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).

27 December 2007.

Size matters - or does it?

I've had some decent pike lately with several good doubles. On each occasion that I've fished the tactics have been slightly different and until the last session it all fitted neatly into my preconceived ideas of big baits for big pike (which I'm sure is generally true). Anyway, here's the story.

The first trip was with good sized natural baits and the fish ranged from say 5-15lb. Next time I used a big rubber lure and had one fish in the upper teens. On the following session I opted for a big brass spoon (not as big as the rubber lure) and the first fish I hooked was an out of season salmon of about twenty pounds. I unhooked it without removing it from the water and it swam off strongly. A few casts later I had a good pike on the spoon and then I hooked and lost a bigger one before packing in.

A couple of days later I decided to catch some more baits but despite my best efforts I couldn't get anything bigger than about five inches long. I used them anyway and as a result I landed four pike but none were bigger than five or six pounds and I never saw a decent fish.

Just before Christmas I went to the river with my pal Nigel. We had some larger baits and were fishing a really pikey looking stretch (I should have said that each time I went I fished a different section of river). Our confidence was high as we began but by the end of the session we'd only had four bites and these produced only three smallish pike (the fourth one was no bigger). It just goes to show that you can't catch big ones if they won't bite, whatever size your bait or lure.

Blooming salmon!

Sometimes you can't avoid hooking them even in the pikiest spots.


A nice pike on the spoon.

Small bait.

Small pike.

- another.

A bit bigger (but not much).

- another.

Again a small fish on a small bait.

- and another.

No bigger.

Nigel's in.

This small pike took a decent bait.

It's off.

Then it let go! It seems that it just had hold of the bait.