Catch fish with Mike Ladle.

Catch Fish with
Mike Ladle


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22 April 2003.

Carp in the warm weather.

It was so hot last week that I decided to try carp fishing. I soaked a small bag of Chum Mixer for a couple of minutes and then left them in the damp bag to soften. After a just three hours they were still a bit on the crunchy side but soft enough to stick a hook through. While I was in Australia I had broken the bale arm on one of my Baitrunner 6010s (a circlip popped off into the drink and I had to hack the arm off with the wire cutters so I could keep fishing). Anyway, a quick telephone call to the service department produced a replacement the following morning (I was impressed!). I needed to try my repair out and this was a golden opportunity to do it.

The set up was simple - a size 6 hook tied to the end of the braid - no helicopters, controllers, pop-up rigs, etc. I stuck the gear in the car and drove over to the lakes. To judge from the number of cars in the car park several other anglers had the same idea. As I took the gear from the car I realised that the net was at home - what a downer! Too far to go back so I would have to do the best I could netless.

As I walked past the first lake I could see other anglers on almost every pitch, all with two or three rods set up on buzzer bars. I continued on to find that the reedy end of the lake I fancied was devoid of human life - great! It's funny how nearly everyone still avoids snaggy pitches even though the carp seem to prefer them. I threw a handful of biscuits into the edge and sat down to wait. I could see the dead reeds shuddering as fish brushed against them and within ten minutes the slurping started. I lowered my hook, baited with three Mixers, just over the sedges at the edge. Slurp! slurp! and the rod tip bent down smartly. I picked up the rod and a carp of about five pounds thrashed on the top, jumped out and came off.

After losing the fish everything went quiet. Obviously the disturbance had been a shock to their systems. As I waited for the carp to recover first one bored angler walked round the lake right past me without a by-your-leave then, a little later, two more bright sparks did the same thing. I decided to drop a few free offerings into a couple of different spots and watch for signs of life. A further ten minutes and I saw some ripples near one of my places. Creeping up I lowered the bait and, almost before the rod was resting in the ground, over it went. This time the fish was well hooked and after a short struggle I landed a nice common by sliding it onto my hand and pushing it up the bank. A quick picture and back it went.

No point in another long wait so I moved again to an even denser reed bed. My dog biscuits were running out so I threw a few in, put a couple on the hook and flicked them into the reeds. About five minutes wait and a mouth came up and sucked them in - this time it was a mirror which I was able to unhook without landing.

Two days later I had another two hour session. The tactics were the same and it was not long before I netted a nice common. Again things went quiet so I moved to the spot where I had landed the mirror two days earlier. The fish were there but seemed very reluctant to feed out of the thick reeds. I baited up with four Mixers and flicked them right into a cluster of stalks. After a short wait I noticed the mouth of a fish sucking at the surface near the spot that I had cast to. A careful look showed that the carp was trying to reach my bait which was suspended just above the water from a stem. The fish made several fruitless attempts and then gave up. I shook the line by waggling the rod and the bait plopped down into the water. It was almost a-quarter-of-an-hour before it returned and confidently wolfed down the dog biscuits. Success! The reel was fine.

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 -



April 22nd 2003

My first carp of 2003.

Roughly 13lb and no net so it had to be landed 'manually'.

The mirror.

This one was a bit smaller and was unhooked without being lifted out.

The first fish on my second trip.

Just double figures but fully scaled carp look so much nicer than mirrors (well I think so).

Sixteen pounds.

This one tried to take the bait as it hung above the water surface.