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).

07 August 2005


I may have said it before but reading magazines, books or even websites it is easy to get the impression that the writers catch fish every time they go out. Of course they don't. I have to admit that a blank session is a bit of disappointment and blanks are much rarer these days than forty-odd years ago when I started fishing in Dorset. However, There are times when I catch nothing and this week was a classic example.

It really started with a reasonable session. I had an early morning 'popping' trip to Swanage. It was high water and flat calm. In the space of an hour-and-a-half I had five bites on a big 'slider' and managed to land one modest bass. As usual the missed bites were almost as exciting as the one I caught and one fish launched itself clear of the water in a frantic attempt to take the lure under my rod tip. "Tomorrow!" I thought, "I'll try with a smaller popper (a Skitterpop) and see if I can do better."

The following day found me there again. Conditions were identical. The lure sailed out a treat. Every chug was filled with anticipation. Not a sniff! I have no explanation but was I cheesed off??

The following day I'd arranged to go with my friend Mike to a spot twenty miles to the west. A few days earlier Mike had taken ten bass on a Rapala in a short evening session at this spot. We both expected to have a grand morning's sport. You've guessed it - we never saw a ripple. The sea was glassy calm, it was the last of the flood tide. Had there been any fish moving within half-a-mile we would have seen it. We could not believe (nor explain) it.

Two days later I went to the river: mid-afternoon, bright sunny conditions. I fished a small Maria plug that hardly dives beneath the surface. Even then it picked up algae at least every other chuck. I had two chub bites and three perch bites. I hooked one of the perch but it dropped off as I fiddled with the camera so no picture. All in all three confidence sapping sessions. Not quite as bad as the fourteen, successive, freezing, biteless, cod fishing trips that I suffered one winter long ago but no doubt things will improve soon. They will, won't they????

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 -

First view!

You can never be sure how a shot of a fish in the dark will come out.  This one was fascinating.

Ready to land.

Clearer but less interesting.

On the shore.

The big lure makes it look even smaller than it was.  My final and only fish of the week.