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).

Good fishing down under.

Alan Bulmer, my good friend who lives in New Zealand has recently been on holiday on Great Barrier Island. While he was there he went, with his family, on a boat fishing trip which he's reported on his Facebook page. The fishing was so good I thought that it was worth repeating on my BLOG so here it is slightly edited by me:-

While on Great Barrier Island we decided to splash out on a half day fishing charter with 'Hooked on Barrier' charters. The boat was in excellent condition, almost identical to four years ago when we last went out, and the skipper Chris was once again fantastic. Highly recommended.

We started by trolling Rapala CD 28 Deep Diving lures as we exited Whangaparapara harbour and within minutes were hooking kingfish. The first was only 60cm so back it went but no sooner had the lure been re-deployed than it was slaughtered by a bigger fish. Tim (Alan's younger son) played it like he'd been doing it forever and within minutes a 15 lb. legal kingfish was cradled in his arms. The whanau decided to keep it and this was thoroughly justified as it provided the best sashimi that I've ever had, bar none.

After that the lures started being hammered by kahawai. These were amongst the biggest, fattest, fittest kahawai I've seen with most nudging 7 lb. We lost many, landed plenty and kept three prime specimens for the smoker. Hamish (Alan's elder son) hooked one on his 7' Okuma soft bait rod and I've never seen a spool rotate so rapidly. It set sail for Westhaven and spat the hook on the fourth jump. Epic!

Next we opted to drift and anchor in a number of spots, targeting snapper. The bait soakers (You'll gather that Alan's not keen on bait fishing) were kept fully employed reeling in tiny specimens. Meanwhile the three soft baiters opted to lob plastic and target larger fish. In the end the numbers favoured the bait fishermen whereas soft bait cleaned up in size and quality. Only four snapper made it to the bin and all were lure caught. The smallest was 3.5 lb. and the largest 11 lb. My only contribution was the 7 lb. fish pictured.

In fact, all of the fish that we took home were lure caught. Great result!

How about that? Excellent sport by any standard. I've still to catch myself a kingfish so perhaps next time I visit my youngest son Dan, who lives in Perth, Australia, I might get the chance to visit Auckland and have a go for them?

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 -


Tim's yellowtail kingfish is a real cracker.

One for the old man.

This is Alan's seven pound snapper.


I think Alan is stealing a bit of the glory from someone elses fish.