Tackle and Tactics
Mike Ladle

Information Page.

Tobago again.

My epal Rob went to Tobago at the beginning of the year. Like me, Rob's been learning about the fishing over there on his holiday visits. As I recall, at first, he had trouble landing bonefish but he's obviously got the hang of it now. Here's his report :-

Hi Mike,

Once again we were lucky enough to spend some quality time on the beautiful island of Tobago in February so here comes a brief account of my latest fishing adventure.

Despite my poor physical state (I was down with flu for about 10 days) and the unforseen conditions (local friends later told me that fishing had been slow since December as finding bait had proved to be a real challenge) I managed to catch some absolutely fantastic fish and by the end of our stay I actually ended up with a pretty good score.

The trip kicked off quite promisingly as my first session produced a hard fighting snook on my third cast. The fish combined some spectacular jumps with long, powerful runs, testing my new spinning reel to see if it was up for the job. For the second session, later that day, I chose one of my favourite spots on the flats where I managed to catch some cudas using my homemade tube lure which turned out to be an absolute killer for the species. Speaking from experience this type of lure surely entices the 'bigger' fish for a bite.

As the days went by the conditions turned from bad to worse when a myriad of jellyfish appeared all around the southern part of the island making lure fishing simply impossible for about six days. Consequently I had no choice but to resort to bait fishing which produced a good number of mutton snapper and some other species of fish I'd never seen let alone caught before. Regarding the bonefish this trip was truly special as I'd never fought, lost or caught as many as during this visit. They were on the feed for sure. Every single one of them I came in contact with was something to remember. One stood out from the others though - a big fish which I beached five times but it always found a way back for another heart- stopping run. What stamina!!! Fantastic!!!! I guess nothing compares to the thrill of playing a bonefish.

By the beginning of the second week the jelly fish had diminished but they were soon replaced by a lot of dirt and sand keeping most predators way out of casting range. It was interesting to see the contrast between the murky and clear water. The jacks were present in large numbers throughout my vacation but to get to them with my lure, at a considerable distance was impossible. It was also amazing to see them chasing after huge shoals of sprats in clear water.

As for the tarpon, one morning there was a lot of bird activity on the flats beyond the breakers. Laughing gulls, pelicans and terns were feeding in a greedy manner. It was low tide so I decided to wade out as far as I dared. As I got closer I spotted a good number of tarpon crashing into the bait. I made every effort to hook one, changed lure after lure but all my offerings were duly ignored. Despite the lack of success it was still breathtaking to witness their feeding frenzy only a few metres away from me. Sometime later that week I managed to hook one but it came unstuck after a series of wild, head shaking jumps.

All in all it was a fantastic vacation with excellent fishing.

All the best,


Another excellent holiday from the sound of it - just enough to whet my appetite for my own trip at the end of May.

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

Mutton snapper.

These beautiful fish are a common catch on both bait and lures.'

Yellowfin mojarra.

This one's a decent specimen of its kind.'


A barracuda caught on Rob's home made tube lure.  Just a length of green rubber pipe.'


A good snook to catch from the flats - as much like a bass as anything.'


One of the hefty bonefish caught by Rob during his stay.'


How's that for colour, what a fantastic hermit crab.'

Cane toad.

These huge toads are common all over the Island.  It's best to look for them with a torch at night.'