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).

06 February 2008

Antigua 2.

While we were in Antigua I made a concerted effort to fish the beaches and rocks as often as I could. On the first morning I had only been fishing for five minutes when my plug snagged on a rock and was lost. It's always a problem when you don't know what's out there and you should anticipate losing a lure or two when fishing new ground. I ruined one other plug when it began to fill up with water. Presumably either the fish or the rocks (as I landed the fish) had cracked the plastic (I couldn't see the leak) so it was useless. I took off the split rings and hooks and chucked the lure in the bin.

It was about twenty minutes after beginning to fish from the rocks on my first morning that I had a bite - and missed it. Two casts later I had another take and this one was well hooked. The fish raced about but was clearly no monster and when I landed it it proved to be a nice yellowtail snapper of about three pounds.

As it began to get light I missed bite after bite and it was not long before I saw the culprits. Almost every chuck a long blue/green shape would follow the lure in to my feet - houndfish. These giant gars were numerous and although they take readily they are buggers to hook. The best bet is probably to try a float and a fish strip as bait if you want to catch them. I had some real fun trying to get them in before they shook loose and the bigger ones ripped line off the spool at high speed before thrashing their way into the air. Every session and every lure I tried (plugs, spoons, shads, poppers) was attacked by houndfish but the jacks and tarpon that I'd hoped for just didn't materialise. I know that they are present and indeed I saw both - but not when and where I was fishing. Perhaps next time!!!!

Hawksbill rock.

The white gate on the cliff leads to a nude bathing beach.

Off the rocks.

On my first morning I lost a lure in a snag fishing from these rocks in the dark.

Yellowtail snapper.

My first catch from the rocks, these fish fight pretty hard.

Houndfish.

These awkward creatures were by far the commonest catch.  They leap and twist just like the giant garfish that they are.

Hows that for dentures?

Not the place for your fingers.  This one may have ruined my Angel Kiss plug by, somehow, causing it to leak.

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