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 several 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. As you see I also add the odd piece from my friends and correspondents if I've not been doing much. 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).

Garfish and bass.

After losing a couple of decent bass recently (one bite each session) my pal Martyn and I were keen to have another go. After a busy weekend, although I'd noticed that the tide looked good for Monday morning, I (stupidly) gave it a miss. By Tuesday the urge to fish was too great so we met at 05:45, stuck the spinning gear in the car and set off for the coast. As we drove I said to Martyn that the tide was probably going to be a bit on the high side and that we should have gone the previous morning - I was right.

By the time we'd walked to our appointed spot it was still dark but we could see that there was already a fierce race running and that the water was too deep and fast to access the prime spots. We opted to fish from the safe places. The first half-hour or so spinning in the dark was biteless. Then, as dawn began the break, we started to get bites on our weedless, soft-plastic lures. After a while we were getting bites on almost every cast but they were mostly furtive plucks and we couldn't hook anything. I was impatient and tried a couple of different spots to see if I could find anything bigger but it was more or less the same everywhere. Then I decided to stand calf deep in the racing current and fish directly 'downstream' of where I was perched. All I needed to do was hold the rod up and let the EvoStix lure waggle in the strong flow. Still I was missing bites then, suddenly I was in - it was quite a shock to actually get a hittable bite. At first the fish took a bit of line but I guessed that it was mostly due to its open mouth and the flowing water. It didn't take long to walk the fish into a slacker area, take a couple of pictures and release it. At least we'd caught something but the missed bites continued.

A hint as to what we were missing came five minutes later when I had a pull almost under the rod tip and a small garfish sprang out of the water before dropping off. These it seemed were likely culprits. No more bass were forthcoming so we went home for breakfast.

That evening I set up the fly rod with a small, white, Delta eel as the 'fly' and the next morning found me hiking along to spot we'd fished on the previous day. It was a bit rougher and windier but still fishable so, as it was still fairly dark, I started with the weedless eel that had produced for me the previous morning. My first bite proved to be a reasonable bass so I was well pleased and (unduly) optimistic. I returned the fish and picked up the fly rod. In truth it wasn't much better than the spinning gear although I did catch another smallish bass and then I was into a beautiful little garfish - brillian green and silver. It thrashed about as I held it up on the trace and tried to wrestle the camera out of my bag with the other hand. Needless to say it dropped off before I could take its picture. Still a couple of bass and a gar was reasonably entertaining - it could certainly have been worse.

The first morning's bass on the EvoStix lure.

The same fish. Typically the lure is curled down the hook - the same often happens with missed bass bites.

...and one on the fly gear, pity about the little garfish..



"Fishing for Ghosts - Successful Mullet Angling"

written with David Rigden IT'S AVAILABLE FROM - "The Medlar Press"


“The Second Wave”

Written with Steve Pitts this is a SEQUEL TO THE BESTSELLER "Operation Sea Angler" IT'S AVAILABLE ON PAPER OR FOR YOUR KINDLE FROM - "Veals Mail Order" and from Amazon "Amazon"

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 -