I’ve had a fishing rod in my hand from a very early age, and to this day I find them difficult to put down. It was my Uncle David’s influence that first got me into the sport and we used to go fishing for trout and tench in the small lakes and rivers where we lived. For my 10th birthday my other uncle bought me my first bass fishing rod and started teaching me everything he knew about catching bass; which was a huge amount as he’d been doing it for a long time.
We used to go bass fishing as often as we could, usually off the beach down in the picturesque coastal village of Gwithian. I’ll never forget our first trip. We caught seven bass and from then on I was hooked. That’s pretty much where it all started for me and I knew that fishing was what I wanted to do for a living.
I continued to fish for bass off the shore for several years before trying my hand at fly fishing. I did this for a number of seasons and got pretty good at it. However, it was after I got married, bought my first boat and started venturing out to the famous Manacles Reef that I really found my calling. That’s where I really learnt how to fish for bass, even though it took lots of patience, time and perseverance. I honed my skills fishing the Manacles and it’s these skills that I love to share with people today.
Then I got myself a commercial fishing boat and traveled around a fair bit doing what I love. We moved to Padstow and I fished there for eight years, predominantly bass fishing, but got the opportunity to try and fish for porbeagle sharks. Very soon I found myself addicted to catching these beautiful giants and even hung up my bass fishing rod for around three years while I concentrated on porbeagles. I once caught 38 in a single season – my best to-date – but then only managed three in another. That’s the nature of fishing and one of the reasons why we keep going back for more.
For bass, nowhere is quite like the Manacles Reef. Despite being just seven miles or so off the coast of Falmouth, it really is a magical place for bass fishing and I love sharing my knowledge of it with anyone who wants to listen.
Probably the first porbeagle shark I ever caught. It was a 150-pound male and I had to fight it for the best part of an hour. I’ve since caught much bigger porbeagles, but you never forget your first time, right?