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 several 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. As you see I also add the odd piece from my friends and correspondents if I've not been doing much. 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).

18 May 2006

Maggot flies and poppers

After seeing all those mullet feeding the previous evening I couldn't resist another go. I walked along the shore and passed a couple of blokes spinning (I later heard that they hadn't had a sniff - time right, place and tactics wrong). When I arrived at the chosen stretch of beach there was only one other angler there - a Danish angler, Rasmus, who is working at the Lab. where I used to do my research. He was plugging and said that he had caught one small bass.

The tide was a bit later than the previous day and there were few fish about so I had a few chucks with the plug but after about ten minutes neither of us had a bite. We noticed a small shoal of surface feeding mullet so I picked up the fly rod, baited the polyfly with a few maggots and began to fish. It was not long before I had a decent bite but the fish came unstuck almost at once. By now there were more mullet feeding so I moved along a few yards and began to cast. Again it was only minutes before I had a bite and this time the fish was well hooked on my size twelve fly hook. Typically it fought like hell and I played it for several minutes, watched all the time by Rasmus. Eventually he picked up the net and after a few more runs and a bit of reel zuzzing landed my fish for me. He said that he had seen everything including the 'take' and was obviously impressed by the power and stamina of the mullet.

We chatted for a while and I found out that Rasmus was chiefly a fly fisherman and normally fished the lakes around Silkeborg (I went there on my honeymoon) and also, with the fly, for seatrout around the coast of Jutland. I handed over the fly rod and the maggot box and told him to "have a go!" It was soon obvious that he was a competent fly man and he had no trouble getting a line out to the feeding fish so I left him to get on with his mulleting and began to spin. However, despite the large number of mullet feeding it was some time before he had a bite. In fact I was already some distance away along the shore when I saw his (my) rod bend into a fish. I put my gear down and hurried along just in time to see him beach a small bass - well hooked on the maggot fly. After a couple of pictures he fished on and again it was quite a long time before he had another bite - blow me down it was another schoolie. The mullet must have outnumbered the bass by at least fifty to one but he had managed to tempt only the relatively rare bass. Rasmus said that he thought (and I agreed) that the fly had been sinking and that might explain why he was catching bass rather than mullet. Probably the slime from my mullet had reduced the buoyancy of the foam maggot. By now, however, the fish were thinning out so we packed in and went home. Perhaps next time he'll get one

On the following morning Ben picked me up at 03.45 for a bassing session. Ben started off using a J11 Rapala and I decided to fish a fly. Ben had the first fish then I had a couple on the fly. Ben had another then I landed my third. Since there seemed to be a few bass about I switched to a new 'TD' popper that I fancied the look of but had not tried before. About the third cast the rod was yanked over and I was into the best fish of the morning. A while later Ben switched to a Maria Chase plug and, at absolute maximum distance of perhaps sixty metres, he hooked and landed his third (and our last) bass of the session. Without the use of the long-casting plug and the direct contact of the braided line the last fish would certainly never have been hooked or landed. An altogether satisfactory morning's fishing.

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 -

Surface feeding mullet.

As usual the picture doesn't do it justice.  There were often ten or fifteen fish in a couple of square metres..

My first mullet of the season.

Hooked and landed on the fly rod with a four pound point and a size twelve polyfly - what a battle!

Rasmus using the fly.

Although he'd never done it before he quickly adapted to the stealthy approach and delicate casting needed.

His first fish.

Not a mullet but never mind eh!.

...and another.

Yet another bass.

TD pencil.

As surface lures go this is about the most fishlike I've seen so far.  It didn't make as much disturbance as some others but the bass seemed to like it..