The ballan wrasse is a very strong and muscular fish. It has a large head and small mouth. with thick fleshy lips and large teeth.
The ballan wrasse also has another set of teeth further down in its throat. With the first set crushing its prey, the second will grind down the food to aid digestion.
It has a long dorsal fin with an array of between 18 and 21 spines.
The ballan has over 4 large scales along it’s lateral line.
Natural habitat for a ballan wrasse is rock and weed covered ground. The females lay eggs within a mucus bound nest built into the rocks. Ballan wrasse are born female and change into male at around 8years of age. The more juvenile wrasse tend to be a greenish colour, turning a reddish brown as they grow older. They feed predominantly on crab, mussel, shrimp and worm, ragworm being the most effective from a boat angler’s point of view for wrasse in numbers.
When targeting the larger 5lb+ specimens crab is normally the desired bait. A day aboard My Way will almost certainly result in an hr or so drifting for wrasse. Regularly trips are booked with half the day handed over for drifting for these hard fighting fish. Light gear and there are few fish that put up a better fight.