Tackle and Tactics
Mike Ladle


Information Page

It makes a change.

I never get tired of fishing but sometimes I feel like a change. Last week the huge depression out in the Atlantic caused some big swells along the Dorset coast. The rsult of these changing conditions was to disperse the shoals of mackerel and pollack that had been providing fantastic fly sport and, after one or two abortive trips (sometimes I never even cast a line because venues had become dangerous to fish) I decided to resort to a spot of 'easy' fishing.

One afternoon I spent an hour plugging for seatrout in the hot sun. The result was five bites on my J7 plug and one decent fish (about 4lb) hooked and lost. I'll be back! My next effort was a carping trip. A few slices of bread and my bass gear plus a landing net was the set up. Again I fished on a hot afternoon. The carp seemed to be sheltering under lily pads, reeds or mats of green algae. I simply put a big lump of crust (match-box size) on the hook and flicked it into the mass of vegetation.

I have to say that it's very exciting when the reeds start to rattle or the floating vegetation heaves near my bait. Sometimes the fish don't take. Sometimes I decide that I have cast to the wrong spot and retrieve the hook only for the bread (which falls off) to be swallowed by a carp within minutes (I'm not very patient). Usually a carp eventually takes the bait and I catch it. My technique is simple. The fish are almost always in the middle of the jungle so I walk backwards and heave them over the the top - it's crude but amazingly effective.

My third trip was to the River. This time I was plugging for coarse fish with six-pound line. Within minutes of starting I was into a perch. In the next hour or so I had five more perch a decent chub and two modest pike plus a number of missed bites. I'd almost forgotten what good fun it can be paddling about in the river and spinning for these fish. Anyway it had the desired effect and I'm ready for another session down at the coast this weekend - weather permitting.

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


It makes a change.


This one took a lump of crust in the middle of a reed bed.

Another decent carp.

Crust again but cast into a hole in the solid blanket weed.


A 7cm plug will catch most things in freshwater, given the right conditions although I generally use bigger lures (11cm) without much difference in the number of bites.

The same chub.

A bit clearer picture once the fish had quietened down.

One of the pike.

The wire trace is essential and doesn't seem to deter perch, chub or trout very much.