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 February 2007

Action in Antigua.

My pal Richard Gardiner just sent me an email about his pre-Christmas trip to Antigua. he obviously had a good time (who wouldn't?) and it adds a bit more to my Caribbean fishing file . Richard says I can use his material so here it is, more or less verbatim.

Hi Mike

Hope you are well and not getting a bad case of bass fever yet.

Firstly thanks for the tips on the beach early this year and on the web about fishing in the West Indies. We had a family holiday to Antigua in November and I took the travel rod and a selection of lures and just fished the small bay in front of the hotel. I fished at first light before my wife and daughter were up and met them for breakfast and then tried to fish the last hour of daylight. First couple of morning sessions had enough interest to keep me hopeful with small barracuda chasing and hitting the poppers but not hooking up although the biggest banged the rod round. The third morning I had what I think you call palometa right under the rod tip and that night had a fish like a greater weever (Possibly a lizard fish?ML) all down the east end of the bay.

The evenings I then fished at the west end of the bay and they were blank although a whole shoal of fish erupted out of the water 10 yards off and proceeded to leap across the surface past me. I did not see the chaser or have any takes but I did have a turtle come up under my feet and a large marble? ray (Possibly a spotted eagle ray?ML) swim along the top just in front of me later that evening. I remembered you saying/writing that the evenings were always the best for you so carried on right into the dark and constantly had a shoal of mackerel like fish moving in front of me that followed right behind lots of different lures to the shore but did not actually touch the lures.(Sound like ladyfish?ML)

With 2 days to go I fished the morning and noticed swirls under my feet and put a little shad through and took a small grouper like fish. Later just walking back a shoal of fish erupted on the shore but ignored the popper and disappeared. They then reappeared in the bay right on the edge of casting range and one took the skitterpop and again I think it was a palometa. I had to stop this fish running then pumped it in and was shocked to see a fish the size of a 12 ounce roach. Your right they donít half pull!!!!

The final evening I fished the west end of the bay and took a bright yellow wrasse on a diving lure then changed to the slider. As it was getting dark this lure was hit by something that took 40-50 yards of line before slowing which it did two more times until it was finally on the shore. It was a jack that looked 5-6lbs but lifting it out the fish must have weighed 8-9lbs - they are very heavy for their length. I was shaking by the time it was landed they pull so hard and fast, I can see why you go back every year.

One tip for other people is have a good set of pliers to remove the hooks as even with a pair I struggled and snapped off one of the points on the treble.

Hope to see you soon on the bank or beach.

All the best

Richard.

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

Richard's hotel.

I could hack that!

Bar jack.

One of the most beautiful jacks but not as big as some.

Small grouper.

Probably a rock hind.