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).

Tide race fishing.

Yesterday I checked my fishing calender to see what the best bet might be for some sport this morning. It seemed that it was likely to be the last decent tide of the series for me to access a local tide race from the shore. The timing is critical because I can only get to the rocks at about half ebb and then it's possible to fish for an hour or so before the kelp is above the surface.

This year the bass fishing on my local shores has been patchy and even the died in the wool lure fishers who go whatever the prospects have often blanked. Anyway I felt the urge to catch a bass so I decided to give it go. When I reached the shore it was still pretty dark so I waited until I could see enough to risk wading to the best stance. Meanwhile I tried a big Slandra soft plastic through a lesser race. I was using my old 4Surespin rod and a Stradic 4000 loaded with 17lb Nanofil braid and by casting across the flow I was able to swing the lure down the current without reeling until it was immediately 'downstream' of my stance. Then I reeled in slowly and cast again. For twenty minutes I didn't have a touch.

Now the tide was falling and the cloudy sky was getting a little lighter so I decided to risk wading across to a better position. The race was in full flow as I stood on a rocky outcrop and again cast the big plastic lure across the torrent. On about the tenth cast there awas a sharp pull, unmistakeably a bass, but I didn't hook it. A few more casts failed to induce a repeat so I decided that the lure may have been too large for my 'customer' and went back to the bag to change to a smaller weedless version. I chose a white Redgill Evostix with a metallic green back (not that I think it makes any difference) armed with a Varivas Hooking Master hook and before tying it on the trace I slipped on a small cone lead to aid casting and get it down a few inches in the torrential flow.

Back to the rocky point, cast and retrieve, cast and retrieve. A pluck just as the lure came to the edge of the main flow. I was encouraged. Cast again and let it swing round - Wallop!!! I was in! The tight clutch screamed and line was torn from the spool as a bass struggled in the strong current. The fish was no monster so it was only a minute or two before I could guide it through the kelp and japweed onto the ledge. A three pounder in mint condition. I carried my catch back to the bag to have its picture taken and then unhooked it and slipped it back into the crystal clear water. Wonderful. Back to my stance and cast again to the same spot. The line swung round in the flow and once again I was into a fish virtually identical to my first one. The whole exercise was repeated but this time I didn't bother with a picture because I was keen to see if there were more bass about. In the next ten minutes I missed two more bites and that was that. The tide was too low for sensible fishing and even the weedless lure kept snagging in the kelp. After pulling it free from the leathery fronds for the third time I gave them best and returned for breakfast. All in all a very pleasant session. Must try it again.

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!

Bass really are fantastic fish - whatever their size.

Close up.

The big, Hooking Master  hook has done its job and is lodged in the jaw.  How did I miss the other bites?