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).

Down to the sea.

The alarm clock went off at 04:20 - it was a shock to the system. I rolled out of bed and hurriedly dressed for action in a heavy jacket, chesties, woolly hat with ear flaps, gloves, the lot; it's not warm in the early mornings at this time of the year. I was desperate to give the bass a try even though, it's still pretty early in the season and not many have been caught locally. The conditions seemed likely to be far from perfect.

As I hiked along the shore my spirits rose. It was good to be down on the coast again after a winter of grayling and pike fishing. The rod was my little 4Surespin and I'd clipped on a new lure that I'd picked up at the A.G.M. of B.A.S.S. the previous weekend. To be honest seeing all my friends at the AGM had fired my enthusiasm to give it a go. Anyway, the lure was a soft plastic, white, GrubZ resembling one of my own home made Slandras. I'd rigged it weedlessly on a 6/0 Varivas Hooking Master hook (my favourites for weedless fishing because of the very wide gape). It was still pretty dark when I began to cast and I'd positioned myself to get the wind more or less behind me, more to keep warm than because I thought it might improve my chances (although I fish 'better' when I'm not feeling chilly anyway).

The conditions looked reasonable. As far as I could see in the poor light the water was not too murky and there was clearly a fair bit of loose kelp in the edge. The lure sailed out OK and I slowly inched it back. When it came close enough to be seen I could detect the sinuous wriggling of the tail - perfect! For twenty minutes or so I cast and retrieved, fanning the casts out from the water's edge to maximum range. Nothing! Not even a strand of weed on the lure By now it was getting fairly light and I could see that the lure was fishing shallower than my usual Slandra. I fished on for a further ten minutes without a sniff of a bass and then I decided that I might as well compare the behaviour of the grub with my usuals.

To cut a long story short the GrubZ fished at or just under the surface, however slowly I reeled and despite the big hook that I'd fitted. It never got weeded up. My Slandra (half Slug-Go Half Super Sandra) sank slowly, fished a foot or two under the surface and picked up the odd bit of weed. The Evo Redgill, with a protruding hook and an integral weight, fished as deep as I cared to go and gathered weed on every chuck. So - I now have three similar lures which will deal with everything from dense weed to clear conditions and will fish from sea bed to surface. Very handy indeed! My fishless session certainly wasn't wasted and I'll be trying again soon.

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 -

Not bad.

Reasonable bass fishing conditions even though it was a bit cold and windy.

Three decent lures.

A Redgill, a Slandra and a Grub - covering a range of conditions.