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).

30 July 2008.

Bibless lure.

There's no doubt that I'm a lazy angler. It's not a matter of whether I stay in bed instead of going fishing (I rarely do) or indeed whether I'm prepared to walk another mile if I think it will catch fish (I almost always will). No! It's just a that I'm inclined to use lures that 'fish themselves'. I never like making extra effort for myself by 'working' a lure with the rod and reel if I can use one that will find its own depth or automatically have its own action without me messing about. I know that I shouldn't be so 'stick in the mud' so when my pal Alan sent me a few lures from New Zealand this week I decided that I must force myself to use them (I know, it sounds a bit ungrateful when I've been given some lures but it's true that I need to open my mind a bit).

Alan's lures were a set of soft plastic jigs made from a new material (they look excellent) and a Yo Zuri Bibless Minnow. The latter is a fast sinker and looks just like a sprat or any other little silver fish. Alan uses this type for catching kahawai. He tells me that it is most effective when you work it by giving it short 'rips' as you reel in. Anyway as soon as I'd unpacked the lures I decided to start by giving the minnow a go in the river.

The idea was to try and catch a perch or two but I tied on a short trace of fifteen pound knottable wire just in case a pike took a fancy to my new lure. I started at a deep pool (where there was less risk of catching the bottom), flicked the lure out and on Alan's advice kept the line tight from the moment the minnow hit the water (he says that you often get takes as it sinks - and I did). On about the third rip I felt a tap but I wasn't sure whether it was a fish (new lure!!!!!). Next chuck, in the same spot, a fish was on and I reeled in a small, wriggling perch. Excellent! After a few more casts and another three perch the bites stopped so I moved downstream and tried again. Over the shallows I had nothing (I found that by keeping the rod up and reeling quickly I could avoid snagging) but in the next pool another perch and another and another hung themselves on. Over the next hour or so the same sort of scenario was repeated and in all I landed about two dozen perch, none more than half-a-pound. Considering that it was mid-afternoon on a bright sunny day I was well pleased with my catch. Alan's convinced that the lure will catch decent bass (I'm sure it would but I'd have to find them first) and there's no doubt that it looks incredibly fishlike. Even on a steady retrieve it vibrates a lot and on the rips it really makes the rod judder. In the past I've used lures such as the Eurovibe for bass and they worked well. Where there's a bit of depth in the water it's easy to fish such bibless lures. Of course my new 'minnow' will absolutely murder mackerel, small pollack and school bass so I may have to wait a while before I get that big bass on it.

Next time I must try the jigs.

Got one!

My first small perch caught on the second cast.

Well hooked!

Most of the fish had taken the front treble.


Even tiny fish like this had big enough mouths to tackle the minnow.