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).

Good pals!

I knew that there was the potential for some good fishing at the weekend but I had to do it by proxy through my mates. Both Bill and Rob went fishing and sent me excellent accounts and pictures of their sessions. It's the next best thing to going fishing myself. First Bill -

Hi Mike,

I actually did go fishing yesterday.......TWICE. I went yesterday morning arriving an hour before low tide. The place looked fantastic and as usual I had several miles of coast to myself. From the headland all the way round to the ledge was fishable even at low tide. The water was a bit murkey so I ventured out on to the ledge, you can go for miles at low tide. The edge of the ledge is vertcal, the water was crystal and I reckon the drop off was 10 - 15ft deep.

I only fished for two hours as I thought I better get back but managed to land two fish. These are my first ever low tide fish from the stretch so I was well chuffed. I've been to the spot 5 times now and only failed to catch a fish once and that was when the water was so dirty my only chance would have been to foul hook a fish.

I went again last night to another spot. My friend John had a fish at 1600 but I fished from 1630 - 1900 with the same results as you. There were loads of mullet but no bass to be seen. Earlier this year you asked for some photos of mad on mullet, I'll send you my best shots in a separate set of emails as there are quite a few, not sure if they are any good though....I'll probably head there again tonight.

All the best,


Bill's pictures were excellent. My pal Rob fished a third place and then him and his dad went to a fourth. He also sent me an email which fits in quite nicely with Bill's account.

Morning Mike

Great to hear you got out yesterday although not so good that you didn't have a fish (that would have made your back feel better). Thank you for your email yesterday I did read it but I was working in the garden most of the day and ran out of time to reply.

Football was cancelled Saturday so I arranged to go fishing with a mate, I'd also promised to take another friend fishing ages ago, as he'd never been before, so I arranged for him to meet us as well. I opted for a deeper water rock mark as the conditions would be good with a great chance of catching something. Wayne was first into a small bass in the gloom, then my 'student' (Aj) hooked into another small bass just as it started to get light. My own fishing had been bitty but I had missed a couple of bites on the fly, several more on plugs and one or two more on Dexters (clearly not my morning). I got Aj free-lining some rag into the gully and he was happy pulling out wrasse after wrasse (it's a great way for beginners to learn to feel bites and handle fish!). I managed a pollack on the fly and then two more pushing 2lb so I was quite happy. We ended up with 4 pollack, 2 bass, 1 gar and 30? wrasse (Wayne couldn't resist a go for them) between us so not bad at all.

I decided against an early morning session yesterday, but later in the day arranged with dad to have a look along the boulders. We were tramping along the shore by 4:50 the tide was already a way in and there was a reasonable surf rolling in. There were already a few mullet skimming the surface at the first patch of weed (promising), my paced quickened in anticipation of what lay ahead!

We waded round the point to see 3 anglers in the distance, they'd set up by the 2nd big ledge but they'd had nothing when we arrived (one of them did get a bass on a lure shortly afterwards). We pushed on for the piles of weed. The gulls gave away the presence of fish and the mullet were there in huge numbers and tight in to the shore!

Dad opted to start with the lures but I wasn't able to resist and went straight on the fly. I waded as deep as I dare trying to get past the rolling surf and all the weed in the edge, I baited up, dunked the fly to check that it floated (it did) and cast out to the feeding shoals. I had several 'bumps' before I re-baited and cast again watching the fly line for any sign's of a bite, it started to move away slowly, a sharp lift of the rod and I was into a fish. It kicked and pulled but I'd managed to lifted its head up and it wallowed towards me. All of a sudden it realised it was hooked and shot off taking 15 or so yards of line. I regained control and began to recover some line. I knew this was a big fish (easily better than my previous best) when I saw it kick and dive with Its huge tail waving in the air, another run and bang it came off! I was gutted, the hook had snapped under the pressure (bugger) I tied on a new fly and returned to the feeding fish again several bumps and touches but no solid hookups.

Another 20 minutes passed and I just couldn't get a good hookup, then I was in, the fish crashed off charging left then back to the right, I got it in close fairly quickly but every time I thought I had it beaten it would pull away and I just didn't have the muscle in the fine line to force the fish ashore. Luckily dad had seen me struggling and he came and got in the water and grabbed her! A Lovely broad mullet easy 5lb+ and a real beauty! A few snaps and back she went.

Dad hadn't had a sniff on the lures so he decided to try the maggot fly, I had to tie on a new fly myself as the hook had opened up while I was playing my fish. I re-baited and cast to the shoals, I was instantly in again, another spirited battle and a slightly smaller mullet 4lb-ish was landed (again with dad's help). I fished on having several good bites, before hooking another good fish but once more the hook snapped. A new fly was tied on and I moved along the shore to keep in contact with the shoals, there were bass amongst the mullet as well and I was soon into one (2.5lb). I feared the new fly was sinking and on checking I found that it was, so I rushed back to the bag to tie on another floater. It was pretty gloomy by now but the fish were still feeding hard, I flicked the fly out to a feeding shoal and was into another fish, smaller than the first two but still two-and-a-half pounds, I played it to my hands but as I picked it up it slipped free and the hook hold gave (another ruined hook). I struggled to tie on a new fly in the almost dark but I got dumped by a wave (for about the third time) and so decided to call it quits!

Poor dad had had a nightmare. He found the fly fishing almost impossible and he'd not had a sniff on the lure rods! I was totally wet through but totally chuffed, Clearly I need to look at getting some better hooks for my maggot flies, I'd have caught a lot more fish if I wasn't buggering about with broken and non-floating flies.

Looking at the forecast its due to be a bit calmer this evening so it could be a good session (I've got family duties so no fishing for me). Hopefully they'll be there on Tuesday when I'll be back to have another go (if the tide's not too late) and try and get that big one!!

Once again I have written an essay (sorry get carried away) If you can get out tonight let me know how you get on, hopefully we can meet up soon.

Take care


So, there you have it. Loads of mullet, not many bass and oodles of exciting fishing. It's no good me feeling deprived (even if I do). The lads clearly learned a few lessons - if you are to make the most of it, you must use a floating fly, you must have live maggots, and above all you MUST buy the best quality hooks for your flies. Mullet will test a small hook to destruction every time. I can't wait to get down there soon myself.

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 -

Bill's bass.

One of the bass Bill landed on his first session.  The Redgill is still visible in its mouth.

Feeding mullet.

these fish really do skim the surface of the water for floating maggots.  A sub-surface fly is almost useless.

More feeding mullet.

Look at those lips - once a hook is in it rarely comes out.

Rob's mullet.

Wonderful fish and amazing sport on a small (strong) hook and light nylon cast.


An excellent shot of Rob's mullet before it was returned to the sea.