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).

Close encounter.

The other day I made my first proper bass fishing sortie since I did my back in last summer. The incentive was provided by my pal Bill and the fact that the tides were suitable. The spot that Bill had suggested was quite a hike and I decided it would be a good test for the old muscles. Anyway, we yomped to the chosen venue and began spinning – Bill with a pearl Evo Redgill and me with a big Slandra. We flogged away for a considerable time with nothing to show for it (well, it is still early in the year) except for a fish that followed Bill’s lure in and another that I saw which turned on its side in the wrack beds.

Bill said there was another spot worth trying where he had seen and photographed a few decent bass a few days earlier (he even caught one), so we set off along the beach to our second place. Even though it had been a coolish morning by now the sun was high in the sky and we were slowly cooking in our chest waders as we trudged.

Eventually we arrived at our second choice to find it flat calm and gin clear with scarcely a ripple. A bit different from the conditions (with a small swell and a touch of colour) that Bill had described. However, even from a distance, we could see fish flashing and splashing only inches from the water’s edge as we approached the sea . This got the old heart thumping I can tell you. For a few minutes we sat well back and watched the big bass tails fanning the air as the fish grovelled among the pebbles for food. Exciting – I’ll say it was.

Typically the fish showed little interest in our lures and, after a few casts over their heads they decided enough was enough and melted away. We walked down to the edge of the sea and Bill disturbed a few cobbles to see whether we could detect what the bass had been doing. Sure enough we found lots of Idotea clinging underneath the rocks and it was obvious that the bass had also been turning over pebbles to disturb the food. Magic!

All in all there was nothing very new in what we saw – some good, Idotea-feeding bass close to the edge of the sea. However, this time Bill took some pictures and so I can show just how close in these fish come (even in hot, bright, sunny, clear water conditions). No ten yard casts needed to get your bait or lure into the hot spot – more like ten inches.

I popped down at first light the following day and had a decent pollack and a couple of schoolies but I'd left the camera in my office, so no pictures.

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 -


That's me armed with a lure to combat weed, rocks and shallow water.

Me again.

This time on a stretch of shingle in the bright sunlight.


here's one feeding in the murky water on Bill's first trip.

Close in.

This fish is rooting in the bottom for Idotea.


The fish tend to feed in groups and choose spots where the food is thickest.

Bill's fish.

This is one Bill caught.