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).

More like decent fishing!

It was coming up to the top of the spring tides. After the last lot of springs the heavy seas had covered most of the beaches feet thick in weed. This usually means maggots and maggots means fish. Nigel and I opted for an evening session to test our theory. It was hot and calm and sunny as we walked along the beach. Sure enough the sea was already lapping the seaweed middens and the water was thickly laced with maggots. Perfect!

We tramped along for a mile or so but saw nothing. By now the sweat was running down our faces so we stopped to take off a layer of clothing. We had a few casts to see if there were any bass about but Nigel's plug and my giant popper (I'm ever optimistic) were ignored. We were joined by another pal Rupert who was also hoping to fly fish. I left the other two fishing and began to walk back looking for fish activity near the maggoty weed piles. I'd barely gone a hundred metres when I saw a couple of shoals of big thicklips feeding at the surface so I shouted and waved to call my pals along.

All three of us fly fished but to be honest the fish were just a tad too far out to sea and in the bright sunlight they were incredibly wary. If the flyline wafted overhead there would be multiple great boils in the water as they dispersed in haste. We flogged away for perhaps half-an-hour. I had a brief contact but failed to hook it properly then I saw that Nigel was into a decent fish. I put down my rod and picked up the camera to take a few pictures. After a while it was clear that the fish was a bass and I snapped away until it was landed and unhooked. Shortly afterwards Rupert hooked up and played a second decent fish. This time it turned out to be a mullet at least as big as the bass - had it been a bit fatter I reckon that it would have weighed six pounds. I had a few more casts and then went home, leaving the others to it.

The following morning I was up at quarter-past-three and down at the coast by ten-to-four. I perched on a ledge and flicked my plug out to sea. As I began to wind there was a yank on the line and I found myself playing a bass. Good start! Over the next half-hour this was repeated ten times and between landing the fish I missed a few other pulls - excellent stuff. None of the bass were large (one-and-a-half to three pounds) but they all put up spirited resistance. As it got light the fish stopped biting. I shifted my stance to a different spot but it was a mistake, after a couple of chucks the lure snagged firmly well beyond wading range. I applied steady pressure with the braid and eventually I was rewarded as the lure came free. Hooks on both trebles were partly straightened - a very good reason for sticking to 30lb braid. I decided that the snagged lure was a sign - I got the message, packed in fishing and went home.

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 -

Nigel's in.

Obviously a good fish but what is it?

It's a bass!

Battling hard on the fly gear but probably well hooked.

Almost on the beach.

The fish looks beaten but it made a couple more runs after this.

Beauty (well one of them is).

A fine fat bass landed on Nigel's fly gear from the shore.  Note the maggot-feeding gulls behind him.


This is a big mullet but it's a bit on the slender side or it would be a six pounder.

Next morning.

One of the ten bass I landed in about half a 'witching' hour.  After it came light they'd gone.

Time to pack in.

I hooked a rock but the wonderful braid pulled it free.  I took this as my sign to go home for breakfast.