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 May 2008

Good and bad in parts.

My son Richard came to visit over the bank holiday weekend and we had a couple of fishing trips to the coast. The first one, an early morning session, was with Ben and Phil. To say that it was slow would be an exaggeration - it was very slow indeed. I fished a popper and didn't get a sniff. The others tried various plugs and to sum up, Phil had a small bass, Ben had two even smaller bass and Richard hooked and lost a fish. We walked miles and must have covered many acres of salt water with our lures. The only bit of real excitement was on the way back when we watched a local commercial fisherman haul half-a-dozen gill nets along the stretch we'd fished. He seemed to have one or two modest fish but all in all didn't catch much more than us. I suppose it showed that there wasn't much about.

The following evening was a different story. This time we fished another stretch - hoping for mullet and/or bass. several of us had fly rods - just in case. Phil didn't make it but Nigel and Dave Baker joined us. We arrived to find a huge surf but undaunted we walked along until we found some weed piles riddled with seaweed fly maggots. The fish (mullet and bass) were already there in numbers, guzzling away on maggots at the water surface. Ben, Nigel and me all picked up our fly rods. I tried a small plastic eel while Ben put on a maggot-fly. He was immediately into the weed at the edge and lost his fly - it was very difficult to control the line in the crashing waves. I had a bite almost at once then, shortly afterwards, I hooked and lost a fish. I moved along to where Nigel was flogging at a shoal of fish and soon hooked another on my little 'fly'. After a bit of a tussle I was able to land a bass of about three pounds well hooked in the scissors.

The movement of the waves laced with masses of kelp made it difficult to stand up let alone to fish and before long the surf drove the drifting maggots out from the edge and the fish followed. Most of us resorted to spinning simply for the sake of avoiding a ducking. The fish were not interested in plugs and the nett result was simply a couple of small bass as reward for sheer persistence. Following my early success with the plastic eel the most successful tactic was Dave Baker's 'float plus Redgill' rig. Dave managed half-a-dozen bites which was about five more than anyone else. However he only managed to hook a single small bass. All in all it was a frustrating trip but at least the fish were there - next time eh!

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

Got one!

Ben with one of his tiny bass taken during our morning trip.

Not very big.

Ben has large hands but this really wasn't a very big bass.

Gill nets.

The nets were beyond casting range but were strung along the whole stretch.

Maggoty weed.

If you catch a swell with 50kg of this stuff wrapped round your legs your in trouble.

My bass.

I was pleased to get one even if it was a bit thin.

Close up.

Nicely hooked on my 'fly'.