Lure (Soft Plastics)
With its ever increasing popularity amongst anglers, this specific subject simply had to have a mention. Not only does it allow an angler to be highly mobile, it also has so many options and variable which can bring out the creativity.
The summer months are not only the most productive, but allow you to get out in some fine weather and appreciate the great coastline Jersey has to offer.
A big thank you to Steve Mullins for submitting this write up for the website, once again promoting how our members are willing to share their knowledge and experiences to help other to catch fish. Lets begin with the equipment you need to get you started! All that you need is a light lure rod with a slight stiffness to it to generate enough power in case you do hook into one of the hard fighting wrasse. Next is a 4000 size reel loaded with braid, personal preference is to use 20lb 8 strand or 14 lb 4 strand. The 8 strand variety is better for casting and sensitivity/feel, while the 4 strand is generally better on abrasion resistance, plus it’s cheaper, so the choice is yours. A small length of mono leader, either 15 or 20lb,some lure clips, soft plastics (lures) in the 2 to 5 inch range, jigheads 5 to 15 gram, a pair of snips, pliers, and a lure bag to keep it all in. Keeping everything lightweight is an ideal scenario to allow for better mobility and balance when roaming along our rocky coastline. Please also remember to be safe! Footwear is hugely important, especially on wet/weed covered rocks, so a grippy pair of hiking boots, or wading/studded boots are highly recommended. Also, for those occasions where you do hook a decent fish, remember your landing net, for ease the folding style is ideal.
We will focus on targeting the explosive and hard fighting wrasse. Wrasse like rocky/rough ground with plenty of weed cover and boulders, generally the more weedy the ground, the more Wrasse it is likely to hold. Being they live in this sort of territory lost end tackle goes hand in hand, especially more so when you’re first starting out. The trick to this style of fishing is to keep your gear just off the bottom without snagging, this does come with practice, and knowledge of your marks will also reduce gear loss. But, bear in mind a soft plastic with jighead can cost as little as £1.50 and it can be used on more than one trip, unless it gets lost in a snag or destroyed by a hungry Wrasse.
Technique wise, I prefer to cast my lure well away from me, let it sink to or just off the bottom, then provide 3 or 4 short upward jigs/lifts, and let it sink back towards the bottom, always keeping in touch with the lure while slowly winding the slack line. Keep doing this until the lure is back at your rod tip, as you never know when a fish could hit your lure. You can also use a slow retrieve just above the weed tops or rocks to provide an alternative approach/style, as some techniques may induce a take more than others in differing scenarios. Keep mobile! Try to cover as much ground as you can, whether this is moving physically along the coastline, or simply varying the angle of your cast. There are definitely areas that seem to hold larger concentrations of wrasse, it pays to wander around a bit to seek out these high success areas.
It’s also a good way of learning ground for other species. I have found some great Conger & Bass marks while roaming around for Wrasse purely through exploring, and the high sensitivity involved in this style of fishing enabling me to feel the features beneath the surface. The bonuses of this highly popular technique are the Bass and Pollack you can also pick up on Soft plastics at any given moment. Once you have learnt your ground during the day, and are familiar with the access, try going back in the dark, you may find a nice bit of silver on the end of your line!