Mackerel fishing out of Looe

Two fishermen in a small fishing boat in Cornwall

We’re delighted to introduce our latest guest blogger, Janie. She’s a foraging, blogging smallholder who breeds meal-worms & Muscovy ducks, has 4 jobs and a beautiful vintage caravan. Her blog, The Hedgecombers, focuses on her adventures as she tries to become self-sufficient, growing her own fruit and vegetables, rearing animals for eggs and meat, and creating gastro-magic in the kitchen.

Mackerel fishing out of Looe

Although I live in Cornwall, I happily spend most of my holidays here too. This week has seen me with a week off work, pottering around the farm and catching up on paperwork. Today however, I decided to restock the freezer by taking a fishing trip out of Looe.

I went out on the Emma-Louise, a beautiful 20′ traditional Clinker, which runs 2 hour mackerel trips every day from Easter to the end of September. Her skipper, Dave Haines, is a font of knowledge on all sea related subjects. He is also Operations Manager for the Looe Lifeboat Station, so you may feel totally at ease out on the high seas with him, how ever choppy the swell!


We pootled out of Looe harbour, past the Banjo Pier and out beyond Looe Island. Seals were sunning themselves on the exposed rocks of the southern shore and a glass bottom boat was doing its rounds of the lsland.

There were 3 others on this mornings trip, all in Cornwall on holiday, all leaving their wives/girlfriends in town shopping and sightseeing. There was a great banter between us all, considering we’d only just met.

Within minutes of stopping the boat and dropping our lines, Jason, a young guy from North Wales, pulled up 2 decent sized mackerel. Dave unhooked them into a waiting basket, and slowly we all added our catch on top.

I totalled about 18 fish in all, mostly tiddlers but I did catch the biggest fish of the day – and as the only girl on board, I took great pleasure in that! I have been out on days when the basket is full to the brim with fish. It’s a great feeling, although a little overwhelming when you get them home and start cleaning them up for the freezer! Equally, I’ve been out when the basket is sparse. I guess that’s fishing.

On the way back into the harbour Kevin, the friendliest cormorant ever, landed beside the boat and Dave flicked out some fish heads for him. He did a pretty good job of catching them too, with only a few going to the seagulls.

When back on dry land I took my fishy haul home, fried up two of the smallest fish in a little butter and wolfed them down with some bread and butter. I’ll choose a simple life any day of the week, thanks.

Booking and information

The 2h mackerel fishing trip costs £12 and booking is advised. Dave Haines can be contacted on 07770 267155.

From Bosinver, take the A390 toward St Austell, and keep following this road until you reach the B3359, signposted towards Looe. It takes approx 45 mins to reach Looe from Bosinver.

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