Catch fish with Mike Ladle.

Catch Fish with
Mike Ladle

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For anyone unfamiliar with the site always check the FRESHWATER, SALTWATER and TACK-TICS pages. The Saltwater page now extends back as a record of over four years of (mostly) sea fishing and may be a useful guide as to when to fish. The Freshwater stuff is also up to date now. I keep adding to both. These pages are effectively my diary and the latest will usually be about fishing in the previous day or two. The Tactics pages which are chiefly 'how I do it' plus a bit of science are also updated regularly and (I think) worth a read (the earlier ones are mostly tackle and 'how to do it' stuff).

30 September 2005

Long range bass.

I occasionally get emails from anglers concerned about the fact that they can't cast plugs far enough. They quite often ask how much lead they should be using in front of the lure. Of course in years gone by, when rods, reels and lines were much cruder,it was sometimes essential to use lead if you wanted to cast any distance.

Usually I say that there is no need to cast very far. Even a tiny J7F Rapala or similar plug will cast far enough to catch plenty of bass. However, there are times when this is not the case. Recently I went down to do a spot of spinning from a ledge with a strong run of tide. I arrived before it got light and found that the tide was still too high to get to the vantage point I wanted. The only alternative was to cast through a couple of gaps in the ledge into the fast flowing water. The height of the water meant that there was still enough depth to use a plug (as opposed to a popper) so I started off with a Rapala J11. It worked fine but I couldn't cast it far and was wasting a lot of time by waiting for it to drift fifty metres in the strong flow before I started to retrieve.

A quick switch of lures to a Maria (about the same size as the Rapala but enabling a MUCH longer cast, solved my problem. As the light improved I could just see the lure splashdown into the sea about fifty or sixty metres out. On about the tenth cast with the new lure, I had just begun to wind when there was a bigger splash and the rod bowed to the pull of a fish. Needless to say the bass fought very well in the strong flow and it was alittle while before I was able to guide it through the gap in the ledge (thank heavens they tend to battle it out on the surface) and lift it from the sea.

I had no more bites during the session and, in fact, I might have caught the fish by drifting my original lure back to the spot where I hooked it. However, the fact that I had no more interest from bass suggests that the fish were just passing through and that it was critical to have my lure in the water and fishing for the maximum length of time. Sometimes - distance matters.

I suppose that, in theory, you might as well use the longer casting, shallow diving lure all the time but it can become a bit mechanical if you take that attitude and there may even be times when the strong vibration of a Rapala attracts fish from a distance in dark or coloured conditions. Anyway, I sometimes like a change.

If you have any comments or questions about fish, methods, tactics or 'what have you.'get in touch with me by sending an E-MAIL to -

The long distance bass.

Well hooked on the mid-body treble.

A better picture.

A nice fish in nice nick!  I may well have blanked if I hadn't changed the plug.