Tuesday, 17 July 2012


Sunday saw me heading up to Bryher to meet up with Neil and target Shipman Head for pollack. Usually when we fish this spot we have to get off just as the bigger pollack are starting to come through due to not wanting to get cut off, this time though we had a cunning plan!! Shipman Head is only accessible at low water or a couple of hours either side before the 7ft wide gulley gets flooded. We really wanted to see what happens if we could fish it for longer so we heading to the mark in a small punt, jumped onto the rocks, pushed the punt out and set up a trip anchor with a rope tied ashore-genious!! We would now be able to fish as long as we wished and still be able to get home when ever we wanted.

Neil and I both set up our Sakura Shinjins  with various soft plastics and jig heads in the hope of some reel screaming pollack. I must admit that I wasnt exactly feeling on top of the world (discoing the night before, at my age, I really should know better by now-yes I was hung over!) and it was no great surprise that it was Neil who was first in with a constant stream of smallish pollack hitting his lures!! 

He switched over to an Illex Lightning Jig Head  and a 7.5'' Slug-Go and was instantly hit on the drop! This was clearly a much better fish that made several crash dives before I could safely net her.

The tide was starting to pull now and may be thats why the better fish were coming through and feeding. I had managed to get a couple of small pollack up to 3lbs but Neil was finding the better stamp of fish with his lure again hit on the drop and another spirited fight resulting in me netting his fish.

An hour passed with only small fish showing so guessing that the bigger fish had moved on we decided to head back inside the bay and have a crack at the wrasse on soft plastics. We both set up our Major Craft Crostages I rigged up with a Yoshikawa 4.25'' Superworm and Neil fished a 4'' Molix Sligozzo to find what the wrasse would take a liking too. I had a few plucks which I guessed as being small wrasse before all hell broke loose right under my feet!!! As we were fishing in 8ft of water over some big old boulders I had tightened the drag right up as if you give a wrasse any line they tend to head towards the nearest hole or crevice. I thought that I had hooked a monster of a wrasse that had the Crostage bent double, diving left then right before we got a glimpse of the fish. It was a pollack and a decent one at that!!!!!!

At 6.2lbs it was a cracker and the biggest I have hooked in such shallow water, makes you think! Normally we look to fish deeper water for our pollack but this bad boy was hunting the gobies darting around the boulders and certainly made my hangover dissappear!

We carried on fishing (with our drags set a tad lighter-just incase) before one fish exploded into Neils Lure tearing line off, again we thought another pollack would appear but not this time. it was an angry wrasse that was covered in scars and bruises with deep red eyes, one evil looking fish!!

 We carried on catching smaller wrasse before everything went quiet and for the first time we had ever known, the wrasse just stopped feeding completely! Very strange, no matter what lure we threw at them they just werent interested even though we could see a few fish swimming around, all very odd!

It was another productive day on Bryher and more food for thought as to the feeding habits of pollack and wrasse. We learnt some important things and had a fun in the process, which is what its all about!!!

Thursday, 12 July 2012


Christ two posts in a couple of days, whats wrong with me?????????????????

I had an email a few months ago from a seriously competent and successful young angler, Liam Faisey who was coming over to the Isles of Scilly with his girlfriend Holly and his family and wanted to sample some of the pollack and wrasse fishing that we have here. He was most keen to try his hand at using soft plastics compared to the usual way he fishes with bait. I replied and we had several conversations regarding what lures he should bring over, an order was quickly despatched from Jackslrf and he arrived with his selection ready to give it a blast!

He and his girlfriend ventured out many times to Peninnis Head and had great fun with some awesome pollack to 5.11lbs (he lost a fish thought to be a double and Holly lost a 7lb fish on the surface, gutted for you both mate!!!!!!!!)

Nice pollack of 4.4lbs

A new pb for Liam of 5.11lbs

They also managed to get in amongst the many cuckoo wrasse that inhabit a particular reef in the deep waters of Peninnis Head. Stunning colours, you have got to love those bright blue and orange that make cuckoos so distinguishing!!!

With work sadly getting in the way of me joining them, we finally managed to get out to try our luck at using soft plastics to target the wrasse marks under the airport. Usually these spots produce fish after fish but strangely tonight was the exception. As to why the sport was slow to start I have no idea, sometimes thats fishing for you hey!! We moved around trying different gullies and holes and lures until we started to find the fish.  Liam was quickly getting the hang of this type of fishing, twitching his Jacks Own 3'' Crawfish to entice a few nice fish.

We continued to move around and settled in a nice bouldery bay that has done the business for me in the past. Sport was much better here with bites, knocks and fish every cast!!! Much more like it although the fish were smaller, everybody was catching and both Liam and Holly had multiple hook ups!

