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).

The weed problem.

Weed can be a nightmare for anglers and as Autumn gets underway the seasonal storms tend to rip kelp, wrack and many other algae from their moorings and wash them towards our shores. Bits of loose weed washing about in the surf can be a big enough problem for beach casters and bait fishermen, catching on lines and constantly dragging sinkers and rigs out of position. For lure fishermen it may be even worse because plugs and spoons armed with treble hooks are almost guaranteed to pick up every drifting frond and filament. As every plug fisherman knows even the tiniest fragment of alge can kill the action of a lure completely.

On a recent trip to the coast there was a stiff southeast breeze and the resulting surf was absolutely thick with kelp fronds and holdfasts as well as masses of lesser red and brown algae. You might think that this would have been the kiss of death for my session but no. In fact I was delighted to see the leathery fronds rolling about in the breaking wave. I know that in these circumstances there will be Idotea in billions feeding on the algae and where they go the bass are sure to follow. As I walked along the shore I halted at the first weedy spot and within a few seconds I saw the pointed tail fin of a good bass poke up just on the outer margin of the 'salad'. Guessing that if there were bass in this spot then there were likely to be even more in the next bay along (which is always the first place to become weed soup) I moved on.

My pal David was with me so we hiked along to the next spot. Sure enough the bass were there in force. It was a bit like 'bass city' with fish of all sizes grovelling all the way along the tideline in the breaking surf. We chucked a range of lures at the fish but they were (typically) so preoccupied with little crustaceans that nothing else was of interest. However, by fishing well outside the weedy margin I managed to catch a nice fish on my soft plastic weedless 'Slandra' (it picked up no weed bits at all despite the conditions). As usual the bite was firm and the fish was well hooked. I'd really only gone for a recce so after catching my bass I went home. Interestingly, on the following day the wind changed and died away, the sea went flat and the fish had gone. Weed and waves can actually be a blessing rather than a problem provided you use a suitable method to deal with them.

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 -


All this kelp and other stuff turning over in the waves is a haven for Idotea and a good sign for the prospective lure fisherman.


Look on the 'outer' edge of the drifting weed on the left hand side of the picture for the signs of feeding bass.

How many?

Four feeding bass reveal themselves in this shot.  I'm about two metres away from them.

Got one!

A nice fish that took the plastic well out into the open water - beyond the main weed 'barrier'.