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Words by Justin Keight

I was a little unsure and slightly nervous with how to open this ‘last word’. A jovial tale about the one that got away or the sad one about the suicide of another father in Cornwall? This time of year is supposed to bring joy to all, where merry memories are made and mulled wine is sipped by adults standing around an open fireplace that proudly displays the festive stocking, whilst the shrieks and squeals of excitement can be overheard from the children playing in the other rooms. But for some, these memories seem unattainable.

I lost my best friend during the first lockdown in April 2020 to an ongoing struggle with his own mental health. Seeing it before your very eyes changes your perspective on everything. I had to do something. As a business owner of an outdoor experience proposition in Cornwall, I am a sea fishing guide within the business, where I teach people how to fish, catch and cook their supper. I wanted to make a difference to the people in Cornwall who are struggling with mental health and that is how I arrived as the founder of Tight Lines. A Cornwall-based non-profit Community Interest Company, providing mental health support to adults in Cornwall, using the wonderful world of fishing as the vehicle. Utilising my angling knowledge, I help people learn new life skills and seek to create a community where friendships are forged and many fishing yarns are shared.

Embracing a hobby or interest is vital for well-being, especially with angling as it allows us to learn something new, build up a skill set, set goals and find a sense of achievement. The benefits too are bountiful. The smell of the sea, the soothing sounds of the waves and the reward of catching something for the table are all positives for the mind. Fishing is fantastic. I just have to share it. Next time I’ll tell you about the one that got away. He was this big!

Tight Line’s inaugural meeting will take place on Monday 16th January at 7:30pm at Wendron Football Club, all are welcome.


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