I even managed to find a few fish too which is always a bonus!

We caught plenty of wrasse in the end and had a real good laugh which is the whole point of going fishing isnt it???? I think Liam realised straight away how successful fishing soft plastics can be sometimes and said that he will be trying it when he gets back to Cornwall on some of his wrasse marks.

I am sure that I will be hearing from Liam soon to say that he has broken another pb and got himself a 6lber!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012


Last weekend I met up with an old friend of mine, local retired diver Mac Mace over on the island of Byryher to discuss an assault on a wreck he used to regularly dive. This particular wreck was home to many large wrasse and one in particular, believed to weigh in excess of double figures - WRASSEZILLA!!!!
If it was still around, god only knows how big it would be, certainly a record that's for sure!!!

Mac knew this fish well and used to hand feed it whole 3'' edible and shore crabs that it used to swallow in one! Divers used to think it was a grouper as wrasse were never that BIG, but this brute was and its habitat is the reason why. Over time the sides of the wreck had fallen in and the various decks had dropped leaving 2-4ft between each one. In the event of bad weather the wrasse could hold up in the various lowered decks which stretched 50 yards or so and be perfectly safe and enable them to grow to such large sizes! The wreck lays in 50ft of water, swept by strong tides meaning that only around slack water would the wrasse be out and around the wreck and this would make them a realistic target on soft plastics. The rest of the time Mac said the wrasse would be right in the wreck, ambushing any prey that swam past. They would dart out, grab the unsuspecting blenny, goby etc and shoot back into their holes. This would mean we would literally get the one chance to drag them out and away from the wreckage before they realised - ambitious, HELL YEAH!!

As we made our way out to the mark, the fog that has surrounded the islands for far too long finally started to clear and that funny thing called the sun appeared we hoped it meant a good sign!  The tide was pretty slack so an old rock that would act as our anchor was lowered uptide of the wreckage and we payed out rope to position us in our chosen spot, directly over the wreck. This would let us alter our position with the tide and still fish the exact spot. Game on, lures were dropped down, I chose the old faithful wrasse tastic jacks lrf Hogs coupled with a 10g cone weight and flicked it 10 yards down tide. It hadnt even reached the bottom when the braid started to come off the spool quicker meaning something had picked up the lure on the drop. Bail arm closed I reeled in the slack until I felt the weight of the fish which tried its hardest to head for the wreck giving my new toy, a sparkly 7ft 6'' Major Craft Crostage a serious work out. (lovely rod which I will talk about more after some more testing)

After several dives and a spirited scrap up surfaced a nice pollack of 5lbs.

Not what I was expecting but great fun nevertheless! I cast out again and the same thing happened with a fish taking the lure on the drop, this was a much better fish that did me into the wreck on its first dive! A switch to the heavier Sakura Shinjin rated 15-50g that I had brought along I decided to go all out for the pollack seeing as it was alive with them down there! I chose a SavaGear Sandeel Slug  mounted on a 14g jig head and flicked it out again, what happened next was mental with pollack after pollack crash diving into the lures. These were all of a good stamp with fish from 6lb to 10lbs on every drop and the best bit was as the water was only 50ft deep they not only scrapped unbelievably well but they all went back alive without their swim bladders bursting!!!!

These were the lures that did the damage today, 7.5'' Slug-Gos - 16.5cm SavaGear Sandeel Slug-14cm SavaGear Sandeel Slug.

I got busted up by some serious fish on a couple of occasions and had a beauty to the boat that was a good 12lbs before I made a school boy error and lost it-ARSE!! Mac was well impressed as he had never seen pollacking like it with the light rods and soft plastics and I may have converted him!!

As the tide had virtually stopped it was back to the task in hand and try and get THAT wrasse out. Switching back to the Major Craft Crostage I tried many lures but everytime I hooked a wrasse they dived straight back into their underground hideaway and bust me up on the sharp wreckage. I finally managed to get a couple of fish out up to 3lbs. Sadly Mac was faring the same as me, the wrasse would bolt straight away and he lost a couple of incredibly powerful fish that gave him no chance. Thankfully he did get a couple of larger ones out up to 4.5lbs but not the monster that we were after sadly.

So its back to the drawing board as to how we are going to get old WRASSEZILLA out from its home. We will be back thats for sure, trying a few different things to entice it away from the wreck such as heavy groundbaiting 20 yards uptide with old crushed crabs so that we stand a much better chance of landing this beast. Failing that its going to be time to break out the heavy boat rods and drag the bugger out!!! Mind you thats if we can get through the outstanding pollack that also inhabit the wreck!!

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