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).

13 November 2007.


Nigel and I went fishing for pike at the weekend. Nigel's son Joe came along too - the first time for years - and was just a tad unlucky on the day. We met at 11am and the first task was to catch a few baits so we parked ourselves by a likely pool and started to floatfish maggots. The bait was more difficult to catch than we expected and it was probably half-an-hour before we picked up the pike gear and set off up the river.

It was a lovely sunny morning and we were full of anticipation but the first couple of spots we tried were, seemingly, fishless. It was probably twenty minutes before I heard Nigel call that he had hooked a fish. I nipped across the bridge and handed him the net while I picked up my camera. As it turned out he had to slide down the grassy bank in order to net the fish and I was half expecting to get a picture of him climbing back out of the water. However, he negotiated the netting successfully and the fish, nicely hooked in the jaw on the circle hook, was unhooked and released.

We moved further upstream and I had a fish of similar size to Nigels on a wobbled deadbait. This one let go the first time and when it took again I gave it too long and the hook was round a gill arch. However, there was no harm done and again it was safely released. I suggested that Joe might like to fish a pikey pool near the top of the stretch - which he did. Nigel was the next to have a bite and this one, a slightly bigger fish, was hooked as he dangled his bait from a rickety bridge. three in half-an-hour - not bad.

By now Joe had moved on, biteless, from the place I suggested so I thought I'd give it a go myself. My bait, suspended under the usual half-cork from a wine bottle, drifted round the slack for perhaps five minutes before it was taken. This was clearly a better fish and put up a terrific struggle even on my bass rod and braided line. Several times it made decent runs, tearing line off against a tight clutch. Eventually Nigel 'did the honours' with the net and we weighed the fish at just under 10kg (21 pounds), An excellent way to round off our session. Perhaps next time it will be Joe's turn.

Careful Nige!

Nigel slithers down the bank to net his first pike.

Nearly there.

Still precarious but the fish is ready for the net.

Got it!

Nicely hooked and the bait's still there.

Nigel's second fish.

Another tricky place to land one from.  This time I netted it.


I was well pleased with this one but the old jacket's a bit slimy.