I try not to target big ballan wrasse on LRF tackle, it doesn’t usually end well! They are definitely one of my favourites, they always bring a smile to my face when I catch one. Despite shellfish making up the bulk of the diet of the wrasse they will take a wide range of baits. Both ballan and cuckoo wrasse are currently considered species of Least Concern by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature). Six Line Wrasse have very vibrant coloration with 6 distinct blue horizontal blue lines overtop of a base orange body with a green tailfin. A male-female pair should be added to the aquarium at the same time, introducing the female, also called a black bird, first. Only small in size, never quite reaching a pound in weight, these fish are rocket fuelled and tropical in their looks. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Despite this pressure, they are still holding on in numbers locally. Teeth and jaws are powerful. Where to find Wrasse Wrasse are not popular eating fish at all, and it makes sense to return them to the sea, although wrasse that have been pumped up from deep water can die on the surface as this species is extremely sensitive to changes in water pressure. Thanks Ben, you have done well! They are often a sea angler’s first catch, they certainly were mine. Spawning takes place in late spring and summer with wrasse building a nest of seaweed wedged between rocks which contains the eggs. Ballan’s have a real cult following in the lure fishing community and it’s clear to see why, their aggression – both in the bite and the fight, is immense. All wrasse have relatively small mouths, but they have powerful jaws and strong teeth. The absolute top lure I have found for them, so much so that we call it ‘wrasse-crack’, is Berkley Gulp Sandworm in Camo colour. As wrasse are fish that live in rocky areas anglers should give some thought as to how fish will be landed once they have taken a bait – a landing net can be useful when fishing many wrasse marks to ensure that any wrasse which are hooked is successfully landed. I’m back in the south west for a holiday in a few weeks (brixham) so maybe I’ll find a rock cook then! The most common reef safe fish are all the different Cleaner Wrasse and fairy wrasse's species. ( Log Out / There are two main species of wrasse which are of interest to the UK sea angler: the ballan wrasse and the cuckoo wrasse, as well as a number of other smaller wrasse which is often classed as mini-species. The majority of wrasse is long between 6 and 80 cm, but there are also species which reach a length of about 2m. This is my guide to the more common species, fish that are often confused with one another. Colour ranges from brown/reddish to dark green, with light spots and a paler belly. The male has bright green and gold wavy lines along its body and can be confused with cuckoo wrasse. Once the rod tip thuds with the tell-tale take, the strike leads to a fight to rival any fish for it’s size. They will adapt to most conditions and can be found on coral reefs or rock reefs. If you get snagged up and still feel the fish on the end of the line, it pays to wait. In many areas populations of ballan and cuckoo wrasse will overlap. These are the species that are often confused with small ballan wrasse but they have smaller lips and mouths and a more steeply sloping head. The species’ love of rough terrain, often finding homes around piers and harbour walls, brings them within easy casting range of both novice fisherman and experienced alike. Females are more muted, with ‘camo’ green and brown colours being common. Shellfish of all types will be taken, as well as fish baits such as mackerel strip. Wrasses can be difficult to identify without some experience, complicated by color differences exhibited by fish in different stages of growth. The Wrasse in this category are very beautiful and active fish that will make a wonderful addition to any marine fish only aquarium. I then wind like hell to get it in! The corkwing wrasse (Crenilabrus melops) which is a small fish, rarely exceeding 8 – 9 inches in length. Since wrasse are a long-lived and slow-growing fish that doesn’t mature until a late stage of life their numbers can be noticeably reduced by anglers, so most people fish for this species on a catch and release basis. Ballan wrasse will come into shallow water and will feed on shellfish attached to submerged cliff faces and inshore rocks. The largest of the UK wrasse species, ballan wrasse have incredibly strong teeth which they use to pull molluscs and barnacles off the rocks, before extra teeth in their throats crush shells and finish the job. The Wrasse within this category will not pick at nor consume corals or most invertebrates. How to pronounce wrasse. These wrasse are definitely the goofy relation, with prominent teeth that protrude from the mouth. The fact that they live in shallow, inshore rocky waters mean that they are mostly protected from being caught as bycatch in trawlers nets. Bottom fishing is best with hooks which are around size 1/0 or thereabouts. There are several species of Wrasse that live around the UK’s shoreline. They are some of the most colorful of the moderately-sized saltwater fish that can be incorporated into a reef aquarium. The Torquay area occasionally turns up a few to species hunting anglers. Some of the most unusual colour types are the bright green fish, almost luminous. Distribution: Found all around the UK, but like the ballan it is more common in the south and west. Although the wrasse tire fairly quickly, the first few runs are what keep us coming back for more. On that note, a wrasse with a 5/8” head will fit though a 1/2” hole. With their smaller mouths, smaller profile lures are needed. Wrasse feed primarily on shellfish. The males are blue on nearly every scale, making them very distinct. A single, long dorsal fin that extends all of the way along the back and rounded tail fin. All wrasses are jumpers. Grows to a maximum length of 69cm although most seen are smaller. I still am waiting for a baillons. If you are using the heavier gear which is more suitable for these fish (I’m talking 20 or 30g rated rods and 20lb line), you can afford to bully them more but following the advice above you will lose less fish. Wrasse display a wide variety of life history strategies, making them one of the most ecologically and morphologically diverse fish families. Ballan Wrasse: The ballan wrasse is a sturdy fish with a thick body which is green or red/rust brown in colour; it can sometimes be tinted blue and has a pleasant pattern with a pale underbelly. The largest wrasse species found in UK waters, this is a predatory, stocky fish that lives in kelp forests close to the shore and down to depths of up to 50m. Size: Can grow to almost 3ft and 10lbs. The specimen ballans