Catch fish with Mike Ladle.

Catch Fish with
Mike Ladle

Information Page


22 July 2002

A fourteenth species on the baited spinner.

Last week I went out with a friend, Nigel, for a short exploratory fishing session in Poole Harbour. He keeps his small fibreglass boat in the River Frome and it is only a short run down to the Harbour from the mooring. When we boarded the boat it was low water so there was a wait of half-an-hour before we could leave. As Nigel sorted out his gear we noticed some fair sized thinlipped mullet cruising about in the shallow water.

My rod was already set up with a mullet spoon so I attached a few centimetres of ragworm to the spoon and began to cast. It was not long before the mullet noticed the spoon and began to follow it sucking and plucking at the baited hook. It was noticeable that when they neared the bait they were no longer able to see it (mullet eyes are set right on the sides of their broad heads), consequently they often missed getting the worm in their mouths. After a couple of abortive takes I managed to hook a decent fish of just under 1.5kg. Nigel held the rod while I took a few pictures of the mullet careering about in the shallow water, then I unhooked it and let it go.

I began to cast again and this time had some much more delicate bites which resulted in hooking a fish a good deal smaller than the first. When I wound it into the boat it turned out to be a rudd - my first ever on a baited spoon and the fourteenth species I have landed on these baited lures. More rudd followed and I could see that they were behaving just like the mullet - following the flashing spoon and plucking at the trailing piece of worm. No doubt it would be possible to catch many more of these fish by scaling down the hook and baits. Earthworms or maggots would probably produce good results.

When we eventually got to the Harbour I fished the baited spoon and Nigel trolled a small plug. The only bites came on the spoon which produced a couple of tiny bass. We could certainly have caught many more bass if we had gone back and forth over the area which produced my bites. The productive spot was the only one where a group of black headed gulls and terns was working over the surface. However, time was pressing and we only had time for a single run. Despite the shortness of the trip we had managed three species of fish and learned several useful lessons about what to try next time.

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 -


A trails of water droplets and bubbles shows where the lively mullet was a fraction of a second before I pressed the shutter.

There it is.

A fine thinlip well hooked on the front hook of my 'Pennel-rigged spoon.

What a surprise.

Rudd are a relatively recent introduction to the Frome and I certainly didn't expect to catch them on my mullet spoon.

'Not much bigger than the lure'.

Ragworm baited spinners tend to pick out the smallest bass (but will catch bigger fish too).

Another schoolie on a spinner.

These spinners are just as effective from the shore as trolled from boats