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 series of unfortunate events (and a spot of fishing).

I've recently had a number of emails asking (more or less) whether I was moribund or perhaps even dead. Everyone wished me well which cheered me up no end. Not surprisingly, most people wondered what had happened to the website. Anyway,I'm pleased to say that I'm alive and kicking, but a series of unfortunate events put-paid to my fishing and blogging for quite a few months. It all started with an enlarged prostate (related to my old age?), which clearly Id had for years; almost a year ago it reached a sort of crisis and completely stopped me from peeing (not something you want to happen, believe me!) and this resulted in a trip to A&E Poole. I was fitted with a catheter, which instantly relieved the pain and allowed me some sort of normality at the urinal. Afterwards, for several months, I hobbled around trailing an assortment of pipes and valves from my undercarriage.

Before all this happened we had already arranged for a trip to visit our youngest son Dan and his family in Perth, Australia. I was more than a bit reluctant to travel with all my medical equipment, but the doctors said it should be OK and my wife was adamant that we should go. So, we did.

To cut a long story short I managed pretty well on the journey to Oz. During the holiday our Australians had arranged a short stay in Busselton, a seaside town with a VERY long pier. We'd stayed in Busselton on an earlier visit and part of the reasoning was to give me the chance to wet a line. It was only a short walk to the sea from our bungalow and I had promised to take my grandson Joshua fishing for the first time.

Of course, we went, first to try catching squid for bait from the pier, and then for a spot of light legering with squid strip from the beach. On our first beach session Josh caught (I think) a tarwhine (a bit like our black bream) and he was delighted.

Me and Josh failing to catch squid on a jig.


Now we're trying from the beach - note the pier in the background.


Success! Josh's first ever fish.


I think it's a tarwhine, could be a western yellow-fin bream (there are a number of bream-like fish down under).


After our success, the following day we tried again. This time it was my turn for a spot of luck. We stood for a while looking at the sea and chatting and suddenly we saw a dark shape closing in on the position of my bait. I tightened slowly and as I did so the fish came to life and away it went, LIKE A TRAIN! It was a decent eagle ray and typically it fought like stink, taking lots of line against a screeching clutch, with Josh excitedly oohing! and aahing! behind me as he watched the action. After several minutes I beached the hefty ray and at this point realised, firstly that I had no camera with me and secondly that I didn't know what to do with the fish. Understandably, my grandson wasnt keen to touch the big, flapping creature with its spiky tail, so I had to cope myself. Now, lifting heavy weights while fitted with a catheter is not a good idea, and as a result I did some 'self-inflicted' damage to my innards. That night I wasn't well, but fortunately by the following morning I'd recovered.

Not the eagle ray I caught, this one was on my last trip but it looks more or less the same (a bit less spotty).


That was the end of our fishing but not of the excitement. Back in Perth I fell and cracked my head (silly old sod) and found myself attending the local hospital for recatheterisation. Before returning to the UK I had to obtain some new bits and pieces for my catheter. Unfortunately, there appeared to be a world shortage of suitable kit for my problem and so we had to visit a series of pharmacies and suppliers to obtain a replacement valve for my travel home.

Having returnd to Dorset it was some months, and no small amount of trouble, before I was able to be booked in for an operation on my prostate. This went well but resulted in an unpleasant infection which again consigned me to hospital for further surgery and a few days recovery. I was assured by the medical staff that, given time, all would return to normal - and I'm pleased to say that they were correct. Perhaps my next web page may have a spot of proper fishing news?



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


Copies can now be ordered (printed on demand) from Steve Pitts at 34.00, inc. Royal Mail Insured UK Mainland Postage.

To order a book send an E-MAIL to -


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


Written with Steve Pitts this is a SEQUEL TO THE BESTSELLER "Operation Sea Angler" IT'S AVAILABLE ON PAPER FROM - "Veals Mail Order" AND ON PAPER OR FOR YOUR KINDLE FROM"Amazon"

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 -