, 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).

Not my week!

It’s getting to that time of the year when fishing at first light means getting out of bed at what feels like the middle of the night. This is OK as long as you catch something but recently this hasn’t been the case. Even more frustrating is the fact that once or twice it has been obvious that the bass were probably about (and feeding) in quantity but I couldn’t get at them.

I know it’s not very interesting to read about people NOT catching fish but it might be instructive. All my sessions were, as usual, brief, and rarely lasted for much more than an hour. If I’m not catching anything after an hour of casting I generally reckon that I’ve got it wrong. If I go with a pal I will sometimes persist for a bit longer and of course there is usually a chance – however slight – of a catch even when things look dire.

My first session was a follow up to a trip a few days earlier when I’d missed a good run on a big mackerel bait (it dropped the bait when the line became draped in loose weed) and then had three lesser abortive bites. I was encouraged and decided to try another spot with a free lined sardine bait on a circle hook. It was the first of the flood in the evening and easily fishable. While I sat waiting for the bite that never came I saw one fish jump – probably a mullet – and the bow wave of a large fish (possibly a bass) pretty close in.

My next trip was with my pal Martyn and again we fished the evening tide, this time from the spot where I’d missed the good run. Conditions were pretty good but again we were biteless. Martyn’s sardine bait was crabbed and I had nothing. As far as we could tell there were no bass present.

The next time I decided to fish at dawn into the ebbing tide from a rocky ledge. This time I spun with a white EvoStix lure. When I arrived at 05:30 (just after high water) the tide was ebbing hard but a strong offshore wind made it very difficult to cast. What was worse was that the rough sea whipped up by the onshore wind made access to the spot I intended to fish impossibly dangerous. 150m beyond where I stood the terns and gannets were plummeting into the raging sea as if there was no tomorrow. Now I always regard these fishing birds as a sort of mirror image of the bass under the surface so it was doubly annoying. Once again I didn’t have a sniff of a fish but a pal who turned up while I was fishing and stayed for a little while after I left, managed to get out to where the birds were feeding and landed a small bass on a weighted soft plastic eel.

My last session was two days later to the same spot. Again I fished the early tide but this time it was more or less the last of the flood (we get double tides along this stretch of coast so they change quickly and are difficult to predict. To my surprise, despite the fact that the tide was supposed to be coming in, there was a decent run off, just like the ebb. To combat the wind, I tied on a white ‘Swim Senko’ given to me by my pal Bill. As Bill told me when he handed it over - even unweighted it casts twice as far as the EvoStix - a useful asset when the wind is against you (apparently it is also more fragile - not so good). Once more, the wind was howling in my face and the sea was so rough that I couldn’t access the spot where the birds were feeding. After about half-an-hour I had a sharp but tentative pluck which I presumed was from a small bass that failed to engulf the lure. Encouraged, I persisted for a while but could hardly believe it when I found myself playing a fish. It wasn’t an epic battle. When I landed the schoolie I took its picture before unhooking it and slipping it back into the sea. Sometimes it is good just to catch ‘anything’

The chubby little bass - my first on one of these lures .

Note how the upward facing hook is lodged in the upper part of the mouth.

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"