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).

Take a (three) friend(s) fishing.

My third son Marc and his family have had visitors this week - his sisters in law's three young granddaughters down from Lancashire. Now I've no idea what sort of relation this makes them to me; some sort of great grand nieces I suppose but it doesn't matter really. The fact is that Marc rang the other day and asked whether we could take the girls fishing? The truth is I really enjoy showing youngsters the basics but I know that it's essential for them to catch something so, after a little thought I decided that wrasse would be the best bet and that Worbarrow bay would be a suitable spot to try. My reasoning was that we would be fishing round about mid-day; the girls, being on holiday, had no wellies etc., it was a pretty safe spot so we shouldn't have to rescue anyone from a watery grave and whatever the weather there was a fair chance that we might catch something.

The day before the proposed trip I bought some nice wriggly ragworm from my local tackle shop "Purbeck Angling" and that evening I rooted out three light rods and reels. Each rod was rigged with a simple paternoster to take a 15g bomb and a size six circle hook (this avoids the knotty problem of when and how to strike - always tricky with first time fishers). There is also the bonus of everything being lip-hooked so that there is no need for gory surgery to remove hooks. The fateful day dawned bright, sunny and warm with a strong westerly wind - could have been worse. The fishing party arrived spot on time and I was introduced to the girls- Kira, Lissy and Eva who promptly, at my son's suggestion, christened me "Great Uncle Stinky" or GUS for short, just to set the tone for the day. We piled everything and everybody into the car and set off for the coast.

Enthusiasm was clearly there in abundance as we tramped off down the track to the beach with the girls running on ahead and wanting to know about every plant, animal and military firing range target along the way - it's great to be young eh? We arrived at the shingle beach to find that there were already a few holiday makers, including a couple of swimmers, in residence. We picked a handy spot, close (but not too close) to the rocks avoiding other beach users and with room for three to fish. I slipped on weights and baited the hooks and within minutes all three of our anglers were in action. Now came the crunch. The wind made it almost impossible to keep a tight line so it was a matter of taking up the slack every few seconds until we needed to cast again. I was on tenterhooks as two or three minutes passed without sign of a fish. There were several false alarms and a couple of small 'seaweed-fish' reeled in before the first proper action. Suddenly Kira's rod was jiggling and before long a beautiful little corkwing wrasse slid ashore.

Marc, the official photographer, took the necessary pictures before the fish was duly admired by all, unhooked and released. Magic!. The baiting up, casting out, reeling in continued with a steady stream of landed and lost fish until hunger got the better of the girls and everything stopped for lunch. While they were eating I cast out one of the rods and for a full ten minutes, much to everyones amusement, failed to induce any sort of bite. My reputation was totally shot. After they'd eaten their sandwiches the girls returned to fishing and blow me down they began to catch fish at once - this time they were all corkwings. Anyway, as we packed in and hiked back to the car there was general agreement that "Fishing was good fun!" We rounded off the trip with a walk round the ancient walls of Wareham, taking in a look at the twin rivers and the ancient Saxon memorial stones. During the walk we found a variety of superb butterflies, beetles, dragon flies and even a young toad. The whole trip was topped off with ice creams and bags of chips - my word - can those girls eat! As my pal Bill commented later - "As far as enjoyment goes it sounds like that trip is going to be hard to beat." I'll say it is!

Just to cap it all off the girls each wrote me a note about the day's entertainment -

Eva - "I loved the fishing trip yesterday. I had a brilliant day!."

Kira - "I really enjoyed it and it was great fun. I especially liked reeling in the fish and seeing what colour they were."

Lissy - "It was my first time fishing. I can't believe I did it with a famous fisherman. The beach was lovely. I caught 3 fish. My 2nd fish was massive. All 3 were very colourful. It was a wonderful day."

Great Uncle Stinky (GUS for short) and the three new anglers.

Keen to be fishing.

All in action.

The first wrasse for Kira.

A nice ballan wrasse for Lissy.

Close up it looks even better.

Eva with a beautiful corkwing.

Two at once - that's the way to do it!

What a place for bassing; tragic that it's closed at dawn and dusk these days.

Dor beetle, the picture doesn't do its colour justice.

Long winged conehead.

Tiny toad.

Fish and chips by the rubbish bins on Abbot's Quay.



"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 -