Tackle and Tactics
Mike Ladle


Information Page.

Tales from the web.

In response to my web site I get lots of emails from people I've never met and many of them I now regard as fishing pals. I had a couple recently from Dave and Sean that I thought might be of interest. They're slightly edited by me to leave out irrelevant passages but well worth a read for both the content and the pictures. First Dave -

Dear Mike,

Only 4lb but first of the year on the plug so I've broken this season's plugging blank streak at last! Actually, it's the earliest in the year I've caught on the plug, usually it's late August onwards when the pin whiting appear in numbers. This year, unusually, for my area, we've had a run of mackerel close to the shore chasing baitfish and I wonder if this has had any bearing on the change in the bass' behaviour?

It's my first decent bass using braid too, all the others had been schoolies. It put up a hell of a scrap compared to mono, you can feel every twist turn and headshake!! Marvelous really, I'm a total convert!!

Confession.......I went the day previous too and lost a CRACKING fish! Unfortunately I was using the same line as last season and after a couple of belting runs the line parted and I lost the fish and the lure! It felt like a really big fish. I've had bass to 7lb and never had my rod bent like that before or runs like it!! You can't beat a "one that got away" tale, can you? To say I was gutted is an understatement!

I mentioned it in the local tackle shop, when I was buying a replacement lure and they told me that the particular brand and type of line (Krystanite fluorocarbon) goes brittle after one season and has no knot strength!! All the lads in the shop, after initially raving about it, had stopped using it! Wish I'd known sooner! On this occasion I was using 20lb Berkley Fireline Crystal braid.

I must admit I'm a little disappointed with this line (although not as disappointed as with the Kristanite!). After using the fluorocarbon, which casts superbly and a good distance, the fireline seems quite thick and stiff and casts noticeably poorer. Compared to other braids I've recently looked at it seems rather crude, particularly the Whiplash-pro, which looks more supple and certainly lesser diameter. I've seen good reviews for Power-pro as well, although I am concerned with both lines about the castability with plugs and wind knots and such?

Sorry to ramble on but I'm unable to fish the spot where I catch my bass as it's a low water mark and is only uncovered by large spring tides. It's pretty rough ground! Hence the surface poppers!! The water depth ranges from no more than 4ft to exposed seabed. The bass seem to hang around in the shallows, literally often in 8" of water, hunting for whatever they can find. Usually crabs and shrimps and occasionally small fish.

Anyway, hope to catch a double figure fish this year, which hopefully I'll have the willpower to return to fight another day. After a few photos naturally! Keep up the good work on the site!

Kind regards


In essence my reply said that I didn't trust fluorocarbon and that it's possible to use Whiplash and Dynon braids without problems - if you're careful. Note that Dave is catching in shallow water at low tide. I asked if I could use his pictures on the site and whether the bass took as he was retrieving with the flow of water.

Hi Mike,

Feel free to use my pictures, I've included a few more which aren't the best quality to be honest. You can name and shame if you like.

Yes, the bass did take with the plug swimming with the movement of the water. I suppose it is a more natural behaviour of a baitfish, which is what the bass are lying in wait for!

All the best


This morning Dave wrote again adding a couple more nice pictures.

Thanks for the tip Mike, went tonight and no wind knots at all! If anything the conditions were even worse, which made it all the more pleasing that a mate managed a decent 4 pounder. It was his first on the plug. To say he was pleased is an understatement. As usual when I take someone along, I blanked!



I know the feeling about blanking! Another email with a nice picture came from a second epal – Sean who had been looking at Steve's videoclip of me Fly Fishing for Mullet - I'd asked him (tongue in cheek) not to laugh at me falling over. I also found this interesting:--

Great clip Mike,

Those woodlice were there in huge numbers eh - What are they doing there in such concentration do you think? Cracking Mullet you took also.

...sorry but the "don't laugh" comment didn't work! He!he!he! ... So long as it's the right side of danger, I think fits of laughter is a universal reaction to a fellow angler getting a dousing! :-)...and you did go down with style Mike!

I went fishing with a friend on a local beach yesterday for Golden Grey Mullet, casting into the shallow surf using mudrag as bait. We were successful, not in the numbers expected (still early) but we did manage to land a couple of what I regard as a 'special' fish - the closest thing to a Bonefish round these parts! Here's a picture of my pal Jason with the first of the day.

When we finished fishing we chatted over a pint of real ale in the local pub near the beach and were treated to an impromptu fly past of the Red Arrows - a stunning sight as they passed over the shore (they had been displaying down your way at the Goodwood F.O.S.)

Cheers Sean

In my reply I asked Sean if he’d tried rag-baited spoons for his golden greys:--

Hi Mike,

No I haven't tried a spoon for GG's, only used mudrag on small hooks, fished double paternoster in the shallows. I will be having another crack at them soon, and will take a spoon along and give it a try.

Re the pic. yes sure use it if you want.

Regards Sean

I'm glad that Sean found my downfall funny. To be honest Steve, who filmed it, could hardly hold the camera for laughing - that's pals for you! I'll be very interested to know whether the baited spoon works for the GGs.

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

Daves bass.

I like the net - I'm always getting my boot in the picture as well.'

Dave's pal's first bass.

What a smashing fish!'

Sean's pal's golden mullet.

They're not big but aren't they nice fish?'