Wednesday, 17 October 2012


God I have been very slack over the last few weeks and havent managed to get out fishing, well when I say that Ive been slack its mainly been down to being a wimp and not wanting to get a right old soaking with all the rain and wind we have been suffering from. WINTER has definitely arrived on the islands thats for sure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A while back I had a conversation with Jim O'Donnell who writes for Total Sea Fishing Magazine (TSF) and was very keen to come over to the islands to get a feature in the bag about the lure fishing potential. We looked at dates and tides etc and planned a trip for early October. We studied the long range forecasts and as this weekend approached things were not looking great!! Big storms were battering the islands and would leave plenty of groundswells to contend with, not good when you want to target wrasse with lures we have found!! Still, the weekend arrived and Jim brought with him two mates, Dave Taylor and Luke Fox who along with Jim were bloody good anglers. I have been following Lukes blog for a while now and was always impressed with his catches, he seemed to know his stuff when it came to catching lots of different species with soft plastics so I felt confident that we could find a fish or two and I could learn a few things too!!!!

After picking them all up from the Scillonian we dropped off the gear and headed staight out so that they could have a warm up on some of the marks that have been fishing well for me. Fishing was hard as big swells were making it difficult to keep a tight line to the lures which meant we werent able to fish texas rigs effectively. We all caught wrasse though and lost a fair few as well as getting more than a tad damp when it decided to chuck it down in more than biblical proportions!!!!! Christ we even had to leave the rods alone and shelter under a rock when the rain turned to hail and then the thunder and lightning started!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

What a great start to showing them the islands in all their glory hey!! Still, we hadnt blanked and Jim managed a couple just over 3lbs in some pretty pants conditions. We decided to call it a day and head to the pub to put a plan together for the following day.

Saturday morning saw us jump into a mate's RIB and head to White Island to hopefully find some shelter and big kelp donkeys!!! I havent fished here for about 8 years at least and never with the tackle that we would be using. Couple that with a ride out and amongst 3metre swells and big seas just to get to the uninhabited island, christ we must be insane!!! 

As you can see from the picture, it looks very wrassey indeed and should give us a chance to find some shelter from the North West gales that we were being subjected to. Sadly that wasnt quite the case as the swells were managing to affect everywhere on the island but we gave it our best and had plenty of wrasse although mostly on the smaller size. Luke was an absolute machine when it came to catching them, everytime I looked round he was bent into a fish!!!

                               Photo courtesy of Jim O'Donnell.

I managed to winkle out a couple of 4lbers before we set our sights on finding a pollack or two. We headed out towards the point of the island giving us a chance to cast into the tide as thats usually where you will find them. Sure enough we did, with several smaller fish and a 3lber falling to Lukes soft plastic Ecogear paddletails and a nice fish of 5lbs to my Savage Gear Sandeel. Gutted for Luke as he lost a cracking fish that we put down to being a big pollack that crash dived to the bottom snapping his braid on the rocks in the process (next time mate!!!!!).

                             Photo courtesy of Jim O'Donnell.

Again the weather gods were not on our side as the rain started then the hail so we decided to shelter and watch an awesome sight, a waterspout off the adjacent island of St. Martin's. As the storm passed it was time to head out for some more wrasse. Again they were all on the small side with Luke getting fish after fish on his array of smaller ecogear soft plastics, he was clearly in his element!!!! Time was getting close to when we had arranged our RIB ride back to St. Mary's so we decided to head back to the rendezvous spot. We couldnt resist a few last casts over a rocky brow with Luke straight into fish and me being busted up by a good'un! An exhilarating ride on the RIB followed and we all decided that we had earned a pint or two!!

Sunday and the last day to get some better sized fish!!  As the wind had decided to go North, it was the sensible option to stay on St. Mary's as it would give us more choices of places to fish. We would travel light and yomp from mark to mark to find the fish. First stop was the marks of Outer Head on Peninnis, the very deep water (140 ft) straight off the rocks usually produces good pollack but not today. Maybe a lack of tide being the reason but just one solitary small pollack showed to me so it was back up the rocks and onto the marks at Old Town and under the airport. Small wrasse were showing before Dave landed a nice 4lber which gave him a good scrap!! I noticed the tide had started to pull so swapped rods and decided to target the pollack which this mark is well known for. First cast (seriously) and I get a hit then feel the Savage Gear Sandeel Slug starting to get heavier and heavier meaning one thing-pollack! The Sakura Shinjin I am using starts to bend as a good fish dives, I shout this is a good one and to get the net as she dives several times as she nears the rock face. The Shimano Rarenium 4000 sings as she makes several more runs before I can see the golden flank, christ it looks a stonker and a double from where we are standing, then off she goes again this time diving into the kelp, A bit more pressure and up she comes again before being expertly netted by Dave!!

                                Photo courtesy of Jim O'Donnell.

A fantastic pollack that tipped the scales round to 8lbs!!! Before returning it was time to get a photo to sum up what fishing soft plastics in the Isles of Scilly is all about......

Two good specimens, that fought incredibly well on light balanced tackle, both released to grow and fight another day and the smiles on mine and Daves face say it all!!!!

It is always such a nightmare when you get crap conditions and massive groundswells as you know that you are not going to be able to show the islands off to their true potential. Made even harder when you have the pressure to make sure Jim had what he needed for the article!! But even with the difficult testing (ball ache) weather we must have had over 150 wrasse to 4lbs and plenty of pollack to 8lbs over the three sessions which aint too bad after all!!! It was a joy to fish with the three of them,  I certainly learnt a great deal and we all had a good old laugh thats for sure. Surely that is what fishing is all about!!!!!!!