Saturday, 4 May 2013

Porthluney Pollack and Wrasse 01-05-13

Porthluney Beach, Caerhays on the South coast of Cornwall is one of my favourite locations to fish from.  Apart from the easy access, it gives me to the fishing grounds of Veryan Bay it is also an area of outstanding natural beauty.

At different times of the year, this area can produce a variety of species and with a combination 24 years shore fishing, and nearly two years kayak fishing, my species totals 21 that includes:

Conger Eel
John Dory
Red Bream
Sea Trout
Silver Eel
Thornback Ray

The variety of species potentially available and the outstanding natural beauty draws me back year after year.

During the winter months and the onslaught of the winter seas, this area is rather exposed making kayak fishing very limited therefore; in general, I fish this area from May through to November. 
My plan was to drift over some rough ground marks using lures, which in the past has produced Pollack, Bass, John Dory, Mackerel, and the occasional Cod. 

Lures that have been successful for me for this type of fishing are Savage SandeelsSavage Sandeels Slugs, Twin Tails, and Nordic Herring. 

Twin Tail and Savage Sandeel
Nordic Herring with a Paternoster Savage Sandeel Slug
When lure fishing, I like to have four rods set up with different lures for two reasons. One, so that I can experiment and see what is working on the day and two, if I lose a lure on the rough ground, I can quickly resume fishing with another rod rather than having the hassle of setting up again.

The method used is simple; the lure is lowered to the bottom, jigged a few times, reeled up a few turns, and lowered back down.

The weather forecast was light offshore winds increasing during the afternoon therefore; I launched early to take advantage of the weather.

On arrival at the mark as usual, the drift chute was set to slow down the drift and the fishing began.

First fish landed was a Ballan Wrasse, which took the Savage Sandeel Slug.  I do take a few of these fish each year for the table and despite what many think skinned, they are good to eat but on this occasion, I had some in the freezer therefore, the fish was returned.

Next fish was a Pollack, which also fell for the Savage Sandeel Slug.

Next fish was also a Pollack, which this time took a Savage Sandeel.

By this time, the offshore wind was getting stronger and I decided to take a break closer to the launch site and see how the weather developed.  One of the great things about kayak fishing is that you can land in some beautiful places inaccessible by boat or from the land.

Great place for a break.

The wind was clearly getting stronger which would make the fishing hard work therefore, I decided to stop for the day and head for home.

After a long tiring fishing session there is always a warm welcome and a wide range of refreshments at the Caerhays Beach Cafe.  The cup of tea, a sausage bap, and a piece of homemade cake was a very pleasant end to a day’s fishing.

Caerhays Beach Cafe

Jan the proprietor, always shows great interest in the catch particularly if it is her favourite Sea Bass.  On this occasion, I could only show a couple of Pollack.

Pollack is a member of the Cod family and celebrity chefs have labelled this fish a sustainable alternative to Cod. Undoubtedly, it is far more abundant than Cod and it is good to eat but not as good as Cod.   I found that if you cook Pollack without the skin it vastly improves the flavour.

From a fishing point of view, on light tackle Pollack provide great sport. When you hook a Pollack over rough ground or a wreck, the repeated dives as the fish tries to get back down is great fun.

As always, with me, the pleasure of fishing is also the meal it provides and it was off home to prepare the days catch.

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