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).

24 July 2008.

Thank heavens for braided lines.

The other evening I had an hour on a carp lake. Usually it's not very convenient for me to fish the dusk period but it was good to give it a go. There were certainly carp about when I started and the sun was still shining brightly. I chucked a couple of loose crusts into the lilies just to see what was about and I cast my bait into a nice looking gap between two leaves. For the next hour it seemed that wherever my bait was the fish weren't.

A carp would slurp down one of my free offerings, tempting me to reel in and drop a bait in the same area. Inevitably, five minutes later, the crust that I'd shaken off the hook would be engulfed by a different fish. Of course I should be old enough to know better but for some reason I was in a fidgetty mood and my patience seemed thin on the ground.

To be honest the fish were not exactly 'mad on' and the crust slurping only happened about every fifteen minutes or so. As the sun went down and the light began to fail so the surface feeding activity increased. I hung on. Just another five minutes I kept telling myself and I resisted the urge to move the bait yet again. My patience was rewarded (it usually is with carp) and sure enough a nice fish came up and sucked at the crust. At about the third attempt it was on and as I struck it powered away int the middle of about five tonnes of lily pads. I hung on. The fish ploughed further in. Everything went more or less solid. After a bit of jiggling I decided that brute force was the only answer to the problem. I wrapped the braid round my sleeved forearm and began to walk backwards. Just as I was thinking 'it can't take any more' the fish gave a kick. I heaved with the rod and my opponent heaved the other way but now I had the upper hand. I bullied the carp to the surface and slid it across the lily leaves into a patch of clear water nearer my bank. A few seconds more and it was in the net. Phew!!!! In the old days with nylon line I would have had no chance (to be honest I wouldn't even have dreamed of fishing such a spot). Aint braid wonderful stuff?

In the net.

I needed the flash to get a picture in the dim light.

Ready to go back.

I slid it ashore, snapped it and slid it back into the water.