Fishing in Cornwall: A Guide To The Best Locations




Updated on

“Fishing adds years to your life and life to your years.’’

The joys of fishing are second to none! And if you’re planning a trip to Cornwall, then you’re in luck as this Southwestern county has some of the best spots. Whether you’re a pro or novice, Cornwall will not disappoint with its diversity of marine species.

So, we’re here to walk you through the top locations for fishing in Cornwall. Dive in!

Fishing In Cornwall (On The North Coast)

The northern coastline of Cornwall is undoubtedly one of the most popular destinations for good rock fishing, thanks to its cliff and rocky outports. In fact, once you cast a line properly, your chances of catching different species like flat fish, pollack, sea bass and wrasse can increase dramatically!

As such, some of the best locations for sea fishing in Northern Cornwall include:

1. St. Agnes

Nested in the picturesque archipelago of Isles Of Scilly, St. Agnes is known for its diverse marine wildlife, particularly different species of fish. You can indulge in a therapeutic season of rock fishing from its towering cliffs, aiming for commonplace species like pollock and mackerel. Besides, St.Agnes can be the perfect destination if bass fishing is on your to-do list.

Depending on your needs and budget, you can find both charter services and guided fishing trips to help you make the most of your experience. But make sure you obtain the necessary permissions and follow all relevant regulations when fishing.

Wild Tide

2. Holywell Bay

Another hotspot of tourist fishing activity in North Cornwall, Holywell Bay is quite a diverse location offering good conditions for different types of fishing.

For example, the expansive sandy beach here will offer multiple spots for some good beach fishing. You may choose to fish directly from the beach or the rocky outcrops for rock fishing. As such, we’d recommend taking a stroll along the shoreline for a visual inspection so that you know where to cast your reel.

And once you ‘settle in,’ don’t be surprised if your fishing basket gets filled with bass, mackerel, and flatfish varieties like plaice and flounder. The bay also becomes an occasional home to good quality pollock and wrasse, so you may try your luck as well!

Cornish Secrets

3. Newquay

Now, some people may argue that the waves of Newquay are more ‘supportive’ of water sports like surfing. However, the water beneath houses fishes like bass. Earlier, you could find more commercially fruitful species like pilchard in guided boarded fishing trips, but this has become rare nowadays.

The Cornwall Guide

Where Can You Go Boat Fishing In Cornwall?

Cornwall takes its reputation of being the fishing lovers’ paradise quite seriously. So, if rock, beach, shore fishing or fly fishing doesn’t float your boat (pun intended), boat fishing will! And here are the best locations that will increase the chances of a successful boat fishing trip:

1. Falmouth

Falmouth has multiple locations for fishing, like the Prince of Wales pier and Custom House Quay, which are home to considerable numbers of flatties and conger. The only ‘catch’ here is that you should plan a night fishing trip for the best chances of filling your bucket with these.

In general, the deep water here invites the deep seaters of the sea, such as the catsharks, eels, and the occasional ray. However, you will find other species like mackerel, especially during the summer months, around the area of the Black Rock harbour where the Fal meets the sea.

If you haven’t experienced the thrill of fishing at night, we’d definitely suggest visiting Falmouth. Although the water clarity can sometimes take a hit, your guided fishing boat trips will likely equip you with additional lighting. And you can catch a variety of fish species, including cod, dab, blennies, globe fishes, and more.


2. St. Ives

St. Ives is a very good destination fishing on a boat, but the harbour remains mostly busy during the tourist season. That’s why it’s recommended to book boat tickets and fishing trips in advance. 

Alternatively, you can visit the areas and fishing lakes near St. Ives for a more ‘peaceful’ experience. For example, Carbis Bay and Clodgy Point can give you more success. Carbis Bay, in particular, is home to flatfish and bass, which can be best caught from a beach. Besides, you can practise lure fishing from the rocks.     

But if you’re specifically looking for species like mullet and plaice, they are best found in Ives itself.

Lonely Planet

3. Padstow

Trevose Head is among the popular spots in Padstow, but many people are of the opinion that the scenery here is not as beautiful as some of the others. Nevertheless, if you’re ready to somewhat compromise on scenery, then the charter boats in Trevose Head are all up for grabs.  

