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).

01 September 2008.

Jamie's first carp.

Last week I had an email from my friend Brian Baxter and his son Jamie. It's years now since I first fished with Brian and Jamie down on the coast, where we had each shown the other a number of places and tactics for catching fish. Jamie is now thirteen years old and very competent with fly and spinning tackle. Brian said that Jamie would like me to show him how to catch a carp.

Of course there's never a guarantee with fishing of any sort, so I was a bit apprehensive when the appointed day arrived and we met at the chosen lakes to give it a go. Jamie had equipped himself with the same sort of gear as me - more or less our bass tackle armed with a size six or eight, barbless, carp hook. We each had enough bread to supply us with plenty of floating crusts (Although in the course of the afternoon Brian and Jamie ate a fair proportion of their 'bait'). We walked round and had a look at the lakes while I held forth on what was likely to be in each, then we each chose a suitable spot and began to fish. I settled opposite my 'student' so I could see what was going on and we flicked out our crusts and waited.

The carp were slow to react and in the first half hour, apart from a fish that sucked away half of my bait and then departed, we had no signs of life. To my right was an overhanging tree and as I waited I dropped two or three crusts in under the branches. After a while I heard a cloop and a swirl under the tree and saw that a fish was taking the free crusts. I reeled in and rebaited. By now the carp had gone but I guessed that it would be back before long. I lowered the bait in under the bank and laid the rod on the ground. Sure enough it was only a few minutes before the carp arrived and after two or three attempts managed to engulf the crust and hook itself. It was a bit of a battle to keep the fish out of the weeds and branches but eventually I landed it. Jamie came to have a look and took my picture.

We moved on to a smaller lake and this time it was Jamie's crust that was sucked in. The carp was not quite as big as the first one but he was like a cat with two tails at having caught one (and I was very relieved). By now tea was beckoning so, after a few 'last' casts we packed in and went home. All in all a very enjoyable and satisfactory afternoon.

My carp.

I think that these fully scaled fish look wonderful.

With me.

Jamie was kind enough to take this picture.  I haven't got black spots - the carp's tail splashed a lot of mud as it was picked up.

Jamie's fish.

A cracking mirror. Not bad for a mobile phone picture.