Catch fish with Mike Ladle.

Tackle and Tactics
Mike Ladle


Information Page


Bass and mullet eat lots of different food items. As a rule it is best to use a fly which more or less mimics the creatures that the fish is eating. Since fly tackle is designed to cast more or less weightless baits it is usually best to employ this gear when the fish are taking relatively small, fish, shrimps, squid, insects etc.

Mullet normally feed on small particles so they are tailor made for the fly fishing approach. Bass, on the other hand, are predatory fish and often take large fish or crabs. It is not easy to imitate these big animals with tinsel fur and feathers, nor indeed to cast such imitations on sensible tackle, so it is often best to stick to natural baits or spinning lures (plugs, spoons and so on) in these circumstances.

At times, however, bass, like many other fish, will become totally preoccupied with particular foods and some of these may be quite small. When they are feeding in this way it may be possible to persuade the odd fish to attack a larger bait or lure but, in general you will catch many more if you can 'match the hatch' and use something which looks and behaves like their favourite food.

Nowadays, any decent, mail order, fly fishing supplier will list a whole range of "salt water" fish, shrimp and crab imitations (designed for the American/Tropical-sea market) - at a price. It is probably better, certainly cheaper and definitely more satisfying to make your own. If you are as ham fisted, as I am, you will find it easier to tie bass flies than trout flies and even the least artistic creations are likely to work well. If you don't want to embark on a fly tying career a small Delta eel, a similar silicone rubber "fish" or even a thin strip of mackerel, slipped onto a size six or eight fine wire hook, will probably out-fish most feather and fur constructions. Fortunately sea fishing is not hidebound by hundreds of years of prejudice, myth and legend like fresh water fly fishing. Hopefully it never will be.

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 -


Fly fishing from the shore.

How to dress.

'Half way to being a fly'.

Rubber eels are often need the addition of lead to cast any distance on spinning gear.

A simple 'white and silver' fly which has caught lots of bass, pollack and coalfish.

These flies look like small, silvery fry in the water.

An enlarged view of the same fly.

The eyes 'may' provide a target for predators, but eyeless versions also catch fish.

My favourite 'bass flies'.

'Flies' like these have caught hundreds of bass.

When fish are feeding on marine woodlice these shrimp psatterns have proved effective.

These more sophisticated flies are relatively tricky to tie.  Mine were given to me by pals with less thumbs than myself.