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).

Return of the mullet.

The weekend before last I took my pal Mark fishing. Mark, his wife Rachel and his son Marcel were staying with us for the weekend and Mark was keen to try a spot of spinning. Since I had no size 10 waders to lend out we were restricted to spots that I knew we could fish wearing wellies, so our first evening was on a gravel beach. It was pretty calm and very pleasant but for some reason (known only to themselves) the fish appeared to be absent. Apart from a small fish that unhooked itself from Mark's lure we blanked and I was gutted. The following morning found us fishing from the rocks at first light. I'd fixed Mark up with a shallow diving plug and it was not long before he landed a small bass. Phew!!! He then caught me a mackerel which I put on for bait.

The fishing was not hectic so after a while I switched Mark's lure for a wedge armed with a single hook. His next fish was clearly bigger and put up a fine show before being landed. A really nice bass - just what the doctor ordered for an inexperienced lure angler. My livebait was unscathed but all in all we were well pleased with our two sessions.

When I got home Nigel rang to ask where I'd been the night before. While we'd been blanking on the shingle he'd had a bonanza fishing the maggot fly, in calm conditions, with the fish present in hundreds only feet from the shore. He'd landed three mullet to six-and-a-quarter pounds and two bass, best five pounds, plus (as always) quite a few that came unstuck on the light gear. It would have been worth a soaking in our wellies. As it happened Ben and I had seen a few big mullet feeding on maggots at another spot on a recent morning trip but, without any maggots for bait, Ben, although he had his fly gear, hadn't been able to capitalise on the chance.

Of course the next evening found me, Nigel, Ben and a couple of other anglers down at the mullet spot (Nigel had it to himself the previous day). It was a good deal rougher. The fish were there again but the fishing was much more difficult in the wind, waves and weed. We had one or two bass and mullet but after half an hour I hit a fish that stripped all the fly line and fifty or sixty metres of backing 'bonefish style'. It was give and take for twenty minutes at least, one long run followed another as I stumbled along the beach trying to keep in touch. Three hundred metres from where it was hooked, Nigel (who'd followed me wondering what the hell I was up to) eventually helped me to beach the mullet. Exactly six pounds and hooked, on the small hook, in the base of the pelvic fin. Not quite what I'd intended but the best battle I've had for a long time. Ben landed his first ever fly caught mullet before we packed in - excellent stuff!

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

Mark's smaller bass

He'd never had one of these before so it was a good start.

His next!

This was a better fish altogether.  The wedge is still in its lip.

Worth a picture.

A quick shot before he returned the bass.

Nigel's five pounder.

What an evening!  Five pound bass and six pound mullet on the fly.

Ben failing to catch a morning mullet.

When they're preoccupied with maggots anything else is usually futile.  We had a few bass on lures.

Feeding mullet.

This was the small shoal of surface feeders.

My 'accidental' mullet.

I'd no idea that the hook was not in its mouth but did it go!!!!.

Ben's first mullet on the fly.

A cracking fish and it won't be his last.