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).

Fishless but not useless!

Last time I said "Still no bass for me, although the other morning I found lots of kelp bits and Idotea woodlice in the water so surely it won't be long until the bass find them!" Anyway, I had another short but fishless session since then and this time I found another potential hot spot.

You will often read in angling books and magazines about the value of simply 'looking' before you begin to fish. Usually it is suggested that you search for 'features' at low tide. Rarely, however, do the 'experts' tell you what to look for. Personally I'm a great believer in having a 'recce' before I decide what to do. The problem is that I find it almost impossible to go to the coast without taking a rod and if I'm fishing it tends to cramp the exploration aspect. Nevertheless, if things seem slow (and they have been for me), whether it's low tide or not, I'll often walk for miles just looking at the shoreline for clues that might show me where to make my next sortie.

My last two fishless sessions have produced two likely spots. The first, as I said above, was a mass of 'mixed weed bits' in the water's edge which were heaving with Idotea. These little marine woodlice are like caviare to bass so it's always worth looking out for places where they accumulate. The fish will feed on them at all states of tide because they are actually in the water.

On my next trip, to a different section of the coast, I found a single mass of wrack around the high water mark. When I was there the stuff was high and dry and wedged between the boulders but a scrape of the welly showed that it was seething with seaweed fly maggots. In a few days time, when the tides are a bit bigger, there's a fair chance that mullet and/or bass will gather to feast on the little white wrigglers for an hour or so as the tide reaches its peak. Anyway, that's two places that I'll be targetting in the near future.


There's nothing doing so it's always worth a hike to look for potential hot spots.

Woodlouse weed.

This stuff in the sea's edge is often heaving with fish food.


Marine woodlice plus an amphipod (the pale one bottom right).

Maggot weed.

High and dry but just waiting for the next set of big tides to release its cargo of maggots.


Seaweed fly maggots are small but nutritious and they attract BIG fish.