Our annual pilgrimage to the most Southerly point of this green and pleasant land now seems a distant memory, yet it was only a few days ago. a trip to Cornwall to us is a quintessential part of our year, a time to see friends, take in the splendour of the coastline and walk the bustling streets of St Ives and observe the annual Whippet race in aid of The RNLI at The Lizard.
For me no journey is complete without a trip to the back of The Cowshed to visit Phil and Chris who run the Last Stop Tackle Shop, yes the most Southerly tackle shop on the British Isles. Here you will find more than you’d expect, a small space that is crammed full of tackle, rods, reels, lures, traces and weights line the walls. In fact on my recent visit Phil was trying to place another hook on the wall in order to hang some new sand eel lures.
To be honest this isn’t just a shop it’s an emporium to the senses, a shrine to the fisherman. It is run with passion, both Chris and Phil love what they do, they don’t over sell but advise on what’s best to cover off your needs. On this occasion the shop was more like a meeting house of the brotherhood, men passionate about the sea and fishing. At one stage you couldn’t move as locals and travellers entered into the doorway to chat, advise and joke amongst each other. The shop (shed) was warm from the summer sun, the wooden construction giving off the scent of the sea and fading smell of creosote.
Lure fishing for bass seems all the rage these days and for Young Tales an 8ft Rovex rod was acquired in order to allow him the opportunity to hurl a rubber and lead tipped sand eel in a cove close to the Lizard Lifeboat Station. With guidance from Chris we found a path, well if that’s what you can call it, we were waist high in ferns and bramble and after a while found our way down onto a rocky outcrop. There the sea was clear with gullies of deep green, yet not a bass to be found. Unfortunately we drew a blank so another trip towards September is in order, only that we were tipped off after meeting Nigel a well known Cadgwith fisherman and mentor of Monty Hall who was The Fisherman’s Apprentice, that that’s when the bass will be in.
Noticeably this year there is a lack of Mackerel off our shores, this seems to be something that has been reported about from the Sussex Coast to Cornish Coast, does this indicate a level of over fishing or just a late start to the season.
Well if you find yourself at the most Southerly point of our land do make the effort to visit the Last Stop Tackle Shop, you won’t be disappointed.