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 four 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. 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).

24 July 2005

Does it take the edge off?

I've been down to the coast twice in the week since I came back from Tobago. The first time I went to have a chat with Nigel and to catch up with what has been happening in the last few weeks while I was away. The second session was an early morning trip with Richard (my third son) just to try and catch a few fish.

I'd spoken to Nigel on the phone so I knew that he was going down to fish the evening high tide. I had to help with the week's shopping before I went to the coast so it was a mad rush just to get there by the eight-o-clock high water. Being in a hurry I just grabbed the spinning rod set up with a shallow diver. As I walked along the coast it was a nice, if windy, evening and several anglers, including my friend Steve Binckes, were scattered along the shore. Most of them were fly fishing - punching streamers across the stiff longshore breeze. When I got to Nigel's spot I found that, like me, he was plugging and had caught a couple of bass earlier on.

The tide had already turned but I decided to give it half an hour and began to cast and retrieve, chatting to Nigel as we fished. I was not too hopeful but was encouraged when I saw one of the 'fly fishers' land a schoolie. After ten minutes of casting suddenly the rod whanged over and the clutch screamed. Clearly it was a decent fish but it was soon under control and after a while I could see that it was a good wrasse. Excellent stuff! I landed, unhooked and returned my catch and after a bit longer Nigel and I packed in and walked back to the car. It transpired that of the others fishing along that stretch, apart from Nigel's two fish, five fly anglers had landed three bass between them and one chap using a popper hadn't had a bite - not a very good night really.

A couple of days later Rich came to stay for the weekend. We decided to have a 'dawn session' on the Saturday morning. I set the alarm for 03.45 hr and we went to bed. It was a beautiful morning still and calm, when we got down to the coast. It was still pretty dark so rich opted to use the plug that I'd caught the wrasse on and I decided to fly fish. For five minutes there was nothing doing then I had a snatch on the fly and after a brief struggle landed a reasonable pollack. After a few more minutes Richard had a mackerel on the plug, then another and another. I was struggling to get bites on the fly but I persisted with it. After half-a-dozen mackerel Rich hooked a better fish which turned out to be a four pound bass. We packed in after an hour and hiked back to the car to go for breakfast. Our tally was 22 mackerel and a bass on the plug and three mackerel and a pollack on my fly. Very satisfactory. As we walked up the steep path Richard asked if I thought that the Tobago fishing 'took the edge off' the sea fishing in the UK. We both had to agree that it did - but "just a little". Anyway that was a holiday and I am already looking forward to my next bassing session.

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 -

Evening wrasse.

A nice, hard battling fish.

Morning pollack.

In the dark but a good start.

Rich's 4lb bass.

It was still pretty gloomy when the bass took.  A cracking fish!


One of twenty-five decent mackerel that we landed in the hour.