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).

05 May 2006.

Carp conundrums.

I do enjoy trying to catch carp 'off the top'. Now that the weather's warmed up a bit it's well worth a try. The estate agents are still showing people round the house so I have been going out a fair bit and what better thing to get me out of the way than a spot of fishing. Anyway, this week I had two carp sessions.

My first trip found things a bit slow. In fact it was quite hard to find any carp at all. I wandered round dropping a few Chum mixers in here and there but some of them were still where I'd dropped them after half-an-hour or more. The few signs of activity that were evident were shaking reeds and clouds of bubbles. Perhaps I should have been bottom fishing but I do enjoy trying to tempt fish from the surface.

I had a couple of very tentative bites but neither of them looked like being hooked. As usual when things are slow I resorted to pitching my baited hook further and further into the reed beds. I'm not the most patient man in the world so ten or fifteen minutes in one spot without any sign of fishy life is usually enough for me. Eventually the rod tip pulled over and after a bit of a tug-of-war I managed to net a nice fish of about seven or eight pounds. Very satisfying.

On the following day I had to get out of the house again and it was even warmer so I picked up the rest of the spongy mixers and set off again. The idea is simply to thread two or three onto a hook and try to dangle them on a vertical line so that the only thing in the water is the bait.

Anyway The fish were much more active but still cagey. I don't really understand why they leave the bait after mouthing it. Sometimes I expect that they feel the line and others it seems to be that the tension stops them sucking the bait in properly but neither of these seems to explain why on some sessions they all take the bait with abandon and on others (like this one) they even refuse most of the freebies.

In two hours I had four bites and landed two of them. The best fish escaped when it shed the hook after ploughing through a forest of reeds but 'that's carp fishing!'


It was in this stuff that I lost the largest fish on my second trip.

The first carp.

Lovely fish.

Another one.

This one's ready for the net.

On the bank.

A quick picture and straight back.