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).

What a hero!

My pal Bill is even madder than me. He’s been determined to continue his bass fishing through the winter and has pressed on with lure fishing even though recently things have been SLOW to say the least. Anyway, he sends me emails pretty regularly and it’s interesting to see what’s happening. I should comment that last winter he caught fish more or less throughout. The emails cover the first couple of weeks in December.

On his first trip he fished for over three hours with a range of lures including a Redgill, Slug-gill, a Patchinko and a Savage gear eel (he likes trying different lures). It was pretty calm and not much wind and the tide was coming in. Anyone who’s looked at Bills website will know that his frequent companion is Poppy, his little dog. He says they hadn’t been fishing in ages & for once the weather was nice and they decided to give it a go. Bill thought it looked promising with lots of nice fresh kelp in close, conditions where we often see bass in the margins ...but not that day.

He managed to lose a Slug-gill on the boulders and then fished over the ledges with the Patchinko. When doing this he snagged a sandeel (A personal best and my first from Purbeck as he says). His comment was “If 'eels are about where are the bloody bass?”

He pressed on for another mile or so with a 16g Savage Gear eel (He really likes these) before turning round and heading back. Despite it being a glorious sunny & at times hot afternoon Poppy & Bill didn’t see a soul on the beach at all. As he said “An enjoyable blank and there’s always tomorrow....”

The following day he started earlier in the morning and spun for four hours using a Redgill, Slug-gill, Feed Shallow and Gunfish. This time it was round about low water and it was windier with a bigger swell on exposed stretches.

He says he gave it a good hour with the Feed Shallow and Slug-gill into foaming waves, with no joy. By 09:00 he decided to head back and on the way he caught a wrasse (his first on a lure). In a gully with loose kelp he could see one big bass tail sticking in the air. On with the Slug-gill and flog away, no joy! Tried a Gunfish as it was calm to see if anything was further out, no joy! Back to the old faithful Redgill, no joy! Then revert to the unweighted Slug-gill fished slowly through the joy! (Got the message?)

Everytime he reached the point of packing it in he'd see another bass and have to stay a while longer, but he eventually called it quits at 1100. As this was his first wrasse on a lure and therefore a "Personal Best" he says he should be chuffed.....but isn’t. After landing the "horrible brown thing" and discovering that it wasn’t a bass he wasn’t a happy man. He says that there there weren’t many bass showing and that maybe it was the same one he kept seeing but he didn’t think so.

On his third and final trip there were two other anglers fishing as well. This was a long session from 07:00 to 13:00 with Redgill, Slug-gill and Slug-Go. It was windy with a huge tide – as Bill said :- “Very big tide, very, very BIG swell\waves, very coloured water all 3 anglers blanked. A long session even by my standards.” As high tide approached he was fishing with his back almost against the cliff, the swell was huge but he was safe at the top of the beach. Very coloured and a lot of weed, and that was why he stayed so long, Wanting to see if anything turned up at low water, but it didn’t.

What a hero!!!!

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 heroic animal braves all weathers to assist her deranged master.


What an unfortunate fish but still a PB.


I'd have been chuffed to catch this beautiful fish when there was nothing doing.  You just can't please some people.


Waves and weed - never easy fishing.


Not a total failure - Bill picked up this lure on his travels.