Catch fish with Mike Ladle.

Catch Fish with
Mike Ladle

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SEA FISHING

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).

02 August 2006

Back to Dorset.

My first trip out after returning from the West Indies was a bit of an anticlimax - I blanked fishing for bass and mullet. There were lots of fish there but they were almost uncatchable (one small bass between three of us in a couple of hour's fishing).

After this return to normality I decided to try an early morning session. As you know it has been hot and calm for weeks now so I thought that the chances of a mackerel or two on the fly were good. I dragged myself out of bed at 03.45 and still half asleep drove down to the coast. The tide was out and the sea was flat and clear. My first cast produced a small pollack on the fly and then it was ten minutes before I had a couple of hard fighting mackerel on the same tactic. Then it slowed down and I had little else for a further ten minutes. In fact a number of fish hit the fly but were not hooked. I put the failure down to the form of the fly with heavy eyes and a fairly wide gape on the hook. Rather than change the fly I decided to spin for a while.

I picked up the spinning rod which was armed with a TD Pencil surface popper. This lure is new to me and I really fancied the look of it. The lure cast like a bullet as much as seventy or eighty metres on the twenty pound braid and first chuck it was taken by a fish which was obviously a bass from the fierce take and powerful run. To my disappointment the fish came unstuck before I could get a look at it.

I cast again and 'wallop!' I was into another bass getting on for four pounds. This time I landed the fish so I was well pleased. In the next fifteen minutes I landed a few more fish on the popper - all mackerel. Not a bad morning.

The following day I went down to the same place again. This time I started off with the TD Pencil lure in hopes of more bass but no, it was the mackerel that took the lure with over forty landed in an-hour-and-a-half, all on the big surface lure. Only one small bass broke the monotony of catching mackerel on almost every chuck.

A couple of mornings later I went down again with my pal Ben. We started off spinning and I had a pollack then a mackerel, more pollack and a small bass all on the fly. For some reason Ben couldn't buy a bite. I switched to the popper and had a few mackerel and a small bass, then back to the fly again to catch several pollack and mackerel. Whatever he did Ben struggled to catch a fish and at the end of the (short) session he'd only managed half-a-dozen small fish with the bonus of his first fly-caught mackerel. That's fishing! Next time it will probably be me who fails and Ben that catches.

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 - docladle@hotmail.com

Pollack on 'Redgill fly'.

My first fish after the holiday.  Note the big eyes on the fly - I think they interfered with good hooking.

Mackerel on 'Redgill fly'.

I landed this one but probably missed twenty more.

Mackerel on TD Pencil surface popper.

Mackerel, popper and sprat coughed up by the mackerel.

Closer look

Although the lure is much bigger than the sprat the resemblance is clear  .

.....and a bass

This fish was hooked at seveny or eighty metres range - a testament to the properties of braided line.