A Labour of Love
Well it all started at the fine age of 7. True to my jammy nature the 1st fish I ever caught was on a crab line... a decent silver eel had caught its teeth in the mesh of some old tights hustled from my Nan that were laden with bacon. I gingerly lifted it up the local harbour wall and that was the start of what really has been a labour of love. The jammy nature has prevailed from that day and i’ve honed my fair share of nicknames in the angling community due to it over the years!
The sense of elation I felt at that age catching an actual fish as opposed to the usual hard-backed crabs that we were catching for fun was absolutely infectious. This has resonated with my fishing ever since and I bet any other angler can relate to that feeling too! That is the beauty of fishing isn't it? We expect the expected but yet there is always chance of the unexpected and it's always a surprise when it comes. This is especially true with sea fishing!
From that it was onto the classic £5 all in one toy-shop set-up winkling out numerous small Wrasse, Pollack, Blennies and Gobies in Hayle Harbour alongside my brother and friends. In essence this was the early days of LRF-style fishing. But I didn’t care how big it was or what it was I was just infactuated with being out fishing and trying my luck at catching fish.
Taking it up a Notch
Things progressed through the earlier years from both sea fishing and also freshwater fishing, We got involved in match fishing at local BK Fisheries and we taking part in junior meets and competitions in the local sea angling club. I have had some fantastic mentors in those early days, namely Dave Cains of Mounts Bay Angling Society and famous angling bookmaker and match angler Billy Knott. I’d experiment and take aspects of my match fishing into my sea fishing and see how I could enhance or fine tune generic sea fishing tactics. It was all great fun and a massive learning curve.
Alike to my brothers story the freshwater fishing was heavily orientated around match/coarse fishing at BK Fisheries as it was only a short bike ride from our house at the time. Owners Billy and Carrie Knott invested a lot of time into us as youngsters to develop our angling skills. This was soon proving to work as we would be common names winning Junior and even some Senior matches as youngsters. In 2007 I won the Preston Innovations Junior Summer League age 12 winning myself a snazzy top of the range seat box and tackle. As Liam turned senior we’d soon team up as a forced to be reckoned with in Junior/Senior pairs matches. Some good wins and plenty of friends made for life. It was just the start of our angling journey. By the time I was 17 freshwater fishing wasn’t quite pumping the blood like it once did and thats where fishing the wild seas took over completely…
Building Fishy Foundations
Looking back I think how vital those early days were in setting the building blocks for what is now a very intense career within fishing. As a youngster it was as beneficial just to be outside, immersing myself in nature and learning all these wonderful ways of the world below the surface as it was to be actually fishing. It’s where my obsessive ‘think like a fish’ mentality has come from. I’d often find myself in the school classroom or at home in bed at night with a hazy glare over my eyes whilst i'd be lost somewhere in this parallel underwater universe trying to figure out whats going on and what would be the most appropriate means to target a certain fish.
Salt Runs Through My Veins
For me the salty stuff has always had my heart. I truly feel at one when I am around the sea. There was nothing I liked more than as a kid knowing Dave was on the way to pick me and Liam up on a Thursday afternoon or Sunday morning ready to hit the shores, often with other friends in tow including Sam Breeze. We fished every week. Adventuring on the Cornish coast, exploring new and varied marks and catching a whole host of species. This was before the days of google maps and we quite literally had an old fashioned map of Cornwall in the car! We would decipher a favourable mark given the wind, tide and weather etc and just go for it! It was this adventurer style of fishing that really sits well with me and gets me going!
Shore fishing mainly dominated my fishing through my younger years given its ease and affordable nature as a junior. When I wasn't fishing with Dave I could often be seen riding through Hayle in the holidays with buckets and rods strapped to my bike trying to coax out a Mullet or Gilthead Bream from the local estuary.
The junior years were fantastic and I was lucky enough to win a whole host of medals and trophies for fish I had caught, with a few club records set along the way.
On The Water
Fishing afloat was a bit of a luxury as a young teen, with me and Liam being treated to possibly 1 boat trip a year, arranged through the fishing club. After one of these boat trips I was lucky enough to have been offered a deckhand job by local renowned charter skipper Robin Chapman of Bite Adventures. You can imagine that I took no second thoughts and jumped at the opportunity. This was a pivotal moment in my life. I would work the boat as a teen in holidays and weekends gaining vital knowledge on a more broader spectrum of sea fishing. From rarer species fishing using a variety of methods too big game style shark fishing. Whilst my peers were earning their pennies on paper rounds I was out hooking and wrestling sharks!
