Catch fish with Mike Ladle.

Catch Fish with
Mike Ladle

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6 April 2002

Early season look see

In the past week I have continued to explore different spots along the coast. The main ideas are, firstly to refresh my memory about places to fish over the coming year, secondly to see whether there are any potential hotspots for the week ahead (looking for signs of fish, concentrations of food, changes in beach profile etc.) and last, but not least, to see whether I can get a bite/fish or two.

I had a couple of goes on a local tide race. There were a few sandwich terns looking for fish but rarely diving. I blanked on both occasions. I tried along a boulder beach at high water in mid afternoon. Conditions looked perfect, not too much surf and a bit of colour, but again not a touch. Each time I tried half of the time with a popper and half with a buoyant plug. On the latter trip I noticed quite a bit of fresh weed cast up on the beach. It was alive with beach hoppers and seaweed flies but no maggots - yet! A few small piles of old weed higher on the shore were riddled with big maggots. Whether the next lot of spring tides will reach these middens is debatable.

On my last two trips, to a mark that fishes best on ebbing neap tides, I had my fourth and fifth bass of the season. Both took a J11 Rapala. The conditions, cold, offshore winds were not too pleasant so I did not stay too long. In fact none of my sessions so far have lasted longer than two hours and the last two were each less than an hour. The idea is not to become dispirited if nothing is doing so early in the year.

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 -

A tide race.

The race is easily reached from the rocks, even with a light plug.  Nothing doing!

Nice conditions for the time of year, even for using the popper.

A bit of colour should be ideal for spinning.

A small pile of old weed high on the shore.

Even at this time of year there were plenty of maggots in the weed.

A fish of just under three pounds.

This fish took second cast and as usual was well hooked on the middle treble.

A smaller bass.

Again on a J11 Rapala but hooked on the outside of the mouth.