, nylon leader Mike Ladle's Fishing Diary

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).

Bassing with Ben.

My grandson Ben has been going fishing with me, on and off, for the best part of twenty years. He's caught all sorts of fish from huge pike to tiny rudd and from corkwing wrasse to large bass. These days he's a working man and lives just far enough away to make organising joint fishing trips awkward. The other day I'd decided that, with the lockdown lifting, the weather improving and the tides ebbing at dawn, it might be a good opportunity to try bass fishing again. Many of the coastal venues are open, but still inaccessible because of closed car parks and local antipathy which limits our opportunities. Talking to Ben on the phone he said that he fancied fishing and he didn't even hesitate when I revealed that it would mean an 03:30 start.

Being well behaved social isolators, we were going to drive to the coast in our own cars after meeting at my house. It was only 03:20 when Ben's vehicle turned up on my drive - fantastic! We drove to our chosen spot in a convoy of two and as we parked the cars it was still pretty gloomy. I'd set up two rods, Ben's was armed with an EvoStix lure and a small cone weight on the trace, like the one that had been catching for me on recent trips. Mine was an unweighted Slandra. I always take the chance to try a different lure if I have a fishing partner.

Ben concentrating on his spinning at first light.

Conditions looked pretty good, although the tide was a fair bit lower than I'd anticipated and there wasn't enough water to fish the spot that I'd earmarked. Although, as always, I was in my waders, Ben only had his wellies and he had to pick his way very carefully over the boulders and deeper pools to get to the end of the ledge where there was still a bit of a race. I was really optimistic as we stood a few metres apart and made our first casts. Surely there would be some bass in the lively, rushing water. After three quarters of an hour without a significant bite for either of us I was beginning to lose confidence. I took a couple of pictures of my grandson fishing and slipped the camera into my jacket pocket before starting to cast again. We were encouraged when a group of gannets turned up in the improving light and began fishing just upstream of the ledge.

The tidal flow was beginning to ease off as low tide approached, but it was still running fairly hard. Now it was so shallow that the weed had become a problem for Ben's lightly weighted lure, so we were both fishing with unweighted EvoStix. Clearly, there was only had about fifteen minutes to go before slack water. I made a short cast and, for the umpteenth time, let the lure swing round in the flow. WALLOP! I was into a fish. I called to Ben and handed back the camera back to him as I played the fish. It fought like stink in the strong current and it was a minute or two before I could slide it ashore onto the wet, weedy rocks.

At last I'm into a decent fish; after a long spell (for me) of biteless cast and retrieve.


My first, and largest, bass slides ashore onto the wet thongweed.

It's handy to have someone else to take a few pictures if I catch a fish.

After a few pictures we picked up the rods to have a last few casts. The tide had virtually stopped moving now but as my lure swung into the slack near my feet I hooked another fish. This one was only about half the size of the first but it was in fine condition. I took a couple of pictures before popping it back into the sea. Another beautiful morning - just the thing to make us forget about the bloody virus.

My second bass of the session.

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 - docladle@hotmail.com



"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"