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).

Down to the sea again!

No, I haven't died. Over the past six weeks or so I've been to South Wales (see my last "Freshwater" page), Longleat, Wiltshire, London, Nottingham and a variety of zoos, museums, parks, houses, etc. etc.. None of these visits involved fishing and although, during a short lull, I managed a quick cast or two in the river, there was no chance of wetting a line in the sea. The three most enjoyable weeks were spent with our youngest son Dan and grandson Joshua on a visit from their home in Australia but now, at last, I've picked up the rods again and begun to have a dabble or two.

Being a glutton for punishment, on my first visit to the seashore I persisted in this season's campaign of trying to catch a decent bass on freelined bait. Having hooked a massive fillet of mackerel on my 8/0 circle hook, I lobbed it 1m out, just as it was getting light in flat calm, gin clear conditions. When the first bite came I could hardly believe it. The braid was jerked from my fingers and began to stream out, amazingly I didn't panic and waited for the fish to pick up speed but then - disaster struck. The bass went round a submerged boulder, felt the resistance and dropped the bait. I was gutted. The bait was still in good nick so I flicked it out again. Five minutes later off it went again but this time it only took a few metres of line before dropping the bait - then, no more bites. So, two definite bass runs both dropped – I consoled myself with the thought that possibly they couldn’t manage the large bait. As I walked back I thought about trying another 'hot spot' but there was a seal just where I wanted to cast and I didn’t fancy hooking that so I went home.

My next proper session was with my pals Nigel and Bill. We spent a couple of pleasant hours fishing from a shingle beach on a sunny, hot evening. It was near high water and there was lots of floating weed and seagrass in the edge. Bill had a couple of smallish bass on his lures and Nigel had a long but thin four pounder on a surface hard plastic. I stuck to bait for most of the session (stupid man) and had nothing. Poppy came with us, she enjoyed the walk and rolled in the remains of putrid gull.

I had one more short session with my freelined bait at the place where I had the dropped runs. This time, stupidly, I put two freelined baits out at once but fortunately had no bites on the ragworm rod. However, I began to get continuous twitching bites on the mackerel fillet so I inched it back until I could see the cause – it was mullet! The chance of one absorbing the 8/0 hook was minimal. I must try light legering with a tiny hook while this weather lasts if I can.

Bill and Poppy spinning from the shingle.

Got one!

Poppy licks her lips at the thought of a possible meal - she doesn't know they've all to go back.

A better fish for Nigel.



"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 -