Catch fish with Mike Ladle.

Catch Fish with
Mike Ladle

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SEA FISHING

11 November 2003

A deserved bass.

The rough weather was abating and the wind was backing to the south so I decided to have a go at the local tide race. I set the alarm for 05.30 but by the time I'd faffed about with the gear and tackled up it was already getting light. Not a propitious start! My chosen lure was the big 'slider' that caught me the thirty odd fish the other week, the idea being that it should fish well even in rough conditions. In fact, when I got out of the car I could see that the sea was flat calm and there was virtually no wind - promising!

I walked along to the point where I can access the race. Even though it was high water neaps I hoped it would be possible to wade out onto the ledge and fish into the turmoil of the racing water. As soon as I got there my hopes were dashed. A huge swell was rolling in from the south and crashing over the rocky point - no chance of standing on the ledge. I opted to start fishing the calm water uptide of the ledge and spent half-an-hour chugging the lure back over the calm water without a sign of anything.

Time for a quick rethink. The tide was just starting to ebb and already a 'river' of water was running through a gap in the rocks. In the summer the same mini-race had produced quite a few bass and small pollack on flies. By standing just downtide of the ledge and well clear of the breaking seas, it might be possible to fish across the run of water - even with the waves rolling in. Sure enough the big lure was easy to cast across the target area and it fished quite well as long as I only chugged between waves (in the troughs of the big swell). For ten minutes there was nothing doing and I was just considering 'giving them best' when I thought I noticed a swirl near the lure just as it came out of the flow. I cast again and right in the middle of the most turbulent patch of water something grabbed the lure. At first it splashed a bit and I thought it was a small fish. Never mind, anything was a bonus.

After a couple of minutes the fish was still out in the flow and taking line from the reel against the clutch, never a long run but not giving any back. In fact it took the best part of five minutes before the fish came into view and I realised it was bigger than I first thought. With some care I manoeuvred the bass onto the cobbles, nipped down between waves, picked it up and retreated swiftly to safety. As I slipped it back I felt as though I deserved this one.

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

The mini tide race.

Water flows through a gap in rocks just out of shot on the right.

Safely landed.

As I carried the fish up the beach it kicked and stuck two points in my hand.  I MUST be more careful.

Unhooked and ready for return.

A wonderful bass.  Although the lure is new it has already lost much of its paint.  To be honest I think it will be better without it.