Wrasse on the rocks (Wrasse, entry 467)


Click images above to enlarge

In the last couple of Angling Journal entries which were about bass and lesser spotted dogfish, I wrote that my wife and I were staying in Rhosneigr on the Anglesey coast. Although we’ve holidayed there before at Cemaes Bay and Trearddur Bay, we’ve never been to Rhosneigr at all, not even on a short visit.

Therefore it was all new and so we did lots of local exploring. This took in, amongst other things, visiting the beaches in the area, and from an angling perspective meant I was on the look out for rocks where I could spend an hour or two after wrasse. As a species they were definitely on my piscatorial radar.

And when I say rocks I don’t mean an outcrop that, once the tide has gone out is left high and dry. Those sort of rocks are all over the island. What I was looking for was a proper job whereby even at low water they were still connected with the ocean ensuring that there would always be a plentiful supply of wrasse waiting for me.

Well, with just 2.7 miles on the clock I found what I was looking for and so after Debby and I had a lovely walk in the warm sunshine around the cove and cliff top (photos 1,2) I returned an hour later ready to do a mountain goat impersonation and navigate the rocks.

At this point, it’s worth giving a mention to the issue of safety. I had proper boots with me and that’s important as grip is essential when clambering over rocks that are often wet and slippery. Don’t take any chances, and with deep water often right in front of you, then make sure you choose your spot carefully.

I always try and find a safe place that angles nicely down to the water; the last thing you want to do really if you can help it is to be perched high over the water on a tiny ledge. One slip and you’re gone. It’s not always possible to fish with someone but make sure you have your mobile phone with you at least.

You can see the place where I fished (photo 3) and it was safe but also offered the opportunity to flick a float out into deeper water. You can see the end tackle items (photo 4) I fished with and these consisted of a 4inch (10cm) float which was fished over a small lead and a size 6 hook for the opening session.

The lead was stopped by a 1mm diameter piece of rig tube that had the line threaded through it twice to form a knot. The same thing set the depth at the other end of the set-up, with a red bead between the float and the knot. I used this for visibility so I could see whether the float was too deep or otherwise. You can also move it up and down the line easily enough so you can position the bait exactly where you want it.

Bear in mind, with underwater rocks and vegetation, not to mention the incoming tide, there was a need to regularly slide the knot as I casted to different spots. I was fishing blow lug that I had dug myself from Rhosneigr beach. No big fish put in an appearance but at least I wasn’t a blanker.

And as far as wrasse concerned, they don’t have to be big to be beautiful (photo 5). They are certainly one of the most beautiful of our British fish and would not look out of place in an aquarium.

The final outing of the holiday was on the last day, the Friday. With the glorious sunshine continuing I kicked the day off with a visit to South Stack and had a great cliff top walk with my wife taking in birds such a puffin, gannet, fulmar, chough, raven , razorbill and guillemot.

In fact my Angling Journal June video nature shots were all filmed at South Stack, including the brief glimpse of the common lizard (photo 6). We also saw dolphin and grey seal as well. Three hours drive from the Black Country, what a place Anglesey is. Wales’ greatest secret. I love it!

After our time nature spotting though  it was down to serious business and wrasse fishing! This is the session that is featured on the video and was at one of my ‘secret’ locations. Putting some legwork in a few years ago I found a brilliant place that has yielded some really big fish. And, as was the case this time, I’ve always had it to myself as well. Although that’s not strictly true I suppose, as Debby came along with me with her crab hand line.

It was a slow start but we eventually got amongst the wrasse with my better half landing a couple of small fish (photo 7). She’s pretty good with the hand line, although it is a little bit more deluxe than the basic set-up you buy in the shops as I do tie a proper rig on it for her and exchange the tiny lead for something decent. But nevertheless she does really well and the first time she fished that way, some years ago in Devon, she caught seven species of fish!

I also caught a few wrasse and you can see some selected fish (photos 8, 9, 10) which although decent weren’t as big as some of the monsters I’ve caught there before. Definitely on my radar for our next Anglesey holiday, which will be in 2013 now.

You can keep in touch with my angling adventures via my website and if you’re on facebook then don’t forget to ‘like’ my page so that all the updates appear in your news feed. My site is updated every Saturday and I’m back to coarse fishing next with with some canal carp on the agenda. And if you’re going to be at the Great Northern Fishing Show in July then come and say hello as I will be on the Harris Sportsmail stand. (article published June 23 2012)

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