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).

Dave's double session!

I’m still been having very little good fortune at the coast, so still nothing to write about. No one wants to hear about me catching zilch, so here’s another report from one of my pals. I have known (and occasionally fished with) Dave Little for quite a few years. He’s an excellent, clear-thinking angler who’s always game to try new things. He really enjoys fishing on the Purbeck coast and often follows the basic ideas which my friends and I developed and which I wrote about, in the book ‘Hooked on Bass’ in the 1980s (something which I clearly ought to do more often myself).

Hi Mike

Hope you are keeping well.

My pal Ally & I came down your way a week ago and conditions were perfect. Waves were large, knocking us both off our feet and creating a good white foam. Not much wind, surprisingly and we both had a couple of knocks within minutes of starting, roughly two hours after low tide. I caught one bass of about two pounds which had several inch long fry in its mouth. (this is typical bass food at this time of year down here) This elicited a change from my favourite Bayzand worm, to a titchy Fiiish crazy sandeel, with which I soon had a SEVEN-AND-A-HALF-pounder, my best for a considerable time. Ally also had a two pounder before we were forced back by the waves which were getting even bigger.

We changed to small wedges to get the extra distance we needed whilst staying fairly safe. We both hooked and lost further small bass but as the tide came in we thought discretion the better part of valour and decided to leg it. I got knocked over twice on the way back. When we were part way back we could see that it would be impossible to make our way back along the beach - breakers hitting the cliff with considerable force. The only choice was to wait-it-out.

I went again yesterday, after first cancelling the trip because of the forecast on the BBC the day before. Anyway, yesterday, went out for the paper in the morning and it definitely wasn't as windy as predicted, so I consulted the forecast again and the windspeed had been revised from 42mph to 23mph, definitely in the do-able zone. A quick nod from the FPO and I was on my way.

Conditions were similar to the previous week but a little more wind and a bit less swell. Started with a Rapala spoon to get sufficient distance in the wind but no joy with that, so I changed to my favourite Bayzand worm, with a larger than usual cone weight. Within twenty minutes I had another seven-and-a-half pound fish, the twin of the one I caught the previous week, but didn't weigh this one, then after a further twenty minutes I had another two-pounder. With the couple of missed pulls the result was exactly the same as my score six days before - must have trodden in something sticky and smelly!

I was a bit more sensible about leaving in good time yesterday, so no soaking, and just as well 'cos I was on my own.

So first couple of trips this year very successful. Hope you doing even better.(Little chance of that I’m afraid!)


I replied as follows - Hi Dave,

Good effort! Two stonking fish. I expect you were chuffed. I've not had a fish yet myself, although my pals have had one or two decent specimens. I haven't ventured to the ledges myself yet (must be getting old). It is the right time (May - June) for that sort of fishing of course but I don't think anyone really believes me when I tell them that. Myself, I've been trying freelined baits and also fishing local tide races, when the tides were right, but no joy. I guess that it will come good in due course (not my first blanks, and presumably not my last).

The bass can be quite fussy about particular lures when they are preoccupied with tiny fish. Would it be OK if I do a BLOG page based on your email please? Of course I am happy if you don't want me to.

My son Richard has now moved from Brazil to Porto (Portugal) so I'm hoping to have a dabble out there, Covid permitting, this year. It will no doubt be bass instead of snook. Interestingly, Rich tells me that the Portuguese name for the two fish (Robalo) is the same.

All the best and thanks for the report.



Dave followed up with this -


Very chuffed indeed! Give my regards to Bill and Richard.

On our first trip, there were lots of gulls more than a hundred metres out and we concluded that a small lure placed underneath the flock of birds would have produced well. Much too far for us to cast, of course. I know it's the right time to fish these places, I have read your book!

We once had a vacation in Porto. There was a huge (and I mean HUGE) sewer outfall in the river there and looking in to the water, appeared what first looked like a large scale formation perhaps six feet down. After a little bit I twigged that what I was seeing were mullet (I guess thick lips) packed together like sardines in a can, hoovering everything that came out of the pipe. The sort of 'scale' effect was the lips of the mullet which were more easily visible than the rest of the good sized bodies. There was a spot just downstream where bass and mullet were clearly visible and the locals were fishing for the mullet with float fished worms, looked like a kind of thin lug worm. The locals were not targeting the bass, they seemed to regard them as uncatchable (bit like Brits with mullet). Maybe a baited spoon would work?

Perhaps we'll get to meet up some time?


Dave spinning in the surf.

He's in!

One of his two larger bass waiting to go back.



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