Sunday found me heading up to Bryher to meet up with Neil and try our luck at finding a few heavy weight ballans and fish some new ground that we had identified as ''potential wrasse ground''. Typically the weather up to sunday could have been described as perfect summers weather, flat calm, sunny and zero swell then you guessed it, saturday night the wind picked up and so did the swells. 20-30 mph SW and SSW meant the spots we had wanted to fish were under water and getting battered!!! Bugger, but the good thing with Bryher as because its a relatively small island we could hopefully tuck away and find some shelter somewhere!
We decided on fishing a spot near Popplestones so that we could find some shelter from the swell outside of the bay. It did look nice and ''fishy'' with lovely clear water inside and plenty of boulders and drop offs into thick kelp forests-perfect for wrasse!!!
We imagined because the tide was ebbing any wrasse would be heading out towards the entrance to this bay towards the slighty deeper water so set ourselves up with the option of casting back inside the bay and working back out of it following the tide and fish. First few casts with Karl Fox's homemade killers produced plenty of small wrasse, clear with either blue or black speckles being the favourite lure. We moved towards the entrance of the bay to find a bigger fish or two and found a lovely looking rock ledge and could see wrasse swimming around below.
We both wondered just how big that other fish was that dwarfed this one, had to be 6-7lbs easily!!!!!! Sadly the wind had started to freshen and with it the swells picked up, we carried on fishing for a while but only small fish kept the rods bending, no sign of the monster so we decided on a move. We headed North and found some nice gullies that screamed wrasse!!
What we hadnt planned for was the swell continuing to pick up and with 6-7 ft of rise and fall these gullies were really difficult to fish with this type of gear. Wrasse appear not to like too much swell and I think Jim O'Donnell was spot on the other day on facebook when he described them as not being built for it and as such seem to prefer water that is a lot calmer. We found the wrasse were hanging further back from the rock face and not following the lures when there was too much movement in the water - another lesson learnt.
Neil got well and truly done by a cracking fish that was hell bent on not playing ball and wanting its photo taken!!!
In the end we managed just over 40 wrasse in less than ideal conditions topped off with that one good fish of over 5lbs. Another lesson is that small lures doesnt always mean small fish, think it was the first time that I had scaled down to a 3'' soft plastic senko after the small tentative plucks. Maybe just maybe some of those fish we thought were pesky smaller ones may have been larger ones being a tad more cautious, food for thought...........