Angler’s Tail – Alex Parker

I started Sea Angling around the age of 11 years old around 1964. My first recollection of angling was with my father, he was not an angler in fact had never fished in his life, having purchased my first fishing rod & reel, not having a clue what to buy.  We set off to a place very close to home, Stonehouse Creek, locally known as “Tinkies” shortened from “Stinkies” mainly due to the smell when the tide went out.

Needless to say we caught nothing, as was the case for many more trips following my first angling expedition.

 

I got into sea angling mainly through friends at school, at the age where you took to a hobby amongst many other options, once I had caught my first fish then a few more then I was hooked on the sport.

 

Nowadays I fish from the shore most areas between Chesil Beach & Seaton in Cornwall, from boat mainly out in our boat, an 18 foot Plymouth Pilot  which I share with my brother out of Plymouth. We sometimes fish on charter boats when possible from other ports, although we do fish out of Minehead on a regular basis.

 

From the shore I enjoy fishing for Ray, Plaice, Flounder, Whiting & Sole. From the boat I enjoy fishing for Ray & Smoothounds out of Minehead, when fishing out of Plymouth I enjoy fishing for Pollack & Wrasse. Nearly all of the fish I catch I try to return to the water, with odd exception of a plaice or Pollack which have been deep-hooked.

 

Because I enjoy the countryside & rugged shorelines of the southwest, in my opinion the most beautiful part of the world, I do not like fishing in the urban parts of the river systems around Plymouth therefore “I like to get away from it all”.

 

Thinking back, my best memories of angling are of a couple of fantastic trips in the boat drifting close to Penlee Point with an excellent days sport on a 6lb braid rod. Or one boxing day fishing at Wembury woods on the River Yealm, ice everywhere, river flat calm, saw 2 foxes scurrying along the bank, some decent flounder over 3lb; all caught, weighed and released.

 

Despite the lack of fish, fishing in a friends boat drifting for plaice between Millbay & East Portlemouth is still one of my favourite memories. We had 3 drifts, the drifts were perfect it was flat calm, the sun was setting behind Salcombe, it was idyllic, but not a single bite.

 

By far my favourite mark over the years would be fishing from the shore at “Starhole Bay at Salcombe, the Bolt Head end, just inside of the Mewstone.

 

Although bass are probably the most iconic fish in this area,  if it were not for the starter fish, the Flounder, Mackerel & Wrasse not many anglers would have started fishing.

 

My advice for anyone visiting this area to angling would be:

 

  • Seek good reliable local knowledge
  • If possible visit the venue at low tide
  • Always fish safe
  • Have good supply of the right bait for the right fish

 

Next to my family, sea angling means everything to me. It has had a big impact on my life and takes up a great deal of my spare time which I thoroughly enjoy.

 

My goals for the future are just to keep on enjoying my fishing as long as I am physically able; To try to preserve the sport for future generations; To encourage catch & release & only take fish for the table.

 

Being heavily involved in committee work throughout the southwest, it is my goal to preserve our sport for the future.