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).

Mixed fishing.

I've persisted with the soft plastic baits for bass, probably to the detriment of my own catches but it has proved interesting. At the weekend I had two sessions. The first was a morning sortie with my pal Phil. We decided to try a spot of bassing at first light (about 06.15 these days) and because of the recent weather we expected fish to be feeding on woodlice in the weedy margins. In fact there wasn't much doing. Phil started off with a shallow diving plug and I stuck to the 16cm Sandra that I've been using lately. The plug collected a fair amount of weed on the trebles and after I'd had a bass on the plastic Phil changed to as Slug-Go which eventually produced a bass and a bite. Not much of a catch but we were both happy to have caught something. We saw the odd fish swirling in the edge of the weed but nothing compared to what sometimes occurs.

That evening I had a couple of emails from other friends telling me that there were mullet feeding on maggots along a big stretch of shoreline. I arranged to see Richard and Nigel that evening if we could all get away. My informants were spot on (what it is to have a network of pals) and I arrived at about 4pm to find Richard and another angler already fishing. Nigel turned up a bit later. We had about an hour before darkness fell. There was a bit of a wind and the surf was considerable (many more surfers than fishermen). The mullet were there en masse but I could see it wasn't going to be easy. In fact I'd only brought the spinning gear armed with the long suffering Sandra but my mates (sensibly) also had their fly rods.

I flogged away with the plastic 'eel' but it was a bit slow and must have been half-an-hour before I had a bite or two and landed a reasonable bass. The others couldn't resist the chance of mullet and they were punching short lengths of fly line out over the big waves and kelpy water (the fish were VERY close in). Occasionally I would look up to see one of them with the fly rod well bent as a mullet headed out to sea but landing a fish was a different matter. As usual we were 'netless' but even with a landing net it would have been very difficult due to the breakers and tonnes of loose weed. In all they managed to beach one or two mullet after countless bites and heroic battles but even the beached fish managed to ping themselves off the hooks in the heavy undertow. On one occasion I watched as Richard, attempting to land a decent mullet, was rolled by the weed and waves - I wish I'd had the camera to hand. As it got dark the fish became even more abundant and they were literally right under the rod tips. At one point Nigel was hooking (and losing) just about a fish a cast - it was exhilarating sport.

In all I probably had eight or nine bass bites on the plasic and managed to hook and land just three of them - all about the same size. I'm still fairly new to this slow retrieve business and it became clear that I wasn't striking smartly enough as I could sometimes feel the fish 'mouthing' my almost stationary lure and letting go before I tightened properly. As we trudged back in the dark with the waves crashing on the rocks I think we felt well satisfied despite the general lack of fish landed. I guess there could still be a few more chances before the end of the season.

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 -

My morning fish.

It was encouraging to get one considering that there didn't seem to be many fish about.


He had two bites on the Slug-Go lure which he'd never used before.  There's nothing like a fish to give you confidence.

Close encounter.

The mullet were right in the surf.  I tried to get a picture in the dark but it wasn't really possible.  There are probably twenty feeding fish in the picture but it's hard to see even one.

Nigel fishing the maggot fly.

He was getting a bite a cast at one stage.

Still trying.

Note the metre or so of fly line dangling straight down from the rod - that shows how close the fish are.

He's in.

A good mullet 'takes to the hills'.  The sea was a lot rougher than it looks.

One of my bass.

I only landed two others and like this one they were in mint condition.