Catch fish with Mike Ladle.

Catch Fish with
Mike Ladle

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SEA FISHING

16 August 2002

Popping and diving.

I have almost completed a year of tests on the use of popping lures for bass. However, I don't use these lures exclusively (in fact about half of my spinning has been with poppers). recent events showed that it does not do to be inflexible in any sort of fishing.

First things first, the size of the bass we are catching seems to have picked up a bit and the last four fish Nigel and I have hooked on lures were all around 2kg or more. After the one I mentioned last week we had an evening session with the Skitterpop lures over very shallow rough ground. We missed a few bites from schoolies but I managed to catch a decent fish which I tempted by twitching the popper (just like I'd been told by Steve Butler). I saw the swirl by my lure and instead of popping it again I just gave a gentle tug - the fish swirled again, so I tugged again and it grabbed it - fantastic!

A couple of days later I tried a deep rock mark off the limestone ledge where I'd caught the fish featured last week. I popped away for half an hour or so with no joy. It was low tide and the popper fished nicely over the marginal kelp. As I was fishing several anglers from a local club set up their gear and began to fish an evening match from the nearby beach. A couple of them clambered along the rocks fifty yards inshore of me and started fishing for wrasse with paternostered ragworms. Anyway, I decided to risk a countdown plug in the kelp and clipped on a black and silver(spangly nail varnish) J-11CD. To my surprise it fished very well, wriggling along six or seven feet down and rising to the surface over the band of kelp as it neared my stance.

I fanned the casts over the open water and then, becoming confident, cast along parallel to the kelp so the plug would swim alongside the weedy forest. Wallop! It was grabbed by a decent fish which battled really hard (testing the tennis elbow almost to destruction). After five minutes I landed the bass, photographed it and slipped it back to fight another day. On the way back to the beach I clipped on the Skitterpop again and fished over the boulders and kelp which lay just beneath the surface. At one point I saw a few small fry leap from the surface - obviously being attacked from below. First cast to the area I had a couple of swirls at the plug and missed a decent take. Several more abortive bites followed but I did not manage to hook any of them.

A few days later I went down to the same place to fish with Nigel. When I arrived he was already chugging away at the spot where I had missed the bites and told me that he had hooked a good bass which came off after he had played it for a while. Again he had induced the take by twitching his lure after a fish had swirled at it. We caught nothing that evening but we'll be back!

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

The deep ledge.

Note the band of kelp close to the ledge and the matchmen bottom fishing from the rocks.

A shallow water bass.

Notice it took the Skitterpop 'amidships'. It took a couple of twitches before I had a solid take.  Was it the same fish?

The bass which took a CD J-11.

Once again the lure was taken from the side.

A bit more detail.

The lure is heavy and casts well but it still has a nice action.