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).

20 November 2007.

Slow piking.

It seems ages since I offered Jeff Smith, a fellow member of the 'Mullet Club', a pike fishing trip. Jeff lives in Littlehampton, Sussex so it's a fair old drive down to my place in Dorset. Anyway, last week we got together at last. Jeff turned up at my house at round about 11 o'clock and we had a quick cup of coffee and a chat before setting off to the river.

Our first task was to catch a few baits. The river was very low indeed for this time of year (for any time of year) and the fish were not too cooperative. After sundry minnows and small dace we eventually had a few baits in the bucket, packed up the float gear, got out the pike rods and set off. Jeff was keen to try out the circle hooks that I've been using for a year or two and had already made up his own traces for the task.

It was a pleasant, mild day so we were full of anticipation. The first two or three pools were absolutely dead. The water was gin clear and there was lots of weed making it quite tricky to fish some of the spots. Anyway, we pressed on and about three quarters of an hour after we started Jeff was into his first fish. He'd resisted the urge to strike and sure enough the fish was nicely hooked round the maxilla. An excellent start.

We probably fished for about four hours in all (a long session for me these days) and we landed several pike. Once or twice fish took my large wobbled dead bait and were not man enough to ingest the whole bait before I tightened so the came unstuck but generally we managed to catch them 'second time around'. In all I think we landed four modest pike which I was a bit disappointed with but Jeff seemed pleased to have caught on his first attempt with the circle hooks. I've taken to debarbing mine these days and it seems to make no difference to landing the fish but makes unhooking a piece of cake.

Jeff's first.

Not his first pike but the first one on a circle hook.

Jeff's second.

Not quite as big as the first one.

Circle in action.

Nicely hooked (the trace is inside its mouth).