Newquay may be known as the surf capital of the UK, but fishing is both a popular hobby and trade in this seaside town and it’s easy to see why. The waters and underwater habitats around Newquay provide a rich breeding ground for crabs and lobsters in particular, and the produce is in demand with chefs around Cornwall and across the UK. Plus, over 90% of the annual haul is actually exported to Spain and France where Newquay shellfish is viewed as a much sought after delicacy. Fishing in Newquay also withstands a stable income for over 30 fishermen, with around 15 boats sailing in and out of the harbour throughout the year.
Skipper Phil Trebilcock has been catching shellfish in Newquay for over 40 years and commends the area for its fresh produce: “During the summer months Newquay’s waters provide great shellfish produce – especially Spider Crabs. They’re really delicious and perfect for catching and eating on a summer’s day,” he says. “The great thing about catching shellfish in particular is that it’s so sustainable. It has no impact on the sea bed and is good for the environment.”
What’s more, the Newquay Fish Festival – which praises Newquay Harbour’s hardy fisherman, fresh, flavoursome seafood and fishing heritage – celebrates its 10th year at Newquay Harbour this year. Taking place from14-16 September, the festival will feature a multitude of mouth-watering tasters, cooking demos, events and activities.
“What’s great about Newquay Fish Festival is that it celebrates the importance of fishing and fresh produce that is inherent to Newquay,” says Newquay Fish Festival organiser, Claire Evans. “The festival has always stayed true to its heritage and it’s an event that’s full of soul and loved by so many who continue to come back every year.”
As well as its much sought-after shellfish, Newquay’s coastline also provides a varied catch. From Mackerel and Bass to Plaice and Pollack, the shores around Newquay are thriving with fish ready to be caught. Fly Cellars, the harbour wall and many of the beaches all offer great locations to try out fishing. Plus, there’s nothing better than barbequing your fresh and flavoursome fish in the sunshine.
- Make sure you check the tide times.
- Be wary of any unknown species you may encounter.
- For beach fishing, opt for early evening when the summer crowds have started to leave. This is also a great time for catching bass.
Whether you fancy trying to catch fish off the rocks at Little Fistral, bring in lobster pots at the harbour, or venture out to sea on a fishing boat, a fishing trip in Newquay is a great way to try out a fun activity by the sea. And the great thing about fishing is that you can usually cook whatever you catch. So, we got some of Newquay’s premier chefs to divulge their culinary secrets and offer their very best fish recipes to try out with Newquay catch of the day…