Catch fish with Mike Ladle.

Catch Fish with
Mike Ladle


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Coarse Fishing 31 October 2002

The Transition

It is that time of year when I usually change the bulk of my fishing from salt to freshwater. The writing was on the wall when my last two bass spinning trips were 'blown off'. The first by winds so strong that they threatened to blow me into the sea and the second by seas so rough that I could not get to the rocks I needed to fish off. Of course the bass are probably still there and by careful choice of times and places I expect I shall be able to catch a few more but it is time to consider other possibilities.

Following the first dud trip I took the lure off the line, tied on a size eight carp hook and went carp fishing for a couple of hours. I lost two good fish (hooks popped out!) on freelined cubes of luncheon meat and landed one six pounder on a couple of Chum Mixers. I saw the latter fish take a few free offerings before casting the bait to it.

After my second abortive bassing session I decided to have an afternoon spinning for pike in my local river. Again I used the same reel and braided line (with the addition of a wire trace) that I use for bass but replaced the rod with a heavier (3lb TC) version to allow for setting the larger hooks on my big pike spoon.

The river was gin clear and full of streamer weed in the shallower water. I started just upstream of the weir pool and second cast lobbed the spoon onto the far bank, where it stuck. I walked back to the weir, over the bridge, up the south bank and retrieved the spoon before returning to my rod. Next cast a pike slashed at the spoon twice. The second time it actually bumped it and made the hooks jangle against the metal of the lure. I cast again and this time I saw the fish sweep past the spoon as it struck - the pike was obviously determined to have its meal. Next cast it missed again and then, just as I was about to lift the lure out, it grabbed it and was hooked just under the chin.

I landed the pike (about five pounds) took a photograph, returned it and continued fishing. Ten minutes later a larger pike came at the spoon from under a fallen tree, missed and would not come back (I should have had a dead bait in the bag to tempt reluctant fish). Another ten minutes - I had crossed over and was on my way back down the south bank - and I caught another small fish, which was hooked first time, landed, photographed and returned.

A good first session! Just downstream of the weir pool I decided to have a last chuck into a little weedy bay. I could see the big spoon slowly wobbling as I held it just outside a dense raft of surface weed. Suddenly it was in the jaws of a pike and I struck sharply to fix the hooks. This was a much better fish and battled hard for the best part of five minutes before I could slide it into the edge and lift it out onto the wet grass. Eighteen pounds and well hooked just in front of the scissors. I might have another go tomorrow!

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 -



October 31 2002

A strong blow.

It was difficult to stand up, let alone fish, with a gale blowing from behind.

Seas from all directions.

The wind had dropped but my, 'spot', was too dangerous to fish.  I wanted to stand on the rocks at the far end

A little carp.

The fish were not surface feeding very well but this one took my dog biscuit confidently.

The first pike.

After several frantic strikes at the spoon this one hooked itself under the chin.

The second one.

About the same size as the first.

The last cast pike.

In fantastic condition after a long summer of feeding this fish fought very hard.