After finding my way to the lower ledges below I wondered how to tackle the mark, thinking back to a conversation with Keith White a while back he mentioned drop shotting as a great method to target wrasse from heavy kelp. It makes perfect sense really, as if the kelp is dense and wafting around in the swell there would be very little chance that the wrasse around in the area would be able to find the lure if fished on a normal texas rig. As the kelp is about 4 ft high it would make fishing carolina style pretty difficult too so thats where the Drop Shot Rig comes in! With a trace of 5 ft I would be able to fish my lure just above the kelp and right in the target area for any passing wrasse!! I tied a 2/0 Jacks EWG hook with a Palomar knot with a 2ft length of 25lb fluorocarbon and then attached a 3ft length of slighty weaker 10lb mono that would act as a weak link to the lead. Then in theory if the weight became stuck I wouldnt lose the rig and lure - SIMPLES!!
To the hook I attached a Yoshikawa Superworm, a favourite lure of mine when testing the water at a new mark. Usually if there are any fish around, this lure will find them!! After a couple of casts I was starting to understand how to fish this way, especially with Andy Kendricks advice ringing in my ear. He recommended that after casting out, let the weight hit the bottom and take up the slack by lifting the rod tip so that you can just feel the weight. Then drop the rod tip just a little so that when you shake and twitch the lure you are only making the lure move and not the weight (I hope that makes sense?) Anyway back to the fishing!!!
It quickly became clear that this method works and works bloody well ....
I had a really savage bite that hit the lure incredibly hard, think I must have annoyed the wrasse and made it very aggressive!!! It went off like a scolded cat diving and tried to run through the thick kelp, thankfully with the drag not giving anything I managed to halt her and after a few minutes slipped the net under a cracking fish that went 5.8lbs.
A stunning fish that went back with a big swish of her tail, a great feeling!! Several smaller fish followed next...
They were starting to come through the kelpy holes thick and fast and starting to get bigger again, this one 4.5lbs.
A spirited scrap saw me putting the landing net under my second 5lber of the day, this one slightly smaller at 5.4lbs.
It was time to head back up the rocks and head for home but I couldnt resist one last go at a boulder field so on went a texas rigged Hawg Stickbait in a new colour- orange craw!! A flick out over some boulders and twitch twitch fish on!!
Both these fish had lice on them but went back just as strongly as they came out, it really was time to go home though!!
So a little bit more of St. Mary's covered but with miles and miles more coastline not to mention hundreds of outer islands and marks left to try I certainly feel even more confident with the drop shot as part of my lure fishing arsenal. Next time you are out there and you think its way way too weedy to fish, give it a go, you may be pleasantly surprised!!!!!