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).

Bass among the mullet.

Last Thursday I decided to have a quick early morning session at the coast. It was cold and dark when I got to the sea and there was a bit of a chop. It was almost high water and I didn't fancy risking a soaking so I fished near the carp park (not like me). It's a place where I've had a few decent fish this year but, to be honest, I wasn't all that hopeful with the water coming in over the ice cold rocks. In the back of my mind was the thought that there might be weed, maggots and fish half-a-mile further along the shore. Anyway, to cut a long story short I managed only one tentative bite on the Slandra which I missed.

That evening I looked at the forecast - calmer and warmer - and resolved to go the following morning. Sure enough I was there in the dark. I hiked along using my headlamp to avoid falling over (it was really dark). At one point I found myself ploughing through mountains of cast up weed but I trudged on to my chosen spot. I'd only taken the spinning rod armed with a yellow tailed Slandra (I've run out of the 'Glo' coloured ones that I prefer) and on reaching my objective I began to cast. For ten minutes nothing happened so I made a decision to return to the weed middens that I'd noticed. By the time I got there it was just about light enough to see the water and even with the rippled surface I could discern fish, mullet, feeding at the surface. Within minutes it was clear that there were hundreds, if not thousands, of good mullet guzzling away at maggots only a metre or two out - and I had no fly rod with me!!!!

I know that where there are maggot feeding mullet the bass are rarely far away so I started to flog away with the Slandra. After about ten minutes there was a strong pull on the line but I missed the bite. What a downer! That could be the only touch of the session I thought. However, any sort of action is encouraging so I fished on with renewed enthusiasm. Another five minutes and crash! splash! I was playing a decent bass. This one took only a few metres out and fought like stink. As I unhooked it the fish coughed up a handful of maggots, clearly the bass were preoccupied (like the mullet) so it was good to have induced a couple of bites. By now it was getting quite light and I was thinking about walking back to the car but suddenly there was another almighty bite and I was into an even better fish than the first one. Again there was a good battle with the fish making several powerful runs and dispersing the mullet shoals in its vicinity.

On my way back I thought - "Tomorrow I'll try again and this time I'll take the fly gear!" I was woken the following morning by the sound of torrential rain. Bugger! I didn't fancy tramping all that way in pouring rain so I turned over and went back to sleep. When I woke up again, at 05.30, it was clear and calm - mistake Mike! There is a little addendum to the tale because later I had an email from my pal Richard. He'd gone down only to find the sea whipped to a frenzy and unfishable. wasn't I lucky? A couple of mornings later I went to a different spot. Four of my friends were also spinning and we had a few modest bass between us - the sunrise was wonderful. How many more opportunities will there be to catch a few bass or mullet this year?

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 first one.

I missed the bite before this one took.  Did it battle!

The second.

Nicely hooked on my rather tatty Slandra (the tail disintegrated next time I went fishing).

- and me'.

I'm still fiddling with the time delay on the camera.