Catch fish with Mike Ladle.

Catch Fish with
Mike Ladle

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SEA FISHING

08 July 2003

Three tides.

Some months ago (in the depths of winter) I was asked to a party by my friend Bob Simmons. In the course of conversation I invited Bob and another friend, Jim Hoare, to try mullet and bass fishing - "when the weather was warmer". Anyway last week Jim rang me up and suggested that we went on the recent spring tides. To try and check out the conditions I decided to go down to the coast on the Saturday evening (we had arranged to fish on the following Tuesday). To cut a long story short I had not walked far when I saw feeding gulls and a quick scrape of the boot showed that the weed piles were stiff with maggots. I decided to go no further and spent the evening perched by my pile of weed waiting for fish to arrive. As luck would have it the fish thought differently and all I saw was a few (a very few) surface feeding mullet.

On the following day the tide was due to be a bit higher so I was quite hopeful when I arrived to give it another go. My pal Nigel turned up not long after me. This time there was a big swell and a fresh, longshore breeze. It was not until high water that the mullet arrived and began to mop up the carpet of maggots. I tried first with a 'powerball' float and a maggot fly on a dropper but after losing one mullet due to the drag of the float I switched to the fly rod. Nigel was also fly fishing by now.

Despite the conditions the fish were so close in that it was easily possible (as long as you did not mind a soaking by the waves) to reach them. In typical fashion I lost a big mullet and then a small bass - both on maggot flies. Having seen the bass I switched to a tiny Delta eel on the fly rod and promptly hooked and landed a bass. The fish were already thinning out so it was back to the spinning rods for a final effort. Nigel had a bite on a popper and at about the same time I landed another smallish bass, this time on a small CD Rapala.

On the third (Tuesday) evening I duly arrived with Bob and Jim. Although fishing conditions were probably better (less wind, bigger swell) nearly all the maggoty weed had gone - washed away by the waves on the previous day. This time there were few maggots, no influx of bass and only the odd mullet appeared. Fishing was an absolute waste of time. I told my pals in the time honoured fashion that "You should have been here yesterday!" but its no consolation is it?

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

Powerball rig.

The ball acts as a heavy float and the maggot fly is on an uptrace dropper.

The 'fly' caught bass.

Nicely hooked on a Delta eel - just as effective as any fancy fly.

The plug caught bass.

This one was hooked on a small CD Rapala.

The third tide.

Jim fruitlessly spinning.

The third tide again.

Bob looking a bit bedraggled but hopefully tackling up.