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).

Contrasting conditions.

Maggots are the thing! There's no doubt that the presence of seaweed fly maggots attracts fish on the big spring tides. However,the weather/sea conditions can make all the difference to what (if any) fish turn up at the feast. I followed up my recent bass trip (Saltwater page 358) with two more attempts, each time thinking that the results would be better. On the first session I was accompanied by three pals - Dave, Nigel and Ben. Two other anglers had the same idea so there were six people fishing. As it turned out the sea was pretty rough and there was a strong cross wind from right to left. The combination of wind, waves and weed made it quite difficult to fish and to be honest everyone struggled. As it approached high water lots of school bass turned up but they were a fair way out and not even faintly interested in our biggish lures. After a frustrating evening only Dave and me caught fish - two schoolies each taken on weighted Redgills.

Two days later, with the tide higher and nearer to dusk, Ben suggested that we tried again. This time the wind had dropped so casting and lure control was easy. There was still a bit of a swell but nothing compared to the previous session. This time we were the only anglers on the shore. As before the maggots and the black headed gulls were there in force so we were really hopeful. It was a very pleasant evening and each of us had one small bass and one decent one plus a couple of missed bites but this time the schoolies didn't turn up in numbers and mullet were virtually absent until just after high water as we were packing in. Even then they were thin on the ground. We saw a couple of big bass cruising in the marginal weed but they showed no interest in our lures when we twiddled them literally inches in front of them.

I totalled seven bass split between the three short sessions and two of those fish were a good size. Despite the mass of maggots released into the sea the fish were not easy to catch. Fly fishing was either impossible or futile and spinning only produced the odd bite. Every session was interesting in its own way and it was a salutary lesson in how difficult it can be to predict the behaviour of fish even after years of observation.

I'll be away for a while after the middle of next week so there may be a bit of a lull in the blog. Hopefully I'll manage another page before I go.

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

Maggots in the sea.

This was typical of the tides we fished.

One of Dave's fish.

Not big but welcome as Dave rarely gets down here to fish. Note the rough conditions.

Much calmer.

The smaller of my bass on our final attempt.

Ben.

One of Ben's fish.

Nice fat fish.

My second fish, lure, rod and reel all more or less in focus - amazing!