The first step towards catching pollack over wrecks is to find a good charter skipper; one that will position you accurately over the wreck on the drift and give you constant warning of when to reel up and when to drop down. This requires a lot of skill and some sophisticated equipment, such as a sensitive fish finder and suitable navigation equipment to find the wreck in the first place.
A dedicated skipper – and by far the majority of charter skippers are both dedicated and conscientious – will put you over the wreck, then keep an eye on the echo sounder, matching the speed of your drift to an approach which is calculated to give you the maximum chance of catching a fish. When the wreck walls loom he will give you warning, so that you don’t lose your tackle, and then, as soon as you have cleared the best area, he will tell you to reel up and reposition the boat for another drift.
Listen to the skipper. Bear in mind that, when you go out on a charter boat, you are not just securing your position on the boat, but also the skipper’s expertise. The chances are that he has fished the wreck recently and knows exactly what is going on. It therefore makes sense to follow his advice, although you would be amazed how many anglers don’t, which, I should imagine, is extremely irritating to the majority of skippers.
Having paid out a lot of money to fish on a wreck, you need to make sure that your tackle is man enough for the job. It is no use scaling down to ultra light tackle because it is not fair on the other anglers on the boat. It takes too long to get the fish up! It can be done, since I have, in the past, when fishing alone or with other light tackle enthusiasts, caught double figure pollack on two pound test curve baitcasters and ten pounds breaking strain line, but it should not be done in a mixed angling group.
Nowadays, when I go out on a wreck fishing trip, I use either an uptider, a 20 lbs class boat rod, or a powerful baitcaster, such as a rod designed for jerkbaits. I match these to suitably sized multipliers and lines of not less than 20 lbs breaking strain, tying the strongest knots that I know to give maximum security. The results are excellent!
One glance at the angler on the left tells it all; strong tackle against a heavy fish fighting to hold bottom in hundreds of feet of water. You will sweat, and struggle, all the way to the top, but when you get your first glance at that beautiful pollack, swirling in the final moments of the fight, then every ounce of effort is worthwhile.
Fishing over wrecks for pollack is one of the most exciting types of fishing available to the British angler. It is hard work, having a completely different atmosphere to sitting on the shore watching your float bob about in the water, but it can be really good fun.