will have a longer snout and big lips, with the species in general having a longer face profile than it’s smaller (and often commonly confused with) cousin – the corkwing wrasse. Wrasse also have a highly unusual life cycle which is described below. At this point around half of the wrasse will transform into males and be able to breed with the wrasse which have remained female. Immature males and females are a mix of pink, orange and red. As with float fishing, finding a fish holding area which has natural food sources for wrasse is more important than casting distance, with anglers jigging lures up and down along a rock face to attract the attention of wrasse, or casting short distances and drawing lures through the water to get a wrasse to attack. A common wrasse tactic is to bury themselves in the nearest crevice or weedbed, this can prove to be a waiting game. They also lack the many spots of the ballan, with the males sporting swirling orange, blue and green stripes on their cheeks. Ballan wrasse are a rare example of a saltwater species remaining popular despite not being a table fish. ( Log Out / On the males the colours are more pronounced, having a very orange hue in the fins and scales. Females have three black spots on their back behind the dorsal fin while these are absent on males. Swanage Pier is probably the most famous mark for them and that is where Richard caught his, fishing a dropshot rig close to the pillars. They are also one of the only wrasse species that regularly feeds at night. I have caught them in their usual shades of brown and pink, also in Sutton Harbour I have caught one with gold markings. When compared next to each other though, it is quite clear how varied UK wrasse are. The goldsinny wrasse (Ctenolabrus rupestris) is the smallest of all, rarely exceeding six inches and a few ounces in weight. 1.2 millin wild-caught wrasse are currently used as cleaner fish in … The best way to ID them is to locate the black spot, three quarters along the dorsal fin. They are not going to blow your mind in the fight but they are always a nice addition to a species haul. Mature males have blue heads and orange bodies, with blue stripes and mottled patterns running the length of the body and on the edges of the fins (male cuckoo wrasse pictured above). Cuckoo wrasse are much more colourful than their ballan cousins and can have colouration more associated with tropical fish than a species found in the temperate waters around the British Isles. Feeds on: All kinds of shellfish such as mussels, cockles, limpets and winkles. Affectionately known as 'Rock Pigs', these powerful crab munchers are one of the most popular UK sea species, mostly due to their large size, ease to catch and powerful fight. Ultralight LRF tackle is a must to target these fish, small hooks – size 10 or smaller, light weights and light fluoro/braid. The majority of wrasse is long between 6 and 80 cm, but there are also species which reach a length of about 2m. This species can be brownish, greenish or orangey-red in colour with a paler belly. More by luck than judgment on a holiday to Falmouth about 6 years ago. They are a deep water fish and are not instinctually used to the surface being so near to them. All wrasse are born female and remain female for the first part of their lives. Jelly worms and lures of various sizes can be used, and most a set up in the Texas or weedless style as this allows lures to be dragged through heavy weed cover without becoming snagged. When fishing from deep water rock marks wrasse will be found close in and so long casting and complicated rigs are not needed – many anglers simply use one hook or two hook flapping rigs. So it is worth scaling down in weedy areas with healthy populations of wrasse. These fish are under less pressure from the salmon farming industry thankfully, being a colourful addition to the species we have in our seas. Wrasse, any of nearly 500 species of marine fishes of the family Labridae (order Perciformes). However, wrasse will still be caught on lures outside of the breeding season, which casts some doubt on this theory. Ballan wrasse also has value as a ‘cleaner fish’ which pick parasites (particularly sea lice) off high value farmed fish such as salmon. Despite their reputation as a summer fish, as long as it is calm with some clarity to the water, there is always a chance of one.This species has been under a lot of pressure from Scottish salmon farms, being taken as a live cleaner fish from South-West waters. Learn more. ( Log Out / I prefer to use dropshot techniques or scaled down Texas rigs to target them, using a small section of scented worm or unscented worm/shrimp imitations. These little fish pack an aggressive nature and, once they have decided it’s worth eating, will attack most small lures with venom. Feb 17, 2018 - Explore Fadli Haniff's board "WRASSE" on Pinterest. There is a clear black spot on the wrist of the tail which only the corkwing wrasse has. These fish are also very subtle in their colours, with light blue often lining their flanks like a ribcage. Goldsinny are slim in profile with a black spot at the base of their dorsal fin and at the top of the tail fin. Size: Does not grow much bigger than 12ins and 2lb. Although I can’t say they are a favourite of mine, they do brighten up a tough session when little else is biting. Corkys will attack shads and large worm lures but rarely hook up. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. There are concerns that wrasse stocks are being depleted around much of Europe as large numbers are being taken from the wild in order to stock fish farms with cleaner fish. This species has a large range of colours which can lead to confusion when identifying them. It can live for up to 30 years. Many anglers are surprised that good-sized wrasse can be caught very close in, but this is indeed the case. In addition to this there is the rock cook wrasse (Centrolabrus exoletus), also known as the small-mouth wrasse, the scale-rayed wrasse (Acantholabrus palloni) and the Ballion’s wrasse (Symphodus bailloni). All species are born female and usually go through one or two juvenile color phases before adulthood, which is known as the initial phase. Baillons wrasseI have Rich to thank again for these photos, he truly is the wrasse king. They grow to decent weights too, up to double figures very rarely, fish of 4 pounds above being specimen size. They generally prefer slightly deeper water than ballan wrasse and do not come into very shallow inshore waters, although they can still be caught by the shore angler. Landing nets can be particularly helpful when landing species such as wrasse. The colour is a perfect match for ragworm and the texture of the worm is just tough enough to rig weedlessly effectively. 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