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).

Tobago thrills.

I've just had an email from my epal Mick Ward, recently returned from a family holiday in Tobago. Mick went at short notice and before he left he asked Steve Pitts and myself for a few tips on where, when and how to fish. Anyway, here's Mick's account of the trip. You'll gather from this account that Mick's well into fishing tackle (It's his job - he's 'Mr Fish', ofJersey) so gear figures in a bit more detail than in the reports I get from most of my friends:-

Tobago - November 2012

A last minute decision a couple of weeks ago, and the wife and I decided to book a week in Tobago. It was more of a holiday than a fishing trip so I only packed 3 rods and reels and a Snowbee slingbag crammed with lures (then the clothes etc were added).

I contacted Steve Pitts and Mike Ladle as I know they both love Tobago and do well there. I had some fantastic advice from the both of them, in fact without their help I would have been peeing in the wind.

Well I managed to catch a few snook and a barracuda, all of which went exceptionally well and made me a happy camper. We stayed at the Coco Reef Resort, which is situated perfectly for easy access to some sound fishing, especially, if like me, you are in fact on a holiday with the Mrs and can just nip away from her for an hour or two a day.

I will be going back, as I have some unfinished business with a few fish. One evening I was stood on a stone jetty near my resort, the locals kept telling me my lures were too big, but I wasnít after the snook - I had my mind set on anything bigger that was swimming by. Well on this particular evening I saw a big swirl on the end of the next jetty......I was confused.....it looked like a broken end and the swell was washing over it.....but there wasn't a broken end......? Anyhow I whacked my Patchinko across to where I had seen the swirls. 10 turns of the handle and my Patchinko was right above the disturbance.......then.....Oh my God!! Something came up and had a go at the lure, this was colossal, I mean I truly believe it would have been the biggest fish ever caught on a Patchinko II. Three times the fish had a go at my lure, and each time I knew my rod, reel, line and leader would be up to it but I feared the hooks on the Patchinko would straighten like fuse wire! Anyway, it confirmed that my tactics of fishing for a big fish were right, and I was just unlucky (or lucky seeing I only had a Patch II on) that I didnít hook up with my nemesis.

I managed a few snook whilst there, and I only fished a couple of mornings and most evenings. I didnít venture out onto the flats for the bonefish as I was on my own, but like I say I shall return with a fishing buddy. I had a look round the island at some marks that Mr. Pitts had suggested, made some notes, took some photos, all in preparation for a return visit with a pal.

So here are a few of the better pictures of the trip, my best Snook was 15lb, my Mrsí best was 5.5lb (but until the last day she was actually beating me). I had a lovely, 4lb or so, Snook on standard UK plugging gear, a 4pc SG Road Runner 20-60g rod, my Rarenium 4000 with 20lb Cast Away and a Tide Minnow 145. These fish do go well for their size.

There's also the pic of my 15lb'er. I was plugging the beach near our resort and looked down to the end of the beach where I saw some pelicans diving, so had to pop along and have a look. I was lucky to get it. It was my 4th cast and I wasnít going to give it much more than ten minutes at this point as I thought it was impossible to fish it with anything but a surface lure (which my Mrs proved me wrong again by catching two Snook from here after I told her it was too shallow for her Tide Minnow!!).

The fish took my Ripple Popper in just inches of water. It made me jump and then took off like an Exocet missile across the shallows, out onto the shore breakers and continued to drag me about 50ft along the beach. Luckily I was using my heavier set up as Sarah had the lighter one. Mine was a 3pc Tenryu Diablo travel with a Daiwa 3000 Saltiga, YGK Castman 33lb Braid, and like I say a Tackle House Ripple Popper on the business end. The fish took my 15lb Boga Grip scale just off the 15lb mark, so I am guessing about 15lb 4oz. She went back strong, unlike me, I was wrecked, and needed to sit down for 10 minutes to gather my senses and take in what had just happened.

I will be back! There are things I started to realise on the last day. Like Steve had mentioned it is worth fishing an Xlayer or Slug close in the surf line, I had a quick go on the final walk back to the resort and had an almighty hit right on the shore line in the white water on the beach....the buggers are closer in than you think!! Next time I will concentrate more on finesse fishing for the snook and jacks, rather than trying so much for the one big fish....

Bon temps,

Mick

So there you have it. Another fan of fishing in the Caribbean. As long as Mick beefs up the trebles on his bass lures he should be able to cope with the jacks, tarpon and bonefish. As Steve says - "We've all been there!" - and it's only when you feel as though you're hooked onto the back of the 16:30 from Waterloo that the doubts begin to creep in.

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

Snook.

Mick and his wife obviously found the snook in a taking mood.

A better snook.

Nice way to finish off a holiday.

Time for a think.

Mick - Gathering his senses!!!!!