Monday, 27 August 2012


Sorry so late, I meant to get this post together earlier, but work got in the way!
Having just wound up very poor weekends bassing(18th+ August)), I felt well and truly beat, and although I know it has been tough in  west Cornwall, I was surprised not to manage a single bass! Had one follow and that was it! I was very grateful to be shown around on the Sunday by Stephen Butler who was kind enough to respond to a thread I started on the lure forum. What a thoroughly nice chap too! He took me to one of his favourite marks, (where he had a bass the day before, so was feeling confident!), but no joy there, so a drive to the south coast to look round Newlyn and Penzance. Not the clearest water, but fish-able, again, sadly no joy there either, so we decided to try around Prussia Cove. It looked good, a little colour and a fairly large swell, the most promising mark we tried, but sadly no joy there either. Well...Steve did manage a small pollock, small....?...well, he was a great host so I wont say!

Then on the way back to St Ives(all day kindly chauffeured by Steve!) we couldn't resist one last attempt at a spot in St Just, no bass there either but some fun with acrobatic pollock, smashing surface lures! Sadly no bass, but a day spent in very good company, shown some lovely marks I will definitely revisit in future!

Sitting at Lands end air port feeling rather defeated,  I got a text from Del to say that Jim - irreverent angler was back over for a few days, camping on  Bryher Campsite. After the disappointing weekend I'd  just had, I was in two minds about meeting up for a session...what if the dry spell continued?! After giving myself a stern talking to I got in touch with Jim, and although I was working everyday to make up for my time away, I had a free evening, and a decent forecast meant it was time for change!

We met up at Bryher Shop, and made our way to Gweal Hill. On the way we caught up, and Jim filled me in on some of the fishing and a kayaking /snorkelling /skishing (yes a combo of all three!) session he had experienced while I was in Cornwall. I am sure he will put a detailed report on his blog soon. We arrived  at the start of the flood tide, which seemed to take forever to push in, and things were a bit quite....oh dear! Despite already feeling like my fishing luck had run out, I purposely persevered with a few lures that I hadn't tried much before. Yeah, I know, I'm a sucker for punishment!

Luckily as the tide picked up, so did the fishing, and both Jim and I were finding a few fish! Remembering a tough session Del and I had on St Marys recently, I suggested Jim try a paddle tail(wish I had brought one along!), and he was soon getting a few more fish.

I put on a newly purchased lure that grabbed my attention the second I saw it, Berkley Gulp 4'' Baitfish Lure. A couple of casts later my efforts were rewarded with this beauty at 49cm, which scrapped like mad in the very shallow water!

The tide had started to really push in now and the "wave" of fish seemed to have moved past us, so we followed the tide in a little further, rock hopping and having a few casts on the way. We both continued to get a few smaller fish, and while releasing one of mine, I looked over to Jim, who's rod was bent very nicely as he gave an angry wrasse the horns! It scrapped beautifully and had him manoeuvring every which way to to keep it from cutting him off on the boulders. I just managed to clamber over to him in time to see him land it and get a couple pics. No scales on us, and never measured her but around the 4 1/2lb mark at a guess, result! Another fat pair of rubber lips!

A great evening with a very capable fellow lure nut! Very glad I joined him and broke my dry spell curse! 
Cheers Jim, I hope to see you back out here again soon, we need to find you a real brute next time!

Sunday, 26 August 2012


Decided on fishing a couple of marks on St.Marys this afternoon in the search for some big old kelp donkeys, I wasnt expecting a great deal of action as there was quite a bit of swell around the rocks and plenty of white water not to mention a side wind. This usually makes fishing soft plastics incredibly difficult due to not keeping a tight line to the lure. I decided to counter the swell by stepping up the cone weight from 7g to 10g and fishing tight under my feet into a nice looking gulley that was 10ft deep and 20 ft wide, it did look fishy though so cast out one of fellow lure addict Karl Fox's homemade soft plastics. I believe that he is thinking of selling them and I must say they look very impressive and very professional - but would they catch Scillonian wrasse like they do their Devon cousins?????

