I was invited by Cornwall Fishing Adventures to join them on one of their rock hopping fishing experiences in Falmouth this week. Never one to turn down the opportunity of an adventure I charged my camera and packed my bags quicker than you can say 'A bad day fishing is better than a good day in the office”.
Cornwall Fishing Adventures is run by Justin and Tony and they provide guided shore fishing adventures all around the Cornish shoreline. On this particular Monday morning our meeting spot was at Swanpool beach car park where I was joining a family of 4 on their fishing experience with Justin and Tony. I arrived early because I wanted to spend some time soaking in the early morning beach vibes on my own before connecting up with everyone else.
When I first moved to Cornwall I lived in Falmouth and it's where I'd still live now if I hadn't met Leigh. I love the tropical looking coves on the south coast and Swanpool beach is no exception. The water was so clear and the early morning swimmers were making me regret not packing my bikini. It was the best start to a day I'd had in a long time and I even made a little promise to myself to make an effort to start getting up earlier so I can enjoy the quietness of the beach in the mornings more often.
A short while later I had met up with everyone else and we began walking to our fishing spot. We walked along the beach, down the coastal path, through the woods, clambered down the rock face and 5 mins of rock hopping later and we came to a cave with lots of perfect spots to launch our lines from.
Justin and Tony provided all the gear and bait we needed and talked us through all the different riggings they were going to use for the day. It meant that we could all try something different, see what worked and adapt from there. Todays family of 4 was made up of Mum who had never been fishing before, Dad who loved fishing, two sons who had never fished (one teenager and one youngster) and me, someone who was brought up fishing her whole life but is still completely useless at it.
After rigging our lines and heading off to our spots it wasn't long before we started catching fish. First in was a Ballan Wrasse soon followed by a Pollack and Corkwing Wrasse.
Justin was particulary good with the children, sitting with the youngest until he pulled in his first fish. His little face lit up when he reeled it. It made me realise that it's experiences like these that children will remember forever. We can spend a fortune on technology toys for them but its simple pleasures like dangling a line off some rocks whilst surrounded by their family that will actually stick with them and help shape them into fully functioning and well rounded adults. More children need rocks and wet fish in their lives.
It was a beautifully sunny day and the water was busy with kayakers and paddleboarders all enjoying the water, some even collecting our floats for us when we had got the hooks stuck on the bottom.
I love how calm and tranquil the water is on the south coast, it means the ocean is more accessible to people who aren't as keen on surfing rough seas. On this day the ocean was being enjoyed by many people in many different ways and it gave the whole experience a lovely community feel. The fishing experience was a totally chilled way to create some organised fun for the family and I can highly recommend the whole experience to anyone who would like to dip their toe in sea angling on the Cornish coast. You can find more information on Cornwall Fishing Adventures at www.cornwallfishingadventures.co.uk
After the tackle had been packed away it was my turn to earn my keep by rustling up some grub using the catch from the day. The night before I had whizzed around Sainsburys throwing things into a basket without any real plan of what I was going to make. In the morning I looked at my ingredients and the colours screamed "Morocco" at me so I pulled some giant couscous out of the cupboard and decided I was going to make a Moroccan Mackerel couscous salad of sorts.
Moroccan Mackerel couscous salad Ingredients
-1.5 Tablespoons of coconut oil
-1 Red onion finely chopped
-1 Red pepper and 1 yellow pepper chopped
-2 Garlic cloves crushed
-1 tablespoon Black onion seeds
-Pinch of Cornish sea salt and Cornish Luxury back pepper
-Bunch of coriander and mint chopped
-1/2 Punnet Cherry tomatoes cut in half
-Zest of one orange
-Mackerel fillets (or any other fish will do)
Heat coconut oil in pan and soften the onions
Add the peppers and garlic to the onions and soften.
Once the peppers have softened add a handful or two of giant couscous. Top with water, black onion seeds, a little salt and pepper and allow it to boil down. Depending on the depth of your pan you will likely have to keep adding more water in small batches until its ready. Keep testing the couscous and wait until its soft. If you want to go easy on yourself you could always cook this at home and simply reheat it by chucking it in the pan with the peppers when you get to the beach.
When the couscous is beginning to look like its getting there start preparing the fish. Heat a little oil in the pan (we used a Netherton Foundry Glamping pan on top of the boys Anevay stove that they brought with them) and add fillets with a squeeze of lemon and a crushed garlic clove.
Once the peppers and couscous are ready it's now time to add the trimmings. Add the chopped mint and coriander, tomatoes, pomegranate seeds and mix it all together. Once mixed, crumble feta cheese on top and give it a gentle stir.
Take the cooked fish off the stove and flake it onto the couscous salad.
Grate the zest of one orange over the top of the fish and couscous. Serve it in the paella dish you cooked it in.
Make sure everyone has a rock to perch on and dish it out in bowls. Sit back and enjoy the view.
The walk back to the car was much lighter now that we'd burnt all the wood and eaten all the food. One last stop to take in the view at Swanpool and I got in my car and headed back to Newquay.
I couldn't recommend a day with Justin and Tony at Cornwall Fishing Adventures more. They are both super chilled and great company. They make fishing accessible for all ages whether you're just starting out or are the more experienced angler looking for secret spots that you would never find on your own.
I'd love to know your thoughts on my take of a Moroccan Fish Couscous Salad. Would you give this a go over fire? I love hearing from new peeps so comment below.
Onwards Hails x