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 and a braid problem.

This is a tale of two trips to the coast. The weather has been, to say the least, unpredictable. After the mild spell last week I decided to have a look at the coast. When I arrived my pal Phil was just getting out of his car, obviously with the same idea as me. The sea looked fairly rough, at any rate there was a big swell running. In addition I had to get home fairly early so I said that I was going to fish the stretch near the car park. Phil and his fishing mate decided to walk further along to a potential hot spot.

In poor, early morning light I began to cast my 'Slandra' into a fairly murky sea with the swell breaking up the shore. After about five minutes I saw headlamps approaching along the shore and it turned out to be the others returning. Apparently, at the first big prominence in the cliff, a huge swell had broken, shot into the air and soaked them from head to toe - They then decided that discretion was the better part of valour. I was glad I'd opted for staying put. After ten or fifteen minutes it was clear that nothing was going to happen so we packed in and went home. Phil's last comment was that he might see me the following morning.

Sure enough, the next day, I drove into the car park to find my pal tackling up. Conditions could hardly have been more different from the day before. It was now pretty calm although the tide was, of course, still a high one. the main change was the dramatic drop in temperature. As we walked along the cliff path it was a matter of trying to keep fingers warm enough to operate the rod and reel. We began to fish in deep gloom, Phil with a shallow diving plug and me with the Slandra. After two casts I decided that there was no drifting weed and tied on a weighted, pearl coloured, Redgill to give me a bit more distance.

We'd fished for perhaps ten minutes when I had a decent bite and found myself playing a fish. As I looked across to Phil's position I could just see that his rod was also bent into a bass. Clearly they'd arrived at the same time. I took a couple of pictures and unhooked my fish before putting it back in the water. Next cast I had another bite but missed it. Encouraging! A little later I had another bass and then a third one, none of them were much over two pounds. I walked along to speak to Phil and it turned out that he had also caught two schoolies. By now it was almost sunrise so we opted to walk along the shore and try a few other spots. After a little while we began to fish a really murky stretch where the surf was churning up the sea bed. The Redgill did its job again and I hooked another small bass right in the edge of the sea. After that I had my fifth fish a bit further along the rocks, just as the sun began to blaze across the sea. Seven bass between us well into November - can't be bad! Still time for a few more if the weather's kind.

Oh! I nearly forgot to mention the braid problem. Before leaving the house I'd changed the spool on my Stradic for one with some new, unused braid on it (the other stuff had been fine but I thought I'd been using it for rather a long time). The spool was much too full and I wasn't sure what make of braid was on there but I was careless and I sort of ignored it. After a few casts I felt the ominous 'click' of a knot going through the rings. Bugger! I wound in slowly and gently picked out the knot. On the next cast I felt another click and the lure dropped into the sea about five metres from the edge. I wound in but couldn't feel a knot so I cast again. The same thing happened. Then on the next cast it did it once more. Careful inspection showed that the braid had somehow managed to find its way under the line clip on the spool. I unclipped it and started fishing again. In the course of the morning, despite being cautious, I had to unpick two more nasty little knots. That should teach me not to overfill my spools. The time spent fiddling about probably cost me a fish or two and it was certainly annoying so it always pays to err on the side of caution when using this type of line.

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 -

The first.

Nicely hooked on the Redgill.  Bass rarely come unstuck from big single hooks and you can quickly release them without the need for pliers.

- and another.

A nice fat little fish that had totally engulfed the 'eel'.

Closer look.

The Redgill's right inside its mouth. Note the black spot on the gill cover and the 'black eye', both dead give aways when bass are surface feeding amongst mullet shoals.