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 time.

A few days ago I had an early morning session after bass but things were rather slow. Following a bit of a storm the sea had settled to glassy calmness. To be honest there wasn't much doing and my hour and a half of flogging with a weighted Redgill produced just three small bass plus a couple of missed bites. On my way back to the car I noticed some movementin a small weedy bay and when I stopped to look I could see that several good bass (estimated 4 to 8lb apiece) were tailing and cruising as they fed on Idotea. A few casts with a weedless lure produced n sign of interest so I went home thinking about how I might tackle the preoccupied fish.

It's not the first time I've encountered the problem of 'louse' feeding bass and, although I've often caught a few, to be honest I've never found a consistent solution. This time I decided to try live prawns and the following morning found me, in the dark, with my net and bucket, catching a few potential baits (several prawns and a small goby). As soon as it was light enough to see properly I crept to the water's edge with my spinning rod armed with a little cork float and a prawn suspended beneath it. Sure enough the fish were there. I flicked the tackle out to a grovelling bass. It just kept grovelling. I cast in front of a cruiser - it just kept cruising. To cut a long story short I never had a bite. One fish even flicked my float with its great spade of a tail but totally ignored the bait. Frustrating - I'll say!

For the next couple of days I couldn't go. One of these days was blessed with torrential rain so to be honest I wasn't too bothered. On my next early morning trip I decided to revert to my conventional spinning tactics and on my first cast in the dark I felt the hint of a tap (braided line is wonderful) which told me that a small fish had plucked at the tail of my Redgill. Encouraging! I had a couple more casts and then there was a bit stronger double tug but again I missed it. Two more chucks and suddenly the rod hooped over and the reel screamed as a good fish grabbed the lure. Fantastic! I slipped and slithered on the rocks as I tried to gain the upper hand and eventually I was able to slide my six pounder ashore to have its picture taken. Excellent stuff. In the following hour, as the light improved, the bites came thick and fast and I landed nine more bass, none as big as the first one. It made up in full for the frustrations of my prawn fishing episode.

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 -

Small bass.

This was one of the three schoolies taken on my first session.

Grovellers and cruisers.

Two tails and a back clearly visible as the bass gorge themselves on <i>Idotea</i>.

A big tail.

Pity I couldn't get this one to bite.


The first, and best, fish of my final session.  Clearly it was still pretty dark when I caught it.


A smaller bass on the Redgill.

- and another.

The smallest one of my ten fish and it's still pretty gloomy.