Thursday, 14 November 2013


Monday was a bit of a write off with work due to all flights being cancelled with the islands surrounded by a fog blanket so I took the opportunity to head back out to the shallow bay that has been on top form recently.

I wanted to fish the mark on the back tide so waded out ready to find the wrasse as they vacated the bay with the tide. Conditions were spot on with crystal clear water and very little wind and through the gaps in the jap weed I could clearly see wrasse moving around. I set up with a Z-Man ZinkerZ in watermelon candy rigged texas style and was straight into the wrasse.

I must have had 30 fish up to 4lbs when it all went very quiet. This usually means that the wrasse have become wary to the same colour lure moving in front of them so it's wise to change lures or colours to get them to take again. I switched over to my old faithful the Yoshikawa Superworm in watermelon and green flake and flicked it back across the entrance to the bay. First cast produced nothing so I re-cast back into the bay a little more and started to bump and twitch the lure back through the jap weed. As the lure got to 8ft in front of me I felt a strong tap then the Century Vectura-Ti was almost ripped from my hands as a seriously strong wrasse nailed the lure! I knew that this was a proper wrasse as initially I could do nothing with it bar hold on as it tried to power back out of the bay. I held the rod up and let it absorb the lunges, right then left the wrasse was trying its very best to get up a head of steam and lose the hook. I applied side strain to get it through the 5ft long jap weed in front of me when this enormous head surfaced!! It was thrashing the water as it was so shallow before I slipped the net under the brute. It was only then when I lifted her out of the water did I feel the weight of the wrasse, it's got be 7lb I thought!

She pulled the scales down to 7.5lbs and was 58 cm long, a new personal best and I was over the moon!!! The photos don't really do the fish justice, she had an enormous head with incredibly broad shoulders and I couldn't actually get my hand around the wrist of the tail. She was indeed a proper wrasse and hooked in only 4ft of water on a lure - what fun!!!

Who says wrasse don't fight, in shallow water they most definitely do!!

Watching her swim away was hugely satisfying, now all I have to do is catch a bigger one.......................

Sunday, 10 November 2013


We, like the rest of the UK at this time of year, have been getting a real pummelling from the weather-WINTER is definitely here!!! I have found though that this can be the best time of year for finding really good sized wrasse with the soft plastics. I look for really shallow ground away from all the deep marks outside the islands as the wrasse love them. As we all know wrasse are not fond of turbulent water and if there is any ground sea or swell running the chances are that you will struggle to catch them. Instead go into the really shallow boulder bays and the fishing can be AWESOME!!

This last week I have fished several such bays into water as shallow as 3ft and have had some mental sport!!

As I was walking along the top of one bay the water clarity was absolutely crystal clear when I saw a decent sized wrasse moving over the boulders in 4ft of water. I flicked out a 3'' Wave Grasscraw in front of the wrasse, tap tap and bang all hell had broken loose!! Spray was going everywhere due to the shallow water as the wrasse went crazy before I slipped the net under a very stocky and angry 6lb wrasse.

I could see several other wrasse moving around the boulders and sand patches and soon another cracking fish slipped under the landing net.

A couple of days later I found myself with another opportunity to head back out to the same shallow bay. I brought along with me a packet of Z-Man ZinkerZ to try out. Awesome watermelon and red flake colours but just soooooooo stretchy!! They are incredibly soft and supple and claim to be 10 times stronger than other soft plastics, time will tell how tough they are with wrasse chomping at them!!

After just one session with them, they are indeed tough as I landed 10 wrasse up to 5lbs on the same lure before sadly losing it!!

Yesterday Neil and I managed to sneak in one last session before the weather turned really nasty and again the wrasse were smashing the lures!!

Again the Z-Mans were doing the business for me stretching ahead of Neil in our mini comp before I gave in to his constant whining and gave him not my last Rolo but my last Z-Man ZinkerZ! What a gentleman I am as Neil soon started catching me up.

As Neil was twitching his lure he stopped to tell me some pearl of wisdom when his baitcaster was almost taken from his hands as a powerful wrasse hit his deadsticked lure from almost under his rod tip! This wrasse was going mental in only a few feet of water before Neil slid it over the landing net. It was a very long fish for its weight as it was the same length as my 6.6lb at 54cm but only pulled the scales down to just over 5lbs.

Still it was a cracking fish but I won't be sharing my lures around again Neil!!!

Just goes to show, despite the howling gale outside if you can find some shelter no matter how shallow the ground you can still have some great sport (just look for the boulders!!)


Due to many reasons such as a much needed holiday to Ireland targeting bass and general busyness with work I had totally forgotten to write up a trip to Bryher that I did last month. Slack I know!!

Pretty much all the fishing for wrasse that I do is always done on the flood so I really wanted to fish some of the shallow marks but on the back tide to see how they compare. I have always favoured the flood tide, getting to the marks at low water and fishing the boulder gullies as they cover. The wrasse come into the gullies with the tide so it was going to be interesting to see how long they stayed on the ebb.

I fished a gulley that has around 10 feet of water at high tide and moved down the bay and gullies with the tide. Fishing was pretty hectic from the word go with lots of small sized wrasse hitting the lures so it was a matter of fishing through the smaller ones before the larger wrasse got in on the action.

This 5.2lb fish hit me in about 8ft of water and took a Wave 3'' Grasscraw in watermelon and red flake.

The larger fish were hitting the lures and several 4lb fish soon appeared.

This one took the ever faithful Yoshikawa Superworm again in watermelon colour.
It was seemingly no different to what the fishing would be like on the flood tide as I was finding plenty of small wrasse with the odd bigger fish as well.

This one was the biggest of the session at 5.6lbs and was a real chunky fish with a fat belly that fought really well in 5ft of water. At this point the tide was rapidly leaving the gullies and it was time for my boat home.