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).

The (not so) great Brazilian fishing experiment.

My third son Richard is a fanatical angler with similar interests to me (in other words he'll fish anyhow for anything). Not long ago he aquired a kayak and he's been trying to suss the fishing at his home near Maceio, Brazil:-

Hi Dad,

As you know I decided to try something a little different over the last month. I trolled from my kayak with the same set-up (jointed Rapala with a small rubber eel dropper) over the same habitats (reef, sand and eel grass). In fact, I paddled the same route every trip: past the fish trap, out to the reef, parallel to the edge of the reef, back into the beach through the eel grass bed and then back the same way. Each trip took about 1 hour (approximately 2 km of trolling) and I either fished as it was getting dark or as it was getting light.

I managed 22 trips and caught 41 fish and 6 different species: graysby, coney, tiger grouper (all groupers), lizardfish, snapper and a mojarra. My best was a slightly disappointing 1 1/2lb snapper. I also caught a giant squirrefish (1/2lb) on the dropper just before the 'experiment' started. I will quickly summarise the (few) things I learnt (most of which you could have guessed!):

1. The fish were bigger on the Rapala than the dropper. All the snapper, the coney, and the majority of the graysbys were caught on the Rapala.

2. The lizardfish preferred the dropper (see figure)

3. Groupers live on the reef, lizardfish live on the sand and snappers live in the eel grass (see figure)

4. You catch a greater diversity of fish using a dropper

5. It is quite common to catch a fish on the Rapala and the Dropper at the same time (I did this three times)

6. Tide does not seem to make too much difference - you get less fish at high tide (the Rapala fishing too high in the water column?) and low tide (the lures get caught on the reef making it hard to fish)

7. Dropper colour seems to make bugger all difference - I started with a white eel and finsihed with a black eel. Both seemed to be equally effective.

8. You should always check your hooks at the end of a session - I fished with a dropper that had lost the tip of the hook for at least 4 sessions, there you have it. I'll keep using a dropper until I lose a large fish! If nothing else it adds to the interest and the species diversity. Sorry some of the photos are crappy - I'm having a few technical problems with my camera.



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 -


Nice little groupers.


Look at those spots.


Our least favourite fish but good biters.

Mutton snapper.

beautiful and tasty - if they're big enough to eat.


Reef for groupers sand for lizardfish.


Rapala for groupers, plastic eel for lizardfish.