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 too late for bass.

I'm often asked questions such as " How long's your bass lure fishing season?" and, in truth, it's not all that easy to answer. Although I normally start fishing with some optimism in March and my last trips may be mid to late November I would never recommend someone new to this approach to do the same. Every year is different and a cold spring or a rough autumn may drastically reduce the time when it's worth a try. However, there is no doubt that the middle of October is well within the normal season and may provide some of the best fishing.

This week we've been looking after our grandson Ben while his mam and dad were away for a few days. The weekdays had us doing the school run and Ben's school is a long way from our house so fishing trips were a non starter. Ben loves fishing so at the weekend we had to give something a go. On the Friday evening we checked the tide and surf forecasts for our part of Dorset and it looked good - almost flat calm and a neap tide that was doing nothing at all. We decided on a 'first light' excursion to the rocks where we might have a chance of a variety of species on our lures. In fact we were too early and it was still pretty black by the time we scrambled down the cliff to our chosen mark. Ben picked up the fly rod and began to cast a little white Delta eel while I spun one of the new weighted Redgills (I've been weighting my own for many years by pushing a barrel lead up their bums but now you can buy them ready made). For ten or fifteen minutes neither of us had a bite. Ben switched to a shallow diving plug (a Crystal Minnow) and I persisted with my plastic eel but it was only as the sky began to lighten in the east that we had our first knocks.

Ben was the first to hook a fish and the bend in his rod and surface commotion revealed that he was into a bass - no monster but a reasonable fish for starters. Then as the light increased and we could see what we were doing the fish went berserk. We stuck to our respective methods and bass after bass was landed and returned. There was nothing to choose between the two, very different, lures and we matched each other fish for fish. The water was calm and gin clear and on occasion we could see shoals of bass racing after the artificials at the end of each retrieve. There were other fish about because we spotted both garfish and mackerel following and pollack periodically hurled themselves from the water in abortive strikes, but the bass always managed to beat them to it. After just over an hour of action I had two pollack on the 'Gill' and that signalled time for us to go an have breakfast. All in all a good session.

Needless to say we had to try again the following morning but, although it was still clear and windless, there was a big ground swell crashing against the rocks and for some reason the bass had gone - all we caught was pollack. Weird but interesting!

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 -

Ben's first fish.

You have to keep your ears warm at this time of the day.

- and another.

The Crystal Minnow is a good reliable bass lure and Ben was well pleased with his catch.

- one of mine.

With the Redgill folded in its jaws.  There was no difference in the number of bites we had or the number of fish hooked despite the totally different lures.