Ballan Wrasse at Dawlish

With an extended bank holiday weekend and a decent forecast we jumped in the van and headed down the A303 to Devon, for a spot of camping. Dawlish Warren was our chosen destination and although this wasn’t a fishing trip, of course the lure rods came along too.

Day one, we walked from Dawlish Warren to Teignmouth. There were lots of fishy looking marks that looked suitable for LRF. Mostly sand as far as I could tell, but a fair amount of rocks and structure scattered about.

For my fishing I concentrated what time I had on the small stone breakwaters around Dawlish. First thing to hit me was how much bait was around. Fry and small sandeel taking shelter wherever they could. Hopeful.

With the ground looking far from evil I opted to fish for the wrasse with an LRF set up – my Lunakia 1-12g to be specific. Not really a wrasse stick, but a lot of fun!

I wanted to try out the JungleGym ‘Be Free Texas’ rig. It offers benefits somewhere between the improved feel of Jika and the hooking advantages of a free running Texas. I opted for a 7g Bean sinker and a size 2 ringed weedless hook mounting my faves – a 2″ Bug Ant. I loved it immediately. The feel of the seabed was much easier to interpret than my normal (cheaper) cone lead. The Bean sinker manages to provide more feedback somehow. I’ll write a separate post about it soon.

Systematically I worked the near side, left side and right side of every rock I could identify through my polaroids and was eventually rewarded with a knock. On setting the hook it was clear this was a decent wrasse for a popular, easily accessible spot. I was happy to continue surveying each rock but I couldn’t better the first fish. All were good fun on a balanced outfit though.

Later I scaled down with the hope of finding some minis – I hadn’t noticed any while I was fishing for the wrasse – but the jetty was devoid of life. I still haven’t worked out why. It’s puzzling as it looked perfect. Last cast resulted in my first Mackerel of the year.

I did find a couple of Corkwing at Sheldon but got my timing wrong and was pushed off the mark by the incoming tide. Definitely enough to warrant a return trip later in the summer. Really enjoyed myself.