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 bags.

With sea temperatures of 13-14 degrees C and a settling sea state as the winds shifted from west to east and dropped, the prospects for fishing over the past week looked quite good. However, things are not always what they seem. With Covid 19 still rampant, my pals and I no longer go fishing together. We still occasionally fish at the same time and on the same stretch of shore but travelling as a group in the same car is a no-no, and we are always well spaced out along the beach. What this means is that, recently we have had three or four trips and the results were communicated to one another by email.

Bill went first and spent quite some time walking and spinning along the rocks without any sign of action. The fishing was slow and his most exciting events were a dead ray on the beach and a nice fossil vertebra of a plesiosaur. He was on his way back to the car and fishing with a bright pink Albie Snax lure (it looked rather like a pink slug). He walked out onto a ledge and the lure was grabbed by a plump little schoolie as it trailed across the surface He says that, as darkness fell, he’d had one or two unhookable tugs from garfish and missed one possible bass bite. I asked him about the 'lurid lure' later, and he told me that he was given it by a pal and decided to try it "on a whim". He added that "it looks a about as natural as Pearl White Albie (i.e. not very) and that an Albie is a good choice over partially exposed wrack, you can fish it like a surface lure but it.s weedless, so no problem getting it through weed floating on the surface."

The next trip was a short session when Martyn and I fished the first of the flood after dark. We were both free-lining in hopes of bass, using big fillets of mackerel on large circle hooks. Conditions looked pretty good and sure enough we both had runs. However, unlike most bass bites the fish did not pick up the bait and take off at speed. Instead, steady runs of a few metres were interspersed with one or two heavy tugs. My first take was the best but after the fish had gone quite a distance I tightened to find nothing there. The bait looked as though it had been pulled about a bit, but it was still on the hook. I wound in and halved the fillet on the hook to reduce the size of the bait (it was still a big chunk of mackerel) before casting again. After a few minutes away it went again. This time, I closed the bale arm to find that I had a fish on. There was some weight and a few flapping tugs but it was certainly no bass. As my catch slid ashore in the darkness I could see that it was a decent pouting; fat as a barrel and in mint condition. We fished on and each had one or two more bites but caught nothing else.

Bill made the next trip on his own and started spinning in the dark. For fifteen minutes there was no sign of anything. He walked on along the shore and gave it a good flogging. As it came light he could see the surface swirls of garfish and fry/sprats jumping close in. He thought the Toby would be good because it looks 'spratty' and would cover the water - clearly it did. As on his previous trip he'd had a few unhookable pulls on the Albie Snax. After switching lures he eventually caught three pollack on three successive casts, with the best one being about two pounds – not a bad fish for this part of the world. He continued to fish on his way back with the sea flat calm and a persistent drizzling rain, but apart from one bass take close in to the edge which was on for a couple of seconds, he had nothing else.

The final trip involved me on my own. I went in the morning arriving on the beach before first light. I started spinning with a weighted, Pearl, Evo Redgill. There was more swell than I expected but the water was a good colour, I spun for perhaps half-an-hour with no sign of a fish and then walked on for quite a way, fishing as I went. The sea was choppy and there was a fair run of tide over the rocks. In fact it looked ideal but I didn’t have a sniff on either an unweighted EvoStix lure or on the Yo Zuri Slider which I tried for a while. By now it was getting light so I made my way back to where I’d started, casting and retrieving every few metres. As I arrived at the starting point, still using the EvoStix lure, the sun was up and I’d been fishing for almost an-hour-and-a-half; a long session for me. I opted to have a last few casts before packing in. Last cast, I thought and out went the plastic eel. Half-a-dozen turns of the reel handle and the rod slashed round as a fish grabbed the lure and hooked itself. The bass fought really hard and took a fair bit of line in short bursts so, when it slid onto the shore I was slightly disappointed to find that it was just under 50cm on the tape. Nice and fat so probably getting on for 1.5kg. After that I couldn’t resist having two or three more casts but there was no further action. Still, it was a good way to finish.

Bill's first bass on his rather effeminate lure.

My pouting caught on a reduced bait.

...a picture to show that it was still a big bait and hook for pout.

One of Bill's three pollack on the Toby.

My chubby bass on the unweighted, white EvoStix lure..

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"