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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This is all a pretty new area but some of us have spent the summer working hard on what is a growing area of the sport under the banner of HRF.

Here’s a quick review of some of my personal findings.

Areas to fish:

We all know that wrasse lurk on pretty much any mark where there is rock, weed and cover, but how do we determine the best marks? Well other than trying them, here are some things to look out for:

· Boulders – wrasse love boulders, fish in between them, bounce lure over them and you will get smashed.
· Weed – Just like mullet, they are attracted to piles of weed in the water and seem to hang about right on the edges, I have even caught good wrasse right in amongst the floating kelp after a storm.
· Tide – or lack of it, I have not had many wrasse in areas of strong tide movement, I know they are there from bait use but they don’t seem to like lures there.
· Water Depth – so far, I have had very few wrasse form deeper water, intertidal areas are most productive, often fishing at high water into an area which dries at low gives the best fish.

Methods:

This is standard HRF, keep it tight to the bottom, skips and jumps, personally I prefer to keep the lure moving but as slowly as possible but at times the shaky style can bring some big hits.

Lures:

Wrasse will actually hit most lures and I have had them on several patterns but the Xlayer is going to take some beating and is the go-to lure. I have found however a preference for colour. Brown, brown and brown. Others have found different colours to be better, purple being very popular but for me the natural colours, dark greens and browns seem to sort the fish out.


other lures include senkos, Reins bubbling shad or rockvibe (note the price of these, not going to break the bank!!)


remember though that wrasse love to chomp lure, rip them in half and bite them off just before the hook. You will lose lures and not just through getting snagged. I lose more lures to fish chomping and pulling them off than I do to snags.


Jig Heads:

All sorts of jig heads available now. Bachi are good in rough ground, but they cost money and if you don’t like throwing money into the sea and can’t afford to, then use something less pricey. I make my own football heads. My go to weight is 7.5g with 1/0 hook but I use 4g and up to 10g quite regularly. Round heads are also good.

You can if you prefer fish a lead on the line, personal choice, a jig head gives you more feeling with bottom contact to react to stop a lure going in a hole.

The Gear:

HRF gear through and through, rod in the area of 7-21g, fast action with a sensitive tip, braid on the reel, can get nasty so better to use powerpro or a similar cheaper braid til you get used to it. You will lose gear at first until you get used to feeling the lure.

I prefer Yamatoyo SW PE#1.0 which is 10lb breaking strain. I have been trying the same line in PE#1.5 lately which is 20lb and there is a significant loss in feeling bottom structure but it’s better for resistance against rocks during the fight.

Reel in whatever size balances your rod, 2500 or 4000 size, just remember with the bigger reel to use some backing to save money on braid.

Leaders:

You have to use a leader. Main reason is abrasion resistance during a fight, but try without and you simply don't catch fish so it must alter the action or the braid is visible. I use Ultima Pure Power flourocarbon. Seems to be very good for the money, knots well and not to thick or hard.
 

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Cheers Andy. I have caught my first few Wrasse on lures this year (from the West Country) and was amazed at the power of even the smaller fish. This could get addictive! I just wish there were better Wrasse marks in Sussex but I will be back down to Devon and Cornwall next year to put some of your tips into practice.
 

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Brilliant post Andy, goes a long way to getting someone like me with little or no Wrasse experience. To a point where I stand a catch of catching a decent Wrasse.
Cheers Mate.

Andrew, I know of two local marks where I have seen wrasse over a couple of pounds-Never know might be a lunker or two hiding there.
 

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A very good post indeed :clap::clap:
 

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Nice one Andy :) I'm thinking of getting a new rod that's a bit more sensitive & will help me out with feeling what my SP's/jig heads are doing. When I do I'll be trying to catch some wrasse/pollack etc instead on focusing on bass all of the time. Just a couple of ?'s.........

- where do you get your jighead moulds from & how much money do you reckon you save by diy'ing them?
- re avoiding getting your jig head/lure snagged......apart from using a rod that's up for the job, using line that's as light as you dare, not dragging your jig head over the bottom & using as light a jighead as possible do you have any other tips for not getting the jig head snagged?
 

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Cheers for that Andy, excellent post, as yet I haven't caught one but I know where they are, this (Whitby) is out and out Cod country and we are at the moment having one of the best seasons in the last 10 years and wrasse are regarded as bait stealing rubbish and no use, but we use 14 - 16ft rods and 35lb nylon straight through so they dont get chance to fight. On the down side we have had one sea after another with hardly any breaks of calm weather and now to cap it all we are going to get snow melt run off for the next two to three weeks, that is of course if it melts at all but it b#ggers everything up. What I'd give for a little bit of calm sea and water clarity.
 

