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).

Slandra success.

It was in August/September 2009 that I first used a Super Sandra (is it really five years ago???). The lure was very effective and on one of the first occasions that I used it outfished other lures, fished by my pals and me, by about 20:1. It wasn't long until I decided that the benefits of a Texas rigged, weedless, Slug-Go body and a Super Sandra tail would be an excellent combination for weedy, snaggy conditions. For a while I used these hybrid Slandras with considerable success. For example on the 26th of July 2010 my second son Marc, who rarely fishes, had a fine bag of bass on one of my 'hybrids'. At the end of that year, on the advice of my good friend Alan Vaughan, I began to fish with the 18cm, Pearl,Evolution Redgill. As Alan had suggested it proved to be a very good bass attractor and through 2011, 2012 and 2013 it was my predominant bass catcher with other lures, plugs, flies and weedless soft plastics taking a bit of a back seat (although my mate Bill was developing his 'SlugGill' and doing very well).

It's funny how you (I) tend to get into using a particular lure and forget about most of the others until circumstances remind you that they exist (even though they're all in my bag on every trip). This year I've had some good bass on bait and a fair few on a variety of plugs, wedges, flies etc. Anyway, to cut a long story short, the other morning the forecast suggested it was going to be the last relatively calm dawn before a period of stormy weather. When I got to the coast at 06:00hr the tide was well in. In fact it was just after high water. A quick look suggested that there was probably too much crap in the water for a plug or any lure with an exposed hook and I had to get back early so I didn't have time to hike miles before I fished. Anyway, I clipped on a big Slandra and decided to fish one of the first places that I ever tried the lures - only a short walk from where I parked the car.

I stumbled over the boulders in the dark until I found a suitable stance just above the breaking waves. Out went the unweighted lure into the gloom and I slowly retrieved it, 'at snail's pace' I would describe it. Nothing happened for a two or three casts then I thought I felt a slight tap on the lure. Was it a bite? I wasn't sure but it was the only resistance I'd felt so far. Encouraging (I'm easily encouraged). I cast again, probably only fifteen metres although it was still too dark to see the lure splash-down. Engage the bale arm, slowly turn the handle counting the turns (just for amusement). Wallop!!!! I was in. This bass fought like a demon making one run after another against a fairly tight clutch. After a minute or two (it seemed longer) I had the fish close to the beach and I switched on my headlamp to see what was happening. There it was just beyond the breakers. Careful Mike! Ease it in on the next wave. It slid between a couple of boulders and was left high and wet as the wave receded. Nearly four-and-a-half pounds. Fantastic! I took a couple of pictures, slipped the fish back, packed in and went home. I'm not greedy and I'd enjoyed the twenty minute session. The forecast was correct and the following morning it blew a hoolie. That was fun. Must try it again as soon as things calm down.

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

Olden times.

One of my original Super Sandra caught bass in 2009.

Now.

Nice fish after a heart stopping fight.

Closer.

The hook had freed itself perfectly as the fish bit down on the soft bait.