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).

01 November 2007.

Small circle hooks and soft wire again.

My last freshwater page dealt with catching perch on small livebaits. Anyway, I enjoyed the session so much I decided to have another go on a different stretch of river. It was a warm, sunny morning - fairly unusual for the time of year - and the river was gin clear despite rain on the previous day. I approached the first 'swim', a deep pool at the tail of a fast turbulent riffle and lowered my paternostered dace (again on a size 2 circle hook and a 15lb Tyger wire trace) into the deep water. Within a minute or two I had a knocking bite and slowly tightened the line. The fish was almost at the surface when it came off. One nil to the perch. Next drop I had another bite and this time the fish was well hooked so I took a picture, reeled it in, unhooked it and put it back. The third cast produced another bite. This time it felt like a much bigger perch but it came off before I could see it. Two fish dropped out of three bites - not so good. No more bites on the next couple of casts so I moved on downstream.

The next spot I tried was a slack of about three feet depth just downstream of a willow tree trailing its branches in the water. I swung another small bait out and lowered it to the bed. At once a pike of about three kg (six or seven pounds - I've had a couple of moans about using kg as units) materialised and grabbed the dace. I tightened at once and the fish was hooked in the lip. After a bit of a tussle I netted the pike, unhooked and released it. I walked on downstream a couple of hundred metres to the next tree and slack. Again the bait was grabbed immediately by a smaller pike which once more was landed, unhooked (it was lip hooked as intended) and released. At this point I thought to myself 'This is going to be a good session'. In the next hour I didn't have another sniff. In fact the only additional action was when I returned to where I had landed the first pike. I dropped the bait in and the same pike rushed out and took it again. I thought that was my sign to pack in - so I did.

Clearly the (relatively) small hook and paternoster were just as effective for catching the small pike as for the perch. I must give it another try ASAP.

The perch.

I don't know how it got the tatty fin - possibly line damage I suppose - but it was in good condition otherwise.  However, note the 'mixed up' scale pattern on the belly.

The first pike.

It took the bait within seconds and I tightened at once.


the hook was perfectly placed and easy to remove.

smaller pike.

again I tightened straight away and hooked it in the lip.