First cast with the black goby and as I take up the slack I get a tap straight away, leaving the lure in the same spot and making the bell dance around and ring like crazy the rod hoops over and fish on!!

Next few casts produced similar sized wrasse, there was certainly plenty of fish in this gulley!! I cast a little bit further out to what looked like a drop off, closed the bail arm and started to twitch the black goby imitation back - BANG BLOODY HELL!!!! The lure was absolutely nailed and this fish wasnt stopping!!!! Just like last sunday up at Tresco this fish was heading out away from me and there was bugger all that I could do to stop or slow her down with the 20lb fluorocarbon leader being done on the barnacles!! 

I set up again and cast out to the same spot, bang fish on again but not the stamp of kelp donkey that I had hooked previously.

Again it was a spirited scrap that tried its hardest to do me in one of the barnacle covered boulders, not the size of fish that I had lost but at 4lbs put a good bend in the Major Craft Crostage.

A change to another one of Karl's homemade specials, this time a sort of slug go type invention but again black was the colour. A flick along the side of the gulley and after several small bumps which I thought was a small fish the rod bent over and a serious wrasse was on. As it had taken right under my feet the rod bent double as I tried to stop it diving straight back to its kelp hole!!! This was another beast that I just couldnt halt and with the same outcome sadly. These big old wrasse were smashing me up good and proper!!!!!!!

I was starting to wonder what I had to do to actually land one of the bigger bullies from this gulley when I was in again on the following cast. I had changed to a Black Hawg Senko and managed to land a steady stream of smaller fish in the 1.5-3lb bracket. Good fun but I was waiting for another lunker to come through the gulley again. 

This one again was 4lbs that led me on a merry dance and wet feet as I netted her. I cast out again over the drop off, several small taps started as the lure was bounced over the edge and bang fish on. This was another brute that headed towards me this time, then out again then turned and swam back I could feel the line rubbing over the boulders as it tried its hardest to beat me up. Thankfully with a bit of side strain she surfaced and was a cracker!!! Slipping the net under her and lifting her out I knew she could be the 6lb that I was looking for...

At 6.1lbs she had a massive head and a really fat belly that wasnt very long surprisingly but it was a new best for me using this soft plastics and lighter tackle. Anybody that says wrasse dont fight well you need to try this type of fishing. You will be pleasantly surprised!!!!! A great afternoon and a gulley that I will be heading back to thats for sure!!!! As for Karl's homemade lures, well they work mate and work very well too - Scillonian wrasse love em!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, 22 August 2012




Several months ago a chap called Neil Heyer contacted me through the blog as he was interested in coming over to the islands to sample the fishing and have a crack at some of the awesome wrasse fishing that we have on the lighter tackle. Several emails went back and forth regarding what to bring lure wise, good old Andy Kendrick at jackslrf sorted him out with the wrasse's favourite snacks and next thing I know he is on the islands and we are discussing a plan of attack over a couple of pints! 


Sunday dawned and it was pissing down!!!!!!!!! Great, regretting that last pint now I have to get out of my warm bed to get soaking wet - anglers are just a little bit mad arent we!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Like true hardy men like we are we met up on the quay at St. Mary's to catch the tripper boat over to the island of Tresco. Tresco is a stunning island with long white beaches and the famous Abbey Gardens, home to many rare and sub tropical plants but it was the northern end that we were interested in and the virgin marks that I was sure held some big old kelp brutes!! Due to the tides we landed on Carn Near and had to stomp the entire length of the island to reach the marks. Thankfully by the time we reached the north the rain had stopped and the sun came out - what an amazing vista said Neil!! We spent a bit of time looking around and checking out the deep gullies strewn with heavy kelp and boulders the size of small vans, it all screamed wrasse!!!!!!! 


