Catch fish with Mike Ladle.

Catch Fish with
Mike Ladle


Information Page

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 four 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. 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 so if you are new to fly fishing or spinning these are the ones for you).

12 April 2007.

How about this weather?.

It's been hot and sunny for several days now so I thought it would be pleasant to go carp fishing again. I set off at about 15.00 and found that I had an entire lake to myself. I chose to fish at the end where there was a forest of reed stems well suited to my tactics. Immediately I could see dozens of decent carp basking on the surface in and around the reeds. Experience has shown that these basking fish do not always take the bait keenly so I was not too excited. However, I was freelining with a small strong barbless hook baited with a piece of crust about the size of a matchbox which I swung out over the reeds and drew back until the line trailed over a reed, was almost tight and the bait was suspended on the surface. I did not bother with any free offerings on the premise that if the fish take a piece of bread it has to be the one on my hook. The carp are often a bit slow to react and the last thing I wanted was for them to eat the loose bits and leave mine. I don't think that they are particularly cagey - it just seems like random chance and the more bits there are to eat the less likely they are to take the one you want.

It was about five minutes before the rod whanged over. Despite trying to concentrate I never saw the bite (I must have blinked or glanced in another direction). The fish was well hooked and tore about through the reeds. As it came closer to the bank the line snagged round a fallen alder branch in the water but with a bit of rod manipulation I was able to untangle it. I netted the fish - a reasonable mirror, and unhooked it as it lay in the net at the water's edge before lowering the edge of the net so that it could swim out.

I flicked the next bait about five metres to the left of where I had hooked the first carp, again dangling over a reed stem, laid the rod down and waited. A very big fish swam close to it but totally ignored it before burying it's head in a clump of trailing brambles. It was probably twenty minutes or more before a fish came up and sucked in the crust. As usual it hooked itself and rushed off. This time it was easier to play although it was abit bigger than the first. I did not even bother to use the net simply raising the head of the carp so that I could grasp the hook in my forceps and twist it out. After the second fish everything had gone quiet - I don't think that it was anything to do with the disturbance, they'd just stopped basking everywhere in the lake. I could no longer see any fish on the surface so half an hour later I packed in and went home for tea. A very pleasant fishing session.

The first carp of the session.

The barbless hooks hold well despite all the shaking and writhing of the carp.

The second.

A bit bigger and decorated with a bunch of alder catkins.

Ready to unhook.

No need to use the net or even to lift it from the water.