The largest of the British Wrasses the Ballan can show a bewildering range of colouration from lime green, through various shades of brown, to dark purple with white spots.
The Ballan grows to 60cm or more in length and is a bit of a thug when caught, it will head for the nearest weed and rocks and will often snag the line, it is a hard fighting fish and considerable pressure is needed to stop it heading snag-ward .
If it is snagged then patience can help, leave it for a few minutes and it may well swim back out of the snag.
If large wrasse are around it is best to hold your rod or prop it securely so that it is not pulled in.
It has spines in the dorsal fin so handle carefully.
The British record for Ballan Wrasse fish stands at 9lb 1oz.
Larger wrasse are quite happy to take fish strip, squid or sandeel, a livebait, or a lure, smaller fish tend to go for worm baits, especially ragworm.