February, First Fish and Family Fun

Pinch, punch, first of the month! And just like that, we wave good bye to my least favourite month of the year and it feels like spring is in the air! To be fair, it actually felt like spring was in the air a few days ago when the wind finally dropped and the sun came out. After what has felt like a very long winter, feeling the sunshine was absolutely lush. My wife and I took the kids to a beach local to us and whilst the kids let off some steam, I lay back on the warming rocks and for a few moments, the world felt pretty normal. More of that please over the next few weeks whilst I enjoy some Roach fishing in Cornwall.

As is generally the case though, when ever I’m near water I’m always thinking about where I’d catch a fish from. This particuarly tidal beach is home to some excellent mullet fishing. When I can, I shall be there with my bucket of bread mash, watching those grey ghosts, cursing those picky little lips, the missed bites and generally having a great time. If you’ve never tried it, you really should give it ago. I’m always amazed by the number of angling friends I’ve got that tell me they’ve never caught a mullet. They’re just about as abundant as any species that swims around our coasts and they’re generally pretty easy to find as they cruise near the surface. The average size isn’t bad either and no matter what size they are, they all fight like mad. I’ve drifted off, just like I did on the beach in the sunshine, we’ll come back to mullet in a month or two. Back to February first.

Roach fishing in Cornwall

I joined a new lake syndicate at the start of the month, I say new as I was actually a member back in 2010. I’d not fished it since and was really looking forward to getting back. Having lost my fishing mojo in January, a new water was just what I needed to get the motivation back again. The lake isn’t a big one but it holds some cracking Roach, Rudd and Perch. It was the Roach I most wanted to target and at the moment they will be feeding in preparation for spawing in a month or two’s time. As is always the case, my time on the bank is limited so a couple of hours after work is generally what I can fit in. At this time of year when that time coincides with dusk, the timing is actually perfect.

Perch fishing in Cornwall
My first fish of 2021 was this little Perch. They can only get bigger, hopefully!

The feeding spells of Roach and indeed Perch or often very short but dusk is the best time in my experience. Since I was fishing into dark, my favourite method of float fishing was out of the question but it would be perfect for feeder fishing. This simple way of fishing ensures I’ve got a little parcel of bait close to my hookbait and whilst the water is still very cold, just a little tasty snack is all I need to use when tempting a Roach waking up from it’s winter slumber. Ten minutes after my first cast and the rod tip bounced and shuddered before pulling round. A quick strike brought a little Perch of a few ounces to hand. I stopped to admire the little spikey fish and realised this was my first fish of the year. It’s been a slow start to the year but I was off and happy to be an angler again.

Roach fishing in Cornwall
My best Roach for several years. I’m hoping for one twice the size!

As the light faded the Perch continue to feed for another forty five minutes and then as darkness fell it was the turn of the Roach. Nothing huge to start with but at least it was the hoped for species. As the occiasional frog began to croak it’s spawny frog song and the Owls were hooting in the trees right overhead the rod tip pulled round with real force. Lifting into the fish there was a much greater resistance and the tell-tale jagged fight of a Roach could be felt. In the light of the head torch I could see it was a decent fish, the best Roach i’d seen for some years. Without too much fuss it was scooped up in the net and turned into numbers. A superb conditioned fish that couldn’t resist the double magoot hookbait. The scales revealed a weight of 1lb 6oz. Not a giant and the lake I’m fishing holds fish probably double the size but it was really satisfying to be out and catching some decent fish again. I packed up soon after and home in time for bedtime stories. The kids don’t listen to my fishing tales so it was yet another read of that snail and his whale friend…

The following week was much the same althought the fish weren’t quite so big. I did catch an unexpected Rudd of around a pound in weight. I look forward to catching these fish in the summer months when the big ones can be seen cruising on the surface and caught with a float. I’ll be back for more this week and with some warming sunshine forcast, hopefully more fish will be waking up and ready for some food.

Rudd fishing in Cornwall
A Rudd caught in Cornwall

Family fishing fun

With the weather improving and making for more comfortable days out, I took my boys to a pond for a little of winding practice and Grufallo hunting. It’s an absolute joy to introduce anyone to fishing, especially my own family. There’s no pressure to do anything but have fun. We cast some little lures on a sunny day. There was little or no chance of actually catching any fish but they loved swishing their little yellow rods around and winding the reels. They’re developing their motor skills whilst learning to tell the difference between different bird species and appreciating nature. We didn’t catch any fish nor did we find a Grufallo, but it was great fun trying.

There will at last be some coaching news in March. It’s going to be a little different to before and I’m hoping it’s going to be even better. Watch this space!

Take care, stay local and good luck!

Family fishing fun in Cornwall
Family fishing fun in Cornwall.

Angling rules during lockdown

If you’re unsure about the current angling rules during lockdown, checkout the Angling Trust pages for details of what you can cannot do – Angling Trust COVID-19 guidance