St Mawes is not only a great spot for anglers to visit but also has an active fishing fleet. St Mawes has had a fishing fleet since time began and in the early days the main catch was pilchards. Many of the front buildings along the waters edge were home to fish stores, smokers and chandlers. Coal and other supplies were brought in by coasters that moored up against the harbour key and likewise fish was shipped out.
As the tourism trade picked up in the earlier part of last century their became more and more leisure and sailing craft and less commercial fishing boats. Yacht clubs sprang up and new houses appeared along Tredenham road and upper and lower castle road. As pilchard stocks reduced off the shores of Cornwall, the numbers of fishermen in St Mawes also declined.
It appears however that over the last year or two Pilchard stocks have increased once again and many Fishermen along the South Coast of Cornwall are enjoying a profitable time!
St Mawes now has a wet fish shop on the village quay offering a range of fish and shellfish fresh from the fishing boats!
Anglers visiting St Mawes have a good length of shoreside from which to pick their spot that can either be along the seashore or further up the Percuil River where the waters are calmer and the fish, it seems, more awkward to catch. (Peperami and a two foot child's rod not recommended!). There are also fishing trips available in the summer.
The Rocks off St Anthonys head seem to be a prime spot favored by local anglers, although to find the perfect fishing location requires some experimentation as these are a closely guarded secret!