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).

Right time for schoolies.

It is always a problem deciding where to go fishing. Of course the usual idea is to pick a place where you will catch fish, but there are so many things to be taken into account. Assuming that (like most people) you have restrictions on the time of day, and on how long you will be able to fish - there are the obvious factors such as: How big is the tide? Will it be high, low, ebbing or flooding? Which way will the wind be blowing? What will be the wind force? There are also the less obvious things to consider, for example: What sort of weather has there been in the preceding few days? Is the water likely to be coloured? Will there be a lot of loose weed in the water or on the beach/rocks? How big will the swell be? And so on. If all these things were independent it wouldn't be so difficult but, because they all interact, it is nigh on impossible to get it right every time you go.

Anyway, this week I was in a bit of a dilemma about what to do. I wanted to go before breakfast. Heavy rain the day before would have messed up the river so that was out. It was a weak neap tide which, at most of the local shore marks that I know well, meant that there were likely to be poor conditions and not much chance of fish. Just one spot tends to fish well on ebbing tides at first light, so it was 'Hobson's Choice'. I needed to be fishing by about 05:15 so I was up at four o'clock and off to the coast with the spinning gear. I staggered along the rocks using the minimum of light from my headlamp to avoid a broken ankle or worse. I switched the light off well before reaching the fishing place; and my Pearl Evo Redgill made its first splashdown at exactly the appointed hour. There was a stiff offshore breeze which made casting easy, and the sea was almost flat calm where I was fishing; although there was a slight swell breaking along most other stretches.

My first couple of casts revealed that there was little or no loose weed in the water, so no problem using the lure with a large exposed hook. I simply cast out and retrieved at a steady pace, just fast enough to keep the lure from grounding in the shallow water. For ten minutes I fanned out casts from where I stood with no result then, at 05:25 I was in. The fish didn't put up much of a fight because it was a schoolie of not much over 500g in weight. I took it's picture, in case it was the only bite I had, and popped it back into the sea. After five more minutes without a bite I shifted a few metres to a slightly better vantage point. Almost at once I was into another schoolie and for the next twenty minutes it was hectic with missed bites, fish landed and unhooked and pictures taken. None of the bass were large and, including the first one that I caught, I landed five - all of them schoolies well under 1kg in weight. I could already see that the water was crystal clear (I'd taken a couple of pictures of fish in the water as I played them in). As the light improved it went dead and I had no further bites. At 06:00 hr I packed in and walked back to the car. Nothing too exciting but at least I'd picked a time and place with something to catch.

My first bass of the session, no monster but pleasing.

Close up. Even a tiddler like this can engulf the large hook.

A schoolie comes to hand in the gin clear water. Again it had twisted the tail of the lure round the hook.

... and another one to the Redgill, this time hooked round the lower jaw.

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 -



"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"