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).

What a difference a day makes.

One of my correspondents Jonathan Buss recently moved to this area. Jonathan was obviously a keen angler and he's just started spinning so I offered to take him down to the coast on my next trip. We met, in the dark and he set up his gear (plugging rod and surface popper) in the lights of the car. I was just testing out my recently injured hip so, after introducing ourselves, we made fairly slow progress along the shore. It was a moderate spring tide and high water was just before dawn.

When we arrived at the chosen spot I put Jon in a position where he would minimise his exposure to the waves (being new to the coastline he did not have waders) and I fished a few metres further along. Just as it began to get light I had a bite and landed a small bass. I carried it back to my pal and took its picture before returning it to the sea. I suggested that he might change his lure to a shallow diver (what I'd caught my fish on) and then began to fish on the other side of his stance. It was not long before I had a second small bass (in poorer condition than the first). I had to get back fairly early so I left Jon (wet feet and all) fishing on. He emailed me later to say that he'd not had a bite. However, that's fishing and I don't suppose it will be long before he lands his first bass.

As it happened my pal Dave baker called that evening and we arranged to have another go in the same area the following morning. This time the wind had got up (force 8-9 SW) and it was pouring with rain. We struggled out to a likely spot where the sea was a welter of white foam and roaring breakers. First cast our lures (a plug and a popper) tangled together and as we were about to lift them out a bass came up and struck at the bunch. We thought that it was an excellent omen but never had another sniff. That's also fishing!

I had an note from an epal Andy Clark this week. A week earlier he'd had a nice fish from the stretch of coast we'd just been fishing - here's his letter - slightly altered to fit in.


Had this beauty last Sunday under the big cliff on a real blowy morning. Its been my first chance to fish your patch this year due to a heavy overseas work commitment. Have followed your writings for some time and try to remember all you offer, it worked! Amazing day, it was gorgeous weather despite the wind and heavy seas.

This fish took a J13 just under the surface as I started to wind after a pause (the J13 was my favourite lure for years and is still just as effective if you've enough depth of water to fish it - ML). Fought very well. Landed the fish, unhooked it in the water whilst still in the net and only lifted for the photo. A real pleasure to release it, and watch it swim away so strongly.

Am going to go back at it next Sunday, probably in the same area and that will be my last try for the year.

Is there a time you stop fishing for bass during the winter or are there enough around to stick it out?



I congratulated Andy on his fish and answered that I generally switch to piking after November and get back to the bass in March. You can catch fish (=bass) right through the winter of course but it's hard work (a bit like winter carp fishing in my book).

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 -


Changing from a popper to a shallow diver.

My first.

This one was in mint condition.

...and another.

This one was a bit skinny ?parasites?.

Nice morning!

Jonathan still fishing enthusiastically as the sun rises.

Next morning.

Dave Baker risks being blown into the drink to try and catch a bass.

Andy's fish.

The J13 is as good a bass lure as it ever was.