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).

A couple of decent bass on different tactics.

My next door neighbour, Martyn, rang the other day and asked whether I fancied a 'socially distanced' session of free-line bait fishing that evening. He said that low water was at about 19:15 and the wind would be slight to moderate. Now I've been slightly worried about the reliability of my ancient car, so having someone drive behind me was reassuring, and I said 'Yes please.' Anyway, we tootled down to the coast and parked the cars. It was overcast and very dark. As we walked to the sea it was spot on low tide, however the wind was distinctly on the 'moderate' side of 'slight' and to further complicate matters it was gusty and blowing across where our lines would be directed. Not ideal.

We dumped the bags and the bait well clear of the slight swell and rising tide, before picking our way carefully down to the water's edge in the dark. We stood several metres apart and swung the big chunks of mackerel on large circle hooks a little way out. It wasn't possible to see where they landed but by casting dead-ahead we hoped to avoid any crossed lines. We were relieved to find that there was little or no drifting weed, as this could have destroyed our chance of fishing. For perhaps ten minutes nothing happened other than the swell gently and regularly pulling the line, then I felt a twitch and the line began to run out. I called to my pal that I had a bass run, and waited as the braid zipped through the finger and thumb of my left hand. Five, ten, twenty metres I guessed had been stripped from the reel. I stepped forward and lowered the rod tip to give a metre or so of slack before quickly closing the bale arm, and checking as I did so that the line was neatly over the roller. The line tightened, the rod pulled round and the clutch zuzzed - I called again that I was in!

As I played what was obviously a decent fish Martyn began to reel in, out of the way, but the fish had already fouled his line as it ran off with the bait. I switched on my headlamp and could see Martyn's trace twisted round my line. There was nothing for it but for him to open his bale arm and let me play the bass plus his gear, hopefully without too much risk of an immovable tangle. As the fish drew nearer we both stepped backwards and eventually, with a sigh of relief, I slid it ashore. "It's a nice fish Mike!" Martyn said and sure enough it was a lovely, fat silver bass.

Now it was easy for my pal to untangle the lines and get back to his fishing while I carried the fish back to my bag to be measured and to have its picture taken. Sixty-three-centimetres fork-length (about three kg) and fat as a barrel - I was chuffed. We fished on for another hour or so but only had a few bites, probably from pouting or tiny congers. The buffeting of our braid by the gusty breeze and the difficulty of seeing where we were casting tin the dark, made us reluctant to fish for longer. Still, a nice bass after only ten minutes was enough justification for the trip.

The following day I had an email from my pal Bill. He'd been spinning, on the morning after our session, a mile or two west of where we caught the bass. Having started at about 06:00hr he'd walked and fished for quite a way with no sign of anything. He says that the sea was often coloured and quite rough apart from a few clear areas around the rocky ledges. He tried with a Sluggill, an Albie Snax and a Pulse tail but nothing produced until he was making his way back at about 09:40, when he hooked a nice fish. In his own words " I was chuffed, as I thought I was going to blank despite the nice conditions." After that he had a few more castsl on the way back to the car but no further bites. Nice one Bill!

Got it! Quite a relief.

The bait still good enough to have another cast..

The usual, glassy eyed, selfie. Must remember to turn the headlamp off.

Bill's cracking fish.

These weedless lures really are the business.

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"