Catch fish with Mike Ladle.

Catch Fish with
Mike Ladle

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23 October 2002

A better day.

After the storms earlier in the week, last Saturday was by far the best day. Despite the early morning frost it looked perfect. As it turned out I totally misjudged the time of dawn and by the time I reached the coast it was full daylight. Another chap was already spinning as I walked round the bay and I passed the time of day with him before walking further on. Not surprisingly there were no bites in my favourite 'crack of dawn' spot, so I continued out onto a big, flat ledge.

Even out on the point the sea was still a bit coloured and after half-an-hour of fishless 'chugging' I decided to change to a shallow diving plug. Almost at once I had what felt like a bite. It was possible that the lure had simply tapped against a rock on the way in but I was fairly confident that it had been a touch from a fish. I cast again to the same spot (about twenty yards straight out) and as I started to turn the handle of the reel a fish hooked itself and thrashed on the surface.

My catch put up a spirited fight in the surf but it was no great size and I soon slid it onto the wet rocks. The rear treble was hooked under the little fish's chin. Presumably it had tried to grab the lure amidships and the tail hook had nicked in beneath its jaw. I ran up for the camera, took a picture and then returned the fish to the sea.

I began to fish again and after about ten minutes I felt another bump on the lure as I retrieved. Next cast I was ready and sure enough, in exactly the same spot, I hooked another bass. This one was a bit bigger than the first and took a little while to bring ashore. The mid body treble was well inside the mouth this time so, I took a few pictures before unhooking it and returning it to the sea.

Five minutes later I had what I can only describe as a 'soft' bite - just like hitting a lump of drifting weed. The fish was hooked however and it kited round to the left on a tight line. As it turned out it was a reasonable wrasse and it fought better than either of the bass I had caught. By now it was time for breakfast so, after a couple of 'last casts' I packed in and went home. Three fish in an hour and a half of spinning was a reasonable return for my effort.On the way back I had another word with the chap I had met earlier. He had lost one fish on a lure fishing from another rocky point.

The session simply confirmed something which I have often thought. Stopping to take pictures of fish (or any other sort of fiddling about) probably means that I miss the chance of quite a few bass. The fact that my bites came in pairs on successive casts suggests that the shoals of fish are moving past or patrolling along the shore so when you get one the next cast is probably the time when you have your best chance of another.

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 -

My first bass of the session.

The tail treble was firmly hooked under its chin.

My second bass coming ashore.

There was more of a surf than is apparent from the picture.

Close to the edge.

With a bit of persuasion the fish will usually beach themselves.

Ready for unhooking.

The flat rocks make it easy to land fish.

A close up.

This one had made a better job of hooking itself.

My ballan wrasse.

This fish fought pretty well and for a while I thought it was a bigger bass.


Wrasse are lovely fish.  Unusually this one had taken the 'middle' hook.