, 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).

Not the best evening's fishing!

My pal Bill and I spoke on the phone the other day and we were both wondering whether it would be worth trying the top of next day's spring tide for bass and mullet. As far as we knew weed middens were thin on the ground and the probability of Coelopa maggots being washed into the sea was minimal. On the other hand, if the fish did turn up it was likely that they might be easy to find, because the weedy spots that were present were very localised. Fishing's never simple; to complicate matters further Bill had to go out for most of the day, and wasn't sure whether he'd be back in time to catch the tide. I didn't know whether I could go at all because I was expecting a visit from my eldest grandson and his family (suitably, socially distanced etc. of course).

The first change in plans was that my visitors had to cancel and the second was that Bill made it home in time to join me. So we went. We met in the car park and walked to our prospective stretch of shoreline. On the way we passed one small weed midden but optimistically continued to the place we'd first intended to fish. When we arrived there was a bit of a swell, a fair amount of weed soup in the edge and no sign of maggots or of any fish activity. We began to spin with plastic eels and almost at once Bill had two pulls on his Slug-Gill which he said felt like small fish. Then, for half-an-hour or more, neither of us had a bite. We wandered back and forth along the cobbles, casting and retrieving. Eventually Bill came back and announced that he'd caught a very small bass - better than nothing. Shortly afterwards I also had an even tinier bass on my Redgill. Then it was dead again.

After about an hours fishing, round about the time of high water, we noticed a flock of black headed gulls on the sea, back at the place where we'd seen maggoty weed as we walked along. It was a no brainer, so we tramped back to the spot. As we approached the gulls flew off but clearly there were some maggots washing out into the sea. It was not long before a few (a very few) mullet turned up in groups of two or three skimming the surface, but they were too far out and the cross-wind was far too strong for fly fishing so we continued to spin. The tide was turning and now we noticed groups of small bass striking at the surface as they gulped in the tiny maggots. Before long Bill's rod bent as he hooked a bass a little larger than the ones we'd had earlier. A few minutes later he landed a third fish of round about two pounds. At this point, having missed a couple of bites on my Redgill, I switched to the J9 Rapala which I had recently used in the river. We were both having the odd missed bite and it became clear that any cast which brought the lure close to a group of foraging schoolies was likely to result in an attack. Eventually I hooked a fish on the Rapala, and it proved to be (only just) the largest of the session. By this time we'd both had enough, so we packed in and walked back to the cars. As Bill commented "What looked like being a rubbish session had turned out to be not good but about average".

For once I didn't take any pictures so it is thanks to my pal for these.

Bill's first bass, the unfortunate way it is hooked shows its small size relative to the lure, but it was OK.

Bill's second fish - a bit bigger than his first.

...and his third - the best of the three.

Me into my second - and just the largest bass - taken on the J9 Rapala.

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"