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).

Nothing big.

The mackerel, scad and garfish turned up before last week's storms and me and my pals were hoping that the rough weather hadn't put them off again. In fact I've been a couple of times to different spots to see what the state of play was."

My first session was to fish a tide race early in the morning. When I arrived in the dark I found someone was already there. "Buns!" I muttered but then the shadowy figure said "Hello Mike." and all was well. There is just room for two people to fish the spot as long as they're pals. To cut a long story short the two of us flogged away for a while without a bite. Conditions looked perfect with a strong run of tide and clear water but our plugs and Evo-Stix were totally ignored apart from a garfish foul hooked on my pals surface lure. Not a vestige of a fish was to be seen for three-quarters-of-an-hour then suddenly the water erupted with whitebait and they were clearly beaing harrassed by larger fish which boiled and slashed only a metre or two from where we stood. We couldn't buy a take and (unlike me) I changed lures trying a Mepps and a tiny spratlike Rapala - all to no avail. It was ultra-frustrating. Clearly the fish were preoccupied with tiny sprats.

It was just about packing in time and I said to my pal that I was going to have one last lure change. I rooted about in the bag and dug out my largest Slandra, commenting that I might as well try something ridiculous. On my fourth or fifth cast, much to my surprise, I was in. It turned out to be a modest (but not tiny) bass which was duly, landed, photographed and returned. It just goes to show that 'matching the hatch' doesn't always pay.

My second trip was to a ledge where I generally catch pollack and mackerel which I can use as livebaits for bass. I started before dawn using a single hooked wedge and as it turned out my first fish was a garfish. Not ideal for bait. However it wasn't long until I had a mackerel which I put onto the circle hook and allowed to swim off. For the rest of the session I simply stood, holding the livebait rod. Although I know I could have been catching fish on lures or flies I'm sure that sooner or later I'll get a good bass on the livebait. Patience Mike!!!

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 -

Surprise bass.

They were feeding on sprats and I really didn't expect a catch on such a big lure.

Close up.

The big hook has released nicely.


This one took the wedge on my second trip.


The single hook generally just nicks them in the lip so they survive very well.


A mackerel has no bother carrying my 6/0 circle hook around.