Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

You're just never going to land them all

Monday morning on the boat over to the Isles of Scilly was a fairly lumpy affair, with the highlight for me being a couple both being violently seasick right next to me for most of the journey. Nice. But then you catch a glimpse of the islands and it's all worth it - as it always is. We love it over here, and we got lucky with the weather on Tuesday as we took one of the boats over to St.Martin's and spent the day there. Proper, proper beach weather with hardly any people around, preceded of course by a decent walk for Storm. If there's a better place for kids to run wild then I haven't come across it.

Summer is my mate Del's silly season with work, but yesterday he managed to get away mid-afternoon and we headed out for a bit of wrasse fishing together. A howling S/SE wind kinda dictated to us where we had to go, but this is the Isles of Scilly and you can't help but fancy some decent fishing almost anywhere. Find some shallow rough ground with a bit of weed and if the fishing behaves then you could be in for some of the most outrageous wrasse fishing on plastics that you'll come across anywhere - and to be honest most people would have walked straight on by where Del and I ended up fishing yesterday afternoon.

Sure, bass are the "sexy" fish, but I do love my lure fishing for wrasse so much these days, indeed the chance to chase them with the sort of gear we can now use has reinvigorated my childhood enthusiasm for them - and especially when they're of a decent size and can pull back hard on a lure rod. The first fish I hooked was easily around the 4lb mark and it just got better and better really - nothing much about say 4.5lbs landed, but at a couple of points it was a fish a chuck.

I've been using a rod recently that I think makes an excellent wrassing on plastics rod, the 8' MegaBass Racing Condition World Edition RCS-802ML (max 28g, and I'll do a proper review sometime), but yesterday I got to borrow Del's Century Vectura 7'7'' (the unequal section version), a lure rod that he has been absolutely raving about - and I can see why. Some bit of kit, and yes, of course, not one wrasse I hooked took a single mm of line off me - why should they? We were hooking the fish in shallow water, and pretty often nearly under our rod tips. It's electric stuff and I know of no better wrassing than out here or perhaps in parts of Ireland.

But you and I both know it's just impossible to land every single wrasse you hook. However much you wind your drag up and give them the gears, the odd fish might do something like hit you underneath the rod tip and run your braid over a rock before you can even react properly. Swine fish!! Fish for wrasse over shallow ground and there's various things working against you, but what can you do? It's wrassing, and I always crush my barbs on my weedless hooks - I like how easy it is to unhook fish for returning and I also feel much better about the hook falling out when the odd fish breaks me off.

I've been to the Isles of Scilly plenty of times now, but each trip is more of a thrill than the last one. I love this place, and it's such fun coming over for a few days with my wife and girls and of course our dog Storm. Sometimes I come purely for fishing and sometimes I come for a bit of time with my family and to catch up with Del - combining a bit of both can be a blast though. Anyway, I'll catch up with you all next week when I am back home. Smash 'em.

Henry Gilbey7 Comments