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).

11 October 2007.

First pike.

My pal Steve came down from Bristol at the weekend. Steve is off to the Seychelles in a week or so and needed to pick up a reel spool that he lent me and to borrow one of my multi-section rods as a spare for his trip. He hasn't been to Wareham for ages so, after lunch, we decided to try a spot of pike fishing in a local River. It turned out that Steve had left the house in such a hurry that, although he had his rod and reel, he'd forgotten to bring his tackle bag and lure box with him. Of course it was no problem because I had lures that I could lend him.

I hadn't been piking for ages so although I knew that the river would be low and gin clear I'd no idea whether the pike were likely to be actively feeding in the middle of the afternoon. We were using more or less identical spinning rods with fixed spool reels and braided line. Steve tied on my favourite pike spoon and I matched it with a creamy coloured rubber lure that's served me well in the past. Both were on traces of 15lb, knottable, Tyger wire. We fished together working our way from pool to pool and fishing any likely looking spots in between. It was dead! Neither of us managed a bite for perhaps three-quarters-of-an-hour. Disaster loomed!

Conditions looked good and it would have been easy to get a bit despondent with the apparent absence of fish but we flogged on, moving along to one of the downstream pools on the stretch. Suddenly I heard a commotion and looked up to see that Steve was into a pike. It was not a big fish but we were both mightily relieved - it would have been a bit of a downer if we hadn't seen a fish at all. After the pike was landed, photographed and returned we continued spinning and within a minute, only a few metres from where Steve had hooked his pike, I saw another fish of similar size (slightly smaller if I'm honest) lunge out and grab my wiggling rubber lure. It was hooked and I played it almost to the bank before it came unstuck. We didn't have another touch but honour was more or less satisfied. Not quite up to what he might be catching next week but a pleasant enough interlude.

It's on!

At last Steve's into a fish.

Still fighting.

The rod's well bent as the pike makes a bid for freedom.

Unhook it.

Steve's about to detach the spoon (plus a large leaf) from the pike's mouth.