Tackle and Tactics
Mike Ladle


Information Page

Appropriate tackle.

I glanced through a coarse fishing magazine when I was in the local newsagents this morning. In it was an article by John Bailey. As far as I could tell without reading the whole thing he was bemoaning the divisions that have evolved between coarse and game fishing. There were a few pictures of Bob James with fly-caught chub and so on to illustrate the points made. Now I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiments expressed in the article but, in my view, it did not go far enough. As I have often said there should be no artificial distinctions at all between coarse, game and sea fishing.

Of course the barriers between disciplines are largely historical and it has served some people's purposes to emphasise them. For example, rich owners of trout or salmon fishing traditionally looked down on coarse fishermen and their methods (baiting with bread, maggots, worms etc.) as being beyond the pale. "Coarse anglers" still tend to be sniffy about sea fishing, regarding it as a crude business involving thick lines and big hooks. I suppose that in many ways things are getting even worse because now we have the carp catchers, the pike people, the barbel brigade, B.A.S.S., the Mullet Club, Wild Trout Association, Atlantic Salmon Trust, etc,. etc. Each has its devotees and often its own magazines and cliques.

The huge benefits which could certainly stem from all this specialisation in tackle and techniques are largely wasted because of these divisions in the ranks. There are a number of anglers who, like myself, try to apply what they think is the most appropriate method for each species and set of conditions but the vast majority are still 'set in their ways'. Now I'd be the last one to suggest that 'roach' tactics are likely to catch many congers or vice verse but with a little bit of thought there is some fantastic sport to be had out there. Similarly, although I am perfectly at ease with an individual being a matchman, fly-only trout fisher, jerk-bait fanatic or what have you and would defend anyones right to do as they please, they should never try to impose their bigotry on other anglers. I can also say with certainty that if you are a one species or one method person you don't know what you're missing.

If I'd been 'tunnel visioned about my fishing I'd never have had the heart-stopping suspense of watching a carp approach my floating bread bait or the thrill when a big conger tugs at my mackerel head. I wouldn't know the electric excitement of a big bass grabbing my plug or the lightening lunge of a pike after a livebait or spoon. The long, powerful run of a big mullet as it strips the backing off my fly reel would be a closed book. The first tip tapping of a salmon at the prawn, the aerobatic leaps of a sea trout or tarpon and the unstoppable power of a big jack or vicious surface strike of a barracuda would all be unknown to me. Where's the fun in that?

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


Appropriate Tackle.

What a fish!

Pike are an amazing combination of camouflage, acceleration and teeth.

What a fish!

Tench might be slimy but they are powerful swimmers and wonderful sport..

What a fish

I never tire of catching bass - they're just so - bassy!.

What a fish!

Chub fight like bags of flour but they look fantastic.

What a fish!

If I had to choose - jacks would have to be my current favourites.