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 four 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. 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).

18 July 2005

A multitude of fishes!

Back from holiday! The first time my wife and me have been away 'on our own' (without kids, friends etc.) in over forty years. Lilian did not do quite as much swimming, sun- bathing etc. as she might have liked and I did not manage all the fishing that I could have coped with but, on the whole, it was a great success and we did not look like killing each other.

What was the fishing like in Tobago? In a word - fantastic! I could have caught more. I dropped a few good fish and was broken twice (by a big jack that found the coral and by a barracuda that must have got the line in its mouth) but all in all I did well.

Perhaps stupidly (being on my own) I opted to experiment. I scarcely used a popper in two weeks (we've found them deadly in the past), instead I fished the shallow diving plugs (Marias) that I have been using for bass this year. I also gave the fly rod a try for perhaps ten percent of the time with only one fly (a 'Krystalflash minnow') on the end the whole time. I also did a little bait fishing with shrimps. The gear was exactly the same stuff that I use for bass etc. at home. I was not disappointed.

I took a few pictures of the fish that I caught although the best one (a c. fifty pound tarpon) was landed in near darkness when I was half-a-kilometre from the camera along a lonely beach - I just released it at the waters edge. Typically the fish jumped seven or eight times (two other big ones threw the hook) but failed to dislodge the plug. It was amazing. I don't know how much of that sort of excitement I can take these days.

I landed several smaller tarpon and a long list of other species. Reef croaker, sand perch, mutton snapper, grey snapper, mahogany snapper, yellow tail snapper, palometa, jack crevalle, barracuda, snook, blennies, coneys, sand divers, needle fish, you name it! It was hard to know what would take next.

Anyway I've put a few pictures together just to give a flavour of what it was about. As usual all my fishing was from the shore. I did not get a chance to fish for bonefish on the flats but I did a lot of early morning (first light) and evening sessions. It was wonderful.

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

Tarpon.

This eight pounder was my first fish of the trip - caught after about five minutes fishing.

Sunshine!

Although it's hot and sunny they don't call it 'rain forest' for nothing.  Tropical storm Emily passed through while we were away.

Mahogany snapper.

This one was caught on a frozen shrimp legered with a 30g weight.

Yellow tail snapper.

The first one I've ever seen but what a spectacle.

Small jack.

These little buggers go like hell on the fly gear - I doubt that I could land a big one.

Barracuda.

I caught quite a few 'cuda on both plugs and flys but the three biggest ones all managed to get away (one broke and two just shed the hooks - unusual!).

A snook.

I landed four snook, two on plug two on fly, but the bigger ones eluded me.  Steve had some good ones in April.

Crevalle!

Jacks are my favourite fish.  This fifteen pounder was landed on my second evening session and ' made the trip' for me, even if I'd caught nothing else.