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).

Fish at last!

It's been a struggle for many sea anglers this Spring. Of course the period from February to March is often a bit slow, to say the least but this year with the persistent cold winds everything seems to be late. I always think that the garden and/or the wild plants are good guides and I reckon many things are weeks later than usual. Anyway, it's no good moaning and for sure you have to keep going or you'll never catch anything.

This week I went to the coast twice. I've been desperate to catch something on the fly gear and usually by May I'm hooking a variety of species. However, I tend to err on the side of caution so I take both my fly gear and my spinning rod with me - just in case. My first trip was a bit of a disaster as I mentioned in my latest freshwater blog page. In fact it was so rough that I didn't really fish despite being up and on the coast at the crack of dawn. Undaunted, two days later I set the alarm clock for 03:40 and hurried down to the same spot. This time the surfer's website had got their facts right and it was more or less calm - certainly easily fishable. I arrived just as the first slight glow was appearing on the eastern horizon. I alternated between fly fishing and spinning (with a wedge and a small teaser) for forty minutes without even a sniff then, suddenly, at 05:20 I felt a slight tap on the spinning rod. I was certain it was a fish. Encouraged I flogged on and five minutes later another tap followed by a slight tension on the line indicated that I had a 'customer'.

My catch turned out to be a tiny, pollack which had taken the dropper. The fish wasn't just small, it was decidedly skinny. However, a fish is a fish and after recent events I was quite pleased. I fished on and a few minutes later I had another bite which turned out to be another, slightly larger but still emaciated, pollack; again on the Delta eel. Presumably these little fish have, like the anglers, been having a hard time catching a meal in the cold water. My next bite was much better but I missed it. I think it may have been a larger pollack. That was almost the end of my session. I tried the fly rod again and had one more tap before I packed in and went for breakfast. Not spectacular sport but much better than nothing. If it stays warm and calm I expect the next wek or so will see the first bass and possibly even mullet and mackerel taking the flies. Nothing like being an optimist eh?

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 -

At last!

My first pollack, not a monster.

---and another.

Worth having the little plastic eel on as a dropper if only to see what's about.