Several months ago a chap called Neil Heyer contacted me through the blog as he was interested in coming over to the islands to sample the fishing and have a crack at some of the awesome wrasse fishing that we have on the lighter tackle. Several emails went back and forth regarding what to bring lure wise, good old Andy Kendrick at jackslrf sorted him out with the wrasse's favourite snacks and next thing I know he is on the islands and we are discussing a plan of attack over a couple of pints!
Sunday dawned and it was pissing down!!!!!!!!! Great, regretting that last pint now I have to get out of my warm bed to get soaking wet - anglers are just a little bit mad arent we!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Like true hardy men like we are we met up on the quay at St. Mary's to catch the tripper boat over to the island of Tresco. Tresco is a stunning island with long white beaches and the famous Abbey Gardens, home to many rare and sub tropical plants but it was the northern end that we were interested in and the virgin marks that I was sure held some big old kelp brutes!! Due to the tides we landed on Carn Near and had to stomp the entire length of the island to reach the marks. Thankfully by the time we reached the north the rain had stopped and the sun came out - what an amazing vista said Neil!! We spent a bit of time looking around and checking out the deep gullies strewn with heavy kelp and boulders the size of small vans, it all screamed wrasse!!!!!!!
We decided to fish a mark that I had identified using google maps, it was a lovely gulley, with boulders and weed everywhere but also with the odd clear sandy patch and with the tide still 2 hours from low I didnt expect much until the flood. Oh how wrong I was, first cast and wrasse on straight away! I managed to winkle out three fish before Neil had even cast out, they were certainly around and hungry!! I had started to fish a watermelon 5'' Hawg Stickbait and had to change due to the lure being chomped beyond recognition. Neil was quickly getting to grips with how to hold the rod and keep the tip facing upwards when twitching and bumping the soft plastics over the boulders and soon his reel was screaming as his first wrasse headed towards the kelp!
He was over the moon to say the least and was soon back into a fish on his next cast! The fishing was pretty mad with bites and takes every cast and although the size of the wrasse wasnt massive there were clearly big numbers of fish down there!! Each one fought like demons probably due to never being caught before and I dont think I have ever seen so many on the back tide before!!!
I switched to a Black Hawg Stickbait and cast out, I lifted the rod and it all went tight as something picked up the lure then off it went!! I was using the Major Craft Crostage and never before has it bent like that, line was coming off the shimano rarenium even though the drag was done up tight. I just couldnt stop it, she was clearly the big bully of this gulley and without a doubt the most powerful wrasse I have hooked. Sadly she did me like a kipper snapping the 20lb fluorocarbon and leaving me cursing!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Sorry about the agricultural language Neil!)
I put on another black senko and cast out, with wrasse after wrasse to 4lbs but nothing like that beast whilst Neil was going through his soft plastic collection catching on all manner of lures.
Regretably it was time to head back to catch the boat back to St.Marys but the swell had started to build with the flooding tide so it was good timing. I didnt fancy another soaking, this time with sea water!!
It was certainly a fun day, good company and plenty of fish too, I think Neil enjoyed himself and I reckon he's caught the wrasse bug!!!!!! We will be back to pay this spot a visit, might have to step up the rod to the 15-50g Shinjin though to get that kelp donkey out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!