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).

Some you pop and some you don't.

The other morning I went fishing with an epal Ollie Summerfield, who's in Dorset for a day or two. We'd never met before and so we arranged to get together at a car park near the appointed fishing spot. When I arrived at 04.00 hr the weather was calmer than I'd anticipated so we had a quick discussion and decided to try another place. As it turned out the fishing was not great, Ollie had a small bass on a plug while it was still dark then I landed three mackerel on a big surface popper and after losing a couple of lures (it's never easy fishing in the dark in a place you don't know) Ollie had a mackerel too. Clearly the bass were a bit thin on the ground.

A couple of days later I went down on my own to try our original choice of venue. Conditions looke pretty good but I had a problem before I even started to fish. It was so frustrating - somehow the lure had jiggled itself round the top joint of the rod and tied a tight little knot in the braid. After fiddling with the knot for five minutes in the dark (I reasoned, wrongly, that it couldn't be much of a tangle), I cut the line and retied the lure direct to the braid - ten minutes of prime fishing time wasted. Then I flogged away with my big popper for half-an-hour with only one tentative bite. It was now pretty light so I decided to change the lure at this point and spent five more precious minutes tying on a nylon trace and attaching a Yo Zuri Magnet Slider (just another popper really). About the fifth cast with the new lure a decent bass struck at it, missed and cleared the water completely (so I had a good look) what a downer. In the next twenty minutes I had four more bites, all from smaller fish, and managed to hook and land two of them. I'll never know whether it was the new lure, the better light, the state of the tide (it was approaching low water when I had the bites) or just pure chance that made the difference but that's fishing I'm afraid. I hope Ollie's done better.

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

First bass.

It took a fair way out but was easy to land.

Not very big.

This one was well hooked, why couldn't it have been the bigger fish?

Ready to unhook

Even these small bass will smash into a big popper.

Second bass.

By now it was almost low water and the kelp was above the surface.