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).

The weed had gone!

The recent series of spring tides promised some good fishing. When I went down one morning two weeks ago, there were lots of fish showing on the surface but I had no fly rod. The only thing that prevented a memorable catch when we went that evening was a change in the weather during the day. As a result of that trip we'd located one of the few middens of maggoty weed along the shore so that was where I headed this time. There had been no rough weather since the previous series of tides so I was hopeful that the weed would still be there. The alarm went off at 04:00 hr and I was eager to get down to the coast. Having missed out on a potential fly-fishing bonanza on the previous springs, this time I took both the fly rod and the spinning rod. It was pretty calm and eminently fishable, what could go wrong?

As it turned out what remained of the weed was concentrated along a couple of metres of beach and the maggots had mostly turned to pupae. I stood about hopefully as the tide peaked waiting for the fish to turn up. I threw quite a few armfuls of stinking, rotting seaweed into the sea but it was futile. Sure enough I saw the odd smallish mullet but there was never a big enough concentration of fish to give me much chance of a catch. So I blanked (nothing new there). Ever hopeful and knowing that things can change dramatically in the course of half-a-day I went again on the evening tide with my pals Bill, Nigel and Dave. Just to be different I decided to try float fished maggots or bread while the others stuck to either fly fishing with maggot flies and Delta's or spinning with soft plastic eels. It was much rougher and windier than it had been in the morning but there were a few more fish about, both bass and mullet. However, my light float gear was a bit of a disaster - skating across the surface in the stiff breeze. My pals all struggled a bit as well. Nigel and I blanked, Bill had a couple of missed pulls on his Slug-Gill lure and only Dave had any real success. Firstly, using his fly gear, he landed a bass on a maggot fly - he says it took him completely by surprise, just as he was lifting off for a back cast. Then, a bit later he had a slightly smaller fish, this time spinning a long, wriggly tailed 'Baysand worm'. The fish did not hang about so we packed in not long after high water.

It was a bit disappointing but I suppose it turned out better than I'd expected after my morning fiasco and it's always interesting to see how conditions can change not just between series of tides but even from one tide to the next. With luck we'll have a bit of a blow before the next series of tides and the seaweed flies will produce another crop of mullet/bass food.

Dave beaches his first bass, caught on the poly maggot fly. Bill and Nigel in the background.

Dave's fly-caught bass ready to go back.

Dave with the fish he caught while spinning.

A close up shows the plastic 'worm' in the mouth of the bass.



"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 -