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).

Not my days!

I have been catching fish lately - mackerel, pollack, chub, pike, perch, seatrout have all fallen to my lures but from my point of view the bass have been elusive. What's made it worse is that my pals fishing the same places or even at the same times have often caught some nice fish. Of course they too have their blanks and I never really mind who catches the fish but it's only too easy to become paranoid about what you might (or might not) be doing wrong. In truth because we tend to adopt similar tactics and techniques it all boils down to luck or more correctly random chance.

I'm sufficiently long in the tooth not to be too bothered by my failures and I know that, given time, I will again catch some good fish but just to show you what I mean I'll describe several recent sessions over a period of a few days. On the first occasion I decided to try a squid bait on a ledge where Nigel had caught three bass and I had blanked (while fishing beside him) the day before. I did manage a tiny schoolie on my squid bait but that was all. My mates Bill and Nigel were spinning further along the same stretch. When I followed them along as Bill said "the bass must have known Mike was coming as they disappeared as soon as he arrived." Between them they'd had five fish with Nigel's the best at about five pounds.Bill was using a Slug-Gill and Nigel had his best fish on a plug Me - zilch!!!!!! Bill took the pictures. The following day I copied their approach, better conditions, same time and state of tide I thought I could guarantee fish - nothing!

Next time I went with Nigel to a different stretch. We fished for a long morning (Nige had a day off work) with nothing to show for it until I decided to try freelining a mackerel head in a patch of murky, weedy water. After I'd been fishing for five minutes my pal decided it was a good idea to have a rest and joined me, baiting his circle hook with a mackerel fillet. We sat, side by side with our baits about five yards out just beyond the weedy margin. After about fifteen minutes Nigel had a bite. It did not develop into the usual run but from the odd knock and twitch it was obviously still there. Eventually he tightened to find that he was into a good fish. After a spirited battle we beached a six-and-a-quarter pound bass. Perhaps it was a bit on the thin side but nonetheless a beauty. That was that. We had no more bites.

So, in several sessions all I managed was one tiny bass. If I was superstitious I'd think that the fates were against me!

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 -

Nigel's in!

A good bass surges away.

Nearly there.

Nigel reaches for the line as the fish slides into the surf.


Beached, with the Japanese plug still in its mouth.


One of bill's bass taken on a homemade, hybrid lure.

Bait caught

Nigels six pounder caught on mackerel fillet.


A cracker ready to be returned.