Monday, 5 March 2012


 Firstly I must apologise for the distinct lack of posts recently, what with going away to watch my beloved Arsenal trounce the enemy 5-2 (what a game!!!!!!) and work being busy I sadly havent had the time to get out and wet a line! Very stressful I can tell you, although I have been doing plenty of groundwork and looking at new marks, some with a great deal of potential!!!! The weather this weekend was blowing a gale from the north west just after blowing southerly so most of my marks were blown out and the others too stirred up to fish properly. I find that wrasse just dont really want to know when there is too much swell around plus its a bloody nightmare trying to fish correctly with virtually no chance of keeping contact with your lure!!!! I was starting to go mad at the lack of fishing so decided to go out for an hour after work today. It wasnt ideal with the groundswell still pounding most of the shallow marks so maybe it was time to try for something different. I used to catch plenty of cuckoo wrasse years ago, some of them stonking specimens to 1.8lbs, but always on bait so could I catch one on a lure I wondered??

One mark that used to produce good numbers of them is Outer Head at Peninnis, its a very deep water mark with depths of over 100ft only 50 yards out. With this depth of water it was going to make fishing very difficult with the lighter leads that I have been using in the shallower water, but I found some 21g lead cones in the bottom of my bag that at least would get to the bottom (I hoped)!! Coupled with 15lb 8-strand braid I was in with half a chance. 

I thought with the cuckoo wrasse having small mouths that I would scale down the lure size abit and opted for a 2.5'' Hawg Wild Stickbait.  Thankfully with the small tides there wasnt too much movement so I cast out, eventually, it sank to the bottom after what seemed an eterninty!! With the really fine 8-strand braid I could feel all the features of the bottom as the lure slowly twitched up and over the drop-off, couple of small plucks followed then fish on! I slowly reeled in as with the depth of water if I had winched it in too quick the swim bladder would have blown and the fish would not have survived. It was a wrasse, sadly not the cuckoo I was hoping for but a small ballan. At least it was a start and there were fish about!! I watched as the wrasse swam back to the depths, in the same condition that it had appeared. I cast out again, bit further this time so that the lure could be worked along the gutter that is on the outside of the drop-off, small taps followed as something was pecking it at the lure, I stopped and just made the lure shake and fish on. Admitedly not the greatest fight but it was a fish again and through the clear water I could see the blue and orange meaning a cuckoo wrasse.

Not the biggest of cuckoos ever landed at 11ozs but at least I had managed to catch my chosen target!! The colours on a cuckoo wrasse really are stunning! I placed it in a big rock pool to recover before gently returning it.

A couple of small ballans followed before I decided to have one last cast with a different lure, this time opting for a small Baby Crawfish from agm discounts to see whether a change of lure would find another cuckoo. It looked good so was worth a chuck I thought!! I cast out again over the drop-off and same thing happened, nip nip, wait, shake and fish on! Gently I reeled in again and could see the unmistakeable bright colours of another cuckoo. This one slightly larger than the first at 13ozs. Not massive I know but pleasing to catch all the same.

Time to pack up,  it certainly wasnt a waste of time however small the fish, sometimes its just nice to be out fishing isnt it!!!

Until next time.................................


  1. Jealous mate just plain jealous that is definetly a first I've never seen a cuckoo wrasse on a lure from the shore before well done

  2. Del,,

    Simply stunning and what a paddle for a smaller fish,,

  3. we nailed a few off the beara 2years ago on small jigs, the photos just didnt do the fishes colours justice! even the females which came out a bright pink/orange were something special

  4. Nice going Del! Cuckoo wrasse have to be the most beautifully coloured fish in our seas.

  5. great looking cuckoo wrasse that you got there Del.