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).

Pay back time.

It looked like being an excellent tide. First of the springs, early evening, 1.9m, not too rough and loads of rotting weed and maggots on the beach. Everyone was keen to go. Bill was already fishing when Nigel and I arrived on the shore and said that he had landed three bass, including two of decent size. Rob and Mike had obviously decided to fish further along - probably a couple of miles from the mark we had chosen.

The sea was murky with a slick of weed and maggots right in the breaking surf. The mullet were lined up and guzzling as though there was no tomorrow. It looked as though it might be tricky to beach fish through the heavy weed and rough water but Nigel was soon in action with the fly rod. I, like Bill, decided to spin with a weedless soft plastic. There is little point describing every detail but by the end of the evening Bill had raised his score to six bass, I had landed four and Nigel had managed a five pound mullet on the fly (one had pinged off, after a long struggle, in the surging weed) and then two bass on the spinning rod. Almost all the fish were a decent size (3.0 to 4.5lb). Fantastic!

We wondered how our pals had fared at the other spot. Well, it turned out that they had also had a good session landing eight bass and a couple of mullet. The conditions had been similar to where we fished but it sounded as though the feeding mullet were a little further from the water's edge.

That night I didn't sleep too well. Whether it was the excitement of the evening's fishing or what I don't know but when I woke up, well before dawn, I decided that I might as well go fishing. I quickly donned my waders and grabbed the rod before setting off to the coast. My plan was to fish a 'Slandra' in the dark and to work my way around the shore trying all the likely spots. After fishing for an hour without a single bite and the tide coming in fast I decided to shift to another spot. The sea was much calmer than the previous evening and in the sheltered corner that I moved to it was almost flat. I began to fish with the same weedless lure and soon had a pluck which I missed then, on the next cast, another fish swirled at the lure almost at my feet. Were the fish too small for my large Slandra? I quickly removed the weedless lure and switched to an 18cm Redgill. At once I was into fish and by the time I packed in an hour later I had landed fifteen bass, all between one-and-a-half and two-and-a-half pounds. Hectic action.

That evening Nigel and I went to the place where Rob had fished the previous evening. We were joined by Phil and the three of us set about spinning. It was windier and more difficult to fish than the night before so fly fishing was a no no. By the end of the session Nigel and I had each landed a bass apiece and Phil, fishing a Redgill, had managed to catch five including a couple of five pounders.

Overall, in two evenings and a morning fishing (I reckon about 25 rod-hours), we'd landed between us 42 bass and three mullet. Almost a fish every half-an-hour. Perhaps it makes up for the numerous blanks we'd suffered earlier in the year. Anyway, roll on the next set of springs.

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 took this excellent picture of the feeding mullet on our first evening.'


Nigel and me flogging away.  The crap in the breaking waves made it tricky to beach fish on the fly gear.

Got one!

Nige looks well pleased with his five pounder landed (with a bit of help from Bill) despite the difficult conditions.'


Just one of the excellent bass that we landed on our weedless lures.'


My insomnia resulted in a nice catch of fish like this one.'