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).

Bass beginnings.

Isn't it always the way? You have week upon week of fine, warm, sunny weather - you arrange to go fishing with someone and an hour before you are due to meet the heavens open. Sod's law was operating true to form the other morning when Ben and I met our friend James for a session down at the coast. "Twenty past five!" I'd said. "In the car park!" I'd allowed plenty of time to walk to our fishing spot before it got light. It was just as well. As we set off on the twenty minute drive to the coast, not only was it raining heavily but on top of the Purbeck hills it was thick fog which slowed us to a crawl. When we arrived at the cliff top James was already waiting, eager to try and catch his first bass.

We grabbed the gear and set off along the shore in the pouring rain over wet, slippery cobbles and boulders. For twenty minutes or so it was a matter of picking our way over the treacherous footing but eventually we were ready to fish. Ben, in his waders, stood on a ledge while James (in his wellies) and I moved along a bit further and began to cast from the beach. The sea was calm and clear with no loose weed so fishing was easy. I was trying out a new lure - a shallow diving Maria Fakebait - very similar to the popular 'Chase' plugs. James fished with a good old Rapala J11 - always reliable and very easy to use because of the strong vibrations it gives off.

It was still pretty dark and for a while we cast and retrieved without incident. I commented to James that there was only a fifty fifty chance of a fish for any of us at this time of the year. I also said we could probably not expect anything until it was light enough to see the lures splashing down at the end of a cast. As it turned out it was a little bit longer than that before James let out a shout. I looked to see that the rod was bent and a fish was plunging about on the end of the line. He played the fish as though he'd been doing it all his life and before long he was sliding his first ever bass and as he told me, "his largest ever fish," onto the wet rocks. Fantastic!

The bass had engulfed the Rapala from the back and was well hooked on the tail treble. We pinned it down and used my pliers to extract the hook before taking a couple of pictures in the gloom. Then it was back to fishing. It was a little while before I had a bite and missed it then a few minutes later I hooked and landed a bass, a bit smaller than the first one. By now it was quite light, the rain had stopped and it was threatening to be a beautiful sunny day. We packed in and walked back to the car. It had turned out right again. No doubt the three of us will be down at the sea to try and catch another one before long.

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 -

Got one!

James slides his first bass ashore.  Not my best ever photograph - it was darker than I thought.

Good effort!

The obligatory picture. A cracking start to anyones bass fishing activities.

My bass.

Not as big and more typically hooked on the front treble.


I thought it was worth another picture.