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).

15 April 2008.

Carp again.

The weather this week has been very sunny but overnight frosts and a cold breeze made it less pleasant than it looked. Anyway, on Tuesday I was 'home alone' and having seen goldfish feeding actively in one or two garden ponds I decided that it might be worth a try for carp.

I popped into the local bakers and bought an 87p small white crusty loaf. Half of the bread was my lunchtime sandwiches and the rest was diced and popped into a poly bag for baits. By one o'clock I was at the lakes with my bass rod, reel and line. I tied a size 8 barbless hook on the end of the line, progged a lump of crust on the hook (once through the crust from the bread side and then back in from the other side - no fancy hair rigs) and lobbed it to the other side of a weed bed. I drew the crust back until it was at the edge of the weed and the line was all laying on top of the weeds - hopefully invisible to any carp in the area.

Of course I'd hardly settled down to wait when two decent carp swam along the channel between me and the weeds (why do they always do that?). I was very restrained (for me) and left the bait in place, reasoning that there were likely to be carp on the other side of the weed bed too. Sure enough, five minutes later, a big head armed with rubbery lips appeared and sipped in the crust. I grabbed the rod and all hell broke loose. The fish ploughed off through the lilies with the tightly set clutch screaming in protest. Several times the carp made powerful runs and then it dived down on the far side of the weeds and everything went solid - nightmare!

Thinking about the barbless hook I kept a tight line and began to walk backwards with the rod held high. As the pressure increased the carp began to writhe and suddenly it was at the surface. The big orange tail flapped and splashed as I heaved it across the top of the Elodea bed. Now the fish was on my side of the weeds and I felt much more confident. A couple more short runs and I slid it into the net - over twenty pounds - what a start to my year. A quick picture in the net and back it went.

I moved on to another swim. This one was a forest of reeds. I could see a few modest carp basking in the bright sunlight. This time I lobbed the crust out so that the line hung over a reed stem and hung vertically down to the bait. These fish were a bit more wary than the first one had been. I had a couple of baits knocked off the hook by nervous swirlers and it was almost an hour before I had a decent bite. This one was almost as big as my first but it was much less powerful and I easily bullied it through the reeds. the most difficult thing was poking my net down through the thick brambles to extract it. When I lifted it out it was covered with froth and old alder seeds from the water surface. another picture and back it went. Time to go home and get on with the gardening - good fun carp fishing on the top.

Spot 1.

The first carp took just on the other side of the weeds and ploughed off through the lilies.

Carp 1

Nice netfull - for my first of the  year.

Spot 2.

I like reeds - they help to keep the line off the water..

In the net.

The brambles were a bit of a problem.

Carp 2.

Covered in debris but none the worse for it.