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).

Bait matters.

My three year old grandson Joshua and his parents came to stay with us at the weekend. We did allsorts of things over the three days - a trip to Longleat to see the animals, a visit to Grandma's archaeology site (a Roman villa), a boat ride to Brownsea Island, a walk in the forest and so on. Joshua had never been fishing before so when we had a gap in the schedule we walked down to Worbarrow Bay with a couple of spinning rods and a dozen ragworm to see 'if we could catch a fish.'

Although it was a pleasant sunny day there was a chilly sea breeze. The beach was pretty well full of holiday makers so we found a gap where we could sit down, baited up and cast out paternosters with half-ounce weights and circle hooks baited with bits of ragworm. Josh preferred to play in the sand and throw pebbles into the sea so his dad and I held the rods. It wasn't long before we had a corkwing wrasse and then a ballan, and another one. They were typical of the fish caught on worm baits with the biggest not much more than half-a-pound. In our half-hour session we managed six wrasse - all lip hooked and returned in good condition. A good time was had by all.

A day or two before the Worbarrow trip Nigel, Phil and I had tried livebaiting for bass from a rocky ledge. Although it was early in the morning we were joined, as the sun came up, by two local chaps who were intent on catching wrasse. They had brought a bucket of hard crabs for bait and were using simple paternosters which, apart from larger hooks and a bit more lead, were not dissimilar from the ones we'd fished our ragworms on. To cut a long story short we bass anglers only caught mackerel (live baits) - and had no bass bites - but the wrasse men landed two nice ballans before we left them to it. The wrasse were MUCH bigger than the ones we had on worms and this is characteristic of fish caught on hard crab baits. Of course they might have caught decent fish on worms but it's likely that the corkwings and baby ballans would have got there first. Bait matters!

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 -

Family fishing.

Joshua looks on while dad and grandad hold the rods.

Got one!

Dan with a modest, worm caught, ballan.  His first fish for decades.


A decent ballan caught on hard crab.


A bigger ballan which also fancied a meal of crab.