Catch fish with Mike Ladle.

Catch Fish with
Mike Ladle

Information Page


27 September 2002

Take a friend fishing.

I though (at first) that John Bennett must be one of the luckiest anglers alive. Some time ago John had contacted me about the possibility of catching a bass on fly gear. On several occasions I had put him off because the fish were not about or the weather was awful or both. This time, however, I had arranged for him to visit and it was flat calm. Not only that but on the previous evening the bass and mullet had been feeding madly on maggots in the waters edge. If that's not luck I don't know what is.

John picked me up from my house and drove me down to the coast. we were to meet my pal Nigel at the chosen venue. We arrived to find Nigel and Phil already fishing but the fish had not yet arrived. In fact just as we were saying hello I looked at the sea and noticed the first swirls of maggot feeding fish.

On the previous evening I had (probably stupidly) decided not to fish a maggot fly and finished up catching bass and mullet on an olive shrimp. Again (I never learn!) I decided to give the shrimp a try. John started off with a maggot fly and Nigel was using a small buoyant 'booby' with white polystyrene eyes.

The bass proved even less easy to tempt than on the previous night and we only landed two or three little schoolies between us in the course of a couple of hour's fishing. Despite his obvious casting ability and persistence poor John blanked (Not so lucky after all! He'll do better next time), proving only that there is a knack to catching sea fish on flies.

However, there were some good mullet among the bass and in the course of the session Nigel and me managed to hook several. I lost a couple of fish which popped off at the water's edge (I never bother with a net) and one really good fish which, after I had played it for a good five minutes, found the only snag for miles (presumably a boulder?). Nevertheless some fish were landed and all were of good size. Both the shrimp fly and the booby seemed to be effective although I think we would have had more fish on maggot flies. The mullet were feeding right in the margins and often it was necessary to cast along the shore to present a fly to them.

The fish we caught were good ones and Nigel landed his best ever on a fly - six-pounds-seven-ounces: a cracking mullet by any standards. All the fish were returned to fight another day. Again as on the previous night the bass would not look at a plug - curious!

As I said last week I shall be on holiday at the end of September so this page is the last for the present. Hopefully I'll have a few pictures from Sardinia in a couple of weeks - Cheers! Mike.

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 -

One of my mullet.

The fish grabbed a slowly drawn shrimp fly.

Another decent fish.

Blame Nigel - he took the picture.

Nigel deals with his big fish.

Note that John is still fishing away in the background.  The fish was landed, without a net, by sliding it ashore on a wave.

What a mullet.

The small hook of the booby fly was well lodged in the jaw of the fish.

One of Phil's late bass.

The bass were totally preoccupied with maggots and exceptionally difficult to tempt.