Catch fish with Mike Ladle.

Catch Fish with
Mike Ladle

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SEA FISHING

For anyone unfamiliar with the site always check the FRESHWATER, SALTWATER and TACK-TICS pages. The Saltwater page now extends back as a record of over four years of (mostly) sea fishing and may be a useful guide as to when to fish. The Freshwater stuff is also up to date now. I keep adding to both. These pages are effectively my diary and the latest will usually be about fishing in the previous day or two. The Tactics pages which are chiefly 'how I do it' plus a bit of science are also updated regularly and (I think) worth a read (the earlier ones are mostly tackle and 'how to do it' stuff).

29 August 2005

Tide race.

Last week I had to visit Littlehampton in Sussex. The reason for the trip was for my wife to discuss Roman Archaeology with a friend and colleague but I decided to take a rod and spend a few hours fishing. Overall I had two blank sessions, one in the morning on the first of the flood and the second in the afternoon just before high water. I was fishing the mouth of the River Arun, which has one of the fastest runs of tide in any estuary. It was a sunny day and there were hundreds of holiday makers on the pier, quayside and beaches - not ideal. As it turned out , despite the bassy looking tide race, my efforts were futile. I plugged from the beach when the tide was out but as soon as it began to run the weed in the water made spinning very difficult. Towards high water the weed had thinned out and I was able to plug from the pier end straight into the tide race. Again my efforts were fruitless. I'll try again sometime, preferably at dusk or dawn.

Fired with enthusiasm for fishing the fast, turbulent water, the following morning I went to a local tide race for a go. There was a stiffish, offshore wind and it was a fantastic sunrise. I began fishing as the first light was in the sky using a Duel Magnet slider with the big silver 'meat hooks' (quite effective if well sharpened) replaced by a couple of size 4 'Owner Stinger' trebles. Perhaps a size too small for the lure! I am slowly replacing all my trebles with these (****** expensive) hooks but it's worth it if it means extra fish hooked. In recent years I've shifted from Eagle Claws (very good and quite cheap) to VMCs (excellent and stronger) and now to Owner (following a first recommendation by my pal Alan Vaughan and then a thorough testing). Just one point (excuse the pun) it is essential to use forceps when unhooking fish, the hooks are so sharp that a single kick or wriggle (of the fish or you) will pull them through your hand (this from someone who has unhooked thousands of fish without artificial aids).

I started fishing the uptide side of the ledge. After about ten minutes spinning I hooked a reasonable bass almost under my rod tip. It turned out to be a nice fat fish and I unhooked and returned it after taking its picture. After a couple more casts I waded across to the ledge and began to fish into the race itself (it was approaching low water by now). After five minutes I had a take out in the seething water and after a while landed another bass, a little bigger but a lot thinner than the first one. Then I missed a couple of strikes in the eddy close to my stance. They were both small fish and on the second occasion the lure had fouled the line. A bit later I had a third fish out in the race. This one was smaller than the others. Before I packed in I missed one more half-hearted strike. All in all a good hour's fishing and very enjoyable.

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

Arun mouth.

Not only does the current flow up the channel but it pours across from left to right creating a fantastic turbulence.

A bass angler's dawn.

I'm looking out over the race on the Dorset coast - just after returning my first bass of the session.  (It's real - no digital enhancement).

Bass number one.

A really fat fish hooked on the front treble.

Number 2.

Again on the front treble but a lean specimen and less attractive.

Number 3.

Much smaller but again well hooked on the front hook - look at the spines on that dorsal fin!