Monthly Archives: April 2016

Exciting new Varivas hooks coming soon

Since we started importing Varivas hooks well over twenty years ago, we have seen umpteen specimen fish and a handful of British and international records landed on them. Over time, the range has increased and in keeping with modern trends we have decided to expand it further by introducing not two, but three totally new patterns.

Andrew spent the weekend trialling one particular hook- namely the Varivas Saltwater Super Match. A similar style to the existing Saltwater Champion, this new version is even sharper (we didn’t think it possible!) and is finished in a light bronze colour. Although original trials have found the hook to work extremely well for flatfish, Andrew selected one of the larger sizes and edged his bets for a bass or two by presenting a peeler crab bait just a few feet from the edge.

After an hour or so, a couple of sharp tugs on his rod tip signalled some keen interest and before he realised it, Andrew was merrily playing a bass in through the shallow water.

Bass on Varivas Saltwater Super Match

Bass on Varivas Saltwater Super Match

We’re really looking forward to seeing what the Saltwater Super Match and the other patterns bring to the beach and boat. One thing is for certain, though- we know you are going to love them! Keep an eye out for further news in due course.

How to catch Thicklipped mullet- by Mike Ladle

When- Mullet are most active in the warmer months of the year.  Say May to October.

Where- Thicklipped mullet are essentially fish of the open shore but they are often concentrated in harbours and the seaward regions of estuaries. They normally feed on small particles of food such as algae, detritus, fish-waste and seaweed fly maggots.

Mike Ladle with a fine mullet

Mike Ladle with a fine mullet

How- Most mullet anglers use 12 to 13 foot ‘coarse fishing’ rods, smallish fixed spools loaded with good quality 5 or 6lb mono line straight through to size 8 or 10 hooks fished below floats appropriate to the sea conditions.  Bread (paste, flake or crust) is the favourite bait and also the main element of most groundbaits. They can be caught by legering with slightly heavier gear, particularly in the tidal areas of river mouths. They are also susceptible to floating breadcrust or to fly fishing when they are feeding on surface drifting scum or the maggots of seaweed flies.  The power and stamina of mullet should never be underestimated and since they often swim around rocks, jetties and moored boats don’t fish too light. The golden grey mullet is much smaller and generally caught on legered ragworm from shallow sandy areas. The thinlipped mullet ventures well up into rivers and falls most often to a ragworm baited spinner. (For detailed tactics see Ladle and Rigden Fishing for Ghosts – Successful Mullet Angling (due out 2016) Medlar Press; or Ladle and Pitts (2013) The Second Wave Bloomsbury Press)

How To Catch Bass- By Mike Ladle

When-The bass is mainly a spring to autumn species. It feeds most actively between April and October.

WhereBass swim over any sort of ground, often within ten yards of the water’s edge.  On the whole the smaller fish will be found over sandy or muddy bottoms while large ones favour storm beaches, open rocky weedy shores or mixed ground with strong tides and plenty of water movement.

How to catch bass (2)

HowBass fall to a variety of approaches.  For spinning a 7-11ft, 10-50g rod, fixed spool reel and 20-30lb braid can be used to fish shallow diving plugs, surface poppers and unweighted or lightly weighted soft plastics with paddle or spiral tails. All are good.  For bait fishing similar gear can be used or if you prefer it a slightly longer heavier rod (11-12ft 2-3oz).  Fish with 4/0 to 6/0 hooks baited with large pieces of soft-crab, mackerel or squid.  Use the smallest running lead possible or ideally none at all.  Bait fishing with ragworm or fly fishing will generally tempt small bass.  The biggest fish tend to come to big lures (12-18cm) or baits (e.g. mackerel head and shoulders). Never rest the rod when bait fishing. (For detailed tactics see Vaughan and Ladle (2003) Hooked on Bass The Crowood Press; or more recently Ladle and Pitts (2013) The Second Wave Bloomsbury Press)

How to catch bass (1)