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 of the moment.

I've persisted with my bait fishing plan. Once again the tidal cycle has come round to the point where I can have a short session on the first of the flood tide before holiday makers arrive on the beaches. My pal Phil having heard that I was catching a few bass fancied giving it a go so, the other day we arrived at the shore armed with our spinning rods, circle hooks and mackerel heads/fillets. The sea was fairly rough and the water was quite murky but the worst thing was the stiff westerly wind which makes it difficult to freeline because it blows the braid about. Loose weed in the water can also be a hindrance. Anyway, we chose to fish a gully where the wind would be more or less at our backs and where the amount of drifting salad was minimal. I fished one side and Phil went to the other and we each flicked our baits a couple of metres out.

The tide was already rising and we sat patiently waiting for some action. It was perhaps half-an-hour after we'd begun when I saw Phil scramble to his feet. Clearly something was happening. From the way he held the rod it was obvious that whatever was at the bait wasn't running off at speed but after a few seconds he closed the bale arm of his reel and the rod bent into a fish. I quickly reeled in and nipped up to get the camera from my bag (placed safely above the potential waveline). Since I was on the opposite side of the gully I could not get any close up shots but I watched as he played the bass and eventually slid it in on a wave onto a small ledge. Not a monster but a nice fish all the same. Magic!

We had nothing else that session but the following morning I opted to have another go on my own. I was again using the head and shoulders of a mackerel and this time I tried a different spot. It was a good deal calmer than on our previous session but the water was still pretty dirty and the edge of the sea was just a solid carpet of loose kelp and other types of brown seaweed. I chose to put my bait in about a metre of water close in to a ledge where I reasoned that the fish were likely to make their way inshore as the tide rose. Again it was probably half-an-hour before I had any action. The first indication was one of those plucks that you aren't sure about - was it my imagination? No, there it was again something was fiddling with the bait. I drew in a little bit of line with my left hand and could feel that there was a fish showing interest. The movements were slow and quite unbasslike. However I was patient and shortly the line began to move in a more positive way - not out to sea but in towards the drifting kelp in the edge. Now it was running out through my fingers so I closed the bale and sure enough the whining clutch, the dragging pull and the heavy thrashing showed I was into a nice bass. There were no snags to speak of so it was simply a matter of letting the fish tire and leading it ashore to have its picture taken. Back it went and after a couple of seconds with a sweep of its tail it shot away.

Later I had an email to say that Phil had tried the same spot at the same state of the tide that evening. He'd actually seen a bass and dropped his mackerel fillet close to it. The result was his best fish this year. Fantastic! The'plan' doesn't just work for 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 -

Phil's in.

His rod begins to bend to the hooked bass.


Nice fish!  He has it ashore on a little ledge.


I'll say he is!

Next morning.

Almost seven pounds and if anything a little on the thin side.

Nicely hooked.

The 6/0 hook is actually in the scissors on the other side of its mouth.


Another satisfied angler.