Tackle and Tactics
Mike Ladle


Information Page.


Just off the coast of Venezuela is a small island called Curacao. One of my epals, Rob Appleby, has just been there on holiday and he sent me the following report of his fishing - sounds good to me.

Hi Mike

Well I've returned from 2 weeks in Curacao and finally put my new tackle investments to the test.

The first 10 days were very disappointing, only 3-4 hits on my lures and not a fish to show for many hours of spinning some great looking locations. The following day produced several strikes from barracuda with only one hookup, which was lost.

I came across some tidal-fed saltwater lagoons which showed some tarpon activity so I decided to concentrate my efforts there. The first couple of evenings with a free-lined deadbait produced 3-4 runs with only one hookup which lasted a blink of the eye!.

I tackled the next evening somewhat differently and decided to free-line floated fish strip into the tidal flow. This produced fish (tarpon) very quickly between 5-20lbs. As many fish were lost as were landed. There were also some reasonable size jacks in the tidal flow from time to time, though despite a few hits to some small lures I only managed one hookup which was lost after a short while.

The third and final evening at this venue, prior to me flying home, again produced several tarpon, though nothing much bigger than 10lb. That was until my last cast of the evening at midnight. A fish hit the bait which resulted in a few long runs. After 15-20 mins I saw the fish for the first time... and it was rather large!!!. It saw me and took 150m of line in another fast run. That was the last time I saw it for 90 minutes. After much drama and dozens of long runs and dogged fighting in the tidal flow I finally beached the tarpon... A total of 3 hours!!

It was this evening that I dispatched with the Grey's Missionary 100g heavy spinner and used your earlier version of the Surespin with 20lb Fireline/Shimano 5000. I've no idea how big this fish was as it was released, and I was by myself. Photos attached... Any ideas as to the weight?

There were also masses of mullet in the above location though I chose not to try for them. I was running out of time and needed some action!. I'm assured that the lagoons also hold ladyfish and snook with snapper available off some rock marks.

I'll be back there next year, at least I'll not be fishing blind and will take time to explore more options.



Notice that Rob (Like Dave in the previous piece) wasn't put off by a poor start. I rarely expect to do much good on my first trip to any venue so Rob's fish were a real bonus. Clearly the tarpon fed on into the dark and Rob was able to capitalise by sticking at it until midnight. Also the light spinning gear was no disadvantage unless you consider a three-hour fight a bad thing - what a session to remember. For sure the mullet would be good tarpon livebaits if you could get hold of them. I'm off on holiday next week so there might be a lull in my web pages until I get back. In the meanwhile - "Good fishing!"

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's rig.

Simply a float and a hook - no need for complicated beads, swivels and gadgets.'

What a sight.

Just imagine his feelings when this hove into view.'


I reckon it was about five feet long (judging from the rod) and probably 60-70 pounds.'

Close up.

a fantastic catch - it would 'make' anyones holiday.'