Specimen Ballan Wrasse

Welcome to Wrasse Pro. On Sunday 19th May, Dan and I set out to record the second round of our live, 1-v-1 ‘DNA Versus’ competition for the DNA Fishing Podcast. Fished from my boat, Hot Pursuit, we set out from Portsmouth Harbour to replicate a US bass fishing tournament, but with Ballan Wrasse.

To win this round you needed the heaviest bag of five Ballan Wrasse. As a hotly contended but friendly match, we would quickly weigh each fish as we went to minimise any discomfort for the fish. Both of us normally measure length when recording our catches so this would be an interesting exercise to see what sort of weights were achievable in our area of the South Coast.

We love rockfishing and equally we love following the US bass fishing scene, but if you want to be a two-bob US Bass Pro, why target wrasse and not our (sea) bass?

We feel that the beautiful Ballan Wrasse has a broader range of feeding habits and therefore successful lure fishing techniques that can be applied to target it. With a bit of thinking they can be targeted throughout the tide cycle. In shallow to medium depths, suiting an enjoyable, light lure approach. Perfect for a competition.

There is pedigree too. Rockfishing, especially Hard Rockfishing was formed in Japan when anglers took their largemouth bass tackle and applied it in the sea. There are numerous, saltwater rockfishing tournaments fished in Japan today. Obviously, we buzzed about trying to replicate some of that in the UK with our number one rockfish – the Ballan Wrasse.

I’ll leave the podcast to highlight the detail of how the day panned out. But it goes without saying that we had a really enjoyable day, in glorious sunshine.

Who knows, maybe this kind of competition will catch on. If not, Dan and I will remain very happy to keep fishing our two-man tournaments by ourselves. Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Adam’s Set-up

  • Nories Rockfish Bottom MH 10-30g | Daiwa Morethan Branzino 3000 | YGK WX8 PE0.8 | HTO Nebula FC 10lb
  • HTO Nebula ML 5-22g | Shimano Stella FD 2500 | HTO Nebula X8 PE0.6 | HTO Nebula FC 8lb
  • HTO Nebula SP 10-35g | Daiwa Infinity Q 3000 | HTO Nebula X8 PE1 | HTO Nebula FC 10lb
  • Successful lures included: HTO Midi Stick, Duo Bay Ruf BR Fish, Axia Mighty Minnow (8g, 14g & 28g), Lunker City Swimfish 3.75″, Reins AX Craw 2.5

    Successful techniques: Jighead, Darting, Free Rig

    Dan’s Set-up

  • Nories Rockfish Bottom Power Ocean Finesse Control Light 3-11g | Shimano Stella FE 2500 | Sunline Small Game PE-HG PE0.4 | HTO Nebula FC 6lb
  • Nories Rockfish Bottom Power Ocean Finesse Control Medium 5-18g | Shimano Vanquish 3000 | Sunline Siglon PE PE0.5 | HTO Nebula FC 8lb
  • HTO Nebula M 7-28g | Shimano Vanquish 4000 | Sunline PE PE0.8 | HTO Nebula FC 10lb
  • Successful lures included: Rapala Crush City The Kickman 10cm, Zman TRD, Jackall Chunk Craw 2.8 Chinu, Nine Seven Tungsten Kreature, Zman Grass Kickerz 5″

    Successful techniques: Jighead, Ned Rig, Free Rig, Texas Rig

    The DNA Fishing Podcast is available for free on Spotify, Apple, Google, Amazon and all good podcast platforms. Or listen to the most recent podcast right here, below: