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 normal.

After my recent success with livebaits I reverted to my usual approach on the last early morning fishing trip. I only took my fly rod, armed with a Clouser and my spinning rod with an 18cm Pearl Evo-Redgill. When I arrived on the shore at 05:45 I was quite surprised to find (a) that it was pretty rough and (b) that someone was already spinning. I asked if he minded me joining him on the ledge and he said it was fine (I hate it when someone pushes in without a by your leave). In fact there was plenty of room. The other chap was spinning with a Dexter wedge and hadn't had a bite as yet (pretty normal for that spot) but we were both expecting action in the next five minutes or so, as the sky lightened.

Sure enough, on my first cast with the Redgill I felt a tap and said that I'd just had a bite. On the next cast I had a mighty wrench on the rod just as the lure reached a point almost under my feet. It wasn't hooked but I suspected bass. The other angler wasn't getting bites at this point but before long he hooked and lost a mackerel. Meanwhile I was getting lots of abortive takes on the Redgill so I switched to my fly rod and little Clouser, in the hopes of hooking a few more of the takes - not a sniff! After ten minutes of fruitless casting I picked up the spinning rod again and at once I was into a nice bass, then I had another and another. One or two mackerel fell to the wedge but my associate was also missing and losing lots of bites on his fair sized metal lure.

Back to the fly rod for another go but it was no better than before - biteless. After a good old flog eventually I hooked and landed a good pollack but there seemed no doubt that the big Redgill was, this morning, much more attractive than the tiny fly. The 'wedger' was still catching the odd mackerel. For a final flick I reverted to spinning and this time I hooked another good pollack which had to be horsed out of the kelp before I could land it. I then packed in and went home at 06:30. Three bass and two pollack in 45 minutes. Subtract twenty minutes of useless fly fishing time and add in the number of missed takes and it was a decent session. It could no doubt have been considerably better if I hadn't wasted time fly fishing and if could have been bothered to fiddle about with lures in the gloom (I'd have been surprised if a smaller Redgill or a weightless Slandra/Slug-gill hadn't produced a fish a chuck).

I suppose that the interesting thing was that the wedge caught mackerel, the almost biteless fly caught only one pollack and the big Redgill caught both bass and pollack and induced lots of takes. All the fish were caught by fishing in the same patch of sea at the same time. A good example of lure selectivity.

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 -

My first bass.

A nice, fat, hard fighting fish.  The many missed bites were probably mostly pollack but I'm sure I would have had many more fish on an unweighted (slower moving) and slightly smaller bait.

Clouser caught.

This was the only bite I had on the fly despite the fact that the sea was clearly full of fish.