Tuesday, 22 May 2012


This sunday saw me and Neil head over to St.Agnes to meet up with three fellas, Simon Murphy, Jim, Ross and Arthur the dog to have a crack at finding a fish or two. Simon had contacted me through this blog and was planning a trip over to the islands to target wrasse and pollack using lures and light tackle. His mate Jim was well up for it and their friend Ross (who isnt an angler) was coming to have a holiday with his dog Arthur, relax have a few walks and a couple of cheeky halves at the awesome Turks Head pub! I must admit to having not fished St.Agnes for pollack and wrasse since Henry came over with a mate 8 or ten years ago, so I was pleased that they would be doing the hard bit and would know where the fish were ready for Sunday-clever hey!!!

Sunday dawned and it was one of those magical sunny days and flat calm seas with no swell at all-perfect for wrasse!!!! We all met up and after a few introductions made our way to Troy Carn maze and the surrounding carns to start our assault. Fishing the ebb has proved to be quite difficult just recently with few wrasse coming out and today proved to be no different! Neil managed to winkle out a half decent wrasse but the great thing with this type of fishing is that we were all travelling really light, a rucksack and rod(no tripods, bait buckets and a tonne of lead). We could work our way around the south of the island, having a cast here, move to the next point and keep casting and moving until we found the fish.

I was using the same lure that did the damage last trip, a sandeel pattern with the other guys using various soft plastics in different colours but nothing was really getting nailed on a regular basis but thankfully before this trip I had spoken to Keith White the guru,who knows more on fishing for wrasse on lures than anybody else and he recommended using blue lures at this moment in time as the wrasse were spawning and would be very aggressive. If you look at the photos from the last post, every wrasse I had caught had blue spots and blue lips meaning they were spawning-weird!! A phone call to Andy Kendrick at Jackslrf and a bag of Blue jacks own tubes arrived in the post just in time!!!!!!! Cheers Andy you are a legend!

It was like switching a light on!!!!!!!!

Fish after fish were nailing the blue tubes like they were possessed!!!!!! We continued to find the wrasse and I was well and truly smashed up by a brute who tore into the kelp and snapped my braid as if it were cotton, damn that fish was powerfull!!! |The fishing slowed down with the tide approaching low water so we started to move again covering plenty of ground until we met up with Jim who had gone onto the spot where they had good success the previous day. What happened then was mental!!!!! Fish after fish all taking yep you guessed it blue lures!!!! I looked around and several times all four of us were laughing as we all had our rods bent double with heavy weight ballans doing their best to find the nearest hole or rock to smash us up and make us cry!! Ross and Arthur came down to find grown men in stitches as if we had lost the plot!! Neil lost a monster that he couldnt stop and I had a wrasse hit so hard that it snapped my hook!!!! I tied on a stronger pattern and cast out again then bang, fish on. This was another good fish that was using its big old tail to glide in the water........

What a mental fight with the Megabass Rod bent double I was sure that this was a 6 or 7lber, through the water u could see these monster blue lips and blue dorsal fins before Simon could safely net her.

She pulled the scales down to 5.10lbs after a few photos recovered well from the fight in a big rockpool before swimming away to spawn. They may look tough as hell but you still have to treat these fish with respect so that you can catch them again when next time they may be that magical 6 or 7lber!!!!!

We carried on but nothing quite as big sadly but this spot has certainly got potential thats for sure!!!! Jim with the average sized fish from today, all scraping like mad!!

As the tide strengthened the pollack started to show with a fish of 3.5lbs to Jim and a 4lber to me, again on the blue tubes.

By now we had lost count of the numbers of fish that we had caught and some of the guys had forgotten just how hungry they were so the pub was calling! As we were all walking back to the pub Neil and I decided to have a challenge and fish the next spot with the loser having to buy the drinks. Great plan until we got closer to the mark and realised that the water was barely deeper than our knees in places-BUGGER!!! Oh well being dedicated or is that mad anglers we had to give it a go as a pint was riding on it! The other guys headed to the pub laughing and left us two daft sods to fish. A couple of casts and Neil got a hit but nothing came to it(thankfully) so I made a longer cast into the three foot water and after a couple of twitches felt a slight knock. Keeping quiet I carried on twitching the lure until it got heavier and had the fish surfing before Neil or the fish knew what was happening. Neither of us could believe the size of the wrasse as at just over 4lbs it was the second biggest landed that day in water that was just ridiculously shallow!!

