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.

Monday 30 September 2013

Finally back on the rocks and amongst the wrasse!!!

Sunday saw Neil and myself fishing together for the first time in two months, with the Isles of Scilly enjoying some fantastic weather (finally a proper summer) it has made for a largely frustrating time when it came to finding the time to meet up and fish! I shouldn't complain as it will be the winter soon enough when the islands become a rather different place when all the holiday makers have disappeared.

Catching the Jet boat over to Bryher with the local vicar I was tempted to ask for some help from him upstairs to boost our catches such was my confidence in the dire weather an east wind and such a small tide! But Neil had a completely different opinion and was confident that ''todays gonna be a good day, I don't know why, it just is!!''

There was a little swell moving around but with the easterly winds it meant the sea was gin clear and the ground was looking very fishy. Tackling up with my 7'7'' Century Vectura-Ti I decided to fish a slightly heavier cone weight of 13g to counter the swell, Neil on the other hand was christening his new baitcaster combo and chose to fish with a 7g. Both of us rigged up Yoshikawa superworms in watermelon and almost straight away the wrasse were nailing them! Action was frantic but the majority of the wrasse were 2.5lbs and under but were scrapping well despite their lack of size.

We both said that there had to be bigger fish out there and next cast Neil 's baitcaster bent over and a better sized wrasse was doing its best to test the new outfit. Slipping the net under the near 5lb fish cheered us both up.

We rather hoped that would be the start of the better sized wrasse coming into the bay but still the small wrasse were nailing the lures first. A change of lures to the black Yoshikawa Superworm resulted in several slightly better fish.

Next cast I decided to put a little further out and BANG, instantly I shouted to Neil that this was a beast, the Vectura was hooped over as the wrasse tried its best to head towards the reef to our left. Side strain applied I managed to turn the wrasse. There is no point in letting a good wrasse take line as the fight can and will be lost in the first few moments with a loose drag! Its hit and hold em to get them up and away from the snags and with this fish hitting me 30 yards out it was anything but subtle!!

I had the wrasse to the surface and coaxed it towards where Neil was waiting with the landing net. Its a 6 Neil shouted excitedly as he lifted the wrasse up!! Pulling the scales down it was indeed a 6 and went 6.6lbs so a new pb as well!!!

It certainly was a chunky brute with an enormous tail that after a few brief moments to regain its strength disappeared back to cause havoc in its haunt!

We fished on hoping for its old man to take our lures but after an hour and with the top of the tide arriving and the small fish still making a nuisance, we decided to make a move.

Another boulder filled bay and with slightly shallower water it again looked fishy. I had a few taps then all hell broke loose as a wrasse hit me that certainly felt heavier than the last beast. Sadly I could do nothing as it rubbed my braid against a reef and was gone! The next few casts and small fish plaguing us Neil had a tap and instantly he knew he too had hooked a big wrasse! Yet again though it did him on a boulder. The look on his face said it all, he was shocked I think you could say! I think there was a few choice words if I remember correctly too!!!

We continued to fish but with the tide ebbing we were starting to loose the depth and could clearly see the extent of the ground we were fishing over. It was brutal ground and the boulders were the size of small cars, we didn't really have a chance landing these big kelp donkeys!! It was frustrating as there was some monster wrasse here, just getting them out was a nightmare!

It was time for one last move to find some slightly deeper water, again the next bay was full of smaller wrasse that were loving the new Ghost Maggot.

Time to head back home, great to be back out on the rocks and it had certainly had its moments with a new pb and a crazy amount of small wrasse. If only we had landed the ones that had smashed us both up!!!

I think Neil was right though, It had been a ''good day''!


Friday 2 August 2013

A round up of July

Its the busy time of the year over here in the Isles of Scilly so sadly work has been getting in the way of me fishing although I have managed a few sessions. I thought I would bring them all together for one big post to show how the islands have been fishing. July has seen a few anglers and friends over to target the pollack and wrasse on lures and with the weather gods looking on us favourably the fishing has been pretty good!!

At the start of the month former UKSF casting champion and now mad keen lure angler Andy Green (the wellington wrong'un to some) came over to stay with me and to attempt to break his lure caught wrasse pb of 3.5lbs. Well the old boy well and truly smashed it on many occasions!!!!!!!!!!!!

