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Last Thursday I headed up to Scarborough for the annual kayak fishing competition. Meeting up with Dave and Ian in evening it was decided that because of the winds the venue would be changed to the South Bay.

Now I have never fished the South Bay before but had read reports of it and knew that one of the hot marks was a place called Cornelion. Just one problem I had no idea what this was, a rock, a wreck, a landmark.

I didn’t have a clue! Some detective work would be needed and some locals would need to be pumped for information. These Northerners can be secretive though so it would have to be approached with care.


Friday morning about a dozen of us met up in the car park for a practise session. Chatting to Ian ( Tanglefoot ) Pickering I casually slipped into the conversation that we should probably head towards Cornelian, just remind be where that is again ? To which I got the response – do you mean the Gentlemans Club in North Bay ? Possibly a dead end there.

A quick chat with Craig…. Oh you mean the pub in Whitby ?

Karl….I think it’s a café on the High Street.

Glen… The pirate boat moored in the harbour.

Hoggy arrived, surely a safe bet for information…Oh the Gentlemans Club in North Bay he said with a sly grin. I was beginning to suspect a conspiracy.

No matter, today myself and Martin just followed out the crowd to a headland across the bay and spent a pleasant few hours catching fish after fish. No big ones but it looked good for the competition day.

Saturday Morning and we were in the car park early. Soon enough others started to arrive and eventually 56 kayaks were rigged and ready for the off.

I’d had a few more conversations about the mythical Cornelian but suspected that word had gotten around as the responses became more and more outlandish. However this Gentlemans club in North Bay seemed to the most consistent response so I suspected Ian may have been weaving a web of misinformation.

On the launch myself and Martin decided to head left around Marine Drive instead of following the crowds across the bay. We tied off to a couple of buoys just ten meters apart and dropped the baits. It was completely different to the day before, there were no cod here. I was bringing in the occasional dab but it was beginning to look like we had made a poor choice and should have followed the crowds. I was just about to pack up and move when Martin yelled over. He was into a good fish, after a few minutes it was aboard and was a very good Pollack, at least six pounds and very likely to get him in the prizes.

Martin headed off after this but I hung around for another hour before also heading over to the other side of the bay where I was the previous day. Instantly I was catching fish, but only small cod. Chatting to others it seemed everyone over here had been catching consistently with cod to around 5lb. I persevered for a while but all the time the winds were getting up and shortly after the inevitable happened and the end was called due to deteriorating weather. The paddle back took the best part of an hour against the wind and tide but the safety boat did a fantastic job keeping an eye on everyone.

Back on the beach it was soon obvious the match was between Martins Pollack and Ian Pickering with a good cod. In the end Martin piped it with the Pollack going 6lb 12oz and won himself a kayak fishing holiday for two in Norway, a really fantastic prize. Ian came in second with his cod going 6lb 4oz.

This event is one of the longest running in the UK and thanks go to Dave and Fiona from Wet and Wild. Thanks also to Ian for organising a fantastic prize this year. I am glad it has been decided to carry this competition on next year with help from myself and Ian.

As for the mythical Cornelian, I eventually found out. It was the mark I had been sitting on when catching fish on the Friday, a rocky headland sticking out into the bay. At least I will know for next year.