18/09/23 - Back after the bass

Around this time each year I have a week away with the "lads" (now aged 56 to 66!) and, whilst we have previously travelled to places like the Canary Islands and Madeira for our autumn break, the post-COVID years have seen us venture down to Cornwall instead. This year we found ourselves on the south side of the Helford River near Flushing. 

A Google search for fishing information was a bit sparce, with lack of public access and parking cited as the main issues. This was soon confirmed as, after a fairly uneventful drive down the M5 and the A30, it took an hour to cover the 30 miles from Truro. The last few miles took me down twisty, narrow lanes that had me doubting whether the sat nav actually knew what it was doing. However, I eventually arrived at the Air BnB, which was perched on the side of a river valley with a fantastic view across Gillan Creek and over to St Anthony in Meneage. 

Checked in with the others, then went for a quick recce before it got dark. The path from the property went down to a private jetty at a point where the creek narrowed, forming a natural pinch point that looked ideal for ambushing any fish travelling up or down with the tide. Spot sorted for the morning I went back to the house and sat out on the decking with the others with a glass of red wine watching the little egrets fly upstream to their roost. Was up bright and early to find it grey and overcast with a stiff breeze blowing straight in from the mouth of the Helford. There was another chap lure fishing on the opposite bank, but he left shortly after I arrived. Spent the next couple of hours fishing the area either side of the the pinch point with soft plastics as the tide pushed through the channel, firstly on the remains of the flood and then on the start of the ebb. However, when it came time to climb back up to back up to house for breakfast, I'd not had a sniff of a fish.  

The next morning I was back again, only this time it was in bright sunshine.The wind had also changed direction and was now blowing down the creek and out to sea. Again I started with soft plastics, bumping them along the bottom in the flow. After an hour of this stood out in the wind and still fishless I decided to try and find somewhere a bit more sheltered, so walked a short way along the coast path towards Flushing. Found a gap in a hedge that took me down onto the rocks on the left hand side of the bay. Water was gin clear, so went with a Savage Gear V2 weedless sandeel in a natural green and silver colour. I had covered the water in front of me for about half an hour when I eventually felt a thump on the rod tip as a fish whacked the lure after only a coupe of turns of the reel handle. After a  short scrap I steered my first bass of the holiday into a rock pool and a few minutes later I had a second. 

Had cast out and was letting the lure sink to the bottom on a tight line when it taken on the drop by another, slightly smaller bass. Carried on in the hope that there were more about, but that was to be my lot when the breakfast gong sounded again. When I walked past later in the day at low water I saw that I had been casting out onto sand and then bringing the lure back over a band of weed where the sand met the rocks, so suspect that the bass had been patrolling along this. 

Confident that I'd "cracked it" I returned the following two mornings but blanked both times, albeit in horrendous wet and windy conditions when any sensible person would have probably stayed in bed. Oh well, if it was too easy it would be boring!


  1. Well done, worth the effort and a lovely place to be.

  2. We are still 'lads' in our heads....

  3. Well done, good result. Helford river produces some gilt heads too.