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).

Western bass (and trout)!

Following up the recent pollack fishing piece that I had from Graeme Wilkinson I had an email from my old epal Eoghan Lynch in the Emerald Isle (We've never met). He's recently had a short holiday bass fishing in the south west of Eire and obviously struck it exactly right.

Hi Mike,

The holiday was was great. This is a report I posted recently about it. Didn’t get one mack so couldn’t try the livebait..? Final tally was 27 bass and 12 trout from Thur Avo to Sunday Morning. Few pollack too.

So …! what can I say? When it's fishing well it's amazing. We have built up a hell of a lot of knowledge on this area and it has taken years. I think this is our 15th year fishing here.

Anyway, when we are walking across to a mark that I know fishes well at this stage of the tide I am eager as hell. I'm sure it looked like we were walking fast-forward, like a Benny Hill sketch. We rig up our Pezon et Michel Gunki/Diawa Bass spinning rods and Shimano 4000 reels with a couple of Shallow Feeds to start off with. I also carry a Gunki rigged with heavier braid and a green Kilty For extra distance when I need it. I'm slagging steve as he is all over the place, braid twisted, leader knot not tied and he is basically all flustered. (I know the feeling well M.L.)He eventually takes one cast and his rod doubles over..! I take one look to the sky and say “What a place! I love you!”. The rest of the weekend was very similar.

Arriving at marks for the special hour and moving off again. We fished Thur morning at 2 hours after high water and first light and I missed a clonker after 30 mins. Fish on for about 20 secs, stripping line - it ran and I could do nothing - before throwing the hooks. We wait until two hours before low and walk to another mark that we expect to hold fish at this time. First cast bang, fish not hooked. I shout over to Steve, as I cast again, that I have just missed one when my rod buckles over. We take a few bass each in turn before they move on after about thirty minutes of madness. We then head to another mark that fishes on the rise for a few hours and we take bass and trout almost immediately. I must point out we were not targeting trout and all were returned straight away. I took just one pic of a trout. We basically repeated that pattern on thur/fri and sat. They never let us down.

On thursday night on the walk back to the house, the tide is low and we can walk via the beach to the pier. We are in shin high water and it's pitch black. Steve says he wants to try a cast or two. I laugh at him saying its pitch dark and we have white shallow feeds on etc…. On his second cast his rod doubles over and he starts a fight with what was the biggest bass of the weekend. A fish estimated at approx.five pounds. That’s the only thing I could say was disappointing, the bass were not big. I spoke to another angler who'd had a bass of six-and-a-half pound and saw it so I can verify it, but that was the biggest I heard about. When we had some many hours of fish attacking lures ye cant really complain. We really got it right and were in the right place at the right time. When the fish moved so did we and we found them again on the follow-on marks. I won't bore ye with the details of each session but we had about three or four bass each per session or the equivalent in sea trout. On one session I had five trout before I turned to my mate and said "Let's go, we’re just taking trout, no bass." We later learned that the other angler we met arrived just as we left and had three bass. DOH!!! So much for trying to be kind to the fish.

I tried every lure I had with me from Shallow Feeds, DoLive Sticks, Senko Worms, etc. You name it! The winners, by a mile, were the Feed Shallows and green Kiltys. Even the Fiiish Black Minnow didn’t raise any interest. Like I said, I fish two rods and alternate quickly between lures to cover as much ground as poss.and nearly every time the bass took my green Kilty. I usually take a few casts with the lighter Daiwa rod and soft plastic, then switch to the Gunki and Kilty for a few casts.

We've had sessions where we have had more fish in the past but this weekend every session was great. No blanks. Weird thing was - no mackerel..? Saw a few caught off the pier but every year there are less and less macks showing at this venue. Sad really. But ye just can't beat taking a fish on light tackle, light rod, 15 Ib braid and nothing else. That moment where the lure stops dead in the water and the rod starts bouncing or the fish takes line… what a rush! Some of these bass were small but fought so hard it was unreal. We didn’t keep one fish all weekend. However, many Guinness were lost just to bring you this report.

I would like to thank Steve (not dude above) and Jim H. amongst others for some pm's and mails on when and where to try. Always good to have another angler's opinion.(I'll say "Aye!" to that. M.L.).

Eoghan Lynch

How about that! I could almost smell the seaweed and feel the bass kicking on my line as I read Eoghan's report. Wonderful stuff! To be honest I don't have most of the lures mentioned and several of them were unknown to me. They obviously cast well and I guess that they are excellent for sea trout as well as other marine predators. Presumably wedges, Tobys and the like would be similar. It just goes to show how lure fishing has exploded in recent years. Just one last thing - why don't we get more sea trout here on my patch in Dorset?

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 -

Green Kilty

I guess that there may be a number of similar metal lures that would do the same job.

White ? Kilty.

Not sure about the lure - must ask Eoghan about the single hook.

Sea trout!

A lot of colour for a sea caught fish.