Catch fish with Mike Ladle.

Catch Fish with
Mike Ladle

Information Page


13 October 2003

Waves,wind and weed.

The days are shortening quickly now and it becomes more difficult to squeeze a trip in before breakfast or after tea (evening meal). However, I can still manage an hour or so from about 06.30 before I have to take Lilian to work. This week I had two such short sessions and both produced fish. On the first occasion I found the sea quite rough with a bit of a westerly blowing. I had no time to walk far so I began to fish close to where the car was parked. I fished with a J11f but after twenty minutes nothing was forthcoming. There was weed washed up all along the beach and I noticed a small flock of blackheaded gulls feeding on the water about a hundred metres along so I picked up my bag and walked.

The edge of the sea was pretty dirty (for a couple of metres out) and first cast I had a pull just on the edge of the dirty water. Encouraging! A few casts later a bass hooked itself and I played it in, landed it and took its picture. Ten minutes and two more missed bites later I packed in and went home. In the course of fishing I saw several good fish (?bass or mullet?) feeding on the top but they were not interested in my plug.

The following day I decided to have another go - this time I also took the fly rod with me. I went straight to the spot where I had caught and seen fish previously but it was soon apparent that fly fishing was almost impossible because of the combination of waves, weed and wind. I swapped back to the plug and soon had a bass - a bit bigger than the previous day's - on the beach. This time I saw no surface feeding fish and only had one more bite. It was quite a bit rougher.

The following weekend Steve came down from Bristol with his boat. Our plan was to make an early start and if we could, to try and catch some bass, mackerel and garfish on the fly. On the sunday morning the wind was easterly - disaster. We drove to Swanage and looked at the sea but even before we arrived we knew it was futile. To try and save the trip we opted to try shore fishing at the spot where I had had the bass earlier in the week. The sea was rough but even before we got to the place we could see fish moving on the surface. Quite large numbers of bass and mullet were clearly feeding on maggots washing out of the seaweed middens. To cut a long story short Steve selflessly opted to film with the video camera while I fly fished. My 'fly was a little white Redgill. I was soon into a fish but after a bit of a struggle it came off and left me with a big scale on the hook. A little while later I saw a swirl at the fly and I was obviously into a bass which I landed. Ten biteless minutes later, after being almost swamped by the weed and waves, I changed the fly to an Idotea imitation and cast to some mullet which were close enough to be reachable even despite the stiff wind. Eventually I had a take and landed a beauty. The timer on the video camera said that I played the fish for over fifteeen minutes - amazing! (picture as soon as I get one from Steve)

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 -

Dawn on the beach.

Even though it is dark the piles of weed are clearly visible.  Note the black specks on the water which are feeding blackheaded gulls - the clue to the whereabouts of the fish.

One of my plugged bass.

The fish were mostly feeding in the dirty water close to the edge of the sea.  The white spots are splashes of surf reflecting in the flash

Playing the mullet.

This image and the next one are grabbed from video and reduced for emailing but the fish still fought hard for 15 minutes.

What a fish!

Just taking the woodlouse fly out of its lip.