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).


One thing that we all experience from time to time is a blank session. I was coming back from the river this week when a bloke who was walking his dog stopped for a word. "Any good?" he said. When I replied that I'd only caught a few small perch he said that he'd "- been doing the same thing as me (spinning) for six hours on the Chesil beach near Abbotsbury the day before and hadn't had a sniff." Now that's what I call dedication. I don't mind fishing for long periods when I'm in with a chance but six hours biteless is dire.

Anyway, my previous session at the coast was also a blank but it only lasted for an hour or so before I got the message. As it happened I did not come away with nothing because it was a decent sunrise and I took one or two pictures for the website before packing in. Before I went away on holiday I had another session taking pictures of a maggot bonanza down at another spot - so I've put the two things together to illustrate a point.

What occurred to me after I heard about the six-hour-blank session was that the other angler had probably (=certainly) been fishing the wrong place at the wrong time. Of course there could have been fish in front of him and he could also have been using the wrong lure (he mentioned having to put a weight in front of his 'spinner' to get 'some distance'). All in all it seemed that he'd not been thinking about what he was doing.

Now I'm sure that the gentleman in question was an experienced angler (he was about my age and looked the part) so I'm sure that he would have preferred to catch fish if he could. Apparently someone fishing near him had caught a couple of small codling so if he'd had some suitable bait perhaps things might have been different. Anyway, these days there's no excuse for not giving yourself a chance. there is enough stuff written about what attracts fish to a spot, what sort of things they eat and when they are likely to feed. In addition, modern tackle is such that it is usually easy to put a suitable bait or lure in front of our finny friends.

Well, that's the 'kiss of death' for me - cocky sod! It'll be one blank session after another for the next month I expect. My dicky hip seems to be better now so I can put my theory to the test.

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 -

Right place?

These anglers knew that there would be fish at this spot on the top of the spring tide.

Right approach?

Look at that slick of maggots!  The fly has to be a good bet when the fish are surface feeding.

Alternative approach!

Float fished maggot is a good second string for mullet.

My blank!

I was popping at dawn.  Although I never had a bite it was the tactic that produced a seven pounder last weekend.