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).

Weed middens.

In my recent saltwater web page 401 ‘Where shall I fish?’ I showed a picture of a huge weed midden and I wrote “It will take a week or so for this mighty midden to cultivate a few trillion maggots and then it will need a big spring tide to release them to the fish.” Well, as it happened, I was away visiting my youngest son Dan and his family in Nottingham on the next lot of spring tides so no fishing for me. However, my pals Bill, Rob and Nigel all went down to try out a spot of ‘midden squelching’. Bill, heroically, took lots of pictures and sent me a nice little account.of events. Here it is:-

Whatho Mike!

After a pretty crap week I decided to have a look along the shore last night. When I arrived at about 16:45 Rob was tackling up and then Nigel arrived, as the pro's were there I thought I must be doing something right!

We walked along and commented that it looked a bit too calm to be really bassy but you never know....There was quite a bit of very putrefied weed, almost liquefied, and you sank into it beyond your ankles at times. My first truly stinky fishing session this year. Poppy loved it!

It was so calm that after an hour or so we could see splashes about 100 -150 yards out, well beyond casting range. Kayaker’s fish Nigel commented. Although it was a big tide (2.0m) maggots didn't seem to be released in huge numbers but they were there (Rob & Nigel did a bit of muck hurling).

A while later mullet moved in, not in massive numbers but schooling up and the dispersing and the schooling up again. We weren't sure if there were bass there as well? Nigel & Rob fly fished for an hour, Rob hooked and lost one fish while I tried my Slug-Gill, Redgill, Patchinko and Gulp ragworm under a bubble float for the mullet.

At probably 18:37 Nigel let out a cry and his rod hooped over, I wound in and started taking photos of the most epic ‘man versus fish’ battle I have ever witnessed! I don't know how many times Nigel almost got it ashore before it went berserk and set off again.

At 18:39 I took my first photo and at 18:49 and 111 photos later Nigel, with Rob’s help, landed a monster. I have never been so relieved to see someone else land a fish after a battle of over 12 minutes! We all agreed that it was probably 6lb but it was really skinny and would have gone much more(8-9lb???) if it wasn't quite so anorexic.

.

All the best

Bill

So, there it is. A twelve minute battle with a six pound fish – quite the equal of most epic fishing tales. To put it in perspective I’ve often had similar struggles with mullet on my fly gear but even double figure bass don’t usually manage half that time before coming to hand. Anyway, well done all concerned. I must try to get down there on the next lot of springs (weather and weed permitting).

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

Rob and Nigel.

The lads are obviously just having a spin before the mullet turn up.

He's in!

Nigel's fly rod bends into his mullet as it tears away.  Note the midden under his feet.

Still going.

Rob stands by to help but the mullet is still battling.

Nearly there.

The mullet is tiring but they are still capable of long runs even at this stage.

Got it!

Rob carries Nigel's fish ashore. It doesn't look thin to me.

Smile please!

Nigel shows off his catch with the fly rod firmly gripped between his teeth.Note Nigel's little box of maggots for adorning his fly.

Back she goes.

Catch and release is the order of the day and the fish is none the worse for it's struggles.

Poppy.

I couldn't resist this picture - Bill must spend all his time washing the dog after these trips.