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).

Blanks on bait.

I've had a couple of goes at livebaiting this week - both futile. For some reason the larger bass (and their small bretheren) seem to have been absent from the places that I usually catch them by this method. Anyway, Nil Desperandum as they say, I decided to give it another go even though I had an invitation to go plugging with Bill and Nigel to a fairly reliable spot.

My first session lasted an-hour-and-a-quarter at first light. In fact I set out too late and it was a clear sky so when I began to fish it was already quite bright. Straight away I was into pollack on the fly and although they were not very big they fought like stink. After I'd had three or four I switched to the wedge. I had another pollack and then immediately caught a nice mackerel which I transferred to the circle hook on my livebait rod. I lowered it into the sea but it didn't swim away. Why didn't it swim away? I realised that as I'd put the rod together in the dark I'd twisted the line round it. Bugger! I fiddled about with my bait dangling on the end of the line. Eventually, just as I sorted things out, the bait unhooked itself and swam away. I couldn't catch another so I went back to the fly gear. The pollack now were tiny - always a good sign that it's time to go home. I went.

The following day, when I could have gone with my pals, I decided to try livebaiting again. this time I was on the rocks in plenty of time. I flogged with the fly and had nothing for ages. Then I caught a mackerel. Did it go??? I landed it and put it on as a bait. It swam like a good one for three-quarters-of-an-hour but it was untouched. I later heard that the lads had had one nice bass each on Sluggills - ah well, you can't win 'em all.

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 -


typical Purbeck pollack - not big but feisty.

Another pollack.

This one took a fly. Even at this size they nearly pulled my arm off.

Tiny pollack.

When I start catching these it's time to go.


This one caught on the fly.  Another hard fight.


Lip hooked like this they swim for ever (unless a bass takes them).

Bill's bass.

Nice fish nicely hooked on a home made Sluggill.

Nigel's in.

Nigel begins to play their second bass of the session.