We fished a few spots after I had finished work and found the wrasse in a very obliging mood. Although the spot we fished was majorly snaggy it was almost a wrasse a chuck at times. Just a shame we lost a couple of stonking fish!!!

Andy with a lovely 4lb wrasse that hit his Hawg Stickbait hard on the first cast on one of the sessions, cheeky sod, I hadnt even set up when he had this one!!!!

As the weather was fantastic we manged to get over to Bryher on my day off and smashed the wrasse big time but sadly the spot that I was really keen to take Andy to fish was blown out. We still did well in the really sheltered bays in only a few feet of water with the old codger upping his wrasse pb to 4.5lbs, well chuffed for him!!!!

I had several over 4lbs as well with a couple of donkeys that smashed me up!!

Andy went back the following day whilst I was at work and smashed a heap load of wrasse again from the spot that I was desperate for him to fish. Again he had them up to 4lbs but lost a couple he couldnt stop!!!

On his final day he even upped his pollack best on lures to just under 5lbs that gave him a good scrap in 8ft of water over some serious boulders, nice one mate!!!!!!!

Young Liam Faisey was next over and had some awesome pollack sport and even managed to up his pb to just under 7lbs!!!!!

I managed to get back up to Bryher with perfect conditions on my next day off, it was a truly epic session with wrasse a cast out of one big gulley. Several fish over 4lbs with the biggest going 5lbs and all fought really well. 

I had 42 before Neil joined me and we kept on moving and catching wrasse as the tide flooded until it was time to head back home. 72 wrasse later and the majority all took the awesome Yoshikawa Superworm in watermelon or black.

So as you can see, the fishing when we havent been working has been pretty good. Great numbers of wrasse but the larger ones have been sadly lacking, we have hooked them but just been unable to have that bit of luck that you need to get them out of their kelpy lairs.

So on that note I will leave you with a photo of Tony Chesworth's stonking wrasse of 6.14lbs, awesome lure caught wrasse mate well done!!!!!!!!! He said it gave him a mental scrap and several times took him to the bottom before he could land it!!!!

Friday 28 June 2013


Managed to get out for a session the other day targeting pollack from the rocks. This year, as I and many others have found, has been such a nightmare but with the spring tides and perfect conditions I thought it had to be worth giving it a go. I had brought with me two rods so that I could try two different methods, for fishing casting jigs up to 60g I had the Graphiteleader Remoto EX9'6'' and for fishing my usual soft plastics I had the new Century Vectura Ti 11'

I arrived just as it was low water, to enable me to set up both rods and have everything to hand as usually the pollack come past this area in tight groups meaning the fishing prime time is a short window.

After an hour and with the tide now pulling hard,  I had a hit on the drop with the speed jig getting nailed by a small pollack of about 3lbs. Next cast and again on the drop the jig was hit by a much better fish. With steady pumping the pollack then made several dives and felt a decent weight when it somehow bumped off!! Gutted I checked the assist hook, nowt wrong with that just bad luck/angling on my behalf I guess!!!! I was really getting to grips with the Graphiteleader Remoto, it has a shorter stem/handle than I am used to, but then again it has this for a reason. It has been designed as a jigging rod and the shorter the better for imparting action to the jig. Rated to cast 25-75g a 60g williamson speed jig was being fired out well over 100 yards easily with a simple overhead thump, snap over the bail arm by hand and crank up the slack braid then starting imparting some life into the jig, simple! Interestingly both the pollack I had hit the lure as it was dropping. A couple of casts after the lost pollack, again the jig was hit on the drop, this pollack made a couple of dives before I had it beneath my feet. This was another good fish and with the help of a wave I managed to slide the pollack into my landing net.

Tipping the scales to 8.8lb it was a cracking pollack and proves that shore jigging is an awesome way of catching big pollack.

I decided to have a few casts with the Century Vectura Ti rigged up with the fantastic Fiish Black Minnow 140 and with a 30g shore head. A slightly longer drop and taking things nice and slow the soft plastic was flying out! I was initially rather hesitant about using the rod from this spot due to its extra length but that was to prove unfounded!! It was clearly the prime time for pollack as I soon felt the Fiish black Minnow getting heavier then bang the rod slammed over. This was another good pollack but it strangely was heading towards me!! Reeling like a crazy loon the pollack woke up under my feet and attempted several crash dives but with the drag done up tight the rod absorbed all the dives nicely and soon I was slipping the net under a stonking fish.

