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 on the plastic.

My third son Richard is just as keen on angling as I am. These days he lives in Brazil so we don't get too much chance to fish together. Last week, with his partner Ana, he was on a business trip to Europe so they came to stay with us for a few days. On his second morning we decided to have an early bass fishing session. The clocks were just about to go back so in fact is wasn't all that early.

When we got to the coast the neap tide was on the way out and the sea was fairly rough, in many places it was rather murky but we both decided to spin. Richard was using a Maria Chase shallow diver and I tried a soft plastic, 16cm, whitish, 'Super Sandra' lure that I'd had some success with recently. As a matter of interest I have been fishing these lures weightless. They don't cast all that far - perhaps 20-30m - and they hardly sink so in order to keep them below the surface you have to wind 'vanishingly' slowly. It's quite hard at first to inch the lures along without dragging them across the surface. On the credit side the tails are so soft and flexible that they ripple beautifully with even the slightest current or slowest retrieve.

We started off in a small bay that often produces a fish or two at first light - not a sniff! We moved out to a ledge with lots of surf and a strong current. I switched to a large popper - again, not a sniff. We decided to work our way back along the shore fishing any likely spots on the way. After five or ten minutes we were almost back to where we had started and I had a sharp pull on the soft plastic lure. Encouraging!

With our enthusiasm revived we fished on and five minutes later my lure was grabbed with a fierce pull and after a bit of a tussle I landed a modest bass. The Sandra was well inside it's mouth. Great stuff! We continued fishing on our way back to the car and in the next little bay the water was pretty coloured with a fair bit of drifting weed. We each had a few casts and I decided to try along the edge, perhaps a couple of metres out from the exposed rocks. First chuck there was a savage bite and I was in to a fat four pounder, again well hooked.

All in all it was a very interesting session. Rich, fishing with a tried and trusted plug at normal speeds didn't manage a bite while the painfully slow moving softbait had induced three takes and landed two bass. You live and learn.

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 -


Plug fishing in the surf is exhilarating even when there are no fish about.

My first bass.

Not a bad fish and it clearly took the creeping, wriggling lure well.

- and my second.

A bass in mint condition again firmly hooked on the slowly reeled, just sub-surface plastic.

I was pleased.

For once I had a pal to take my picture with the fish.