I don't know as much as I'd like to about this species and it's habits, but I haven't witnessed such great numbers of fish so high up in the water column before. They were chilling up against the rocks beneath our feet, but weren't responding well to lures when I held them still in front of them, so instead I tried letting the lures slowly drop past them (OTD). The results were quite clear, and it just confirms what everyone's always saying. Wrasse get excited when they see falling plastic.
I used to view all these types of products as rip off's in fancy packaging and never really tried any of them out. Then one day when I rigged on an Isome someone had offered me and saw the results with my own two eyes. I completely changed my mind. Since the Power Isome juice enlightened me on the massive effect a liquid solution can have on your lure, I've been much more open minded. Power Oil is very different to the Aqua & Isome juices, but when I'm out Wrassing I'm confident that it increases my catch rate in just the same way. With one whiff of the stuff I knew it contained Aniseed, which has proven itself in a scientific study to make Largemouth Bass hold on that little bit longer and is the favoured scent of many anglers on the American Bass scene. I reckon it has the same effect on many of our species too, Wrasse included.
The scent however, isn't even the half of it. This oil gives dried up Ecogear soft plastic lures a better action in the water. And just like small oily fish such as herring and mackerel, bubbles of oil will occasionally break free from the lure and give fish an idea of your lures where abouts. On top of all of that, it makes the SP slide down the shank of a weedless presented lure with ease, so much less force is required for a fish to hook up.
I know all of the above lures can and do catch fish, but by far the two which stood out for me while Wrassing were the straights (3.25") and the Rock Claws (2-3"). When nothing else was catching, the Straights consistently produced fish and the thin profile of the lure matched perfectly with the smaller hooks I was using. They are very 'adaptable' lures which you can easily change the length of and rig in various ways to target a multitude of species. For example, rigged on a 3.5g Iwishi head, in the 'Smoke Glitter Back' pattern, they were deadly in the Summer months for Pollack and Mackerel and I would imagine larger Gar Fish would love em' too! Now, rigged in a totally different way they are clearly highly favoured by the Wrasse as well! Jack of many trades, master of all!
As for the Rock Claws, while perhaps not as adaptable as the Straights, they have still proven themselves more than enough times for me and countless other people. Initially, I loved the look of them - being a small crustacean imitation, I thought they would be closely aligned with what the Wrasse actually eat. And after trying them out, my curiosity turned to excitement when I realised they were just as deadly as I'd heard!
I'm yet to try out the Bug Ants on the Cornish Wrasse population, or the 3" Minnows, but I'm expecting both to produce some nice fish these next few months. The 3" Minnow's especially look like they might be deadly...