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).

Not a bad trout!

You might think that saltwater fly fishing is very much a third best option after bait fishing and spinning but recently, for me at any rate, it's been the number one tactic. After last week's mullet exploit I had to have another go - same place, same time of day, same state of tide, same conditions - no mullet or bass at all. Why? I've no idea! My only bite was a pollack that took the plug just as darkness was about to fall. Not very exciting on the spinning gear but at least it was a fish.

A couple of days later I had a phone call from my pal Ben telling me that he was free for a morning's fishing (after several months lay off while he was involved with lots of work and family commitments). We decided to try one of our usual dawn raids the following morning. Anyway, Ben, reliable as ever, turned up at 4am on the dot and we set off for the coast. At this point we realised that we'd made our first mistake - the sky was already lightening and we reckoned that we were fifteen or twenty minutes late. We pressed on to our chosen spot and arrived to find that the predictions of the surfing website (really useful to anglers) were correct - offshore wind, maximum wave height 0.4m, bit of a ripple - in other words, just about right! Pity we were late!

I opted to start with the fly rod armed with a small white grub while Ben tried spinning a plug. On the first cast I felt a gentle pluck which I was sure was a fish. Over the following ten minutes I had a few more tiny bites on the 'fly' but Ben had nothing on the larger, shallow diving lure. I fanned out my casts trying to work the fly along the sides of various ledges and boulders then, suddenly, I was into a fish. The fly rod whipped over as my adversary plunged towards the kelp. I called to Ben that I had a fish on and he came over to get the camera. By now the fish was more or less beaten so I grabbed the nylon and lifted it ashore to have its picture taken - a nice pollack. "That would be a decentfish - if it was a trout!" Ben commented and he was right.

We returned to our fishing and five minutes later I was into another, rather bigger pollack, excellent stuff! I returned the fish to the water and Ben picked up his fly rod to have a go while I switched to plugging. It wasn't long before my pal hooked our third pollack of the session this time on a tiny white Delta eel. My plug fishing was just as futile as Ben's had been. By now it was well after five o'clock and the fish, as they do, had gone off so we packed in well pleased to have caught something. Worth the early start.


My last gasp, late evening, pollack after a futile spell of bass plugging.

Ben at dawn!

Having failed with the plug Ben tried a spot of fly fishing.

Got one!

My first pollack on the 'fly'.  No monster but 'a decent trout'.


A good view of the white grub securely threaded on and  superglued to the hook shank.

Ben's pollack.

Not quite as big as the others and looking even smaller by comparison to Ben - he's a big lad.


Ben's Delta eel is well inside the mouth of the pollack.  It wasn't going to let it escape.