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Discussion Starter #1
I have got this bee in my bonnet about catching a wrasse next year on an artifical of some sort. I have always been impressed by the reports of their tackle smashing antics down in the west country where anglers have targetted them on bait. Is there an advantage to hooking them on lure gear? Already fishing a direct line so contact is instant?
So to those who have caught wrasse on lures, how have you caught them? How heavy have you fished? What lures work best? What times of the day? Time of the year? Do you fish particular types of venue? I am assuming rocky, but do you look for tide run? slack water? Deep? shallow?

It doesn't matter if you target them deliberately or if they were accidental catches. It is all relevant and useful. Please tell me what you know!!!!

Mike
 

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Where to start on this one......? Definitely a fish to target deliberately and fast catching on as a valid quarry for the lure fisherman.

There are possible advantages to fishing for wrasse with lures.

1. From the boat, if you are vertical jigging, you have a good chance of getting the fish away from cover quickly.
2. From the shore, you are not trailing a sinker (unless you are drop shotting, when it should be on a sacrifical link anyway).
3. Lures tend to attract better fish.
4. Deep hookups are uncommon, so C&R is easy.
5. Bait fishermen get very jealous!
6. Time of day is not crucial. They will feed at any time IME.
7. It's great sport and you will get distracted from bass fishing. Honest.

There are some potential disadvantages too;

1. A big wrasse is a real handful on light gear. Much harder work IMHO than a bass of the same size. So prepare to be beaten up if you dare.
2. Wrasse have every SP catalogue memorised and can pinpoint an expensive soft lure from way off before biting the tail off within millimetres of the hook.
3. The lure is usually wrecked when you catch even a half decent fish.
4. You will lose plenty of lures working close to rough ground.
5. Once you work out which lures work, you will have more reason to buy more.
6. See (7) above!

Early season is good from the boat, possibly due to breeding season and/or lack of weed growth giving the fish better sight of lures? I suspect the same time of year will work from the shore but I've caught them throughout the season from shore and boat down here. That might be different further north if water temp is a factor.

Down this way you can catch them on most ground and at anything from a few feet to 60' of water so long as there is structure they can take refuge in (boulders, ledges, cracks etc) within a couple of hundred yards or so. I have taken decent fish off sand beaches 100yds away from the nearest reef. Look for that structure and start there.

Lure wise, Spindle worms, FinS Fish, Mother Eels, XLayers, Sidewinders, Hart Absolut worms, large shads.....they all work. Jig heads will need to be heavy enough to keep the lure near bottom.

Next year should see a lot more wrasse being caught as the SP revolution picks up more steam.

Cheers
 

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I agree with most of the above. Although I prefer to use small SP's on light jig heads, 14g is the heaviest I would use from the shore with a 7g Decoy Bachi head being the best option IME. A medium sized Xlayer is probably the largest SP I would use, I tend to stay away from paddle tails too. Using the Bachi head with small SP's you will hook the small ones too, which means your SP will last much longer, rather than being shredded.


Just getting ready to go and have a bash for them now, I'll post a report if I get any.
 

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I have not targeted them with lures but used my normal lure rod to catch this one off the pier in Weymouth, the weather was against us on the lure front so Plugs got us some Hermit baits which we then jigged over the edge of the pier. It put a great bend in the rod on its initial dive, I see no reason why they wouldnt take a SP twitched in the same way.
 

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LiamH said:
I agree with most of the above. Although I prefer to use small SP's on light jig heads, 14g is the heaviest I would use from the shore with a 7g Decoy Bachi head being the best option IME. A medium sized Xlayer is probably the largest SP I would use, I tend to stay away from paddle tails too. Using the Bachi head with small SP's you will hook the small ones too, which means your SP will last much longer, rather than being shredded.


Just getting ready to go and have a bash for them now, I'll post a report if I get any.
Liam you're right for shore fishing but from the boat where there's no casting they will take/attack* a very big SP on an 80g jighead in deep water in a strong tide. They sometimes seem fearless.

*I think they are attacking for territorial reasons or to defend a nest.

Cheers

P
 

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Aside from plugging I've caught Wrasse on SP's using 2 main methods from the shore and the skish.

First is drop shot, 2nd is small head, small plastic, drop it down and leave it. Wait, shake it, wait etc.

With both method's, plastics get bitten in half.

I've tried stinger hooks but in wrasse fishing, they are more trouble than they are worth due to the snaggy ground.
On drop shot, the stinger kills the action and makes the bait ride at anything other than that horizontal attitude
needed.

I have used gulp crabs with some success but 3-4" plastics with split, or whip tails have been good.
4" xlayers work superbly well as do small hazedongs. However, I am loathe to recommend them because
you can go very quickly through £25 of plastics. Wrasse don't care whether you have megabass or a cheaper
plastic.

Soft is good for Bass in plastics because they hold on long enough for you to respond.
With Wrasse, I've not found that it matters too much as they attack and bite at the bait.
 

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Paul ....

Wrasse fishing with the SPs is a blast as you well know , agreed they do fight hard , smashing seven bells out of the lures ,
We **** myself , nelson cant wait for the weather to let us out to play again , as the bass move away for a while its sp wrassing time

This is one taken earlier this year march ,5lb 8oz on an Xlayer with a 20grm head , should have seen this pull the rod over ..
So yes guys these are well worth a go at
 

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Wrasse are, by far, pound for pound, one of our best fighting lure species and in 'abundance'
unlike the Bass which are kept a close guarded secret by most.

When diving over reef, sometimes, in fact, most times, I reckon there can be 1 wrasse for every cubic meter
of water and alot of those are real pigs. We've seen em diving well over 8lb, some probably approaching
double figure. And, that is allowing for the magnification too..

Wrasse, love em.

My Wrasse experiences show that..

