It would be our first proper session for July and it turned out to be a memorable one at that! Liam had recently taken delivery of his new Rytmo Angler (A fresh new fishing kayak from none other than RTM!) and Andrew had recently fitted his new Raymarine Dragonfly 6 to the trusty Feelfree Moken 12.5.
A quick look at the weather forecast presented us with the perfect conditions to finally hit an offshore wreck in the hope of some big Conger eel…
Local kayak angler Gary joined us and we headed out early doors for our launch point off of the west Cornwall coast. With the kayaks all rigged and rods at the ready, we set off to begin making headway to the mark. The mark itself is quite a trek at approx 3 miles offshore, so the perfect conditions were needed to even make the wreck fish-able from the kayaks. Liam managed to grab a quick snap on the paddle out, which pretty much some’s up how perfect the conditions really were! Going far offshore in anything less than perfect conditions can be potentially dangerous and certainly challenging and uncomfortable.
The RTM Rytmo and Tempo were right at home on this sort of paddle. The streamlined hulls and extra waterline length really made paddling the distance a breeze! The Moken 12.5 would need a bit more effort to cover the same ground but the additional stability would make it the ideal yak to sit at anchor and fight some powerful eel’s with.
It wasn’t too long before we began to approach the mark. All eyes were locked onto our Fish Finders to spot the wreck. The depth quickly jumped up around 40ft from the seabed – we had arrived! A few drifts over the wreck were completed to mark it’s border, enabling us to find the best area to drop anchor.
A few minutes later the anchor system was deployed from the Moken with Liam and Gary then tethering off the bow so that we were close enough together. With the relatively slow moving tide the one anchor would prove to be spot on for holding all 3 of us on the wreck. We wasted no time in dropping lines using a simple running ledger finished with an 8/0 hook and mackerel flappers for bait. 10 minutes past and Andrew checked one rod in the hope that it wasn’t snagged… it wasn’t!!! A few sharp nods of the rod tip confirmed we were into our first Conger Eel of the day!
This was Andrew’s first experience of a Conger Eel on the line and it was definitely a surprise to him! After a lengthy fight with the Eel making all attempts to stay in the depths, it was soon at the surface. A Conger Eel estimated at 20lb was an excellent first for Andrew and confirmed that the Eel’s were about!
A few photos were snapped, the Eel was then quickly unhooked and began it’s descent back down to the sea bed. It wasn’t long before another Eel found it’s way onto Andrew’s line, this one smaller at around 10lb but gave up just as much of a fight!
This was swiftly followed by Gary’s rod bending and screaming line. With an exhilarating fight, Gary got his first Eel of the day to surface. It gave up a great fight and was estimated at around the 15lb mark! Liam then had a quick check of his rod and was soon into an Eel as well! However this one was different, feeling a much better size this Eel put up a serious fight on 30lb class gear. The first attempt of getting it close to the surface soon turned into the Eel making a break back down to the depths, peeling line from the reel. After tiring it down, Liam managed to get it to the surface. As soon as its head appeared we could all this was an excellent fish!
After lots of movement on the surface the Eel tired enough for Liam to get a gaff under its chin to keep it under control for safe unhooking and handling. At an estimated 35-40lb this would turn out to be the catch of the day. A few more photos later and the Conger Eel was released back to the depths to fight another day.
Between all of the Conger action a good range of species were also appearing. We all were catching good specimens of Pollack, Haddock, Whiting, Pouting and Poor Cod. A few more hours on the mark saw more action but less from the Eel’s.
It soon became time to up anchor and head back to the Launch. The wind and tide had picked up slightly, making the paddle back in a little more work than on the way out. A good hours paddling and we soon reached the launch spot. The sun was still shining as we reminisced on a great day on the water. Warm weather, sunshine, glassy calm waters and big fish – what more could we ask for…. a classic Kelly’s Ice-Cream on the way home – perfect! That marked the end of an excellent days fishing!
Andrew and Liam @ Cornwall Canoes