A friend of mine caught a Ballan Wrasse off the end of South Shields pier not so long ago using Ragworm. As far as I know fishing into snaggy areas is best and when hooked they tend to find the nearest rock crevice so reel it in fast! Wouldnt mind catching one myself as I am concentrating more on rock fishing now.
You'll catch Wrasse both bottom fishing with rag and also on the float, close in and near, or over the kelp. If you have a walk about on the island you'll come across some decent gulleys that are begging for a float dangling some rag for Wrasse!
It's a cracking venue that offers up a number of species. Crisps Gulley to the North is worth a shot, as is the NE edge of the island. Rotten bottoms or a similar counter - measure will be required here!
have had 3-4 trips at beadnell and had wrasse every time from knackers hole also today i had wrasse too best fished couple hours either side of low water floating or ledgering down the side ragworm or crab works best
I have targeted wrasse a few times this year, my signature pic below was this year, 4.5lb Ballan!
Wrasse have very pwerfil jaws and big teeth designed for crustacians (spelling) the bite off barnicles and what not so any shell fish exposed they will hit!
I dive a lot so I collect Hermit Crabs as I go and the Wrasse really smash them they are often taken as they hit the bottom! However, Hermit crabs are more of a challenge to catch than the fish for most people! but if you can find a source?