A Working Harbour

Padstow’s working fishing boats provide one of the town’s greatest attractions. They come in all shapes and sizes. Most of the smaller boats are inshore crabbers landing daily their catches of lobster, crayfish and crab. The larger boats are either netters or trawlers catching several species of fish off the South West coast and further out into the Atlantic Ocean. When the boats return to Padstow after a fishing trip, crowds often gather on the quayside to watch the catch being unloaded. Most of the fish landed is then transported to auction at either Brixham or Newlyn. Some of course is also sold on to local fishmongers and restaurants. The advent of the famous Seafood Restaurant and other outstanding fish restaurants has transformed the fresh fish and shellfish market in Padstow.  The town’s reputation for supplying the very best in food from the sea is alive and thriving.


The local coastal waters around Padstow offer exciting sport to the sea angler.  Shore fishing from the rocky headlands or stunning beaches can yield Mackerel, Pollack and Bass whilst in the glow of some magnificent sunsets.  For the more adventurous, regular boat trips operate throughout the summer offering wreck & reef fishing, Mackerel and Shark fishing.  For more information please contact Supreme Fishing Trips on 07766 650333 or Emma Kate on 07970 595244.  If you wish to fish from the harbour wall/cliffs around the estuary, you will need a fishing permit from Padstow Harbour Commissioners. The permit is free but is a requirement for anglers.

There are plenty of opportunities to fish for Trout & Salmon in the sheltered waters of the Camel estuary and there are several large reservoirs and lakes in Cornwall and in Devon where fishing is an option. If you would like to know more please contact the Padstow Angling Centre on 01841 532762.


Crabbing is very popular with visitors to Padstow regardless of age.  Crab lines and bait can be bought from many shops around the harbour including Padstow Angling Centre.  The inner harbour is the best place to catch them.  Drop a baited line into the water and wait for the crabs to bite.  Put them in a bucket of sea water then put them back into the harbour when you’re done. Please ensure that there is plenty of water in the bucket and don’t overload.  Please treat our crabs kindly!  Padstow is a working harbour and you are not advised to crab from any of the slipways or steps that have boats working from them especially the ferry steps. Please put the crabs back carefully from where you caught them and remember to take all the lines away with you as they are fatal to sealife!