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).

Back to bass.

At last a little bit of sea fishing of my own. Although we are into November the weather has been kind and for sure there will still be plenty of bass about. This morning I decided to have a go at dawn so by 05.00hr I was in the car and driving down to the coast. As I drove over the Purbeck hills a big sika stag with a full set of antlers trotted sedately into the edge of the road as I drove past. Magic! By the time I'd walked to my chosen spot it was still dark but I could see the first traces of dawn light in the sky - perfect!

The rod was already set up with an 18cm Evo Redgill so all I had to do was plonk the bag on a rock, well clear of the sea, walk (carefully) to the water's edge, find a firm foot hold and cast out. The sea was pretty calm and even in the dark I could see that it was very clear. Close in there was a mass of loose wrack and kelp drifting in the shallows but it was a simple matter to cast beyond it. I'd probably made twenty or so casts before there was enough light to see the splash as my lure hit the sea, there had been no hint of a bite. After about another five 'action free' retrieves suddenly the rod whanged round and a decent bass splashed on the surface - I was in!

The fish dragged some line off against the clutch and rushed from side to side but, provided the hook was well in, I was confident of landing it. As it came closer it plunged into the mass of drifting weed and I had to lean back and haul it to the surface. The bass kicked and struggled as it slid across the leathery fronds but soon it was high and dry and I put the rod down beside it while I went back to the bag for my camera and the pliers. After a few quick snaps I removed the hook and popped the fish back into the sea before returning my gear to the bag. The five minutes or so that I spend taking a picture is often prime fishing time (the best chance of another bass is usually just after you've caught one) but I don't begrudge it because it's good to have a record of the catch.

I began to fish again and it was a little while before I had another bite, this time close in. Once more it was well hooked and this one turned out to be a smaller fish, perhaps two pounds, so I unhooked it by hand and dropped it back into the sea. In the next ten minutes I landed another decent one and a second tiddler. Both were returned without taking any more pictures. By now the sky was glowing pink and orange so I stopped fishing and took one or two shots of the sunrise. By the time I began to fish again it was soon clear that the bass had moved off so I packed in and was home for my breakfast before half-past-seven. The back's aching a bit but ohhh it's good to be fishing again.

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 -


This is what it's all about.  A bit chilly on the fingers but the best part of the day - and about time to go home.

Nice bass!

My first fish of the session and the only one I took pictures of.


Typically, the fish had engulfed the big eel and was firmly attached to the large, sharp, single hook.