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ARE BASS STOCKS REALLY DECLINING?

Lead image: Henry Gilbey (https://www.henry-gilbey.com/) Recently Dr. Mike Ladle was asked by Robin Bradley of the BASS club if he had any evidence to prove whether or not bass anglers’ catches have declined over the years. After giving it considerable thought this is Mike’s response. “I guess, on the face of it, this is a simple question; do I (and my pals) catch more bass now … Continue reading ARE BASS STOCKS REALLY DECLINING?

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BASS FEEDING BEHAVIOUR

Text: Mike Ladle         Lead image: Henry Gilbey (http://www.henry-gilbey.com) In order to successfully target bass with lures and flies it is essential to gain a detailed understanding their feeding behaviour. The southern and western coasts of the British Isles are almost at the northern limit of distribution of bass although this is slowly changing due to global warming.  Bass in this area are slow-growing and large specimens of … Continue reading BASS FEEDING BEHAVIOUR

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BOOK – ANGLING ON THE EDGE

Just received a copy of Mike Ladle & Steve Pitts new book “Angling on the Edge”. It is a stunning book which covers the exploits of anglers from all around the world.  Perfect for the coffee table or when you need some inspiration to pack up your tackle and head overseas for a change of scene. Divided into sections covering Indian Ocean, Central America, Transatlantic Relatives (USA), … Continue reading BOOK – ANGLING ON THE EDGE

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FISH DIGESTION AND HOW IT DRIVES FEEDING BEHAVIOUR

Lead image: Grant Bittle (https://www.catchfishing.pro/) Recently I was contacted by a good friend and asked if I could help explain a feeding phenomenon he had observed. It was a spring tide in Dorset and millions of helpless seaweed fly maggots were being washed into the ocean with every crashing wave. Bass were clearly visible gorging themselves on the maggots and it appeared that they were … Continue reading FISH DIGESTION AND HOW IT DRIVES FEEDING BEHAVIOUR

THE GROWTH PATTERNS OF FISH

Text: Mike Ladle                                Lead image: Ty Sawyer To many, if not most anglers, the anticipation, though not always the realisation, of catching large numbers of big fish is basic to their enjoyment of the sport. For the sea angler the possibility of catching large fish, perhaps even larger than any previously landed, is ever-present. This element of the unknown is psychologically important to us all. … Continue reading THE GROWTH PATTERNS OF FISH

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VIDEO SHOWING SNAPPER SLEEPING

Research undertaken by NIWA scientists, Dr Mark Morrison and Dr Glen Carbines, using towed underwater cameras has clearly shown that some snapper sleep at night. Check out the video below and see how some of the snapper barely move until they are almost hit by the camera. A fascinating insight into snapper behaviour. Continue reading VIDEO SHOWING SNAPPER SLEEPING

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ENSURING FISH SURVIVE AFTER RELEASE

Lead image: New England Boating I recently read an excellent article by Tony Bishop on the rules that should be followed when releasing a fish. It is well worth a look:- http://www.bishfish.co.nz/articles/general/releaserules.htm This prompted me to do some research to find out what scientific studies had been conducted on Catch & Release practices and what else had been discovered. I managed to unearth an excellent publication by Stephen … Continue reading ENSURING FISH SURVIVE AFTER RELEASE

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THE LATERAL LINE – A FISH’S SIXTH SENSE

Lead image: Maruska Laboratories. Like humans, most bony fish experience the world around them using the classic senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. However they have an additional sixth sense, related to a structure called the lateral line, that is more sophisticated than touch and it is this sense which is very important to anglers. The lateral line system is responsible for the sixth sense which allows fish to … Continue reading THE LATERAL LINE – A FISH’S SIXTH SENSE

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FLOATING FLIES FOR NIGHT FISHING

Lead image: MidCurrent (Hughes) Most rivers still have an evening rise during Spring and Summer where trout rise voraciously to feed on insects concentrated in the surface film. Stretches of river which appeared barren during the day suddenly spring to life as dusk approaches. It is arguably the best time to be on the river if you are a dry fly fisherman. Casting to rising trout … Continue reading FLOATING FLIES FOR NIGHT FISHING

TARGETING GREY MULLET

Text: Mike Ladle & Alan Bulmer        Lead image: Constantine Alexander Around the world there are several species of grey mullet.  In the UK there are three namely the thicklip (Crenimugil labrosus), the thinlip (Liza ramada) and the golden (Liza aurata). To the untrained eye they may appear to be identical.  The streamlined, silver-grey striped flanks, toothless rubbery lips, powerful muscular bodies and … Continue reading TARGETING GREY MULLET