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).

Richard strikes again (at last).

My son Richard has been living near Maceio, on the coast of Brazil, for some years now. When I visit we try to do as much fishing as possible and on my last trip, in January 2016, we caught some spectacular snook up to almost thirty pounds. It's not always easy fishing alone from the longshore reef into murky, weedy water but Rich goes as often as his family commitments and job allow him to. Although the beach produces big snook, leatherjackets, lookdowns, modest jacks and small groupers, Richard's most recent session (this morning) was more exciting. Here's his report:-

Hi Dad,

Photos in dropbox - not pin-sharp (my camera has been playing up recently). Anyhow, here is the story for your blog:

I arrived at Mermaid Beach at about 4.45am, just as it was getting light. The tide was low and the water was pretty clear, with the normal loose strands of seaweed in the edge. For a change there was very little swell, although there was a gusty onshore wind that was chopping the water. Not perfect conditions for snook, but pleasant fishing nonetheless. I opted for lead-headed version of the black minnow (as this is a bit easier to cast in windy conditions) tied to a 40lb Amnesia nylon leader and 30lb braid as the main line. As usual I was fishing with my trusty Sure Popper and an Okuma reel.

Making my way down to the gap in the reef where a small stream has broken through the rocks, I started to fan out my casts. Almost immediately I had a sharp knock on the minnow, probably a look-down or a small leatherjacket. After that I didn't have a touch for about fifteen minutes. I was just thinking of moving along to fish the other side of the stream when the lure was absolutely monstered about 5m from the rocks. I'm thinking - "big snook!" Then the fish headed for the horizon, line streaming from a tight drag - 50m, 70m, 100m, finally slowing down and stopping when it was about 150m away. Rod held high in the air, I waded out to furthest protruding rock in a vain attempt to gain a bit more control. It then became a war of attrition, gaining line slowly only to lose it again as the fish made another surge. After 20 minutes I finally got a glimpse of the unmistakable broad head and scimitar tail of good Jack Crevalle (I had already realised it couldn't be a snook when it took so much line on the first run).

With my arm aching and my heart in my mouth I was finally able to ease it into a small gully and slide it up onto a flat rock. Just under 20lbs and in wonderful condition. In all honesty it was probably the hardest, most brutal fight of any fish I have ever caught on a lure. It's a horrible feeling to be constantly checking that you have enough line on your reel! Anyhow, great fun and a good sign for your forthcoming visit.



What a battle. Having been spooled by big jacks in the past I know just how he felt. You're never sure whether the hook hold is sound and the knots are secure until the fish is in your hand. I can see I'll have my work cut out to try and outfish him when we go to see the grandchildren later this year.

Richard's jack with the old Surepopper and the remains of his Black Minnow still in place.

Close up - note the 40lb clear Amnesia trace.



"Fishing for Ghosts - Successful Mullet Angling"

written with David Rigden IT'S AVAILABLE FROM - "The Medlar Press"


“The Second Wave”

Written with Steve Pitts this is a SEQUEL TO THE BESTSELLER "Operation Sea Angler" IT'S AVAILABLE ON PAPER OR FOR YOUR KINDLE FROM - "Veals Mail Order" and from Amazon "Amazon"

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 -