, nylon leader Mike Ladle's Fishing Diary

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).

Three tides - how things change!

On my last Saltwater page I mentioned how I caught maggot-feeding bass from the margin of the sea. It was a dawn tide and a fantastic morning; no wind, flat calm - really easy fishing. often I sat or kneeled on a rock to avoid spooking the fish and cast out using only a few metres of the weight-forward, floating, fly line. There were no fish showing when I arrived, but after a few minutes and as the tide rose a couple of centimetres the fish began to feed well, and many of them were literally in the water's edge. Mostly 'fly' fishing, using a white Delta eel I landed a total of thirteen bass, up to 53cm in length. As usual I also lost a fish or two including a couple that took the fly line well into the backing; when the drag of the bulky line eventually pulled out the little, stainless steel hook. A great session!

Not surprisingly, several of my pals tried the same section of shoreline that evening. Their session was not blessed with the calm conditions that I had found (early morning tides often have less wind and flatter seas) the sea was murkier and the fish acted differently. Bill tells me that between 17:00 and 17:30 lots of mullet appeared but then vanished before high tide. He spun for bass, but although a few were seen he left (fishless) at 18:30. Richard had caught one small bass on the fly. Richard and Nigel who had each lost a mullet on the fly, stayed and continued fishing. After Bill had gone things perked up; Nigel landed three mullet, with the best 4.25 lb, he also lost a big one which snapped the tippet. Richard hooked a mullet of three or four pounds, on a Delta. Bill bumped into Martyn, also fishless, on the way back.

The following evening I joined Bill, Phil and Martyn for a another evening attempt. This time it was much windier and rougher than before. The margin of the sea was filthy and there was a decent swell pounding the shore and washing away what remained of the seaweed middens and maggots. We fished from 05:30 to 18:00 hr and between us caught twelve smallish bass of one to two-and-a-half pounds, all on soft-plastic, weedless eels. I wandered about with the fly rod for a while but the shoals of fish were constantly on the move and the strong wind, waves and weed soup made it almost impossible to fly-fish. Bill, spun an EvoStix lure with a fair sized cone weight. He fished mainly from a point of rocks with the strongest run of the tide and did better than the rest of us, landing six bass between 1 and 2 lb in the evening. Phil and I had three apiece on similar lures to Bills. Two of mine were taken very late on, after I'd removed the nose lead from my EvoStix lure. Martyn "drew the short straw" and had only a single bass bite on his larger soft plastic lure.

What did we learn from the three sessions? Even when things look as though they should be similar, different times of the day, and quite small changes in tide, time, wind and weather can make huge differences in the behaviour of the fish. Perhaps more importantly, conditions dictate how it is best (or possible) to fish. On the first of the two evening sessions the fish came and went more than we normally see and although there were definitely bass there (they were clearly seen) only one tiddler plus one or two decent mullet were caught, late in the session. On the third and last trip the mullet were almost unfishable and the bass were, on average, smaller than on my morning trip.

The third (second evening) session. Spinning with soft plastics to avoid the drifting weed.

My first bass on a weighted EvoStix lure.

One of Bill's six fish caught on the same type of lure with a cone weight..

...and another one for Bill.

My second fish, this time on the unweighted EvoStix

The last one of all. The Texposer hooks are very effective with these lures.

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



"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"