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).

Fly fishing.

If I get up at the crack of dawn and if the weather is settled and the sea reasonably calm I usually expect to catch a few fish on the fly. However, this year things have been different. From my usual marks the pollack, which can be regarded as 'bankers' for this method, have been thin on the ground, bass have been almost absent and mackerel also difficult to come by. Anyway, I keep giving it a try because when the fish turn up it's such good fun.

The other morning I thought things were at last changing for the better. I'd taken two rods - a spinning rod armed with a big weighted Redgill and a fly rod with a little Delta eel. It was a beautiful morning with a flat calm sea, no wind and a clear sky. I started spinning in the dark waiting for the first few bites or (if I was lucky) the first fish to tell me it was worth casting a fly. Sure enough, as the sky lightened in the east, I began to get a few taps. I didn't hook any and it was clear that many of the tugs and pulls were from pollack barely as big as the lure. I picked up the fly rod and began to cast. Within seconds I was getting pulls and seeing swirls as pollack hurtled up from below and turned on the fly.

It wasn't long until I hooked a fish but it was so small that it flew out of the water as I struck and fell off the hook. The tiny pollack were mad on and soon I began to hook them but they were 'young of the year' and could not even tighten the line. Eventually I hooked a better one and it was a treat to feel the line whizzing out as it plunged for the kelp. The next bite was much more solid and the reel screamed as it was dragged round. 'Bass!' I thought but soon the throbbing runs and sheering about revealed a decent mackerel - they really can put up a show on fly gear. By the time I packed in after an hour's sport I had landed three mackerel and ten pollack - all on the fly. Fantastic!

There's a bit of a sequel to this story. The following morning I was down there again hoping for even better sport but I found that this time the sky was heavily overcast, a stiff wind (force 5 or 6) was blowing and a swell which was at least a metre high was rolling in. Again I began spinning but by the time I stopped fishing I could have counted the missed bites on the fingers of one hand and I never had a touch on the fly rod. That's fishing!

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 -

Tiny pollack.

There were hundreds of these little devils down there but they were difficult to hook.

A better one.

Not a monster but pollack of this size put up a good show.


These fish are a fly angler's dream - fast, powerful and with loads of stamina.

Close up.

Nicely hooked in the top lip on the small stainless hook.