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).

Firsts for Ben.

My grandson Ben is now eleven and he is a very keen angler. At the moment he has a broken arm in plaster (bike accident) but in no way does it restrict his urge to fish. Anyway, at that age there are still lots of fish that you haven't caught (I remember so well many of my own 'firsts'). When he was staying with us for a couple of days last week he said that he would like to catch a mackerel. As it turned out the weather was too rough for a sensible mackerel session so our first trip was to a spot where mackerel are as rare as hen's teeth and we had to settle for bass plugging.

It was still well dark when Ben called out that he had hooked his first fish. Clearly he was managing OK so I nipped up to get the camera. The fish put up a good struggle but as it was approaching the beach I suggested that Ben should back up and slide it ashore. As he obeyed the instructions his heel caught a boulder and over he went - flat on his back. to his credit the rod was still held aloft and the fish remained on the hook - a nice bass. Apart from the mockery (as it happened I'd snapped the shutter just as he fell) all was well.

Ben fished on and a little later, as it got light, he was into a heavier fish. This one tested the plastered arm to the limit but he landed it - a belter of a wrasse. Ben's caught hundreds of wrasse before but this was his first on a lure and the biggest so far. Again we took a few pictures before unhooking and returning the fish.

That night the weather calmed down a lot and we decided to try for a mackerel the following morning. Ben was out of bed at the crack of dawn and we were fishing well before first light. In the gloom my 'apprentice' called out that he had a fish and before long, after a spot of toing and froing, he landed his first ever garfish - he was chuffed. As dawn broke he had his first and second mackerel - the excitement was intense. For a moment it made me feel as though I was eleven again.

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 -


Ben goes a purler in the dark but the rod and bass are still his first priority.

Got you!

Not the biggest bass ever but great sport on light spinning gear.

Keep on fishing.

Ben and our pal Nigel still spinning away now it's light enough to see what I'm taking pictures of.

Nice fish.

Ben's best ballan yet.


Unusually this one took the mid body treble.

Still keen.

After another early start Ben's spinning from the rocks.

Is it an eel?

Ben thought briefly that he had hooked an eel but it was his first ever gar.

At last!

A wonderful mackerel - it's managed to transfer the hook to it's 'earhole' in the course of the struggle but who cares when it's your first ever?