Spent this weekend with my old mate Henry Gilbey over, great to catch up and fish with the old bugger again. Seems like an age since last time, but I have a feeling that he wont be leaving it long till his next visit!!!!!!!!!!! Cheers for letting me use the photos fella, as you will guess, all the photos in this post were taken by him!!
As always, we kept an eye on the forecast and had our fingures crossed that the light winds and sunshine would come true. Ha fat chance!!! The week leading up to our date with the monster wrasse lurking on Bryher was fantastic and then come saturday, yep you guessed it, wind had swung round west, freshened and chucked it down. Hellbay was living up to its name and completely unsafe and unfishable! A change of plan and a look back at my old angling diaries brought my attention to St.Martins. We fished it many years ago and had good catches of wrasse and the westerly winds would mean it would give us plenty of shelter. I had vague memories of the ground beeing suitable for wrasse and a look at google maps revielled lovely looking kelpy gullies, shallow bays, sandy patches and most importantly,BOULDERS! We would stand a good chance of bagging up over ground like this as recent success shows that you dont need deep water for wrasse. Obviously nothing beats getting out there and checking it out with your own eyes but Google Maps is an excellent way of sussing out new marks before you go.
So the plan was drawn up and suitably kitted out in waterproofs(Henry was fine, as he kept on reminding me that he was going to sit under his umbrella and take photos whilst muggings here faced the grim weather-GREAT) we made our way to St.Martins at high speed on Bryher Boats. The marks that we would be fishing typically here in the Isles of Scilly reguire a ten minute walk and so we were soon scrambling down to the waters edge. I rigged up a favourite of mine, a watermellon jackslrf stickbait texas style with a 7g cone weight. I know that with this lure on if there are any wrasse around they are usually straight on it. Despite the rain I knew that Henry wouldnt be able to hide behind that brolly of his for long as I had a wrasse on the second cast. We had found them!!!
The biggest went 3.8lbs but today it seemed the bigger fish just didnt get a chance to attack the soft plastics, there was just too many small and medium sized fish nailing the lures first. Although somebody( not me) did have a proper wrasse on for a second or two before it went to ground, I blame his bad angling!!!!
I said for a laugh that I bet that I could get a fish from up inside the cave. A flick up inside and before I could even close the bail arm over when a wrasse bolted out and nailed the lure, mental!!
We didnt care by now about the rain as the wrasse were in such a crazy feeding mood that no matter what colour or size of lure that we cast to them they would just nail it straight away! We may never have fished this mark had it not been for the weather but it is one that we will fish again. There just has to be a belter or two around!!
Another day and yet another change in the weather-oh dont you just love the great British weather!!!!!!
This time though it was in our favour and would mean that we finally could go and fish the open coast of St.Marys and hopefully nail the wrasse in the same spots that I have been doing so well recently. The plan was to head to Porth hellick and fish the south side first then make our way up inside the bay following the fish with the flood before heading to Giants Castle at high water and lastly fish the start of the ebb back near where we started. This would give us the best chance of finding a better sized fish we hoped! Again I started with a green senko type stickbait from jackslrf, the water was abit lower than i would have liked but the fish should be here I thought as they wait for the tide to start flooding and ambush any small blennies gobies and shrimps that are washed out of the bay. Its a great spot to target the wrasse. Henry again was trying different coloured lures to me so that we could quickly determine what was THE colour for the day. He was royally smashed up by a good fish and after nearly falling off my rock laughing the same happened to me- that will teach me!! It was clear that there were some good fish around. I got abit too excited when I watched a beautiful greeny coloured 5lb fish follow my lure without taking it and then graze on the seaweed not 10 foot from my perch. Iam sure that it was just doing it to wind me up as I had the dreaded wind knot which put me out of action for a few minutes, long enough for Henry to nail a lovely 5lb fish which I graceously netted for him. I didnt have to wait long and I too was in. The wrasse were on the feed and again it was green being THE colour.
We managed to find the better sized fish with 3 5lb fish in consecutive casts-awesome fun!!!!!!!!! The last one being we are sure, the stunning green one that followed my lure earlier in the day!!!!
By now though we had to retreat back up inside the bay due to not really wanting to get cut off and fish the opposite side of the bay. Again the wrasse were nailing the lures with green and brown hogs taking good fish. Even the purple colour that didnt get a take earlier in the day was producing fish. What the reason was for the sudden desire to start nailing the other colours I have no idea? We continued to catch fish before keeping to our plan and moving to under Giants Castle in the hope of finding a real lunker.
The move brought plenty more wrasse but sadly the lunkers evaded us, this time................................
What a fantastic weekend, we lost count as to the exact number of fish we ended up with but just to be out in February catching so many fish and having loads of fun with a good mate is what this hrf lark is all about. Give it ago, you will be amazed as to how much fun can be had with sporting tackle and the size of fish that are around makes it so worth it!!!
Until next time heres a couple more shots of that stunning insanely green 5lb wrasse............