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).

Crack of dawn.

I'm crackers - I know that. I often fish first thing in the morning. Getting up in the early hours to go fishing is not everyone's cup of tea so why do I do it? I get my fair share of emails telling me how other anglers catch plenty of fish both at night and in the daylight hours so why do I persist with my dawn and dusk approach to fishing?

I've often written about the theory of why predatory fish feed best at the change of light etc. etc. but clearly many people are still not sufficiently convinced by the science to drag themselves out of bed. This week I decided to try and prove my point. Logging a normal fishing session is no use because I would spend valuable fishing time playing, landing and returning fish, the wasted time would distort the results. Clearly this had to be avoided so I took the hook off my little wedge and replaced it with just a bit of shiny fluff. To record the results I drew up a table on a sheet of A4 so that I could record how many bites I had on each cast. Down to the coast I went, well before sunrise, armed with my hookless lure and my clip board (I told you I was crackers).

With the clip board, the pencil and my watch on the rocks behind me I began to cast and retrieve. Every cast went in the same direction and was wound back at the same steady pace. Each time the lure was lifted from the water I filled in a box on my chart with the number of bites on that cast. It was mind blowingly frustrating knowing that however active the fish were I wasn't going to catch anything. I know that the place I fish normally produces, pollack, mackerel and bass, often in that order as it gets lighter but in this case they were just 'bites'.

When I got home I put the numbers on my computer. Of course I expected to see some sort of pattern in the results but even I was surprised. I grouped the casts in fives to iron out the element of chance on individual chucks. I plotted a simple graph showing the number of bites per five casts as the light improved from distinctly gloomy to bright sunlight. In the dark - nothing! In the daylight - nothing! Through the period of changing light rising quickly to a peak of eight bites per five casts at about half-past-six and then tailing off more gradually over the following half-hour. I would be the last person to want to turn fishing into a science instead of a relaxing hobby and I know that fishing in the dark and in the middle of the day can be very rewarding but - how about that!

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 -

Biting time!

I fished either side of sunrise with a hookless wedge - convincing?  I think so.