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 four 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. 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 so if you are new to fly fishing or spinning these are the ones for you).

15 March 2007.

The season's end.

Of course it's not really the end of the coarse fishing - it's only on rivers (mostly) that we still have a statutory close season. I have to say that I no longer see the point of this period of enforced abstinence. Anglers fish lakes with no apparent ill effects to the fish. We don't disturb nesting birds to anything like the degree that dog walkers do and they are not made to stay indoors. Salmon and trout anglers continue to trample the grass and wave their rods along the river banks. Anyone who wants a rest from fishing or who needs to get on with the backlog of DIY can do so if they want to. So why the close season???

Anyway, with the current unseasonably summery weather I just had to have a last go on the river. I'd intended catching some small livebaits and trying for a decent perch but the fates were against me. Smallish baits were non existent - all I could catch were big dace and roach so I decided to go piking instead. A small ditch produced the first fish - five or six pounds. I saw it take in the clear water and waited until the hook was inside its mouth before I tightened. The fish was well hooked on my circle hook and battled gamely before I unhooked and returned it.

The next spot produced a powerful eight pounder on a paternostered bait, again beautifully hooked. I managed one or two pictures despite the bright sun shining on the camera's LCD screen (why did they do away with the little viewfinder?).

I moved on to another likely spot close to the ditch pictured in last week's page. I continued with the paternoster in order to keep my bait where I wanted it. Only minutes after lowering my bait into the water there was a mighty swirl and I was in again. This was clearly a better fish and it was some minutes before I managed to get a look at it. I could see that, like its predecessors it was only lightly hooked so I didn't risk taking any pictures while I was playing it. When I landed it, by sliding it into the still flooded field, this pike weighed twenty two pounds - an excellent way to finish my campaign.

Got it!

My first and smallest pike has the bait well in its mouth.

It's on!

The pike is well hooked and clearly visible in the translucent water of the ditch.


The Fish is on the damp grass of the bank and ready to be unhooked.

How's that?

Another example of the effectiveness of circle hooks.


My second pike pulls the rod round into its fighting curve.


Still battling.


I unhooked this one without lifting it from the water.


My biggest fish landed.

---and again.

This one was also beautifully hooked.