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).

Bass fishing again.

My pal Ben has been pretty busy with work and family commitments for quite a while. In fact I don't think we fished together at all last year so I was pleased when he rang the other day to say he was free for an early morning's bass fishing. Ben picked me up at 04:45, in the dark, with the rain still pelting down (about time the plants in my garden would say) and we drove down to the coast. It was the bottom half of an ebbing tide so we weren't too optimistic, but as we got the gear out of the car the rain eased off and stopped. At this point the wind had dropped and there was only a light offshore breeze, it wasn't even too cold so our spirits rose (it doesn't take much).

My other pals have been catching the odd bass recently so at least we felt that we were in with a chance. At about 05:30 we started fishing with two completely different lures - always a good policy to see what might be working best. Ben was using a 12cm, unjointed plug and I fished with an 18cm, pearl, Evo Redgill. When we started to fish we couldn't really see whether the water was coloured but it was soon obvious that there was very little loose drifting weed and both our lures worked well. After a good half or three-quarters of an hour flogging away at our chosen spots Ben moved along past me a couple of hundred metres and began to fish again. I was just beginning to think about a move myself when I heard him call and looked up to see that he was into a fish.

I reeled in quickly, grabbed my bag and camera and set off as fast as a could towards the action. In fact it probably took me five minutes to get to him because of the dangerously sloping, algae covered, boulders that I had to traverse. For most of the time my eyes were fixed on the ground to avoid slipping or breaking an ankle and when I looked up I was just in time to see Ben's rod straighten as the fish came unstuck. Unusually for bass, after splashing about on the surface, the fish had worked its way round a submerged boulder and somehow managed to release itself from the trebles on the plug. Buns!!! or words to that effect.

On the bright side we were encouraged by the action and decided to continue fishing and to try one or two more spots further along the shore. We trudged on having a few casts in each likely place but there seemed to be no sign of any more bass. Eventually it was time to turn round and head back if we were to be home for breakfast. At this point we each decided that a change of lures might be worthwhile for the few casts along the return route. I changed to a Slandra and Ben, after considering the merits of a popper, decided to give a big Redgill a go. He had a bit of trouble changing the lure (split ring problem) so I left him fiddling about.

By now it was just about low tide and there wasn't much water anywhere so I wandered out along a big rocky ledge to find a metre or so of depth. The waves were foaming over the rocks around my knees and the water was crystal clear over thick beds of wrack and rough boulders. Quite bassy conditions. The breeze was now blowing in my face so I couldn't cast the unweighted, soft-plastic lure more than a few metres. I flicked it out and let it drift round with the flow. It looked amazingly lifelike with the sinuous, wriggling tail. I cast again and this time, as the lure swung across in front of me, there was a hard snatch and I was into a hard fighting bass. The fish was no monster but it was in mint condition and fought like stink. I was hoping that my bass wouldn't come off like the earlier fish had but I need not have worried, the big, 6/0 hook was well fixed in the side of its mouth. Magic! As I slid the fish ashore I could see Ben approaching along the rocks so I carried the bass back to show him and we took a couple of pictures for the diary. We fished on for a little while after my catch but there were no more bites. On the way home we were agreed that two bites and one fish in just over a couple of hour's fishing was a pretty good return for effort this early in the year. We'll be back!

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 -

Got one!

My bass arches its body in typical fashion as it rests on the rocks.  Note the Teklon Rod and the Mitchell reel - not a single wind knot all last year.


This shows the lure better and also the excellent condition of the fish.

Wet but pleased!

Not often I get a picture of me with a fish.  The smile shows that I was well satisfied.