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).

Andy's weedless bass.

I recently had an interesting email from my epal Andy. It speaks for itself but I think it’s worth a read because it confirms the value of weedless soft plastics for bass fishing – given the right conditions. It’s of particular significance because Andy fishes where the tides are a bit bigger than here in Dorset (where are they not???) so it shows that it’s not just a peculiarity of our tiny double tides.

Hi Mike,

Been reading your fantastic diary, I hope your back's not too bad (It’s not better yet. To be honest sitting at the computer like this isn't the best cure for it. ML). I can sympathise with you on that one, I tore the lowest disc in my back a couple of years ago which put me out proper. Still have to be careful now.

Anyway enough of my problems!

I just wanted to thank you for posting your diary. It has taught me a number of tactics. I'm so jealous when I read that you frequently see bass in the shallows (as your pictures show). I've been bassing for a few years now and I've never seen it.......until today that is.

I moved to a bay and whilst fishing off a finger of rocks I noticed a big pile of weed being gently rocked by the sea on the beach. Gulls were steadily picking off the 'hoppers' from the weed and a cormorant was busy in the shallows in the vicinity of the weed.

Remembering your diary and your comments about fish in and around the weed I made my way over to it. First off, I cast out my ‘Tacklehouse Feed Shallow’ lure. I think it's a fantastic lure and has produced many fish for me. I quickly realised the weed was an issue so I opted for a weightless Slug-Go.

Then I saw it!! I couldn't believe it!! I actually saw a swirl not three feet off the shore. Then I saw it again and this time the swirl had a fish in the middle of it! I quickly wound in the slug-go and made a tactical cast.

I was in amongst the swirls and I didn't do anything to the slug-go, I just left it in the tide and weed and it got smashed by a fish. (So, it was moving pretty slowly or not at all!! ML) The usual tussle ensued and I slipped a healthy 5lb 10oz onto the stones which went back to fight another day. I didn't have any other takes.

Now I know that you must have done this yourself many times before (Not as often as I would like!! ML) but it is the first time I have seen and done it. Although not my biggest on a lure (7lbs 3oz – again on a Slug-Go) I think this is the best bass I've caught to date in terms of circumstances, knowledge and craft.

Thank you for sharing your experiences. I wouldn't have had that fish if it wasn't for your diary.

On a separate note, I had the pleasure of fishing with Alan (Vaughan) a while ago, unfortunately it was a bit early in the season and we failed miserably. If you're ever in my neck of the woods and want to 'have a chuck', feel free to tap me up and we can go out.

Thanks again,


There’s a couple of nice pictures to go with Andy’s report. He says he’s going to have another go while the weedy conditions persist so I await the results with interest. If it was me I expect the fish would have gone or would simply refuse to bite but hopefully he’ll have more luck.

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 -

Andy's fish.

Nice one!  It must have been a real thrill to get a take on the almost motionless lure so close in.

Andy's lure.

These slightly iridescent lures are probably as good as anything.  At any rate this one worked.