They are, available ALL year, albeit they slow down in 9 degree water or less. They don't all move away.
All this fish moving thing is myth. It's just Wrasse, and Bass are associated with warm sunshine and
many don't continue to fish for them.

I have found first light to be the very best time to target them. Though, like St Ouen say's , I agree you can catch them
all day long. Only ever caught 1 in the dark, on bread whilst Mullet fishing. Over 5lb though.
 

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Only wrasse I have ever caught was on sliver TM slim 175, Hell of a take, as the lure was coming between a couple of rocks. Only weighed 12oz-1 lb?
Have to agree really good looking fish up close.
 

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I fish a lot of 'wrassey' areas and I have to be honest and say that I generally catch at least one a trip. I've personally caught more on hard lures than SPs and not any particular lure either, that said, I had a 4lb-er last week on a Fin-s-fish.

Most of the marks I catch the bigger ones on are low water rocky marks where there's still a bit of depth, say 6-10 feet. Obviously I'm targetting bass, but I find that when I start using lures that are picking their way through the gullies and are at 'rock level' is when you pick them up. I've even had them jump out of the water chasing the lure up to the surface.

I too have had wrasse on bread when mulleting. A big wrasse on 8lb line and size 10 hook gives a serious account for itself!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the replies! Very much appreciated.
I agree they look amazing out of the water and everyone seems to be diffrerent colour than the previous one. All I need now is to find some decent conditions and get down to Portland or somewhere simllar and give them a go. Might have to pick Plugs' brains about where to fish. They get a few off Brighton Marina too but they tend to be small so that will be a good place to fine tune techniques a bit. I am sure Tunny won't be able to resist the opportunity to get out and experiment with a bit of lure fishing.....
I think I have most of what I need tacklewise to make a start, maybe some heavier jigheads but that is easily sorted.

Cheers chaps.
 

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You're right Bob, a great alternative to bass.

Here's a fish **** took on 6 May 2009, he'll remember the weight, mid 5's? on a Tenryu Super Mix 240, 50g Xorus Maestro jighead and 8" Madness Mother Worm in 50ft of water.

I'm sure that for a second there **** thought he had a double figure bass.

 

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I couldn't imagine a 6lb rockie on a lure rod. My PB is 5-12 and that come on a hardback crab with 6/0 Sakuma Manta Extra hook (I was fishign for them).

That fish had my beachcaster bent to the point of snapping. Now the thought of that same fish on my Shukan or the Infeet is mental!!

Gonna have to try it though!! I know a few areas which hold tons of wrasse and this time of year the weed is much less so easier to fish it close.

Just need some more smaller SP's now!! Oh and some leadheads. This is gonne be expensive...
 

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My only tip is keep a very very good eye on your braid and leader, may be notch up to .23PP 20lb leader if seeking out Wrasse from the shore.

My best this year was 4lb 2oz on a Rod Bar 270 (did it bend) cannot remember the jighead type, but weighed either 10 or 15G, the SP was a Giant Z-Layer in Ayu. The Wrasse attacked the leadhead end. This was during a mid afternoon stint in mid March.
 

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Had a few wrasse on lures, mostly by accident though.

Recently my best method has been dropshotting with a 7" super slim slug-go from the kayak. The super slims are really skinny and look amazing when jiggled on a dropshot rig.

Was hoping for bass, but always happy to catch wrasse :D
 

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Hi

First post here so hello to all - new forum is great, really informative :)
Got back into fishing in 2008 after being fairly landlocked away in Bristol for 10years (grew up in Guernsey and returned to the island in 2007) - enjoy all sorts of fishing but getting more addicted to lures this time round.

Always happy catching wrasse on lure gear, best this year was well over 4lb in 10ft water and it went like stink. Picked up a middling 3lb'r on the bushwacker last time i went plugging and I thought i'd hooked a 5lb bass the way it took line off the reel.

Thinking back one of my best wrasse ever was about 5.5lb - that was on an 8ft glass spinning rod jigging a 1oz toby lure off Sark in a dinghy when i was about 14. Nearly 20yrs ago now but i still remember watching the lure dancing above the kelp bed in about 10ft of crystal water and seeing it get slammed by the wrasse. Must have been ahead of my time - I spent the next 10yrs using a beach caster and hard back crab as thought it was a fluke!

Not targetted them on softies yet - had most of mine on LC Flash Minnows and found them in all sorts of water (shallowest I have had them is about 2ft).

Cracking fish and with bass getting so sparse we are lucky to have such hard fighters available on lures pretty much all year round.

Cheers
Danny
 

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Danny said:
Not targeted them on softies yet
Oh, you must !

It is brilliant sport m8.

Hard baits are great too. Me and kev found the smaller crankbaits that are buoyant
but get down and in the mix very good. Best colour by far for us...

Firetiger.

Welcome to the forum Danny and good luck with your Wrassing.
 

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Welcome to the forum Danny, I too fished for years with a stiff light catfish rod, 40lb line, 2 and 3oz weights and a bucket full of crabs, had two or three over 6lb on live crab but man I cant wait to do it on a light rod and a SP. My best so far is the one on Pauls boat that was about 5lb 2oz I think, what a fight!!
 

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Keith White said:
Oh, you must !

It is brilliant sport m8.

Hard baits are great too. Me and kev found the smaller crankbaits that are buoyant
but get down and in the mix very good. Best colour by far for us...

Firetiger.

Welcome to the forum Danny and good luck with your Wrassing.
Funny you say that. I have not targeted them specifically, but have had some nice ones on Vision Onetens when after Bass. I was once smashed by the biggest Wrasse I have ever seen just round the corner at Corbiere from the boat, one of the only fish I have hooked where I have thought from the start 'no chance!'. Saw it come up and thrash then it just trashed me in the kelp.
 
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