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).

Redeemed by bonefish!

To return to the bonefish that I mentioned in my previous page. On my second morning I'd opted to try the flats at Pigeon Point. As I said I began by spinning a small shallow diver, wading and working my way along as I fished. Within the first ten minutes or so I had several bites - all missed - which I put down to a combination of needlefish and small barracuda. At least it was something. After about another hour of fishless cast and retrieve suddenly I was into a fish and this was a real fish - a bonefish for sure. The reel screamed as the fish took off for the horizon. I was elated! It streaked away - 50, 60, 70 metres of braid peeled from the reel. I twiddled frantically with the fighting drag of the Stradic to try and slow the departing line but it was no use, my adversary gained the reef, transferred a treble to the coral and tore itself off the hook. I was gutted but at least I knew that the bonefish were there. I waded out and retrieved the lure - a blue and silver J7f Rapala.

Needless to say the next morning found me out there again. After ten minutes of casting and wading the water was just about up to my waist. Whack! I was in again. This fish wasn't quite as strong as the first one but again after a couple of unstoppable runs it gained the sanctuary of the reef despite the tight clutch and all my efforts to stumble backwards and recover line. In past years we've had exactly the same problem on this flat with both bonefish and jacks so I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised. Anyway, I pressed on and five minutes later the rod was almost wrenched out of my hand by a fierce attack on the little plug. No doubt abot the culprit this time as a good barracuda hurled itself into the air and immediately came unstuck. Not the best start to my flats fishing but at least I was finding fish.

The next day it poured with rain (it was the rainy season) but we'd arranged to visit the local museum for some photography so no fishing. The following day we drove round the island visiting one or two beaches which sometimes produce fish but there was nothing doing anywhere.

By now I was getting an itchy casting finger and having lost a couple of big fish to the reef I decided to try a different area of the flats, on a blazingly hot afternoon. This time there was only turtle grass and sand to contend with so I fancied my chances of landing fish - if there were any. As I fiddled with my rod before wading into the sea my wife, who was with me, said that she was going to have a swim and began to bob about just a few metres from the waters edge. I turned and flicked the lure. a little Angel Kiss, out (well clear of the swimmer) just to get the kinks out of my braid and in an instant I found myself playing a powerful fish. I called to Lilian to leave the sea (I didn't want a bonefish and a woman attached to the lure) and set about playing the fish. Jeez did it go!!!!! It must have been five or ten minutes before I was able to slide my first bonefish of the trip ashore. As usual it was smaller than it seemed - perhaps only five or six pounds but I was well chuffed.

So, I'd found a place where I could confidently play and land these turbo charged fish and a couple of days later I was there again. After half-an-hour of wading and casting I felt a soft bite - perhaps a snapper or a grunt I thought. I hooked the fish and it came towards me before swimming past me parallel to the beach. After going perhaps twenty metres to my right (still unseen) suddenly the fish realised it was on a hook and took off for the horizon. The clutch buzzed wildly and line poured out. It was surely another bonefish. When I eventually got this one ashore it turned out to be about eight pounds. It took me perhaps five minutes to restore my catch to life and allow it to swim away. Magic.

Every trip to that area of flats produced bonefish of between five and eight pounds apiece to my little plugs, except on one occasion when I landed a barracuda of similar size - lightening fast but with much less stamina. All in all it was a fantastic holiday. Must go again sometime soon.

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 -


It was bloody hot out there.

Pigeon Point.

The waves are breaking over the coral and it's essential (but very difficult) to stop your fish reaching it.

I'm in!

A good bonefish sets off for the horizon.  Within seconds the little 4SureSpin rod would be bent double.

At last.

My first bonefish of the trip slides ashore with the Angel Kiss well in its mouth.

-and another.

Again well hooked on the little plug.  It's easy to beach them on the sand.

Back goes another.

Sometimes I had to nurse them for a while to let them recover from their exertions.