This morning was the first time I really got a proper session with the new Illex Nitro Sprat Shad 120 … I have had several casts with it before but never for a prolonged period of time.
I was fishing a mark which has sloping rocks with break up into a very large and formidable boulder field.
The tide was starting to drop and it just screamed bass as the dropping tide fizzed and rolled over the boulders below. I decided to use the 14g Nitro Sprat Shad in Sardine colour using a variety of retrieve styles – sink and draw, bumped along the bottom and using a simple straight retrieve.
It wasn’t long before I got bumped by a bass but failed to hook up … a few casts later I hooked a small wrasse which was nearly the same size as the lure – not exactly what I was aiming for but it was a start .. things seemed to be switching on.
I gradually moved across the mark working the margins of the boulders as they uncovered with the tide.
This time I was casting out and working the shad like a plug – it has a phenomenal rolling action when fished like this and with the weedless style hook position it could be one of the best all round soft baits I have seen yet in terms of versatility. Anyway, I digress … I was working the shad in close to my feet between two rocks when all of a sudden the swell surged the lure forward, I lost sight of it then all hell broke loose! The rod slammed over and the line began to rip off the reel … bass?
At first I was convinced I had connected with a nice 5 lb + bass but it wasn’t until the fish wedged under a rock that I knew it could only be one thing … a wrasse.
I played a battle of tug-a-war with the fish for a minute until eventually my S 260 ML, Shore Blaster got the better of the stubborn fish and I managed to tease it out from under the ledge.
After a somewhat hairy landing procedure (with the help of my girlfriend) we landed the fish and got the camera out for a few snaps.
It was an immense fight … I admit I was a little disappointed when I saw it wasn’t a bass but still – I can’t really complain with a fish of around the 5 lb mark. I was shocked to see a wrasse nail such a large lure because despite being 120 mm it has quite a chunky profile but it just goes to show you the drawing power of the lure.
I can’t wait to get some more water time with it when the bass are in and on the feed as I am pretty sure it will be devastating …. Also if the opportunity arises to get out in the boat and over some reefs I am sure it will be savage for pollack … I guess time will tell.