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).

Bass - at last!

After losing the big bass mentioned in my last web page, of course we had to have another go. However, when Martyn and I arrived the chosen spot really was unfishable and dangerous. We opted to walk back to the car and fish all the likely places, many of which have produced a fish or two in years gone by. As it turned out there was nothing doing until we reached the last fishable area; a small shingle beach. The spot was pretty sheltered and easy fishing so we lingered for a while casting and retrieving our unweighted soft plastics. The water was quite clear, there wasn't much movement and no hint of a fish; so it was a real surprise when my EvoStix lure, just as I was about to lift it out for another cast, was seized by a bass of perhaps five pounds. The fish thrashed wildly in the edge giving me a good view before it set off out to sea with the clutch buzzing. I shouted for Martyn who was twenty or thirty metres further along and before he could reel in the fish came unstuck. It's unusual for bass to throw the big hooks on these lures so I was a bit disappointed but put it down to being 'just one of those things'.

We had no more bites and by now it was getting bright so we packed in and went home. Two good fish lost in two shore sessions - not my best trips. A couple of days later we had an evening sortie to another stretch of coast but we'd made a bad choice and spent an-hour-and-a-half without a sniff on either bait or lures. As we parted I muttered something to the effect that perhaps we should have tried the shingle cove where I'd lost the last bass. That night I didn't bother putting my gear away and I popped a sardine in my bait bucket to thaw overnight before setting the alarm for a pre-dawn start.

The alarm clock woke me so I rolled out of bed and dressed in all the gear. I opened the door and trudged out to my old car to find that it was drizzling and miserable but it wasn't bad enough to make me turn back. As I drove to the coast it was encouraging that the drizzle eased off and eventually stopped. I parked and after baiting the free-lining rod with the sardine took the short walk to the shingle beach. I dumped the bag and the spinning rod well above the incoming tide and made my way down to the water's edge. There was a bit of a surf but the wind was over my left shoulder so it was no problem to lob the sardine out ten metres or so. I waited in the darkness, holding the rod, bale arm open and line held in my left hand. Was that a twitch? I wasn't sure because there was a bit of loose weed in the water and the swell tugged at the line. Better reel in and see if it was OK. As the line drew tight I could feel a fish of some description pulling back the other way. Clearly it was no bass as it was wriggling more after tha fashion of a dogfish. As I drew the fish into the breaking wave it came off so I never saw what it was but it had removed all but the head and shoulders of my bait. Well, at least there was something there. I cast out the remaining bit of bait and waited. After a while I had another bite but this one simply took the rest of my bait from the 8/0 circle hook.

By this time I could see the first glimmer of light on the eastern horizon so I put down the bait rod and picked up my spinning gear armed with a Pearl Evo Redgill (there were no snags so no need for a weedless version). In fact every two or three casts the hook came back draped in a blade of sea grass but it was easy to remove so I didn't bother to change my lure. It was only about five minutes after starting and still pretty dark when I had a bite close to the edge. It was a reasonable sized fish but not fighting like a bass. When it slid ashore I could see that it was a pollack of well over a pound - encouraging! I persisted with my spinning and after a while I had a much better bite which put up a decent bassy battle before being landed. A well conditioned little bass of about three pounds nicely hooked in the jaw. I took a picture of my catch before resuming spinning and ten minutes later I had another bass which was the twin of my first one. Time to go now but at least I'd landed the fish that took my lure. Perhaps next time it will be the big one?

Surprise pollack.

Redgills are always good for these fish.

...and a decent bass in mint condition.

Like the pollack, beautifully hooked on my Redgill.



"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 -