Catch fish with Mike Ladle.

Catch Fish with
Mike Ladle

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15 June 2005

The right lure!

I like plugging. Floating, shallow diving, plug baits are amazingly versatile and given the right conditions will lure a huge range of fish, both in freshwater and in salt. However, a lifetime of fishing has taught me never to be dogmatic about anything and lure choice certainly falls into this category. Now, by lure choice I dont mean whether to use a blue or a chartreuse backed popper but rather the more basic matter of whether (a)I can get the lure to where the fish are (casting distance, depth) and (b)When it gets there will it attract/hook the fish).

The other day I had a classic example of both aspects. I was fishing at first light and I had with me my spinning rod and my fly rod. I started off by casting a little transparent rubber eel on the fly rod. After five minutes without a bite I switched to the spinning gear armed with an 11cm shallow diving plug. About fourth cast I had a good take right under the rod tip. The fish thrashed on the surface a lot and made a couple of short runs but I soon had it on the rocks - a reasonable bass. After I'd put the bass back I plugged on for ten minutes or so - hoping for another one - but nothing!

Back to the fly gear to see if anything had turned up but no bites for a few minutes. I was just about to switch back to the plug and began to reel in my 'fly' when it was taken and I hooked a small pollack. This encouraged me to fish on but after a further five minutes and no more bites it was back to spinning. A little later I had a couple of taps as I retrieved the plug which were not hooked (probably garfish). I decided to change to a small Toby spoon in an attempt to catch the culprits. Second cast produced a firm take and the characteristic throbbing battle of a mackerel.

Three fish on different lures. On most occasions I am quite happy to stick to my first choice throughout a session. In fact I'm a bit pig headed about it and have been known to ignore the success of my mates just to 'try something out'. However, it always pays to be prepared to switch when logic tells you it would be wise to do so.

I'll leave this comment from the 24th May for the early risers who want to hear a bit more about mayflies - BBC Radio 4 Sunday 26 June 06.35am

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 bass.

When the fly failed an 11cm plug caught this one.

The pollack.

Back to the fly gear to produce a second fish.

The mackerel.

Reached and hooked using a small metal spoon.