At 9.6lbs it was a cracking fish that after a few photos again went away strongly. I tried for several hours after the pollack flourish but not even a sniff, again proving that the window for the action is really small. Had I missed it by getting down later I would not have caught and been left scratching my head. Pollack fishing this season has been like waiting for a bus, I've waited a long time then two come along at once!!!!!

Christ that really is corny, I am off to find some more cheesey lines for next time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday 19 June 2013

Catching up with old friends on Gugh.

Sorry its been such a ridiculously long time since I posted anything, it has been the worst year for fishing that I have ever witnessed here in the Isles of Scilly. If if wasnt a gale blowing then we had the dreaded may bloom and algae the like I have never seen before!!!! I wrote this a couple of weeks a go but was just waiting for a couple of photos from Simon so that I could finish it off. Not the best post thats for sure but at least Iam trying!!!

Sunday saw myself and Neil heading up to St Agnes to meet up with Jim and Simon from the Irreverent Angler. They have been camping and fishing their socks off for the last few days and with the weather being like summer (dare I say it) we were optimistic to say the least. We had drawn up a plan to fish the tiny island of Gugh, only accessible by a sand bar that covers at high water. Looking at google earth it looked incredible!!!!

Boulders, gulleys, headlands out into the tide, shallow weedy bays all looked like perfect wrasse and pollack haunts and with the likelihood of very little previous lure fishing action!! I remember fishing some of the marks around the southern tip at Hoe point 12 years ago with Henry Gilbey and his mate Kevin where we had several pollack but hadnt been out there since. It was Neils first time to Gugh in his eleven years of living on the islands.

We started at the southern tip, casting various soft plastics but apart from a couple of wrasse for myself it was pretty quiet, although it was the ebb tide so not exactly unexpected. 

We did see several shoals of mullet cruising past, moving very quickly with some of them being 6-7lb fish!! The water is definitely starting to show signs of warming up as I lost count of the jellyfish I saw which bodes well. 

We moved from rock to rock catching the odd wrasse and Jim had four 3lb pollack in four casts when Neil decided to change tactics and rig up a larger homemade paddletail with a 40g jig head and blasted it between two pinnacles in the hope of finding a pollack. Third cast and his rod slammed over, he was clearly into a much bigger fish. Judging by his language it was a seriously powerful fish that he was fighting when disaster struck! The huge pollack dived and got tangled on a trailing lobster pot rope and was snagged!!!! He tried everything from giving it slack to eventually pulling for a break. Gutted doesnt even come close!!!!!!! As to how big it actually was we will never know, but I am sure Neil will be reliving that fight in his dreams many many times!!!!!!

It was approaching low water now and the tide had eased so we moved again to target the wrasse with the slack water. We found a lovely looking bay, really shallow but it screamed wrasse! After several small pollack to 3lbs on the drop we managed to find the wrasse with all four of us hooking up at the same time, awesome fishing and a great laugh. They werent the biggest wrasse with the biggest going 4lbs to myself.

Even the pollack were getting bigger with both Jim and Neil landing them to 4 lbs.

We lost count of the numbers of wrasse and pollack we had out of the bay but it was decided that we would head back out to the ledges where Neil lost the big pollack as soon as the tide started to flood.

Neil was soon into the pollack again with several small fish caught to a couple of pounds before he shouted for me to stop taking photos and get the net! 


A cracking pollack that put up a spirited scrap but nothing like the one that got away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It seemed that as quick as the pollack had appeared they disappeared. Another lesson learnt for this new mark, its only a really short window for the pollack as they move through with the tide!!! 

It was back to target the wrasse from the shallow marks and as with the pollack they were strangely hard to locate! Maybe with such a huge spring tide they were holed up and not feeding as we thought they would?

We all agreed it was time to move to the Turks Head Pub for a much deserved pint! It had been a good day, great to catch up with Jim and Simon and have a laugh catching silly numbers of fish. Sadly the real monsters had evaded us this time but theres always the next time. I think that we will be back out on Gugh again soon!!!!