Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Epic wrasse fishing

I shot a load of wrasse fishing photos yesterday with predator specialist Danny Parkins - he is a fantastic angler and can easily turn his hand to most kinds of fishing, and the wrassing yesterday was out of this world. We even got a drop of sunshine as well to make the day really special. Thanks Danny, it was a blast to fish and photograph with you again - I am really looking forward to nailing a few pike and chub together this winter. The thing I most enjoy about my job is meeting so many different anglers from all walks of life, all with fishing on the brain. None of us are hugely different, we are all fishing junkies and can't get enough of it.

Danny had a wrasse bite on virtually every single drop down, and while a lot of the fish were small to medium size, a few proper ones turned up and were duly photographed and then returned. Above is Danny winching a decent fish out of the water on his Shimano 50-100g spinning rod - there is simply no need for any heavier gear, and on this set up the fish are such fun. More people should go wrassing.

Here's Danny above with one of the last fish of the session, a cracking wrasse that fell to bottom fished ragworm right beneath his feet. The location was fantastic, a proper climb up and down, tucked right of the way and no doubt a prolific winter cod mark as well when the conditions are right. You can check out Danny's own blog here. He is a seriously accomplished predator angler, and lures are his speciality.

The secret with wrasse fishing is to strike the bite and start pumping the fish up all in one movement, for they are devils at crashing back into a rocky sanctuary. Danny was using 30lb braid mainline on his Shimano Stradic spinning reel and it worked great. Keep the end gear very simple - a hook and a weight, possibly a 3-way swivel, that is all you need.

I will always have a particular soft spot for wrasse, it was the first sea fish I ever caught, and I love the fact that they can be so obliging yet also frustrating at the same time. Seeking out big wrasse is a really specialist thing and I know Danny and his dad landed some really big ones a few weeks ago from the same place. But then he didn't do badly yesterday !! Look at the lips and jaws on this thing - easy to see just how they smash crabs and limpets to pieces.

I am out later on today photographing some light tackle boat fishing for bass around a quiet part of my local south Devon coastline - please sun, come out and play for us. It should be a blast, and they had a few nice ones last week. I might even take a few lures along and see what I can do, in between taking photos of course.

Make sure to check out Nick Hart's blog where you can find details of his Open Day this coming Saturday - it will be a great day out, and you might even win an outstanding Hardy Demon fly rod worth around £290 - can't be bad !!

I know I bang on about the fishing over in Ireland a lot, but that is firstly because it is awesome, and secondly it is because I am head over heels in love with the country. But did you know that they have some fantastic shore fishing for cod during the winter months, along the south coast ? And you can even catch codling during summer off the deep water rock marks up and down the west coast, talk to these guys here and here for this. I am in the process of arranging a trip over there to photograph this fishing, hopefully sometime during December, and you can also catch decent bass at the same time. That is my kind of fishing.

Henry GilbeyComment