Lures which feature a heavy metal body married to a conventional artificial eel tail are now in wide use for wreck fishing. A range called ‘Coalie’ has proved itself in this roughest branch of sea fishing. Available in a variety of sizes and colours, these lures are used prin-cipally for pollack, coalfish, ling and cod. The body carries a loop to which a swivel is fitted to connect the reel line. A stout split ring serves this purpose. The conventional, heavy duty link swivel is the alternative: spring clip varieties pull open under the pressure of a large fish. The lure is hooked sink and draw, as a pirk would be. Movement is essential, and fishing ‘on the drift’ adds con-siderably to your success.
Winter wrecking on the drift with a two- or three-hook paternoster rig has accounted for many thousands of pollack and coalfish of up to the British Record weight. Ling in excess of 50lb have also fallen to it. Artificial eels of 177mm or 210mm are connected to short nylon snoods of at least 80lb breaking strain. The whole rig can be tied from a single length of monofilament, a strong and reliable arrangement which gives the additional advantage of a double snood to the hook.
Metal body lures do not work well over rough ground where the fish population is considerably smaller than on wrecks. This is probably because with fewer fish chasing the available food supply, they can be more choosy about the kind of bait they take. Reef work requires an altogether more delicate approach. Small artificials—especially light coloured ones—should be used in association with a long, medium-weight monofilament trace. Line over 18lb b.s. Completely destroys the lure’s action.