Catch fish with Mike Ladle.

Catch Fish with
Mike Ladle

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SEA FISHING

23 March 2002

Almost the last pike and the first bass of the year

Almost at the end of the coarse fishing season I went to my local river with Nigel Bevis. Nigel has quickly become a coarse fishing addict. He turned up with his pike gear and his float tackle determined to make the most of his 'last chance'. Since he started pike fishing (last year) Nigel has been keen to catch a twenty pounder.

His first chuck in a small sidestream produced a run almost at once but the fish was only four or five pounds so when it came off he was not too disappointed. In fact he did not bother to have another cast for the fish. We walked up to the main river. I trotted for grayling, without success, while Nigel swum his bait round a superb slack - also biteless.

I watched him reel in and walk ten yards to a little reedy bay. Within seconds he was into a fish so I put the rod down and jogged along to give him a hand. The pike battled hard but it was well hooked and soon we had it in the net. In the sling and lifted on Nigel's new balance it registered 19.5 lb. If it had eaten a half pound dace it would have been his first twenty.

After the end of the river fishing season (why we still have close seasons on running waters I have no idea but at least it forces me to go back to the sea) I had a couple of exploratory bassing trips on the top of the spring tides. I stuck to my pre-season plan of giving poppers a good try throughout this year. Perhaps its a bit early to catch fish 'off the top' and the only bites we had were a couple of plucks on Nigels Rapala. Neither was hooked but it was encouraging.

The week after our recce I got up just before dawn and went down to the spot where Nigel had the bites to try at low water. I fished a 'Skitterpop' for the first half hour (usually the prime period) without a sniff and then changed to a 9 cm jointed floater. In the next hour I had two bites and landed bass of 2lb and 2.5 lb - a good start to my season in the sea.

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

Nigel has just hooked his pike.

The fish was in the corner of the reeds, just by his feet.

What a beauty!

Twenty pounds or not Nigel was really pleased.

My first bass of the year.

This two pounder was hooked on the tail treble - often the case with small fish.

A bit bigger.

This fish had taken the lure amidships but was also hooked outside the mouth on the tail treble.