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).

Good and bad in parts.

I do like a change when I'm fishing. The truth is whether I like it or not it's almost guaranteed that every trip will be different. In the past week I've had a three early morning sessions, to the same spot, as different as chalk and cheese. On the first occasion I went with my pal Phil. The idea was to try and do some livebaiting with mackerel. It was the first morning that it had been calm enough to give it a try - perhaps that was the problem. At my suggestion Phil started off (in the dark) with a medium sized weighted Redgill while I had a go with the fly rod.

On his first cast my pal was into a pollack. Good start! Then he had a better one before things slowed a bit. Meanwhile I was struggling to even get a bite on the fly gear. Phil switched to a plug and after a while he had a modest bass. As it turned out that was that for our one hour session. Not exactly hectic. I blanked and we didn't even look like catching a mackerel for bait.

I decided to go again the following morning and when I got there I found (a) that there was a bigger swell and (b) that two other lads were already fishing. I asked if I could join them and within minutes I'd caught a good pollack on my single hooked Toby and followed it with a nice big mackerel which promptly went onto my livebait rod.

For the next hour my live mackerel behaved perfectly. It swam tirelessly about the sea trying to be eaten but I didn't have a bite. My associates meanwhile, spinning with a wedge and a medium Redgill, caught seven bass to over 3lb and probably sixty or seventy pollack and mackerel. At least it was entertaining for me to watch. You need will power to 'stick to your guns' with livebait while others are hauling out a fish a chuck. I took no pictures that morning - too busy managing my bait rod.

Needless to say I had to give it another go the next day. This time the swell had subsided and I was joined by one of the chaps who had been fishing the previous day. Again he spun a wedge and had a reasonable number of mackerel plus the odd pollack. I stuck to the fly (a littele Pearl Redgill in this case) and had some stonking (for Dorset) pollack which gave me epic struggles on the light gear. The best couple were between two and three pounds apiece and I went home well pleased (but wondering whether I should really have tried a livebait again). Even after all these years of fishing it's hard to predict the best course of action.

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 was Phil's first (in the dark) on the quiet morning.  He was unlucky to find things so slow.


Flogging away in calm conditions but it's nearly time to pack in. As the sun rises the fish go.

On the fly.

One of my smaller pollack on the third day.


A good pollack landed on the fly.

- and another.

Another beauty pictured swimming about after it dropped into a rock pool.