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).

Fish and blanks.

Last year I did very well by freelining large baits close to the edge of the sea on the first of the flood so, not surprisingly, I've had a few attempts at the same thing this season. I suppose I've tried eight times so far - usually for an hour or and hour-and-a-half. I've managed four bites, landed one modest bass and lost a very big fish after playing it in. Not quite what I wanted. I had two of these attempts in the past week but neither produced a bite apart from a few 'blenny nibbles'.

Now I'm a pretty patient sort of bloke but even I need to catch the odd fish to keep up my enthusiasm. I'd been looking forward to taking my grandson Ben fishing this morning so I was disappointed when he said that he had to work and wouldn't be able to go. Anyway, yesterday I had email from my pal Rob suggesting that we went this morning as he was going to have a busy weekend. I was also tied up from Friday to Sunday so I jumped at the chance of an hour's fishing.

We met in the cliff-top car park just after five a.m. and made our way down to the shore. I'd only taken my light spinning rod and my fly gear but Rob had the full set - spinning, fly and livebait tackle. We were ready for anything. When we began to fish it was just approaching low water and there were beds of kelp breaking the surface in places. Rob picked up his fly rod and I began spinning with a modified Mepps armed with a single hook. Almost at once I began to get bites but, unusually, I couldn't hook anything. In fact, although he wasn't getting many takes, Rob was first to hook a fish on his fly tackle. He called to let me know that he was 'in' but before we saw the culprit it came unstuck. We flogged on and by now I was often missing several pulls per cast. I checked the hook but it seemed OK and I began to wonder whether garfish might be the culprits. Eventually I managed to contact a fish and it turned out to be a very small scad. When Rob had a similar specimen on the fly it confirmed that these were probablt responsible for the frustrating takes. Rob switched to a wedge and promptly had a couple of mackerel, the smaller of which he attached as a livebait and set swimming in hopes of tempting a bass. I also fancied trying to catch a bass and switched to a J11f black and silver Rapala.

Almost at once I was into a mackerel - well hooked on the middle treble. We persisted with our tactics more or less until we packed in at about half-past-six. Rob briefly stopped livebaiting and caught some more mackerel while I had several on the Rapala and eventually landed a small bass (typical size for the spot we were fishing). I guess that if we'd wanted to we could have caught loads more mackerel and by scaling down lure sizes could have landed plenty of scad. As usual this year the pollack seemed to be absent and bass were clearly thin on the ground but it was a pleasant morning and should keep us happy until we can try agin next week.

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 -

Mackerel on a Rapala

Although they are eating smaller fish mackerel are game to tackle anything.

Bass on a Rapala.

At least this was what I was after - if not as large as I would have liked.