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Good post Andy, especially helpful to those that don't have Wrasse fishing on their doorsteps.

Seeing that I've entered the Wrasse comp next year, I'm going to have to put a bit more time aside for the bullys - Senko's on the Christmas list!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
1. where do you get your jighead moulds from & how much money do you reckon you save by diy'ing them?
2. re avoiding getting your jig head/lure snagged......apart from using a rod that's up for the job, using line that's as light as you dare, not dragging your jig head over the bottom & using as light a jighead as possible do you have any other tips for not getting the jig head snagged?
OK...

1. I got mine from the US, lure parts online. $30 plus post. Hooks I use are Mustad BLN's no 32746 i think it is as the ones the mould states are bronze and don't last in the sea. Took me a while to find out which hooks fit right. Hooks are about $13 per 100 so for 500 jigs it will set you back roughly $100 (plus post) which is about £70 and therefore 14p each, but that includes the cost fo the mould, ignore the mould cost and it's 8p each... (You can see why i stopped using Bachi heads for cost reasons now right??) Oh, and assuming you have lead to do it. A few 6oz cod leads make a lot of 3.5g jig heads!!

2. Not getting snagged, well that's partly why i keep it moving, if you feel a bump on a rock, that's the time to do your flick or 2 and a shake which will take it over the top. With the light braid you will get used to feeling when you are falling into a shag rather than just going over a rock. BUT, YOU WILL STILL LOSE GEAR. sorry, in caps but I have to make it clear. there is no solution to it fishing like this in the ground you fish.

I will also add somethign re leaders, forgot that last night.
 

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Andrew, I know of two local marks where I have seen wrasse over a couple of pounds-Never know might be a lunker or two hiding there.
That woul be good. Once the weather warms up to just below freezing I wil nag you to give it a go! Lol!!!
 

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I will also add somethign re leaders, forgot that last night.
Thanks again Andy. I seem to recall that there was discussion recently about leader length & wrasse fishing............the length that people used came down to personal preference. What length do you fish with when going for the wrasse?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks again Andy. I seem to recall that there was discussion recently about leader length & wrasse fishing............the length that people used came down to personal preference. What length do you fish with when going for the wrasse?
For leaders, personally I use about 3ft or so, maybe a bit less sometimes. I tie lures direct to the leader so want it to last longer when I need to re-tie to change size of head or different style. I have some shaky football heads as well which I also make, more fiddly to make and bigger hooks not as suited to wrasse as the other mould mentioned above.
 

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I have some shaky football heads as well which I also make, more fiddly to make and bigger hooks not as suited to wrasse as the other mould mentioned above.
Shaky football heads....? At the risk of sounding like I know nothing (which is probably true :-D) what's the difference between these & normal football heads? Are they articulated?
 

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Great post Andy! I too make my own jigheads (round) but use Owner 2/0 and 3/0 hooks. They're a bit pricey but still cheaper than buying factory made jigheads.
 

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Great post there.

Apologies if this throws the thread off the jighead theme a little but I was curious as I have never really targeted wrasse on the lure.

I was wondering whether you tend to find that you foul hook (or at least hook up outside the mouth) wrasse more than say with other species, what with their smaller mouths than other species and just the their general aggressive nature?

Or does the slower retrieve with SP's mean that you give them fair chance to be lip hooked?

Cheers,

Matt
 

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Matt i have yet to foul hook any mate, it seems their aggressive and teretorial nature take over. Even when taken on hard plastics they have taken the rear treble mate.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Shaky football heads....? At the risk of sounding like I know nothing (which is probably true :-D) what's the difference between these & normal football heads? Are they articulated?
FootballScrewLoc.JPG

You just put the lure on the spring by winding it on and hook weedless. Normally with senko's you can then fish it on the bottom and make the senko wriggle with some tip action.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Great post there.

Apologies if this throws the thread off the jighead theme a little but I was curious as I have never really targeted wrasse on the lure.

I was wondering whether you tend to find that you foul hook (or at least hook up outside the mouth) wrasse more than say with other species, what with their smaller mouths than other species and just the their general aggressive nature?

Or does the slower retrieve with SP's mean that you give them fair chance to be lip hooked?

Cheers,

Matt
You do foul hook a few but normally through striking late and normally round the mouth.

Wrasse have bigger mouths than you think, we bait fish with 5/0's normally but then we fish for proper wrasse round this way!

I have had wrasse down to half a pound on a 7.5g jig with 1/0 hook and a standard xlayer hooked in the mouth.
 
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