Yesterday afternoon I had a visit from Jeff Prest features editor and reporter for “Sea Angler” magazine and staff photographer Lloyd Rogers. For many years I was a regular feature writer for the magazine, so when they asked if they could do a piece on my ‘angling career’ I was quite happy to comply.

Of course Lloyd needed some ‘fishing’ pictures to fill out the report so the first thing we did was to make for the coast. Obviously time was pressing so I took them to the nearest handy stretch of shoreline. It was mid afternoon so when we arrived at the beach there were quite a few people rockpooling and wandering about at the edge of the sea. Lloyd picked out a suitable stretch of boulders and suggested that I ‘- had a cast or two -’ while he set up his camera and took a few pictures.

The sun was shining, the tide was out and the sea was a bit on the murky side and with all the activity on the nearby rocks it was just going to be a matter of ‘casting for the camera’. I had my carp rod and fixed spool reel loaded with braid. Since the water was pretty shallow and snaggy I clipped on a shallow diving J11 and began to fish. Later on Jeff commented that he thought that because I was just flicking the unweighted lure out fifteen or twenty metres I was “not trying”. Of course ALL sea anglers cast at least a hundred metres – so his thoughts were excusable.

To cut a long story short, after five or ten minutes of casting and retrieving through the wrack and boulders I felt a fierce pull and found myself playing a bass – just what the magazine ordered – I was pleased. It seemed from Lloyd’s comments that for someone to actually catch a fish during a photoshoot was, to say the least, unusual.

Of course there is a big element of luck involved in catching fish just when they are needed and my bass was no exception, but to be honest any sea angler should EXPECT to catch something worthwhile on MOST trips. Catching fish should not be a surprise or a bonus. We all have our share of blanks but I have to say - if trip after trip results in failure it is time to try a different tack. Lure fishing can be a tedious business when there is nothing doing but such events should be rare. Looking back at my diary I see that (not counting my Tobago holiday) nineteen of my last twenty trips (averaging about an-hour-and-a-half each) have produced over one hundred and twenty fish, of six species, to lures or flies. Not many of these were big fish but very few of them were too tiny to put a bend in the rod and a good proportion of them made the reel sing and took several metres of line against the clutch or ratchet.

Of course experience and knowledge of where, when and how to fish for each species is vital to regular success but these days, even a novice angler with only the basic ability to cast a plug or a fly should be able to glean enough from books, articles and websites to catch a few fish. By having an open mind and picking your times and places most sessions should be productive.

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


Think like a fish.



I stood on the boulders and cast ten or fifteen metres.


With a range from a surface popper to a countdown you are equipped for almost anything.

A nice bass.

The shallow diving plug is a good reliable standby and will catch bass in many conditions.

A bass on the fly.

Fly fishing is an exciting and effective  alternative to spinning in some circumstances (particularly when fish are preoccupied with small prey).