Catch fish with Mike Ladle.

Catch Fish with
Mike Ladle

Information Page


7 June 2002

The luck of the draw.

Following Steve's fish, reported last time, the weather deteriorated. I went down for a mullet session but was unable to get to my mark because of rough seas. A couple of pals who I met later told me that they had been down earlier and found it totally unfishable. I also tried bait fishing with squid but after the twentieth string of 'washing' on my line I gave up and went home.

A day later I found the wind stronger than ever so I decided to have a walk along the shore in search of a bit of shelter. Dusk was approaching as I noticed a lone angler fly-fishing from a rocky promontary. I tramped along to find that it was a friend of mine, Will Shaw double hauling into the heaving sea and strong, gusty wind - hard work. To my surprise Will said he had caught one small bass on the fly, a well deserved fish if ever there was one. Apparently he was camping overnight so I suggested that we met the next day for a session on a rocky point with a strong flow of tide.

At four thirty the following morning our cars arrived simultaneously at the car park and we set off along the shore. We were pleased to find that the wind had gone round to the west and eased a lot and the sea was relatively calm. The tide was just about right so we began to fish, Will with a streamer fly and myself with a plug. Second cast and I was into a small fish but after a few seconds play it hung me in the kelp and escaped - a fairly rare occurrence with bass. We fished on with no joy for the next half-hour so I changed to a popping lure and began to cast into the calm water uptide of the ledge. Suddenly there was a big splash by my lure and the rod bent to a fish. As always with surface lures I was taken totally by surprise but before long the fish was landed, unhooked, photographed and returned to the sea. No more bites were forthcoming.

On the following morning I decided to give the same spot another try. Mindful of the possibility of losing a lure in the kelp I put on my shallow-fishing, modified J11. After only a few casts into the fierce flow the lure was taken by a good fish which made several powerful runs before it could be landed. It weighted 3.1kg and would have been more if it had not already spawned. A good last (but one) session before my trip to Edinburgh.

Since I returned from my holiday (no fishing while I was away) I have had one fishless trip with some friends from B.A.S.S. - Nick Cosford and his son Thomas. While we were fishing we saw all sorts of wildlife including a gannet, a fulmar, a hare and a roe deer (the last two as I drove down). On the ledges where we fished Nick pointed out some curious oval shapes stuck to the rock. On closer inspection they turned out to be the dried out remains of 'By the Wind Sailors' (Velella). Velella is a little relative of the Portuguese Man O'War. It has lots of short stinging 'tentacles' suspended beneath an oval float with a small triangular sail set to catch the wind. These little creatures drift in the open ocean and thousands of them must have been cast ashore last week while I was away.

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 -

My popper caught fish.

This bass was caught on my repainted Skitterpop fished on calm water.

Three point one kilograms (just under seven pounds).

Note the lip on the plug made out of a bit of plastic bottle and set to fish very shallow.

'By the Wind Sailors' stuck to the rock.

Note the little diagonal sails and the rings which stiffen the floats.

A sketch of a living Velella.

Although they look a bit like jellyfish these are surface sailing inhabitants of the ocean.