, 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).

Mixed fishing!

When I set up my website (a long time ago) I tried to avoid the traditional division of angling into coarse, game and sea; because to me they are all just 'angling'. I use more or less the same tackle rods, reels, lines, lures, hooks, etc., for most of my fishing, and often it just depends which rod I pick up when I leave the house. This week I had a classic example. On thursday evening I went to the river with the intention of spinning for seatrout. It was a calm, warm evening following a bright, sunny day - perhaps not ideal. Anyway, I clipped on a 7cm jointed, floating Rapala, generally a good bet for the local seatrout.

Not long after starting I had a good bite, but the fish simply gave a splashy swirl at the surface, made a thrashing leap and came off - not unusual with seatrout. I continued on downstream and the next bite was less violent. In fact it simply hooked itself and gave the typical bump, bump struggle of a perch, which it proved to be. Ten minutes later this was followed by another perch. Now I came to a shallow riffle downstream of a glassy glide. I made a couple of casts into the tail of the glide - nothing! My next cast was down into the fast water and the lure was instantly snatched by a small seatrout which did the usual aerobatics without managing to escape from the hook. I took a couple of pictures of the fish before returning it to the river.

It was now almost time for me to pack in, as I'd said I would be home by about 21:00hr. Just a last chuck into a fast narrow run which had recently produced some nice fish. I made a short cast and held the rod steady to let the lure swing round into the main flow. I began to wind and there was a sharp tap as something had a go at the lure and failed to hook itself. I felt that it was worth another try, as the fish had barely touched the lure. I held the rod still and could feel the little plug waggling quickly in the strong flow. Now there was a fierce pull and a big seatrout exploded from the water, writhing and turning as it cartwheeled through the air before - coming unstuck!!! Never mind eh! I had a couple more casts before I packed in and left.

When I got home I checked the tide table to see whether it was worth fishing from the shore the following morning. I found that I would need to be on the rocks by about four-thirty if I was to make the most of the ebbing tide. In fact, by the time I waded across the gully to my stance it was about 04:45 and already the tide was well on the way down. However, it still looked OK. I was using the same rod and reel as the previous evening, but I'd replaced the Rapala with an unweighted, weedless, EvoStix lure.

I had a couple of casts to ease the line off the spool, and then made a very short chuck of about five or six metres so that the lure would swing quickly round into the eddy just off the point of the ledge where I stood. Wallop! The little rod arched round and I was in. The fish rushed out into the fast water taking several metres of line as it went. Clearly it was bigger than the usual two-pounders that I'd had recently. With the fast flow and the strong swimming fish it was a few minutes before I could slide my catch ashore. A nice bass of perhaps four pounds. I picked it up to carry it to where I'd left the bag and the camera; as I did so it kicked and pulled the hook into my left thumb. I twisted my thumb free of the hook and continued on to do my photography. There was a bit of blood on my fingers but I managed to take a few pictures including a selfie before measuring the fish (which had by this time unhooked itself) and returning it to the sea.

As I straightened up I glanced at the rocks and saw that there was a pool of blood next to my bag - clearly the hook had done a bit more damage than I realised. I wrapped the injured digit in my (fairly) clean hanky, and went back to the fishing. It wasn't too difficult to wind the handle, with my reel hand swathed in handkerchief, so I continued until the tide slackened off. After a biteless twenty minutes I tried a surface slider for a short time and then a Slandra. The latter produced a few tentative bites but when I switched back to the (smaller) EvoStix they ceased. I took this as an indication that I'd had my share of sport and walked back to the car.

I felt that the two sessions were a clear example of the fact that all branches of our sport are more or less the same. I think it's a pity that there are still people who don't have this point of view. Perhaps even the division of my website into fresh and saltwater pages was a mistake?

A perch on the little Rapala.

...and a small seatrout.

Also nicely hooked on the plug.

The bass was the only catch of my morning session. The blood on its jaw is all mine.

My selfie. This was my second attempt after the first one was spoiled by leaving the head torch switched on.

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"