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).

Little, and not quite so little.

Since the weekend I've ventured out twice more. Yesterday evening I went, with my pal Martyn, to the river for a spot of plugging. Then, this morning, I got up early to see whether I still knew how to catch bass.

First the river. We decided to give it a go for pike and perch (Martyn) and for seatrout (me). We arrived on the bank at about 20:15 to try and cover the last of the light and the first of the dark. Both of us were using plugs but Martyn was fishing the slacker water while I concentrated on the riffles. It was some time before either of us had anything resembling a bite but, eventually I had the usual tug-and-nothing-there attack on my 7cm Rapala. We needed to stay within calling distance as we only had one landing net, so we leap-frogged along the bank, each of us selecting suitable stretches to fish. Things were quiet.

Now it was getting quite dark so I was hopeful of a little more seatrout activity. Martyn had dropped behind me and was probably 100m or more upstream of my position, trying a likely pool, when (in desperation) I decided to try a deeper slower stretch. Second cast there was a wrench on the rod and a frantic splashing - so I was thinking 'seatrout at last!' I played the fish for a minute or so, and when I thought it was well hooked I called for my pal to help. I was standing well above the water, so weilding the net and managing the rod from my stance was likely to cause me a problem (or a ducking). By now the fish had settled down and was making short runs, both upstream and downstream. Martyn was hurrying down towards me so I concentrated on tiring the fish and, at the same time, trying to see what it was. Although it had done some serious splashing and crashing in the first few seconds, because it was not making serial jumps, I was beginning to doubt that it was a seatrout.

Martyn arrived, picked up the net. and was able to (just) reach the water with the long handle. For a change landing it proved to be surprisingly easy, and as the fish surfaced on its way towards the net we both said -"It's a salmon!" There was no mistaking the slim, streamlined, silver body for any form of trout and within seconds it slid into the meshes and was landed. A nice August, one-sea-winter salmon. After a quick snap I popped the fish back to swim another day.

Not the desired seatrout but a nice fish nonetheless. Picture taken by Martyn.

We fished on until about 21:15 but only had one (missed) fish bite and some 'dummy-pulls' from a couple of large bats, which bumped the fine braid as they skimmed low over the water, before we packed in and went home.

That evening, before going to bed, I checked the tide tables. It looked as though the next morning might be a good one for fishing the ebb tide after bass. I set the alarm clock. By 04:30 the next day I was walking along the rocks and wading to the ledge that I intended to fish. It was still pretty dark and I'm never inclined to use my headlamp unless it is absolutely essential. I picked my way over the rugged ledge towards the end, where I hoped I would be able to fish into the fast flow. What was that ahead of me? Surely there couldn't be anyone there already? But there was! Bugger! I muttered an apology to the apparition for disturbing him (it later turned out that we know each other quite well) and backed slowly away so as not to cramp his style. As I turned back with the intention of retreating to find another area (it's really a 'one-man-spot) another angler, who'd clearly had the same idea as the two of us, appeared out of the gloom. I said " We've been beaten to it I'm afraid." and he replied "Is that Mike?" It was another friend, Kevin. We began to chat about what to do and where to go. The conversation turned to various fishing topics, and before we knew it we had been talking for the best part of an hour.

At this point the tide was approaching low water and the other angler packed in - fishless - said hello on his way back and wished us more luck than he'd had. We decided that we'd both be able to fish the last few minutes of the ebb, as long as we cast alternately or at different angles and distances. Sure enough, as the other chap had found, there was nothing doing and - apart from one pluck on my white EvoStix - nothing happened. The tide was now easing right off and clearly, within a few minutes it would be almost impossible to fish. I decided to make my last few casts at a longer range using a Yo Zuri slider. To avoid interfering with Kevin's fishing I began to cast uptide of the ledge. It was probably five minutes later that I had a take which, typically, hooked itself. As I wound the bass in I commented that it wasn't very big. That turned out to be an understatement, but at least it was a fish. After a quick spot of photography we had a few more casts and then walked together back to our cars. Well, it could have been worse! My convalescent leg survived the ordeal and at least we didn't blank.

My titchy bass.

A slightly fuzzy view of the fish hooked on the tail treble of the lure



Written with Alan Vaughan. NEW PRINT OF THE ORIGINAL: IN PAPERBACK. Copies available from all good book shops RRP 14:99 - "Waterstones"


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Written with David Rigden. Copies from "The Medlar Press"


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