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 several 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. As you see I also add the odd piece from my friends and correspondents if I've not been doing much. 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).

10 September 2006

Big tides.

I was in my local tackle shop the other day and I overheard a conversation about the current series of big spring tides. In essence they were saying that lots of people would be going fishing to take advantage of the tides. This puzzles me a bit because I don't know of any evidence to suggest that big tides (or any other sort of tides) are generally good for fishing. Of course, there are some species of fish in some places which will bite best at high water springs or low water neaps or when the tide is running hard or when it is slack water but I'm sure that there is no sort of tide that is BEST!

Having got that off my chest I'll tell you about this week's fishing trips. My pal Mark Taylor and one of his pals (also called Mark - just to make it easy) came down for a night. They camped overnight but we went fishing in the evening and also the following morning. To begin at the beginning, we met at about 18.00h for a fly/spinning session. Nigel was already there when we arrived. The first thing we noticed was the maggots, there were zillions of them washing out of the huge mounds of kelp as the incomimg tide lapped against the weed. The second impressive sight was the mullet. Several shoals of big fish were feeding actively a few metres from the waters edge. After a bit of a natter about conditions and tactics Nigel and I left the two Marks to try for the mullet while we walked further along to search for more feeding fish. As it turned out the fish were difficult to tempt and all we landed between us was a couple of small bass - very disappointing. In fact there was more to it than that. For the last ten minutes I switched to a little redgill on the fly rod - after missing eight bites on the trot I inspected the fly to find that the hook had broken off at the bend - presumably when it touched a rock on the backcast.

The following morning I met the two Marks to try a different sort of spot at first light. Again it was a bit quiet (despite the big spring tide) and although we fished for a couple of hours and landed pollack, bass, mackerel and garfish I wasn't too impressed with the results. Anyway, it was an entertaining session and I think my pals enjoyed it.

The following evening I went with Nigel to try for the mullet we'd seen on the previous day. When we got there they were feeding right in the edge. It sounded like a carpfest with all the sucking and splashing as the fish tried to gorge themselves on maggots. In fact they were really too close in to cast the fly. It meanyt laying the fly line onto the piles of kelp and allowing only the nylon cast to be in the water. Nigel soon got the hang of it and in short order landed a smallish mullet then a decent one. Five or ten minutes later I hooked a fish which came off after a while then I got into a fish that went berserk. six times I had it close and six times it stripped the line down to the backing again, my arm felt as though it was dropping off. Eventually I landed the fish - a mullet of about four-and-a-half-pounds.

We fished on until just before dark and were rewarded with a beautiful sunset. Who says fishing is boring?

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

Coelopa maggots.

Although the weed middens are pretty fresh they've generated loads of maggots.

Feeding mullet.

It's always difficult to get pictures of feeding fish and this is the best I could manage.

Hard at it.

Nigel and one of the Marks. It was hard to stand up in the swirling weed piles.

My small bass.

not much reward for a couple of hour's fishing.

Nigel's small mullet.

this was our first fish on the second evening.

My four pounder.

- what a scrap!

Sunset.

Still trying for the mullet as darkness closes in.