Tackle and Tactics
Mike Ladle


Information Page.

Dangers and curiosities..

I rarely think about the risks of fishing - it would tend to spoil the fun if I worried all the time about the possibility of being drowned or falling and breaking my neck. However, every so often something happens to remind me of the need to take care.

The other day five of us were on the way to a spot that we hoped would produce surface feeding mullet or bass on the high spring tide. We had a fair distance to walk along the cliff lined coast to get to our chosen spot and we were all wearing chest waders despite the hot calm weather. It's always a compromise between getting wet when you're fishing and being steamed alive during the long hot walk.

Anyway we'd split up, as we walked, over a stretch of perhaps twenty metres. First there was me and Silas then Rasmus and Ben and finally Nigel - bringing up the rear. As the first pair walked past a small ledge a few pebbles rattled down from the cliff so we scuttled along out of the way. The second couple had just passed the spot when there was a rumble and a large cliff fall took place just behind them. Phew! Nigel. who was still on the other side of the avalanche, waited until the air cleared of dust and rocks before following us. As we watched a third and much bigger fall occurred in exactly the same spot. Nigel disappeared behind a dense cloud of grey dust and bouncing boulders. After the turmoil ceased a shout told us that he was OK and had managed to run (he assures me that he moved at speed) away from the rockfall. A few seconds sooner or later and it could have been a different story for him or us.

Despite the risky walk the fishing proved to be well worthwhile with lots of maggot-feeding fish and a good night was had by all.

On a different tack my pal Dave Bourne, who lives on the west coast of Scotland, emailed me a picture of some 'jelly balls' that he'd picked up on a local beach and asked what they were. As it turned out they were rather nice sea gooseberries (Ctenophores). These jelly like animals swim about in the sea catching plankton and fish larvae with long, sticky tentacles. I'd only seen pickled ones before so I found it quite interesting. I must keep my eyes open for them down here in Dorset.

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 - docladle@hotmail.com


Perils of fishing.

Second cliff fall.

Nigel was somewhere the other side of this lot.


As the air cleared we could see Nigel on the other side of the cloud.

Fish on!

Silas into a bass on his fly gear.  The fish is splashing close to his feet.

A better one.

Despite his sprint to escape being buried Nigel managed this stonking bass on a plug.

Sea gooseberries.

Rows of beating paddles drive the jelly balls along in search of their prey.