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).

05 June 2006

A mixed bag.

In fact it's not so much a mixed bag as three separate trips to the coast. The first session was an early morning stint with the fly rod. I was hoping for mackerel but as it turned out there were none and I had to make do with pollack. As usual I fished the little white rubber eel which seems to represent (near enough at any rate) the sand smelts or sprats that the predators eat at this spot. After an hour's fishing I'd landed eight pollack and missed a few more so I suppose I shouldn't complain. A quick flick with a spoon at the end of the trip revealed that there were no mackerel there anyway.

The next session was at exactly the same spot with my grandson Ben. It was the middle of a nice warm day and we had half-a-dozen ragworms. Essentally Ben was freelining with sections of ragworm and the catch was exactly what you would expect in eight feet of clear water over rocks and kelp - wrasse. Ben caught a good number of corkwings and a couple of small ballans with just one tiny pollack as a makeweight but we really enjoyed our afternoon and Ben got the hang of feeling for the tugs of fish on his line.

My third trip was to a different spot and again I went at dawn. I had intended to meet my pal Brian Baxter but due to a mix up in email communication (my mistake) we both went to the same place but never saw each other. I'd walked much further along the coast before Brian arrived and by the time I got back he'd gone. The reason for my long walk was lack of action. All the usual hot-spots failed to produce even a bite and I decided to try a deeper stretch with lots of big boulders. I fished with a popper for perhaps an hour-and-a-half without so much as a twitch. The sea was flat calm and crystal clear with every strand of weed and limpet clearly visible in several metres of water. Where were the fish?

I decided to switch to a shallow diving plug for the last ten minutes before I packed in. I perched myself on a big rock and fanned the casts out around me to cover the water. My fifth cast was actually back towards the shore and after three or four turns of the reel handle I felt a good snatch and found myself playing a decent fish. I couldn't see the fish because of the rock I was standing on so I played it blind, round the corner, hoping that it wouldn't wrap me round anything rough. Eventually there was a big swirl just below my stance and the bass hove into view - one of the best I've had so far this year.

I could see that the bass was lightly hooked on the tail treble so after a bit of scrambling I descended to water level and gently lifted it out to be photographed and returned - very satisfying after a three mile hike over boulders and cobbles. What a beautiful morning.

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 -

Pollack on the fly.

It's certainly as good as trout fishing and the fish are really keen.

Another pollack.

This one gave me a fair old tussle, diving into the kelp twice before I could land it.

Ben wrassing.

It's important for less experienced anglers to know what a bite feels like and wrasse give you plenty of practice.

Flat calm.

What a morning!  I was standing on the big rock near the water's edge and casting in towards the shore when I caught my bass.

A bit thin.

Although it's a reasonable fish it has not fully recovered from spawning.

Lightly hooked.

This plug is almost identical to the popper I'd used fruitlessly for an hour-and-a-half but it fished about a foot under the surface.