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 several 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. As you see I also add the odd piece from my friends and correspondents if I've not been doing much. 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).

My second carp session.

It never ceases to amaze me how well carp feed in April. Of course you need a spot of reasonable weather but, given sunshine and no frost the fish are nearly always keen to take baits 'off the top' even in the middle of the afternoon. It's just as well that the fish feed in broad daylight because my early morning and late evening sessions are usually occupied with bass or mullet on the coast.

After young Ben's successful carping trip I decided to have a go myself. The tactics were identical - a few lumps of crust (about 15p's worth does me for a session), one rod, a single, strong, barbless hook (size six or eight) and that's it. I push the hook through the crust from the crumb side and then twist it round and embed it back in the tough, brown crusty layer. A quick dunk (only a fraction of a second) to give it a bit more casting weight and swing it out into the reeds. The idea is to keep the line off the water by draping it over a few reed stems so, after casting, I lay the rod on the ground and gently turn the reel handle until the line tightens and the crust lays against a stem or a the edge of a lily leaf.

Now we come to the hard bit - the wait! Sometimes the little rudd find the crust and bash it to bits. Sometimes it just sits there for ages. These days I hardly ever bother to put in free offerings because I feel that they might distract the carp from my bait. Usually, after five or ten minutes, a carp approaches the bait. If I'm lucky the fish simply sucks it in, moves off and hooks itself. More often it has a suck or two and then swims away. If the bait seems to be in good order after being sucked I simply leave well alone and wait a bit longer. As a rule the fish eventually returns and at its second (or third) attempt it sucks in the bread and attaches itself to the end of the line. All hell breaks loose and I have to extract the fish from the reeds, weeds, branches and what have you. In the event of nothing happening at all for half-an-hour I usually reel in, rebait and cast to another spot, preferably one where I've seen a fish moving. On my solo session I was fortunate and hooked one fish after ten minutes then had a second after perhaps another hour. Both were decent sized carp and both fought well. Counting Ben's carp the method seems to be averaging out at the normal 'one fish per hour' not a bad start.

If you have any comments or questions about fish, methods, tactics or 'what have you!' get in touch with me by sending an E-MAIL to -

Carp territory!

Loads of reeds to act as supports for the line and cover for the carp.

First carp.

Perhaps fifteen pounds and a bit on the portly side.

- and the second!.

This one took a bit longer to tempt but was similar in size to the first.  I just unhook them in the net and let them swim away.