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).

Christmas 2015 - A year of fishing!

Hi All.

We had more than our share of trips this year. After going to Brazil at the beginning of the year we paid another visit to Australia and New Zealand in the Autumn. The Australia trip was purely to visit the family (Dan, Deanne, Joshua, forthcoming [now brand NEW] granddaughter and Snuggles the cat). We went in their springtime so as to see the incredible display of flowers and we were not disappointed. It was spectacular. As well as the Kings Park botanic gardens (I think the best we’ve seen anywhere in the World) we had trips south to Margaret River with Dan and Dee, to the North with parents-in-law Julie and Richard and to some exciting bush areas with Deanne’s dad Bob. Fantastic!

I didn’t do much fishing in Oz (although I took the gear everywhere) and only managed to catch one small puffer fish. I had several lures chewed up by these toothy little monsters. In New Zealand we had an eleven hour train journey from Auckland to Wellington, well worth it to see the countryside and wildlife. I did more fishing than in Australia. My good pal Alan Bulmer bent over backwards to take us to some good spots even though he had a very bad cold (at least I caught that). We had a memorable day driving round the Coromandel peninsula but the fish didn’t cooperate. Alan and I fished the flats at Whangamata and he caught a couple of small kahawai but the number of stingrays and eagle rays in the shallow water had to be seen to be believed. On my last day we went to xxxx and spun for kahawai. This time I caught some (just to give me a taste of what I would be missing after I left.

Back home the fishing this year was (as always) mixed. The bass fishing was poor overall. Despite persistently unsatisfactory conditions for my free-lining tactics I had a few goes and although I had one or two reasonable fish the best one (by far) got away after a long battle. At least I got a look at it before the hook came out and it was certainly well into double figures – I’m still bitter (can you tell?). We had few occasions when it was calm enough and safe enough to fish for mackerel, scad, pollack and schoolies from the rocks or to livebait for bass. For some reason the, usually abundant, small pollack, which are generally ‘bankers’ from these spots, were almost absent although a few decent scad compensated a bit.

I tried out my ‘radioactive’ glow-in the-dark betalight ‘lumi-lures’ (designed to be used for seatrout) when fishing after dusk and in the sea at first light. On occasion they totally outfished any other lure used at the same time and place (by pals). Also (as intended) they proved effective for catching seatrout from the river after dark although they are NOT magic (nothing ever is).

In the late winter my pal Nigel and I had some cracking grayling on float fished and legered baits. Pike however were thin on the ground, which is unusual. The local rivers were for once heaving with salmon (after several years of decline – heaven knows why) and I caught and returned four nice fish to 18lb on my first four sorties spinning for seatrout. I also had some good seatrout although they were generally smaller than in recent years.

The prime summer sport from the River this year was with thinlipped mullet and I had quite a few on my home made spinners baited with ragworm. I’d have caught a lot more if the salmon fishing bylaws had allowed me to spin for them earlier in the season.

Lastly, my final attempt at an advert for the book. Even if you don’t buy “The Second Wave” yourself – please tell your facebook, twitter, email, friends about its existence. As I’ve said IT'S AVAILABLE ON PAPER OR FOR YOUR KINDLE FROM - "Veals Mail Order" and from Amazon "Amazon"

All the best, have a wonderful Christmas and a healthy, New Year. I wonder what the fishing will be like? Your guess is certainly as good as mine.

Mike (and Lilian)

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 -

A pike taken on one of my large Slandra lures.


My pal Nigel Bevis playing a big grayling

One of the good grayling I caught last winter.

Real Purbeck shoreline - Chapman's Pool to Clavell's hard.

Spinning in the Dorset surf.


A decent bass, again taken on a Slandra.

One of my accidental (but beautiful) salmon.

Another cracking salmon.

Playing a river thinlip hooked on a homemade, rag baited spinner.


Wonderful looking fish thinlipped mullet.

My pal Bill Fagg with a bass caught on one of his own 'Slug-Gills'.

Another pal, Dave Little, with a lure caught bass.

A nice one for me on a fly dressed Toby spoon.

I was pleased with this one eh!

Another friend Richard Gardiner with a seatrout.

Seatrout success for my 'Lumi-lure'.

Another good seatrout for the Lumi spinner.

Yet another seatrout taken in the dark. Why aren't I smiling?

A lovely chub which I caught on a Mepps.

Just for a change from salmon and seatrout, a perch on a Rapala.

A carp caught on breadcrust from the margin.

Another carp on marginal crust.

The 'Lumi-lure' worked for mackerel too.

One of this year's few pollack on a 'Gotam Shad fly'

...and a grand scad also taken on the fly gear and a 2" Gotam Shad.

A big dace landed in the process of float fishing for a pike bait.

The result of my first pike fishing trip of the winter.

My New Zealand pal Alan Bulmer with a fine snapper.

Tim Bulmer with a stonking king fish.