Catch fish with Mike Ladle.

Catch Fish with
Mike Ladle

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8 October 2002

Mediterranean Holiday.

My recent trip to Sardinia was not a fishing holiday but an archaeology trip organised by my wife. As always I took a rod and reel plus a bag full of lures, hooks and miscellaneous useful items, just in case! Overall the holiday was a great success with good weather, lots of old ruins, some amazing scenery, interesting birds (flamingos, griffon vultures), plants (Crocus, Narcissus) and people but the fishing (as is often the case with such trips) was not of the best. However, I know that many people fish the Med. and thought that my experiences might be of interest.

During our stay we travelled from Alghero on the north west coast, up into the mountains and then down to Pula, near Cagliari, on the south coast. Many of the shorelines looked fantastic and I had heard that the bass fishing (many years ago) had been excellent so I set out to try and catch a bass by using lures. I was only able to snatch a few hours in total by getting up early or fishing after the evening meal

There were quite a few local anglers and I watched their activities with interest. Many handlined from small boats and in general they caught tiny fish by using little hooks and bits of bait (probably shellfish of some kind). From the shore most people seemed to be beach casting, certainly the long poles and fine lines which I have seen sea anglers using on the Italian mainland were less evident. Despite watching a number of people fishing I did not see anyone have a bite from the shore. I was told that bass and dentex (a type of large bream) were to be expected on my lures but in the course of the week all I saw was a single rainbow wrasse following my plug in. The water was gin clear and flat calm with mixed bottoms of sand and rock. The depths varied from a few centimetres to tens of metres but the bass etc. were conspicuous by their absence. At one stage I resorted to free lining limpet and hermit crab (picked up on the rocks) on a size ten hook, just to get a bite, and I caught three small wrasse which were very like corkwings but that was the sum total.

Of course there were lots of fish visible. By far the most common were grey mullet. The vast majority of these were small (10-15cm) with some of perhaps a couple of pounds. I could have fished for mullet with bread for bait but lack of time and overwhelming smells of sewage in all the spots where bigger fish were present tended to put me off. In several places I saw huge numbers of mullet skimming the surface film, presumably for particles trapped by the surface tension (there was no visible food).

During our stay in the mountains I found a small stream, gin clear with deep pools, which was stuffed with carp and some decent trout. It turned out that it was a nature reserve and fishing was "VIETATO!" I considered breaking the law just to catch a decent fish but to be honest it would have been like shooting ducks in a barrel. The carp fell upon bread crusts as if they were starving.

So that was it. A few little wrasse and no bites on the lures - typical of my luck. I am sure that with more time and effort bass or dentex (I fancied catching one of those) would have come my way but I was obviously in the wrong places at the wrong times and too stubborn to fish for mullet.

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 -

The rocks at Alghero.

I had a couple of dawn and dusk sessions here - to no avail.  Several times small mullet sprayed out as though being chased just by the big rock.

A local fishing Alghero harbour.

Two beach casters were standard kit everywhere.

The view from our first hotel.

Why were there no bass, bream or barracuda?.

Float fisherman under river bridge.

This river was full of mullet but neither this man nor his pal had a sniff while I watched.

Surface feeding mullet in river of previous picture.

These fish were skimming the surface film for food.  Some bigger mullet were in the deeper water.

Carp in a clear mountain stream at Su Gologone.

The children were feeding the carp on bread but there was a NO FISHING notice.