We decided to fish a mark that I had identified using google maps, it was a lovely gulley, with boulders and weed everywhere but also with the odd clear sandy patch and with the tide still 2 hours from low I didnt expect much until the flood. Oh how wrong I was, first cast and wrasse on straight away! I managed to winkle out three fish before Neil had even cast out, they were certainly around and hungry!! I had started to fish a watermelon  5'' Hawg Stickbait and had to change due to the lure being chomped beyond recognition. Neil was quickly getting to grips with how to hold the rod and keep the tip facing upwards when twitching and bumping the soft plastics over the boulders and soon his reel was screaming as his first wrasse headed towards the kelp!



He was over the moon to say the least and was soon back into a fish on his next cast! The fishing was pretty mad with bites and takes every cast and although the size of the wrasse wasnt massive there were clearly big numbers of fish down there!! Each one fought like demons probably due to never being caught before and I dont think I have ever seen so many on the back tide before!!! 



I switched to a Black Hawg Stickbait and cast out, I lifted the rod and it all went tight as something picked up the lure then off it went!! I was using the Major Craft Crostage and never before has it bent like that, line was coming off the shimano rarenium even though the drag was done up tight. I just couldnt stop it, she was clearly the big bully of this gulley and without a doubt the most powerful wrasse I have hooked. Sadly she did me like a kipper snapping the 20lb fluorocarbon and leaving me cursing!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Sorry about the agricultural language Neil!)


I put on another black senko and cast out, with wrasse after wrasse to 4lbs but nothing like that beast whilst Neil was going through his soft plastic collection catching on all manner of lures.



Regretably it was time to head back to catch the boat back to St.Marys but the swell had started to build with the flooding tide so it was good timing. I didnt fancy another soaking, this time with sea water!!



It was certainly a fun day, good company and plenty of fish too, I think Neil enjoyed himself and I reckon he's caught the wrasse bug!!!!!! We will be back to pay this spot a visit, might have to step up the rod to the 15-50g Shinjin though to get that kelp donkey out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, 6 August 2012


With work in full swing these last few weeks it has been incredibly difficult to arrange a session with Neil, work doesnt half get in the way of fishing (come on lottery numbers!!). Thankfully we managed to meet up on sunday for a few hours over on St.Agnes to fish a spot we last fished with Simon and Jim when they were over visiting. Back then the wrassing on soft plastics was going off in a big way, plenty of fish including that 5.10lb brute and as they were  spawning blue was THE colour. It was going to be interesting to see how the mark would fish at a different time of year!

We started going through the lures in the box, having 4 or 5 casts with each lure to find the lure and colour of the day but we were really struggling. Several small taps, very tentative indeed and a couple of times we found the buggers had nipped the tail or a tentacle off!! 

A change to a small Yoshikawa Super Worm and on the second cast I finally connect with a spirited 4lb fish.

Maybe things were finally looking up and the bigger fish were starting to show as the next cast on yet another lure, this time a Watermellon Senko produced a 4.5lb fish.

After several more casts and a couple of smaller fish it was time to change lures again as it had become pretty quiet again! I put on a Hawg Wild 4'' Crawfish and an incredibly slow twitch and long pause resulted in 3.5lb ballan the same colour as the lure!

Neil was finding the same and we were going through the lures, chopping and changing in the hope of finding a lure that would constantly produce the goods! Again we were getting plenty of small plucks and put it down to small fish?

We were getting the odd small fish ranginging up to 2.5lbs until a final change to a lure of 2'' produced small tentative takes but this time with the smaller lure and smaller hook I connected and up surfaced another 4lb fish.

It was a real struggle to find any great numbers or size of fish today as to why that was the case, I am not entirely sure but after consulting with wrasse sensei Keith White he and his team have noticed this same pattern over in the Channel Islands (reassuring!!). Whether it has something to do with water temperature, atmospheric pressures or maybe they just arent as aggressive in their feeding patterns we may never know, but that is what makes fishing so absorbing. One day you think you have it cracked and then the fish change the rules!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!