, 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).

Slight hitches but a nice bass!

It has been extremely windy for the past couple of days; so windy in fact that, in order for it to be fishable at all, it was a matter of picking a suitable lee shore. I looked at the tide table and decided that Sunday morning might be good for a spot of tide race spinning at dawn. The gear was collected together the previous evening and the alarm set for 03:45. I left the house at 04:00hr and drove down to the coast. I'm never keen on fishing at weekends because of the increased likelihood of meeting other people, and sure enough as I picked the rod out of the car two youths, looking slightly the worse for wear and carrying a traffic cone, walked up to the car. The one carrying the plastic cone wanted to pass the time of day, and asked if I was going diving, but I said "no" and waved the spinning rod. This seemed to satisfy their curiosity, so I set off on my walk to the chosen mark.

Now, my car is pretty old and crappy, but having once (years ago) had it vandalised by a group of youngsters when I was at the river, I was just slightly apprehensive. When I arrived at my selected ledge it was still pretty dark and as I cast I was thinking about whether I should have left the old car unattended. I was so uncomfortable about it that, after half-a-dozen casts I decided to make the ten minute walk back and check that all was well. I was almost there when, in the gloom, I saw the shape of another angler on the shore. It turned out to be Mark (I'd met him on the shore before once or twice) and he said that he'd parked just behind me and all was well with the old Ka. Of course I couldn't resist having a couple of casts and my friend actually caught a schoolie on his soft plastic lure while I was there. This fired me with enthusiasm and, knowing that I'd nothing to fear with the vehicle I decided to go back for another half-hour on the rocks.

I was using a weightless, white, weedless, EvoStix lure on my ancient Surespin rod, and in the strong current it was fishing only centimetres beneath the surface. With the wind behind me I could cast the lightweight lure a fair way, but experience has shown that the fish are often close to where I was standing, so I varied the casts between long, medium and short distances. I'd only been fishing for perhaps five minutes when I flicked the lure a very short distance into the fast flow. Before It had swung round into the eddy by the ledge, there was a yank on the rod and a simultaneous sploosh!!! as a fish grabbed the little plastic eel and hooked itself.

Line poured off the reel against a tight clutch as the fish began to run. I knew almost at once that it was a decent bass because it forged its way 'upstream' against the flow over the ledge. With the rod well bent I tried to recover a metre or two of braid whenever I had the chance, but for a few minutes it was more give than take. However, the reel was well filled so there was little chance of being spooled and I was confident that if the hook was firmly planted I would land my bass. Eventually I had the fish in the slack water of the eddy and was able to slide it onto the weed covered rocks. I picked it up and carried it to where I'd left the bag, for a picture.

I set the timer on my little camera and tried to find it a suitable perch on the rocks for me to take a selfie. For the first picture I was a bit too close and managed to cut the lower parts of me and the fish off. The second attempt was better but I'd clearly been staggering about a bit and it was blurry. Now I was in a hurry to return the bass to the sea so I measured it (62cm fork length), took a quick picture and unhooked before popping it back. Away it swam. Phew!

I had a few more casts before packing in but they only produced two furtive, plucking bites, and by now tthe tide was well down. I walked back to the car, met Mark on the way and thanked him for letting me know the car was OK and for giving me the chance to go back and catch a decent fish. A good session.

Mark emailed me later to say that he'd continued fishing from the beach after I left, and had a nice bass on his 6" Dolive Shad with an added rattle. He also sent me a nice picture of the fish.

My first selfie - not quite in the frame.

My second selfie - slightly blurred by too much movement.

It's much easier to take a picture of the fish on its own.

Marks' fish with the lure still in its mouth.

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"