblivious to the immense stress I had just endured.

Not one to be easily beaten, I did eventually get across that day and promptly blanked. That moment of triumph when I made it across the bridge quickly evaporated though as I was stressing about the journey back.

David Craine 18-05-2017 16:59

Hi Howard....
I fish Cornwall a lot, one of the marks I use for Wrasse is the southern end of Harlyn Bay. just south of Padstow.
Park on the surfers car park near the Harlyn Inn, at half tide down, better on a mid size tide, certainly not a spring, and walk the length of the beach . At the end of the beach is a cottage called FIsh Cellars, an easy climb up the low cliff, only about 12 feet or so, with many places to choose from,or just walk up the private slipway to Fish Cellars if the tide is far enough out.Walk around to the right, you will have to cross an old quarry, and then you will reach a point with the beach to your right and the open sea to your front. There are a few rock marks to choose from, the water is quite deep but easy to fish if using a float,which is a method I really like myself. It is a snaggy bottom so it is best to check the depth and fish a foot or two shallow, that way you will get bites but if you are quick you can get the wrasse up and away from the snags .
The area you are fishing is called Cataclews, the next bay down is Mother Iveys Bay.A bit further along there is Cataclews quarry, which is a good local mark for Conger.
For the Wrasse, bait wise I usually use either frozen sandeel, available from the tackle shop on Padstow, or the Garage in St Merryn, or live Prawn which can be netted at the top, or bottom of the tide off virtually any beach.Personally I think that Peeler Crab is a waste of money for Wrasse, as they will hit Sandeel , Prawn, Small hardbacks, Mussell, even a Mackerel strip well enough, which reminds me, being a rock mark it is a good place to feather up a few mackerel as well, there are also Pollack to be had , but mainly the wrasse .

Soft plastics will also catch their fair share of fish, but it is better to experiment and see what the fish are wanting .

You will very likley catch Bass as a bycatch, nice, but even if sizeable the current legislation means they all have to go back .

There will no doubt be surfers using the bay, but they never bother you at Cataclews because of the rocks, preferring to have a nice beach to approach from the sea!

Harlyn Bay itself produces Bass on an evening on a flooding tide, but as most beaches in Cornwall, the surfers and bodyboarders can be a problem.

Another Mark is just to the right of Trevose head Lighthouse, I fish there for Wrasse as well, but because it is quite high, and a vertical drop I dont floatfish I use a rotten bottom rig and a single paternoster with small hardback crab.

The takes are violent, and you have to winch the wrasse up about 30/40 feet or more, plus the route down is not easy so not for the fainthearted.

Hope this helps.


Howard Cooke 22-05-2017 07:34

Thanks for that Dave- really helpful and great advice. I know Harlyn Bay very well- a great beach to take the dog to in the low season.

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