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).

Season's end?

I'm often asked "When is it worth lure fishing for bass?" A simple enough question you might think but of course, like anything involving biology, seasons and weather - it all depends! However, looking back at my records I notice that I generally catch a few in November and, at times, it can be some of the best fishing in the year. Of course you often have to put up with bad weather and, in particular, strong winds, but these are not always ill omens.

The other day I went down to the coast at the crack of Dawn (only about six a.m. at the moment) and after I'd been fishing for ten minutes I was joined by Bill, who'd had the same idea as me. It was pretty rough and windy and the sea was full of weed but, on the previous morning Bill had seen fish (mullet and bass)feeding in the weedy margins. Despite the weed it was possible to spin so we flogged away for with lures for a while with no sign of life. Then, as it began to get light, we could see mullet feeding on the surface. Clearly there were still plenty of maggots in the rotting weed and, although there was quite a big swell breaking, the fish were able to mop them up.

I picked up my fly rod and, although it was extremely tricky to get any sort of line out without it blowing straight back or catching up in the surface weed, after a few minutes I had a take and hooked a nice mullet. I played the fish for a little while and then called to Bill, who was only a few yards to my right. As he looked up the rod straightened. My fish was gone. Due to the conditions I'd opted to hang on tight so that it couldn't plough into the drifting weed and the strain was just too much for the small hook. That was my only bite of the morning but shortly afterwards Bill had a schoolie on his lure. Not too bad for late November.

Anyway, I decided to look back over my diaries just to see when I usually caught my last bass. Over the last seven years there is only one November when I didn't have at least one successful session. It probably says more about my lack of enthusiasm for cold winter mornings than about the presence of bass that I generally don't bother from December to February. Bill (enthusiastically) says he's going to flog on into December and beyond this year so it will be interesting to see how he gets on. I'm sure that there are still fish about now and it is largely a matter of how much effort you are prepared to put in to continue catching bass. I shall be away for much of December and January so, by the time I get back it will almost be time to get the lure rod out 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 -

Late November fishing.

My recent trip.  Flogging away in rough water and weed.

- and again.

More of the same.


Bill's recent bass, caught on a small shad - pity I didn't have a mullet to join it.


Plug caught in November.


One from Swanage, again on a plug.


My pal Ben unhooks a nice fish caught on a plug.


Another pal Phil with a plug caught November fish.


We tried in 2009 but obviously we didn't catch a bass.  This was the morning that I broke my rod.


Nice one on a weighted Redgill.


Again caught on a Redgill. Plugs, poppers, plastics, conditions dictate which, have all been successful towards the end of the season.