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).

Mullet on the fly.

I had just returned from my weekend away when Nigel gave me a ring. He wanted to know whether I fancied an evening of fly fishing for mullet on the coast. Well with the glorious weather, a high spring tide at ten past eight and a report that the mullet had been present in numbers the previous evening - how could I refuse?

My pal was already fishing as I trudged along the shore to the chosen spot but the tide still had an hour-and-a-half to go. On the way I passed a couple of anglers already dabbling (one of them was my friend David) but only a few surface feeding fish were visible. We expected them to 'thicken up' as the tide rose. For once we were right and it wasn't long before shoals of thicklips were gubbling away at the floating Coelopa maggots. I'd decided to try a new design (for me) of fly without the addition of maggots on the hook. Of course I KNOW that I get more bites with live maggots but an effective maggotless fly would be a sort of Holy Grail. For one thing fly without maggots could be cast further and more often to fish which were feeding at distance or in a stiff breeze. Anyway, it was a good chance to compare results with Nigel's baited fly approach.

As it turned out for a good hour both of us struggled to get a bite. My unbaited fly contacted a couple of fish but they soon came unstuck and on one occasion the big scale on my hook point told the story. The fish had simply bumped into the fly. However, Nigel was having no better luck so I persisted. The fish were pretty wary and every time the fly line extended in the direction of a group of mullet there would be a few swirls as they submerged and moved away. Now we've often encountered this sort of thing before so we were not too surprised. As high tide approached Nigel had a two pounder and I landed a nice fish of about four pounds which I had to play for a good ten minutes before I could take its picture. However, the hook was on the outside of the mouth so I doubt that it actually took the unbaited fly.

As the sun went down behind the cliff I left Nigel fishing and began to walk back. On the way I stopped to chat to David who was still flogging away. Apparently he had found it no easier than us and the nearest he got to a fish was a good one which unhooked itself as he drew it over the net. What a downer! As we talked I could see that in the gathering gloom the mullet had come really close and were feeding madly. I couldn't resist another flick before I went home and within minutes I saw my little (still unbaited) foam fly disappear into the mouth of a mullet. I was in! the fish didn't fight anything like my first one and it was only a few minutes before I beached it. David took a couple of pictures and I set off back to the car. Anyway, it was a beautiful evening and I can't complain having landed two good mullet.

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 -

The first.

this one may or may not have had a go at the fly.


It looks better without me in the picture.

The second.

I expect I might have had one or two more if I'd hung on longer.  They were certainly feeding well as I left.