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).

Memories from down under.

I shall be away for most of January so I’m not likely to update the blog until early February. Anyway, just before Christmas I had an email – out of the blue – from Australia. John Howard, who was a student at the Lab. where I was working back in the 1980’s had been looking at the pictures of 2013 on the recent page of my website. Here’s what he said -

Hi Mike

Enjoyed your fishing pics – I still remember that big salmon we caught in the salmon hole on the Frome on the second day of the season back in the early 80’s – first time I had been salmon fishing - didn’t have a nibble the rest of the season. I flogged it to a hotel (?) in Wareham for 40 quid which paid for my permit! (students!!!!! ML)

Went to the barbers in Wareham the next day –

Barber “Some lucky bloke caught an 18 pound salmon on the Frome yesterday”

Me .....“ I know – you’re cutting his hair!”

Also, I still remember the trip fishing with young Martin (of pipe, wispy beard and blue A30) (another student at the Lab! ML)and a bag of bass caught in the surf on Rapala lures – probably the best fishing of my life.

Ah the memories.

Pleased to see you’re still enjoying the fishing and getting around - something I would like to emulate as I move towards retirement. (he can’t be old enough to retire!!!!!!! ML)

We settled over here from South Africa in 98 and life has been kind to me in the water industry. Get out on the occasional fishing charter - some big snapper down here in the Gulf St Vincent, South Australia and great fishing up in Queensland (snap of my son Matt with a nice coral trout a few years ago)

Anyway Mike best wishes to anyone that may remember me at the River Lab. - you have a great 2014 and who knows - one day I may drop by and say hello !


John Howard

I replied -

Hi John,

*******!!!!! that's a long time ago! The salmon fishing on the Frome is not what it was when you were here. The annual run is down from thousands to hundreds so I only catch them by accident these days (when I'm after seatrout). Ditto the bass fishing (it seems like tales of woe but it could be worse). Excessive netting has reduced the numbers of decent bass available and many of my mates go to Ireland for bassing or to the USA (for stripers) these days.

I'm still in touch with Martin but he doesn't fish much these days. Yes, I continue to tramp around the coast and fish for anything that swims. Clearly you enjoy your fishing too. I've caught snappers and kahawai in New Zealand but my favourite fishing is probably in the tropics - tarpon, bonefish, snook, jacks etc. I always fancied catching a barramundi. Perhaps one day?

Anyway, good to hear from you.

All the best for 2014,


I asked John if I could use his email on the website and he said OK and added a few more details –

Hi Mike,

Yes you're welcome to use the email... if you are describing the catch it was at lunchtime and bloody cold you were sporting the beige duffel coat with hood up over your face like a Franciscan monk ...we'd only been fishing about 5 mins when I got a very strong knock on the rod I remember you said it was bound to be a kelt, then when we got the fish up to the landing net I think the term you used was "Jammy Bugger!" which was repeated many times in the staff canteen later!

Anyway Mike if you pass by Adelaide give me a shout and well have a drink and a chat!



John also sent me a couple of pictures of the fish he mentioned. The fishing in Dorset in the eighties MUST have been good if he still finds it memorable eh?

Coral trout.

A nice 'grouper type' fish.


Now that's what I call a snapper.