Catch fish with Mike Ladle.

Catch Fish with
Mike Ladle

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31 July 2004

Back to normal.

Back from my holiday I wanted to get back to fishing as soon as I could. One of my first attempts was an early morning session with the fly rod. I was not quite sure what time it would be light so I was down on the shore by 03.30 - too early. Already dawn is slipping back to fourish and I know that the fish can often be a bit slow to bite before the light starts to change.

Half-an-hour after I started I had the first bite and of course I missed it. It's interesting just how easy it is to detect takes when you are using fly gear. Even the tiniest tap on the fly is transmitted straight to your rod hand, so I was sure that it had been a fish - probably a small pollack. I was using a fly tied by my friend Steve that had caught lots of fish while I was in Tobago, so I knew it was OK and I continued to fish. It was about five minutes before I had another bite and this time I hooked it. The fish put up a fair scrap and for a few seconds I thought that it might be a mackerel but it was a pollack. I landed one more pollack and later on I had a mackerel on a spun Toby. Pitiful! Last year I was regularly landing twenty or thirty fish in the same length of time (about an hour).

A few days later I had an evening after bass and mullet with Nigel. It was a reasonable tide with high water at seven or eight o'clock. Soon after we arrived there were fish showing on the surface - mostly bass. I was still using Steve's fly and I quickly landed six fish up to over three pounds - it was almost hectic. Strangely, Nigel was not even getting bites - something in our presentation was probably different. A couple of days after this he landed eight bass but he said they would only take the fly when he stripped very fast. Eventually he changed to spinning gear and landed one on a popper and one on a plug. My next session - same spot, later tide - produced nothing. This time there were lots of good mullet feeding close in but I had no maggots or maggot flies - needless to say the mullet did not want my bass flies. Fish are weird!

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 post-holiday fish.

Not quite a tarpon but good fun on fly gear.

A small bass.

As soon as it hit the beach it was covered in seaweed flies.

A bit better.

This bass was as fat as butter and fought like a tiger.

Best of the session.

Although this was a decent fish it just wallowed about on the end of the line.

One for Nigel.

He had to resort to the spinning gear to get bites.