I can tell you that that pint tasted so good (cheers Neil) and was a perfect end to a cracking days fishing with some new friends and yet another island that has got HUGE potential! Now thats four islands done and only another hundred or so left to fish!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, 7 May 2012


This weekend the Isles of Scilly held the World Pilot Gig Championships, a great event that was enjoyed by everyone but after driving and trying to dodge all the rowers and supporters (normally there are just over 2000 people here, but this weekend that swells to 5000) I had to escape the madness and go fishing!! It is the only thing that keeps me sane!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Forecast was perfect, tides perfect so I headed back up to Bryher to finally try and nail one of them bruising ballans that smashed me up the last few times!! In fact I dont think that conditions could have been better. There was no swell at all and the water clarity as gin clear as I had seen this year, PERFECT for wrasse I said to myself. It was a couple of hours before low water which was at midday so I left the best spot(the one the locals from bryher said held monsters) to the first of the flood which I was convinced would be the prime time. As it is quite shallow I didnt want to go casting and scaring any fish off before the best time so I decided to fish near Shipman Head at a mark called Mussel Rock.

Before I made a cast I scanned the water and  could clearly see fish swimming over the boulders and through the kelp, fantastic!! Cast out, twitch twitch nothing???? Very strange, as my lure came into view it was being followed by a stunning bright green wrasse of between 4 and 5lbs. It hadnt had a go at the lure but just followed it slowly, checking it out I assumed? No matter what I did to the action of the lure I couldnt get the fish to take it. I tried everything, every colour and every shape of lure that I had brought with me and nowt, just the same result, follows but no bite, not even a pluck-SOOOO frustrating!!!! I decided after an hour of trying to catch that one fish that a move was in order as I was starting to go mad. A move to the next gulley and first cast and bang, fish on!

Not the biggest fish in the world but after spending an hour trying to catch that other ballan I was just pleased that I had caught and my methods still worked!!!!!!

Sport was very slow on the ebb, only managed to winkle out 4 fish which considering the conditions seemed really weird. Maybe they just werent hungry or couldnt be arsed to even bite the lures out of annoyance, I dont know the reasons but I did notice that one of the wrasse coughed up a sandeel so maybe they were courged up on them?? But it was low water and so I made my way to ''THE SPOT''.

Perfect conditions, clear water and no swell with boulders everywhere!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When the tide floods over these boulders the wrasse will be going mental for all the blennies and gobies that were darting around the rock pools, got to be a lunker in this boulder field later on!!!!!!!

Imagine fishing over this type of ground with normal techniques and gear, the tackle losses would make you cry!!! Fishing texas style, with the lure ''skinned'' (point of hook pushed gently into the back of the lure) no worries- PIECE OF CAKE!!

I remembered the sandeel that was coughed up so decided what the hell and hunted through my lure box and found the closest lure to resemble a sandeel that I had, rigged it up texas style and cast out. It hadnt even descended to the bottom when it was well and truly nailed, fish on!

A better fish that went 3lbs and fought like a much bigger wrasse. What happened next can only be described as MENTAL fishing!!!!!! Every cast and I mean every cast was nailed harder than any wrasse I had caught before, fish after fish falling to the sandeel pattern!!!!

Mental fishing without a doubt, it was hard to keep count of the number as I had never experienced wrassing like it, all better sized fish with most fish being between 2.5 and 4lbs topped off by a better fish of 5.4lbs that fought harder than any 5lb fish that I have caught before!! Total count was 60 fish landed and many others lost due to me trying to bully them!!!

Sorry for the dodgy picture but this is the lure that did the damage!!!! Half way through the madness a shoal of mullet came through the area and cruising slowly behind was no mullet! I nearly fell of my rock with excitement as there in front of me was a bass of 3.5-4lbs!!! Now we dont get bass over here in Scilly for some reason but bugger me there was one right in front of me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I made several cast for it and it did follow my lure on one occasion but didnt fancy the look of it unlike the wrasse and disappeared after a few minutes! Gutted I carried on casting the area it was in for an hour but to no avail, but who knows, maybe with the strange seasons and weather that we had this winter there might be more bass around the islands?? Christ I thought that I said fishing kept me sane..............................................................................