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).

25 April 2008.

Another carp.

After my last successful trip I decided to try carping again this week. If anything the weather was even better - it was certainly warmer. However, the carp were in a different mood.

First things first. Initially I saw two or three really big fish cruising in a fishable spot so I lobbed out a crust and waited. Within five minutes one of the local geese spotted my bait and I had to whip the hook out of it before I caught a bird. The bird ate the bait. I waited for the pestilential fowl to leave and tried again - waste of time! Birds are very astute when it comes to mopping up bread and despite my arm waving and threatening, bird-like, noises the goose came back and I had to retreat, defeated.

I trudged off to another lake where the fish are a bit smaller but more numerous and there were no geese. It soon became apparent that the carp were in one of those funny moods. They swam past the bait, they looked at the bait, they swirled near the bait, one even gave the bait a desultory suck but for the best part of an hour nothing looked remotely like taking the bait.

Another carp angler came by. I could see that he was doing the same as me but, instead of bread, he was using some sort of floating pellets for bait. Unprompted he commented on how 'cagey' the fish seemed to be - he'd caught nothing for two hours. Just after we'd finished talking I managed to persuade a fish to hook itself - a miracle! The carp put up a reasonable battle but it was no more than about ten pounds and no match for my tackle. I played it to the net and took a couple of pictures before releasing it.

I'm sure that I must have mentioned it before but it seems to me that these carp 'moods' are nothing to do with tackle-shyness or education. The wariness seems to infect all the fish in a water at the same time. One day they'll bite boldly and on the next trip even free offerings are avoided and/or rejected time and time again. Some really keen carp angler (there seem to be lots of them) must have noticed this and related it to weather conditions or to some known aspect of carp behaviour. I haven't got the time to investigate it myself but it would be interesting to know the answer.

Oh, by the way, as I was packing in I spotted a real beauty (30lb+) right in the shallow margin of the lake - I must have a go for it some time soon.

Got it!

At long last I have a carp in the net.

Up a bit.

A bit clearer picture.

A bit nearer.

I have to say they are so beautifully coloured that I have a soft spot for carp.