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).


My pal Bill has caught quite a lot of fish this year but, as yet, has not had anything on a plug. Of course this is mostly because he first had success with soft plastics and has since - wisely - stuck to what he knows. However, recently he had an evening session from the rocks and he broke his plugging duck - here's the tale.

Hi Mike,

I fished the ledges from 1630 - 1800. I didn't catch any bass, which was the objective, but did manage to land 15 pollack. Nothing of any size was caught but they kept me out of mischief for an hour-and-a-half and it was quite good fun. I tried the Redgill, the 21 Tide Minnow plug I found last week and the Picol Eau and was successful with them all. YES I HAVE ACTUALLY CAUGHT SOMETHING ON A PLUG! At last...... Hoorah!

It was lovely down there this evening. The plug was followed by garfish every other cast, I could see the pollack attack the various lures in the deep water and I had a lot of missed bites and saw a couple of peregrine falcons. I'm not a plug convert yet, half the fish landed on the Tide Minnow were either gut hooked, face hooked or foul hooked in some way or other so I switched to the Picol Eau after a bit. I'd guess that only about 50% of the plug caught fish were actually hooked in the mouth. I lost quite a few fish on the plug as well, I can only imagine they were foul hooked some how and ripped themselves free.

At least when you get something on a Redgill or Picol Eau it normally stays on. Anyway, it was all good practice for the week end, I may fish Saturday morning & I'm definitely going on Sunday. I expect it will be murky again but I can't resist going for a look.

Have you been out since I saw you Sunday?

Hope to see you soon,

All the best


I haven't been to the sea since I saw Bill. I've never liked plugs with three trebles on myself, largely because of the risk of becoming impaled when I was unhooking bass. After being landed bass do tend to kick and jump about so sharp points can be dangerous. This was particularly the case in the past when I used to unhook all my fish by hand (without the aid of the pliers I now employ - I'm older and hopefully wiser).

Bill also sent me an earlier report of a more typical bass fishing session and you'll see what I mean about his lack of plugging success, so here it is:-

Hi Mike,

I met John at the car park as planned and was fishing by 07.45.

By 08.00 John and I approached our 'hot spot'. It looked absolutely amazing, glassy calm and the sun was hot already. As we got closer my heart sank, the water was filthy again, this is the third time on the trot its been like this even after a few days of calm. Anyway, as the tide was still a fair way out I headed for the ledge & clearer water and after about 15 minutes I landed a feisty bass on a Redgill.

After a bit the tide pushed me off the ledge and back to the murk. For the next three hours John & I were up and down the shore looking for clear water or for bass in the dirty water. We fished the murkey stretch in hope with Redgills, shads, poppers (as you suggested) and unusually for me plugs but with no joy.

We left by 12.00 and fished from the smaller ledges. On the way back, the water got clearer. I even tried a plug again (even though I know they dont work!!!). As the tide receded I finally switched to a good old Picol Eau. First cast WHAM, the rod hooped over and I knew my luck had changed. I yelled to John that this was a bloody good fish and it put up the best fight of the year as John watched. It veered to the left and it took line big time. I eased the drag up a tad and managed to get it to the beach. I was amazed that it only appeared to be about 4lb. I've caught much bigger fish this year but nothing has gone as mad as this fish. We got back to our cars by 14.00.

After a lot of hard work and a few blanks I've managed to catch a couple which is a good confidence booster. I also managed to catch the sun....rather painfully.

I won't be fishing till next weekend, hope to see you soon.

All the best,


So there it is - excellent fishing I'd call it. Since then Bill's pals have had a beano with bass - all on weighted Redgills. I may be able to give an account of it next time?

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 -

Picol Eau.

Still with the blue mottling typical of a young fish but nicely hooked.

Tide Minnow.

Anther small pollack - you can see the problem with three trebles.


A large, crude hook but in the right spot.


More to Bill's taste - a lovely fish in fantastic condition.