But be careful- the surf along the shoreline can become too big and dangerous for fishing for novices. So, don’t deviate from the guidelines provided by your fishing instructor. On the other hand, the entire River Camel is largely considered safe and easy for fishing. 

Aside from that, the area near the Doom bar has a large population of bass; however, it’s advised to hire a local boatman to navigate the area and avoid getting stuck anywhere.

Go South West

4. Lizard Peninsula

Lizard Peninsula is one of the most productive areas for Cornwall sea fishing, as it’s surrounded on all sides (except the Northern boundary). The Kennack Sands beach can be a good fishing spot, which churns out the fattest bass. 

Aside from that, there are mackerel, standard pollack and bass, as well as congers.

The Telegraph

5. Looe Harbour

If you’re on the south coast of Cornwall, Looe Harbour can satiate the fishing lover in you by offering different species like mullet, bass, pollack, and other white fish species. The east quay can be particularly good for fishing, but the entrance to the harbour can remain restricted due to regulations.


Other Spots For Fishing In Cornwall

1. Bake Fishing Lake

The Bake fishing lakes in the Cornish countryside are spread across a large land of 30 acres, comprising ponds and 9 fishing lakes. And people of all skill-level can hone their skills or develop them with licensed training and certification courses, like the ones in coarse fishing. Not only that, but you can also enjoy specimen fishing in different locations. 

Fishery Guide

2. Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays

Looking to plan the perfect holiday trip with freshwater fishing? Then Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays can be the right destination for you! It welcomes anglers of different skill levels, so don’t worry if you or your loved ones are just starting out on their fishing journey. 

Moreover, you can avail free fishing services here as long as you have a valid rod licence. 

With two lakes and a private river fishing spot near the pristine River Camel, Coombe Mill is particularly known to be one of the best starting points for beginner holiday anglers. It’s clear water houses roach, tench and common carp, and anglers aren’t bound by too many rules and regulations.


3. Gwinear Lakes

Situated close to Newquay in the heart of Cornwall, Gwinear Lakes has two well-stocked lakes- one for specimen fishing and the other for coarse fishing, both accessible all year round.  Besides, staying in the Gwinear campground will keep you close to some of the most beautiful beaches in Cornwall, such as the ones in Holywell Bay, Crantock, Newquay and Polly Jock.

4. Bude Canal

The Bude Canal is a historic waterway on the North coast of Cornwall, and its water has the ideal conditions for harbouring species like rudd, bream, roach, trench and big fish like carps. You can also indulge in float fishing on the serene banks of the canal amidst the natural setting and wildlife of the region.


5. Upper Tamar Lake

The Upper Tamar Lake is located on the border of Cornwall and Devon, thereby offering quite a large stretch of water for anglers to take advantage of. You can find different species of fish like bream, roach, trench, and even sand eel.

Besides, the lake is famous for its 24-hour carp fishing competition, which is open to locals and visitors.


Other Marine Life Fishing Activities In Cornwall 

Aside from the ‘regular’ species that most people associate fishing with, Cornwall offers a keen angler the opportunity to catch fish and other forms of marine life, with shark and crab being the most popular alternatives.

For instance, Looe is a coastal town located on the boundaries of southeast Cornwall that is frequented by several shark species during the summer months. You can embark on day charter trips to catch Blue sharks, Margo sharks and Porbeagles in the Looe Sea. Likewise, Padstow, Newquay, St.Ives, and Mevagissey are some locations where you can go crabbing

Although April to November is considered the best period for crab catching, you may still find success during the other months. Just remember that crabs are more active during high tide and the cooler hours of the day, like in the early mornings and late afternoons.

Final Words

With that, we hope now you’re ready for the ultimate fishing experience in Cornwall!

But before we leave you to it, here’s a tip- contact local angling clubs of the locations you plan to visit so that you’re well aware of the rules and regulations. This will also help you get equipped with the necessary tools and accessories for a successful guided shore fishing experience.

Signing off with best wishes!

About The Author


Reviewed by