Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Cornish Wrasse Hunt With Scott

Day one was a solo mission to my regular West Cornwall spot. Tooled up with the sublime Nories JigHead Snapper and a back pack full of soft plastics, fishing was poor, with the calm, clear conditions just throwing up a handful of small Pollack, and a couple of Wrasse. The pink Ecogear Minnow M 4" claiming one fish Texas rigged, the other Wrasse taken on a drop shot rig, with the OSP Mylar Minnow. Fished with a spool of Sunline FC Sniper 10lb fluro, great line for the vertical approach in amongst the rough stuff.

On my way to this mark, over the last few sessions, I have been greeted by a squawking bird call, unlike any other I have heard. The bird in question is pretty rare by all accounts, and it is a Cornish Chough. At a glance, similar to a crow at first, but this bird is only found in small numbers here and there, and location of breeding programs are kept very secret.

Day 2, and I had arranged to meet up with Scott, who was on holiday down in Porthleven, from his home back in Edinburgh. Scott wanted to get amongst the Cornish Wrasse, and hopefully improve on his PB of around 1.5lb. Sea conditions were calm, water clear and winds light, so we made the decision to fish the far West of Cornwall on the South Coast. This particular mark, I had not visited for around 3 months, as it is very exposed to swell, and weather conditions of late have been far from perfect for venturing out there.

After parking up and making the 20 minute walk down along the coast path, we arrived at the first rocky outcrop to fish from. Deep water over rock and weed, we rigged up our soft plastics and cast out. I was using the JigHead Snapper again, so versatile, able to work tiny LRF lures, and easily scale up to something bigger and heavier if needed. Today I was fishing with the ever reliable Sunline RockFish 0.6PE (10lb) line. Combined with a Sunline Siglon 8lb Fluro leader, this combo is great for targeting the hard fighting Wrasse in amongst the rough grounds.

I was first off the mark with a couple of Wrasse, a good sign of things to come. I was still a little nervous, feeling the pressure to score Scott a decent fish, at a mark I had not fished in a long while.

With no more bites, it was a quick climb back up, and along the coast path. We were heading to a gulley in the granite, that in the past, has always thrown up some good numbers of fish. The way down to it, like many paths in Cornwall at the moment, was heavily overgrown, with all the wet, warm weather, a mini jungle expedition was required to get down to the spot. The gulley is fed at one end by a stream, pouring it's way down from the fields above. It was here that Scott hooked into his first Wrasse of the day. This was quickly followed up by another, which after a quick weigh, measure and kiss, broke his previous PB! From then on the Wrasse were landed thick and fast for both of us.

My attention was turned towards the RNLI Penlee Lifeboat, the Paul Alexander (Atlantic 75 class) as it steamed West. Shortly after, it returned in the Newlyn direction, with a stricken boat on tow. The Atlantic 75 was later on exercise with the mighty Ivan Ellen (Servern Class) in Mounts Bay.

Soon after, Scott's rod was bent into another fish, and this one looked a decent size, as it made it's runs down into the depths. Once landed, Scott's smile said it all, his PB was once again beaten, this time well and truly, with a lovely pig weighing in just over 4lb. This was the best fish of the day, stoked that Scott had his mission accomplished.

My best fish was a lovely spotted example, with stunning pattern and colouration on its flanks. I had fished a combination of various 2 - 4" lures today, all Texas rigged weedless. Some straight slug types, such as the 3" Jackson Delicious Shiner, some craw styles, like the 2' Ecogear BugAnts.

I finished the day with 21 Wrasse landed, and I think Scott had similar numbers. I was relieved that my choice of mark had produced, and Scott was happy to have smashed his Wrasse PB. It was a great session overall, good to meet up with Scott and fish along side him. I dropped him back in Porthleven, where I am sure he will have a few more good sessions on the fish during his stay, and I look forward to hearing about his species hunt aboard a charter boat. So to finish up, a few more pics of some of my Wrasse. Always amazes me, the variation in colour and pattern. Also great to think that 30+ fish came from one location, a place that we decided to call Wrasse Alley!

If you want to check out Scott's other fishing adventures with his mate Jake, then take a look at their joint blog. It's a great read, with reports and session from all over the UK


  1. Lovely pictures. Always stunned by the beauty and coloration of wrasse.
    Thanks for sharing.

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