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).

Which hook?

As regular readers will gather I often go fishing in the early morning. However, I do appreciate that there are fish to be caught at other times. This week Ben and I decided that with high water at round about dusk it might be worth a spot of bait fishing in the evening. The only down side to our plan was the wind, when we got to the shore it was howling. Despite the near gale the sea was not particularly rough but there was a heavy chop with the tops blowing off the waves all the time.

Both of us decided to freeline with mackerel bait but whereas I opted for a 6/0 circle hook with a head and shoulders bait Ben reverted to a J hook baited with a complete fillet of mackerel, he's rather lost confidence in the circle hooks after missing a couple of bites last season. Anyway, we fished the same little patch casting our baits into the boiling surf and letting them swing round until the bait was almost on the beach (about five minutes each time). On every cast we alternated our positions to avoid tangles and the system worked very well - only once did we cross our lines.

Although conditions looked pretty good we had few bites and those we did have could well have been from blennies or rocklings. Just before high water Ben said that he had a run but when he struck there was nothing there - it was a bit of encouragement. Out went the baits again. This time Ben had another bite and after he'd let it run for a while again he struck and the fish was on. It surged about in the strong flow and there was plenty of time for me to reel in and grab the camera. Despite it's power the fish was no monster but since it was the only one we got that evening it was very satisfying. Fillet and J hook one - mackerel head and circle hook nil. A couple of days later Ben and Nigel tried exactly the same tactics and once again Ben had the only bite/fish. Ah well!!!!! There's always next time!!!!!

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

He's in!

Ben plays his bass nicely hooked in the scissors on a J hook.

Beaten!

Ben's bass slides through the breaking waves.

Nice one.

Not the biggest bass ever but infinitely bigger than the one I didn't catch.