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).

Brazil 2 Some fish at last.

For a year or two Richard has been fishing from a kayak. His house is only a short distance from the beach so, when the conditions are right, he simply hauls it to the water and away he goes. Most of his kayak fishing centres on an area between the sandy beach and a couple of reefs within a kilometre or so out into the Atlantic. While we were in Brazil Rich borrowed a two man kayak so I could join him on one or two sorties to the reef. Although he's caught a few good fish from the kayak and the variety of species is large, it is still not easy to locate big fish. One of the main problems is that there are virtually NO seabirds. No terns, gulls, gannets, cormorants to give a clue as to where it might be worth wetting a line and although baitfish such as sardines and halfbeaks are present, locating them is never easy. I have to say that Richard's three brothers, when they heard he'd taken his ancient, non-swimming, father out into the ocean in a kayak, were all convulsed with laughter. Anyway, I survived and we had some fun. As a rule I trolled ashe was paddling out, using a variety of plugs and even a prawn-baited spinner and this resulted in small groupers, grunts, snappers, and even the dreaded lizard fish - mostly close to the reef. The most exciting event was on our last voyage. Rich decided to anchor up and try a spot of bait fishing. We were free-lining prawns or bits of octopus on circle hooks and fishing over sand and turtle grass, between the two reefs, at high water. Nothing much happened until Richard said "Ten more minutes, then we have to go!" Almost at once he added "I've got a bite!" I quickly reeled in and waited. His line tightened and he said "It's on!" then "It's off!" then "No it's still there!"

At this point his little rod bent through a half-circle and line began to scream off against the tightly set clutch (he really does screw it up to the limit of his line). I sat and watched as whatever had taken his bait proceeded to strip line in a series of powerful runs. After perhaps quarter-of-an-hour the 250m of braid on his reel was beginning to look a bit thin so we decided to up anchor and follow his adversary. The rod was passed (reluctantly) to me while my son hauled the anchor and began to paddle after 'Moby Dick'. After a further twenty minutes we had made little progress other than getting closer than I liked to the waves breaking over the outer reef and the thing on the end of the line was looking as strong as ever. I handed the rod back to its owner, twisted round and took a picture of the bent rod then the hook came away. What an anti-climax. We were gutted. Who knows what had taken the big shrimp? It was much too fast for a sting ray but not fast enough or persistent enough for a jack. To strong for a snook but not sufficiently toothy for a shark (Rich just had a 40lb Amnesia trace). So, we have no idea what had given us the run around - not knowing is one of the worst things in fishing, isn't it?

When the tides were right and the weather permitted we managed to make one or two more early morning trips to Mermaid Beach. The snook which sometimes turn up there never materialised again but on one pretty rough, beautiful morning, just as the sun was peeping up, Richard was as usual fishing his biggest, resin headed, Black Minnow a few metres to my left. We'd been spinning for about twenty minutes when I heard the cry of "I'm in!" and looked up to see that Richard had hooked a decent fish. I reeled in and grabbed the camera as he battled against the fast moving predator - clearly a jack. The fish hurtled out so sea in typical fashion with occasional bouts of head shaking. I hopped from rock to rock snapping away. The fish fought for ages so I had plenty of time to shift camera positions but we were both relieved when we saw the flashing oval flank of a crevalle jack and Rich was able to lead it through a narrow cleft in the reef and into shallower water where he could pick it up. A beautiful, double figure fish in mint condition. Could it get any better? I don't think so.

Ready to launch - I was just slightly apprehensive.

Away we go towards the inner reef with the skipper paddling and me trolling.

This small lizard fish took a prawn baited Mepps.

A small 'hind' grouper on a large trolled plug.

Coneys also took our plugs.

Checkered puffers are a nuisance and will bite through nylon easily.

Richard's rod well bent into the mystery monster.

He's in! Richard hangs on as his jack powers away out to sea.

Still going strong. Note the rough conditions and the lump of weed on the tip ring.

Got it - what a fantastic fish.

Even a single fish makes short work of these very soft plastic lures.



"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 -