Wreck fishing is the most spectacular branch of sea fishing and it provides anglers with the opportunity to consistently catch specimen fish. Reasonable catches are occasionally made from wrecks lying close to shore, but their accessibility can lead to overfishing and the numbers of fish living in them is drastically reduced. The best action is now found on sunken hulks lying more than 30 miles out, a distance which can only be reached in good weather conditions by skippers operating large, licensed charterboats.

Dominant wreck species

While many different species are found on wrecks, the sport is dominated by conger, ling, pollack, coalfish and bream, all of which fall into three distinct categories. Conger and ling are taken on heavyduty tackle and big baits are ledgered on the bottom. The pollack and coalfish fall to mediumweight gear, artificial and natural baits, between the wreckage and the surface, although the bottom 10 fathoms is usually the productive zone. Black and red bream are caught by using more sensitive tackle on baits dropped right into the wreckage.

Secret wreck marks

All charter skippers keep a record of the position of wrecks and jealously guard their whereabouts. Every year new wrecks are discovered by accident and as each is likely to be sheltering hundreds of fish, it is understandable that skippers prefer to keep such information to themselves. Some skippers go to great lengths to preserve the secrets of such a mark only visiting the place when no other vessel is in sight. They then keep a vigilant lookout during the time the boat is anchored over it, and should another charter boat be spotted they leave the area quickly.

Pollack and coalfish

Wrecking for pollack and coal fish is tremendous fun. Both species are grand fighters and the linestripping plunge of even a 15 lb pollack is one of the most thrilling experiences in sea fishing. During the summer, most are caught on mediumweight tackle from anchored boats. The boom effectively keeps the trace from tangling with the’ reel line during its long journey to the bottom. It is then steadily retrieved until the bait or artificial eel is taken. At this point the fish will make its characteristic plunge, and line must be given out again or it will certainly break.

Tough on man and tackle

It is tough on equipment, too, as many wouldbe record breakers have found to their cost, when a rod has cracked under the strain, or a multiplier has jammed.