Then there was the Kayak Fishing. Liam became obsessed with it early on and I would occasionally join him. A change in lifestyles saw me return mainly to shore fishing again, whilst Liam went full throttle into the kayak fishing world.
It’s a Brother Thing
My story is not solely told to be a solo track. It would be fair to say that having brother Liam as equally obsessed as myself, with some competitive brotherly rivalry chucked in, has helped a lot... however not so much to our parents delight!
Memories consist of racing home from school, fishing gear packed, bikes at the ready and hustling dad for a few quid to buy 1/4lb of rag worm from the local tackle shop, if that failed we was under the plant pots in the garden finding earthworms. The addiction to fish was RELENTLESS!
No Such Thing As Hard Work
I was, and still am to some extent a workaholic, as even a young teen it was common for me too work early morning until late-afternoon on the boat then straight to the local restaurant where I cooked until late at night. A few other jobs came and went including a stint packing sandeels and mackerel at a bait factory. I kept up this heavy sort of fishing/life routine often fishing 3-4+ times a week until I was around 17. It was then, I was led astray by the female species… I think we have all been there!
Fishing continuously held a place in my life for the next few years just on a slightly more reserved level as I experimented with different jobs, hobbies and relationships as a young man does however at the end of the day I always resorted to fishing to get that level of escapism and satisfaction.
Back In The Game
I was now 21 years old and working in a school job that I didn’t particularly felt I belonged in. I had just left a chef job due to elevated stress in that environment. I was a bit lost in where I was heading when out of the blue Chippy messages me asking if I want to skipper a new boat he fancies getting?!
I think I may have deliberated over it for about 2 seconds and even thats an exaggeration! I handed in my notice to the school the next day and I’ve been on the boat ever since and never looked back!
Lo Kie Adventures was born with me as the Skipper, operating out of Penzance. Things became successful quickly in my relentless pursuit to catch more and better fish and my reluctancy to fail. Over the 5 years of skippering Lo Kie Adventures it had earned national recognition, attracting clientele from all corners of the UK and further afield with a fully booked diary for over a year in advance.
My time with Lo Kie Adventures saw some phenomenal catches in its lifetime, earning recognition for incredible shark, big game and species fishing. Credentials such as 1500 sharks single handedly in a season, 98 Sharks in a single day trip, the Uk’s 1st 1000lb+ Tuna and numerous records broken. It has been a constant strive to consistently put as many anglers of as much top draw fishing as possible breaking records, personal bests and most importantly creating unforgettable memories all in the name of fishing. I managed to catch a few nice fish along the way too from both the boat and shore!
Travel and Fishing
At the same time as starting the Skippering venture i also started to travel with my fishing to numerous destinations experiencing the many different sport fish species that overseas has to offer, exclusively using slow jigging, speed jigging and topwater techniques.
In 2020 after returning from Madagascar fishing with good friends Ed and Ben, from a fishing report I posted online I was offered a few positions which would open the door to my overseas guiding, the most appealing opportunity came from Pierre owner of renown popping/jigging specialist lodge Panafishing based in Pedasi - Panama in which he was offering me a full position to come and manage his lodge after seeing what I operated with Lo Kie Adventures in the UK.
Due to my invested efforts with the UK fishing and not wanting to completely up sticks we managed to strike a deal in which would see me and my Partner Cassie travel to Panama for the next couple of winters to manage the lodge for the 6 month high season in the tropics, seeing all day to day operations of the lodge, boats, head guide and some captaining too!
It was an incredible experience culturally, personally and fishing wise, it allowed me to rack up hundreds of hours experience needed in this kind of fishery, really being able to get my teeth stuck into it and let my obsessive fishing nature soak up this new avenue of knowledge.
I hosted for hundreds of clients during this time from all around the planet, meeting some great people at the same time and most importantly guiding them to dream catches be it using Slow Jigging, Speed Jigging, Popper or Stickbaiting techniques.
And of course landing some very special fish myself!
Which leaves me finally with the present day. Where is it all at now?
It seems rather effortless as I write this but I can assure you there has been thousands of hours and relentless graft invested into this passion over the majority of my life to get to this stage, it hasn’t come easy! 2023 has seen the launch of UNLEASHED ,my own charter vessel running from the port of Newlyn, Cornwall; Home to some of the very best sea fishing in the UK and somewhere I'm lucky enough to call my playground which I hope to pursue many more years of guiding people to great catches and days on the water!