Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

So was it more the colour, the lure, or a bit of both ?

I went out fishing early yesterday morning to have a quick go at the wrasse on soft lures, and whilst it was hardly an epic session, I nailed a fair few of no particular size and also had plenty of bites - catching a few fish aside which is always a bit of fun, the session threw up a few questions/issues for me that are now churning around my brain. Sure, I love how it's impossible to get black and white answers to some of the questions that this fine sport throws up, but at times my head would rather like some !!

Because black soft lures were working so well when we were filming for Tight Lines over in the Isles of Scilly last week, that was the colour I put on first yesterday morning - a kind of skewed logic if you like. If you have used the 4'' Yoshikawa Superworms then I am sure you have found out how lethal these things are for the wrasse, and I happened to have a few of the black ones with me that had done so well on the filming. Almost straight away I had a few bites and caught a few smallish wrasse. So I assumed that the fish were happy to chow black lures.........

I then moved perhaps three hundred yards along the coastline to some ground that I really wanted to check out. Same lure, same lure colour, same end gear, but a different result. Not a sodding sniff, and the ground looked sensational. Now either there are no wrasse around these particular rocks (highly unlikely) or something else is going on. You have probably gathered how much I like these Fiiish Black Minnows recently, but as much as I know the wrasse love them, it's impossible to ignore the cost involved with chucking them in and around horrible ground for a species of fish that is rather adept at ripping soft lures to pieces - and anyway, I didn't have any with me. But I did have a packet of these new Daiwa Tournament 4'' D'Fin paddletails in the Ayu colour - which to me looks remarkably similar to that khaki colour of Black Minnow that I remembered had been smashing all those wrasse out in France the other day. More slightly skewed logic ?

So I rigged up one of these little 4'' Daiwa paddletails Texas-style (7g cone weight plus glass bead, 1/0 weedless hook), cast out over the same ground I had just been catching nothing over, and as if by magic I am suddenly catching wrasse again. So what on earth is going on ? I have to ask myself a few questions knowing full well that one can only speculate upon the answers : Was it the change in lure colour that got the wrasse going again ? Why on earth did the fish seem to so suddenly go off the black lures ? (ok, so I had moved along the coastline a bit). Was it actually the different shape of soft lure (paddletail) that got the fish going again, or is it all down to colour and what the fish want at certain times ? (if you are interested in this wrassing on plastics stuff, check here for a load of info I put up on my website).

I don't know the answers, and as much as I would welcome any thoughts and/or similar experiences you might have had yourselves, none of us can do anything more than speculate on the real reason(s). It seems that all manner of different shapes, sizes and colours of soft plastic lures catch wrasse and of course you find similar things with lure fishing all over the world for all kinds of different fish. I did notice yesterday how I had a few bites and hooked a few fish literally the moment that Ayu colour Daiwa Tournament D'Fin lure hit the bottom - which to me surely means that the fish had to have become aware of that lure dropping through the water column and then chose to nail it the moment it came to rest on the bottom and just before I started twitching it back towards me. That vibrating tail on a paddletail as it sinks must have something to do with this almost instant aggression from the wrasse - which in turn means to me that I should be fishing paddletails a bit more for these fish than I have been. But in what colours ??!!


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