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).

14 August 2005

Odd fish!

Nigel has been catching a few bass on bait recently and the other evening we decided to go together and try a spot where he had recently lost a good fish. We arrived at about half-past-eight in the evening and it was still pretty light so we opted to spin for a while before baiting up. Nigel was using a Rapala and I had on the Maria that I am 'testing to destruction'. About ten minutes after we had started I heard Nige call out and looked across to see that he was playing a decent fish. As I watched it grounded him and I assumed that it was a wrasse. Sure enough, when he managed to haul it free the fish came to the surface and showed a big, rounded brown fin. When it was landed it proved to be a really nice specimen.

I still meet lots of anglers who are dubious about the possibility of catching wrasse on lures. In fact, as I've said before, I quite often catch more wrasse than bass on my plugs. If you really want to avoid the wrasse the best thing to do is probably to use a surface popper. I've had bass, mackerel and pollack on these but so far no wrasse. I expect I shall catch a ballan 'off the top' one day but I haven't yet.

We did not have a sniff of a bass before we packed in. On my next trip I decided to pop all the time. The decision was thrust upon me by the kelp fronds up at the surface. It would have been tantamount to throwing away a diving or sinking lure of any kind. In fact I had one or two takes from smallish fish (probably pollack) but the biggest surprise came after I had been fishing for about ten minutes. I cast across the tide race and popped the lure back. As it chugged across the choppy, fast flowing water it suddenly stopped popping so I wound in quickly to see what was up. Hanging from the tail treble by its snout was, of all things, a sand smelt about the same size as the lure. I would say that it was an accidental foul hooking but you can never be sure. I've had sand smelts on my baited spoons on a number of occasions so it's just possible that the little fish had a go at the popper.

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 -

Nice fish Nige.

Wonderful fish ballan wrasse.  This one gave Nigel a good tussle including a tug of war from the wrack.


Wrasse are very attractive fish.

Kelp forest.

When the tide runs hard over this stuff a surface lure is your only hope.

Surprise, surprise.

Will I ever catch another one of these little devils on a popper?