Anglers will love Southeast Cornwall.
Whether it is simple coarse fishing in one of our many well-stocked lakes, game fishing on our wonderful rivers or sea fishing, keen anglers and beginners will find much to interest them in SouthEast Cornwall.
Thought of by many as southwest England’s finest coarse and fly fishing lakes, Bake Fishing Lakes, near Trerulefoot, has nine separate lakes set in thirty acres of the finest South East Cornwall countryside. In the lakes, you’ll find carp (including some big specimens in the carp lake), trout, rudd, roach and gudgeon. There is an onsite tackle shop and fly and coarse fishing tuition (by appointment).
Shillamill Lakes near Looe is a set of four lakes offering carp, tench, rudd and roach, and with no close season. Mellonwatts Mill Fishery (between Grampound and Mevagissey) has a two acre pond stocked with carp, tench, rudd and brown trout. It is open all year round in daylight hours. There are also quality coarse fishing lakes at Badham Farm, St Keyne and at Crafthole, near Torpoint.
The Tamar is unquestionably one of the finest game fishing rivers in England. Salmon and sea trout, brown trout and grayling are all fished here, on miles of classic fly water. Fish for salmon earlier in the season and sea trout (or ‘peal’ as they are known locally) in midsummer. Try night fishing on the cool Tamar after a hot summer’s day. Bear in mind that for much of its length, the Tamar is tidal (in fact, very tidal, with a big range).
Farther west, our other rivers also provide superb game fishing. Fish for salmon, sea trout and brown trout on the East and West Looe Rivers, the Lynher, the Inny and the Fowey.
River Lynher, image Victoria Clare
The game fishing season varies from river to river – do check when planning your holiday. It is also important to get the right permits and keep to catch limits. Liskeard & District Angling Club has beats on all of the region’s rivers west of the Tamar and can provide advice. Visitor tickets are available from Fishing Mayhem in Liskeard, Penhaligon’s Newsagents in Lostwithiel and Roger’s Tackle Shop in Bodmin.
Siblyback Lake and Colliford Lake are reservoirs on Bodmin Moor and provide good fishing. Siblyback has stocked rainbow trout and can be fished from the bank or from a boat (available to hire on site). Permits are available on site. Colliford is arguably Cornwall’s best brown trout fishery. Get your permits at Jamaica Inn (yes, that Jamaica Inn!)
Beach and Rock Fishing
Yes, we have great coarse and game fishing lakes and rivers. But we also have the sea. Don’t you think you should try some sea fishing while you’re here?
The easiest way to do that is to get yourself down to one of our fabulous beaches or sit yourself on a rock and fish. The best fishing beaches are at Cawsand, Whitsand Bay, Seaton, Downderry, Plaidy Beach and Wallace Beach (for mackerel, Pollack, wrasse, garfish and even conger), or, if you’re after flatfish, Par, Porthpean, Pentewan, Gorran Haven, Penare and Boswinger. Do be aware of who’s behind you on the beach when casting!
There are rocks just made for sitting on and fishing all around the South East Cornwall coast. In fact, it would be easier to say where there aren’t good fishing rocks! As ever, do be careful when clambering over rocks, do tell someone where you are (if you are fishing alone) and be aware of the tide.
Many of our coastal towns and villages grew up as fishing villages, long before they were holiday destinations. There are many boats offering fishing trips out to sea, especially in Looe, but also in Mevagissey and Fowey. Most provide rods and bait, plus instruction where needed. Trips are generally advertised on noticeboards on the quayside.
Catch of the Day, image Active-8
Obviously the number of species you might catch out at sea is a big one. Many boats offer mackerel trips, and you’ll also frequently see catches of ling, cod, pilchard, conger, red mullet, grey mullet, pollack, sea bass, wrasse and john dory.
Oh, and did we mention shark fishing? Looe is the place in the British Isles to try your hand at shark fishing and is the headquarters of the Shark Angling Club of Great Britain. Shark fishing trips go from Looe and take a day (the shark grounds are typically 12 to 20 miles offshore). Booking in advance is advised. Various shark species can be caught, notably Blue and Porbeagle.
Shark Fishing from Looe, image Active-8